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Fission 1.5 review

Verdict:

Review Date: 25 May 2007

Price when reviewed:

Reviewed By: Steve Caplin

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

Rogue Amoeba is best known for Audio Hijack, which allows you to intercept and record Internet radio streams and other audio on your Mac. The trouble is that there's often unwanted material at the beginning and end of the recording.

Although QuickTime Player Pro can open and edit MP3 files, it can't save them in that format. This is where Fission comes in: it's a sophisticated tool for editing audio files of a variety of formats, including AAC, Apple Lossless and AIFF, as well as MP3. Most significantly, Fission saves files without re-encoding them, so there's no loss of quality.

Opening a file in Fission displays it as a waveform at the top of the window, with a much larger pane showing an expanded view of a section of it. Selecting a section of the recording highlights it in yellow, both on the overview and the expanded view; dragging the cursor back and forth scrubs through the audio, so you can hear exactly where you are in the track.

Once a section is highlighted, it takes just a single click to delete it, or to split the file into two sections at that point, or to crop to just that selection. With an intuitive toolset and graphical menu commands, it's easy to see exactly what you're doing.

That in itself would be great, but Fission goes further. A Smart Split dialog enables you to split tracks according to user-defined periods of silence, which is useful when recording directly from vinyl. You can copy and paste sections of audio, both within a single file and between files, and even between different audio formats.

Fission can also edit the volume level in files in a number of ways. You can fade selections in or out, and increase the volume using a Gain Adjustment button.

Fission does just about everything you're likely to want from an MP3 editing application. And because it doesn't re-encode the files, the operations are lossless. There are several high-end solutions to the problem of making simple edits to audio files, but most of these are features in complex applications. Fission, by contrast, is a straightforward, no-nonsense editor that does precisely what you need. Elegant and easy to use, it's the ideal companion to Audio Hijack.

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