Just as the Macworld review was going to “press” (or appearing online, anyway) Soundtrack Pro 2.01 arrived. New in this version:

Delay Designer: This effect now allows custom delay taps, with optional sync to project tempo.

Combine clips into multichannel clip: This is nice: drag up to 24 source clips to the timeline, and you automatically get a combined multichannel clip, which should be handy for surround and stereo multichannel alike.

Various fixes for performance / stability / etc.

But there’s one release note that caught my eye: Soundtrack Pro 2 does not support iTunes Plus files. Now, that’s curious, given iTunes Plus files are supposedly “DRM-free” and stored in a format Soundtrack Pro 2 does support (AAC). In fact, I’d kind of call this, well, DRM. I can even think of cases where you might want to trim a track you bought from iTunes, like removing an intro. Not a big deal by any means, mind you, but — odd.

STP Error


Soundtrack Pro 2 supports AAC files.

QuickTime can open iTMS Plus files. (If you do want to edit the file, by the way, you can slice out an intro of that iTMS Plus file right in QuickTime Player, making this all the odder.)

Soundtrack Pro 2 can’t. The only reason seems to be that Apple disabled the ability to do that. That sure sounds like Digital Rights Management to me (albeit in a very specific and bizarre case).

If anyone knows a reason why I might be wrong here, please do speak up. (Just tried it for myself with an ITMS Plus track, and Soundtrack Pro in fact reported that it couldn’t open the file.)

Updated: Or it could just be a bug. “DRM” as a theory still doesn’t make sense. The author of Sound Studio notes an AAC bug that’s a likely culprit. It’d be ironic that Apple’s own developers couldn’t work around an Apple API problem — but I can’t actually pretend to be surprised, either, especially as this particular functionality wouldn’t be a very high priority for support in Soundtrack Pro. Thanks, Lucius. (See comments.) And, yeah, that makes a heck of a lot more sense than selective DRM that takes effect only in a single pro app and nowhere else on the system. We’ll call it DPB: Digital Playback Bug.

I should also note that Felt Tip Software’s Sound Studio is an excellent, eminently affordable wave editor for Mac. I used it in the early days of OS X when nothing else ran. Since then, it’s become a very mature piece of software — well worth the cash over, say, suffering through Audacity for free. (Sorry, Audacity.) So if you feel left out by the fact that Soundtrack Pro is only available within Final Cut Studio, you should add Sound Studio to your list of tools to consider as an alternative, as well.