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In the early days of Rogue Amoeba, back before April 1st was the worst day of the year on the Internet, we ran an annual April Fools’ Day joke on our site. This joke often used the name "Rouge Amoeba", a common misspelling of our real name.
Below, you can see some historical screenshots (click for full-size versions of any of them), and read more about each joke.
For our first April Fools’ joke, we wrote a news story about the fictitious sale of the company to the then-powerful RIAA. This idea originated from customer reactions we'd seen to the original Audio Hijack, where folks incorrectly asserted “This can't be legal!”.
In our second year, we applied a simple mirror effect to the front page. However, in 2004, it really wasn't possible to do this in code. If memory serves, we took a screenshot of the standard home page, then mirrored it in Photoshop. We then uploaded it to the server, and set the home page to load that mirrored screenshot. Clicking it took the user on to our normal page.
For this one, we made use of the incorrectly spelled “Rouge Amoeba” name for another faux news article. However, in the text in the fake news post, we seemed to confuse the Rogue/Rouge name quite a bit ourselves!
In 2006, a partial truth was disguised as a joke. While we of course had no plans to abandon the Mac, that screenshot of Airfoil for Windows was entirely real. We'd been working on it in secret for months, and just a few weeks later, it shipped.
We really went all out for what proved to be our final joke. We created an audio plugin called “RAMP”, the Rouge Amoeba Mastering Plugin, which users could actually download and use with Audio Hijack. This was a bogus effect which didn't actually adjust audio at all, based on a story told by the infamous Mixerman, who detailed his experiences as a recording engineer. Two relevant facts:
1. Mixerman once appeased an annoying presence in his studio with some audio placebo labels. He taped labels above a few unused knobs, claiming they would add more “soar”, “thump”, “sheen”, “warmth”, “crack”, “heat”, and “brass” to the audio.
Of course, these knobs didn't do anything at all, because really, what on earth would audio “sheen” be? But the aforementioned presence was thrilled to be an active participant, making careful and minute adjustments.
2. Some audiophiles get more than a little nutty. The $13,000 power cable we mentioned really existed, and that's just plain crazy.
Alright, that's enough history – head over to our front page!