PlugInfo

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.
  • Click any column header to sort the list, and click it again to sort in reverse order.
  • See publisher names for hundreds of known publishers, and use File > Open Publisher Web Site (⇧⌘O) or double-click their name to open their web site.
  • Remembers your preferred 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.
  • File > Select in Finder (⇧⌘F) opens Finder windows with selected plug-ins already highlighted for easy backup or deletion.
  • Edit > Copy Paths (⌘C) to quickly copy a list of paths for selected plug-ins to the clipboard.
  • Edit > Copy Full Details (⇧⌘C) copies all information for selected plug-ins in a form that can be pasted into Numbers or Excel for further examination.
  • Keep PlugInfo open and it will automatically refresh to reflect additions, removals, or changes in your collection.
  • Edit > Show Filter (⌘F) reveals a filter field. Enter text to quickly narrow down your collection to plug-ins with matching names, publishers, architectures, or plug-in types. Use the same shortcut to hide it again and restore the full list of plug-ins.

Enjoy!

Press

More traditional press outlets might appreciate a conventional format for news. Feel free to use or forward this handy press release to spread the word about PlugInfo.

Credits

Written for macOS by Lady Gaia, inspired by inquiries from the Gearspace.com community.

Disclaimer

This utility is provided AS IS with no implied warranty. Use at your own risk, knowing that you accept full responsibility for resolving any issues that may arise.

Support

If you can't find what you need, bug reports and suggestions are welcomed at bugs@thinkersnacks.com.

Still seeing a publisher identifier like "com.companyname.PlugInName" in the publisher column? Or 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 of these 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.

Privacy Policy

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.

Version History

1.8.1

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.

1.8.0

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.

1.7.0

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.

1.6.7

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.

1.6.5

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.

1.6.1

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.)

1.6.0

Publisher name and web site access for hundreds of publishers.

Support for u-he and Bitwig's new CLAP plug-in format.

1.5.0

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.

1.4.0

Updated plug-in discovery to catch previously missing Audio Units, and remove spurious "bundle" entries

Added compatibility back to macOS 10.9.x

1.3.7

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.

1.3.6

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.

1.3.5

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.

1.3.1

Filtering support with highlighting for matches

Improvements in discovery for some AAX and VST plug-ins

1.2.0

Automatically refreshes as plug-ins on the system change

1.1.0

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. ;-)

1.0.1

Added Big Sur support

1.0

Initial public release