Apple's introduction of Apple Silicon delivers compelling performance in an incredibly efficient package for Mac users. It has also led to some confusion regarding which audio plug-ins are taking full advantage of the new hardware. While Apple's Rosetta allows most Intel code to run, it isn't as efficient as native code and can introduce compatibility issues - and some vendors try to confuse matters by describing Intel plug-ins as "M1 Compatible."
Plug-ins that include Apple Silicon code are sometimes called "M1 Native." They're actually well prepared for M2 and any future Apple Silicon revisions Apple may have planned, plus the inevitable future where Rosetta is no longer supported. It can be time-consuming to track down and evaluate every individual plug-in you have installed but, with PlugInfo, just run the app and you'll quickly see a list of installed audio plug-ins and their details:
Intentionally simple in appearance, PlugInfo offers a number of helpful advanced features:
- See the CPU architectures directly supported by each plug-in. You'll know immediately which are optimized for Apple Silicon and which are translated by Rosetta. Also invaluable for finding legacy plug-ins with just PowerPC or 32-bit Intel code.
- See publisher names for hundreds of known publishers, and use File > Open Publisher Web Site (⇧⌘O) or double-click a publisher name to open their web site.
- Keep PlugInfo open and it will automatically refresh to reflect additions, removals, or changes in your collection.
- Click any column header to sort the list, and click it again to sort in reverse order. PlugInfo Remembers your preferred sort order as well as window size and layout, letting you focus on what matters most. Hide or show columns using the View menu, and rearrange them just by dragging or resizing column headers.
- Enter filter text to quickly narrow down your collection to plug-ins with matching names, publishers, architectures, or plug-in types. Toggle the filter on and off with the ⌘F shortcut corresponding to to the menu item Edit > Show Filter (or Hide Filter.)
- File > Select in Finder (⇧⌘F) opens Finder windows with selected plug-ins already highlighted for easy backup or deletion.
- Export data using Edit > Copy Paths (⌘C) to quickly copy paths for selected plug-ins to the clipboard, or use Copy Full Details (⇧⌘C) for all information in tab-separated form that can be pasted into Numbers or Excel for further examination.
- The Help menu offers immediate access to the PlugInfo User Manual which covers all of these topics and more - including extensive detail on advanced filtering options.
If you haven't already, familiarize yourself with the PlugInfo User Manual which covers many common topics for the current release of PlugInfo.
If you can't find what you need, bug reports and suggestions are welcomed at email@example.com.
Think you might have seen a publisher like "com.companyname.PlugInName"? Starting with version 1.9.1, PlugInfo makes it easier than ever to report these. The File > Report Missing Publishers... menu item will only be visible when one or more publishers can't be recognized, and will draft a bug report for you in your preferred email client. Just review and hit send if you want to help improve PlugInfo's publisher awareness.
Still using a version before 1.9.1? Believe that the publisher name is spelled or capitalized incorrectly? Or find that the linked web site isn't the right one? Select one or more impacted plug-ins, select Copy Full Details from the Edit menu, and paste the details into a bug report along with any additional details like a valid URL for the publisher, and I'll update the list.
ThinkerSnacks believes information about you and your work belongs to you and you alone. PlugInfo does not share information with ThinkerSnacks or anyone else about you or your plug-ins. When downloaded from Apple's App Store, the system may gather anonymous logs to assist in improving PlugInfo, but you remain in control of whether this occurs through Apple's standard settings.
Once a week PlugInfo will fetch an updated list of all publishers and their web sites from ThinkerSnacks.com. It does so by sending a generic https request for a shared resource that is not personalized.
Filter field is now visible by default for new users (also for anyone who hasn't shown it at least once previously.)
Ongoing additions to the publisher list, now at more than 450. Keep those reports coming!
Still more start time optimizations.
Addressed known issues affecting PlugInfo on macOS 10.9.
Addressed some rare cases where non-conforming plugins would yield incomplete information.
Streamlined procedure for reporting missing publishers with the new menu item File > Report Missing Publishers... This menu item will only show up if publishers cannot be determined for one or more plug-ins. You can review all information before sending it, as it uses your preferred email client for communication.
Status text now includes the number of selected plug-ins.
Plug-in version and size now update reliably when upgrading a plug-in to a newer version.
Improved compatibility for macOS versions prior to 10.14.
Additional performance tuning.
Improved filtering enables more sophisticated searches: matching across multiple columns, a "must not match" option, and matches limited to a specific column.
Filter field now has a pop-up list of recent filter text used, plus two suggested filters that make use of the new filter syntax.
Online User Manual linked under the Help menu for extensive insight into features including the new improved filtering options.
Added standard cut/copy/paste and undo/redo menu items to the Edit menu to assist with editing more complex filters enabled by this release.
PlugInfo now remembers whether the filter field is visible across runs.
Performance improvements for several scenarios, including sorting by publisher and lengthy plug-in installations.
Holding shift while launching now completely restores the default window layout: original window location and size, column layout and visibility as well as sort order, and hides the filter field.
No longer requires Spotlight!
Significant performance improvements, both at startup and in detecting changes to installed plug-ins.
No longer discovers plug-ins outside of valid install locations.
New "Size" column reports the disk space occupied by each of your plug-ins.
New context menu with quick access to common functions via control-click or right-click gestures.
Extraneous information eliminated from version numbers in most cases.
Plug-in searches will no longer extend to networked storage.
Eliminated a rare crash that could be triggered by deleting plugins with PlugInfo running.
Startup performance significantly improved for huge plug-in collections.
Improved filtering for publishers and type-to-select when sorted by publisher.
Copy Full Details now includes the publisher name.
Even more publishers added, now over 400.
Version numbers displayed for plug-ins are now consistent with Finder's Get Info display.
Column order, size, visibility, and sort order will reset to their defaults in on first launch to address some issues prior to 1.6.5. To reset the table layout again at any time, hold shift when launching PlugInfo.
Dramatically improved publisher database.
Workarounds for one popular publisher (the database could normally be updated without an app update, but it turns out not everyone follows established conventions.)
Publisher name and web site access for hundreds of publishers.
Support for u-he and Bitwig's new CLAP plug-in format.
More compact presentation makes it even easier to see your plug-ins at a glance.
View menu allows any table columns to be hidden to customize your experience.
File > Select in Finder (⇧⌘F) opens Finder windows with selected plug-ins already highlighted for easy backup or deletion.
Updated plug-in discovery to catch previously missing Audio Units, and remove spurious "bundle" entries
Added compatibility back to macOS 10.9.x
Focused type-to-select so that it only matches the field currently being used to sort the list. Sorted by name? Type to select a name that matches. Sorted by identifier? Type to select an identifier that matches.
Added support for quickly selecting listed plug-ins by typing the initial characters of any field. This is distinct from the filtering support previously added, which will match any portion of any field.
Newly added Release Date column makes it easy to find plugins that haven't been updated recently
Automatic preservation of the size and location of the PlugInfo window, as well as the order and size of all columns, and their sort order from one run to the next
Fixed a bug introduced in 1.3.1 that could cause the wrong path or details to be copied to the clipboard.
Filtering support with highlighting for matches
Improvements in discovery for some AAX and VST plug-ins
Automatically refreshes as plug-ins on the system change
Added identifiers to the list of information available for a plug-in
Added support for copying paths and full plug-in details to the clipboard
Added support for multiple selection
Initially sorted by name rather than order of discovery
Sporting a new, even more refined icon. Again. ;-)
Added Big Sur support
Initial public release