Known Bugs & Limitations


Back to Coaster Main Page

Coaster FAQ

When launching Coaster, I do not see any window.

Open the recording window with Cmd-R.
Check – if you have a dual monitor set up – if the window opened on your other monitor. The window position is saved in the preferences.
Quit Coaster, delete the Coaster Preferences file in the Preferences folder within the System folder and re-launch Coaster.

When opening the Recording Window, I get an "Error -225".

Coaster tries to set a sample rate that this Mac does not support. This might result from an old or incorrect Preferences file. Quit Coaster, delete the Coaster Preferences file in the Preferences folder within the System folder and re-launch Coaster.

Coaster intermittently crashes or hangs my Mac during a recording. I can only do a hard reset.

You are probably using Coaster on a PowerMac 6xxx or PowerMac 7xxx. There have been reports with the symptoms of Coaster hanging the Mac during recording. This stems from an unresolved hard- or software incompatibility on these models. The only solution is not to use Coaster on these machines. Try a different recording software; chances are that these use a different recording scheme than the one I needed to implement in Coaster to facilitate all those "cool little features :-)" - and so that they do not show this severe problem.

Can you make Coaster write MP3s?

Maybe. However, I do not have sourcecode for MP3 encoding and I most probably couldn't fit an encoder in the current Coaster architecture anyway. If I ever get the time to re-write Coaster, I will consider an extended architecture. But do not expect this to happen anytime soon (if at all), since Coaster is only a project done in my spare time.

Does Coaster work with third-party audio input hardware like Emagic's or DigiDesign's sound input cards?

Coaster uses the sound input manager for recording. If the driver provided for that card is Sound (Input) Manager compliant, there should be no problems as long as the driver supports installing a sound input interrupt routine with not too big a buffer and the ability to do asynchronous recording.

I cannot set the input to my third-party sound input card in Coaster. It only shows the icon of the normal Mac input and no popup.

Within Coaster, you can only set the sound input source of the current active sound input device. To set a different sound input device (i.e. "hardware"), quit Coaster, go to the Sound control panel, select the card as sound input device, then re-launch Coaster. It should now show the name and icon of the third-party card and you should be able to record from it.

Does Coaster support 24 Bit recording?


Does Coaster support more than 2 channels?


Does Coaster support other sampling rates than available in the sampling rate popup menu?

No. The menu is built on information gathered from the hardware. So the only sampling rates supported by the hardware at hand are already those in the popup menu.

How can I record streaming audio from the web?

There is no documented, programmatic way of intercepting sound output (and hence the decoded streaming audio) within the sound manager architecture on the Mac. As a matter of fact, streaming audio providers do not want you to listen to the material offline :-) (at least this is mostly my impression...).

However, you might do it like this:


You take a patch cable and "make a short" between sound output and input of your Macintosh. So, the sound output of your Mac acts as the input source for the sound input jack.

You MUST absolutely make sure that you have input monitoring turned OFF (both in the Sound Control Panel and Coaster)! If you haven't, this creates a feedback loop which even may physically damage your Mac!

As sound input source in Coaster, choose "External Mic". Check the level with the level meters, then start recording. The disadvantage of this solution is that you cannot monitor what you are recording. However, you may use a Y-(split)-patch cable where one end goes into an external amplifier for listening and the other into the sound input jack of the Mac as shown above.

If you haven't understood completely how and why the above works, don't do it!


I want to record an audio CD that's running in my Mac's CD-ROM drive. How do I do this?

You should NOT use Coaster, since this would lose you quality due to a possible DA/AD conversion stage. Simply do a DAE (digital audio extraction) which gives you an exact digital copy of the music on the CD. If you have Toast, use Toast Audio Extractor.

If you haven't, use MoviePlayer (Version 2.1 or 2.5 - IMPORTANT!). Choose "Import", then select a track of the inserted Audio CD. Choose "Convert", and in the following dialog, click "Options" and make sure the settings are 16 Bit, Stereo, 44.1 KHz. Click "OK", then "Save". This creates a QT movie with the digital audio data. Then, use "Export" to save the data as AIFF, uncompressed, 16 Bit, Stereo, 44.1 KHz. That's it!


Known Bugs & Limitations

  • Some users reported paramErr(-50) when opening the Recording Window. There is now a fix available for this problem! It is due to a bug in Apple's Sound Input Device driver on the following machines: PowerMac 7500 and 7200. But there are probably more :-(
    If you find that your Mac exhibits the same problem, please send me an email, stating exactly the model of your machine and you will get simple instructions on how to modify your copy of the Coaster application using ResEdit so that the internal fix for this bug is also in effect on your Mac. (Read also the Application History notes in the enclosed manual.)
  • On slow machines (slower than a 68040 running at 25 MHz) and little RAM (less than 5 MB for Coaster) using AppleScript or recording in the background might lead to recording problems.
  • some people experienced crashes in the Automatic Recording Function on their PowerMacs with System 8.5.1. This seems to be less frequent as of Coaster 1.0.2, but it isn't fixed completely!
  • Coaster might have problems starting up on a PM6100 with Mac OS 8.1 (in the native PPC version). It will report that it cannot find InterfaceLib. I'm investigating the problem, but haven't found a solution yet. In the meantime, use the (now unsupported) 68k-only version. If you're using Coaster on the mentioned configuration successfully, please let me know!
  • Coaster often hangs on PowerMac 6xxx and PowerMac 7xxx machines during recording. Currently, there is no solution available.
Unfortunately, these bugs are hardware dependent, and I do not have the hardware to debug these issues.
Home | Coaster  | FAQ | Support | Email
© 2000 by VisualClick Software Christian Roth