I’ve been seeing more and more traffic about how El Capitan, a version of MacOS, breaks a lot of software.
As an example, if you happen to upgrade to El Capitan, The Levelator will simply stop working.
I’m working on a better solution for the long term, but in the meantime, I have a fix. And, an update as of 12/1/15.
(The changes made in El Capitan from what was in Yosemite are major. And don’t worry, Windows users, this isn’t for you.)
One of the pieces of software affected is our beloved Levelator. This is the software that was originally created to level out the volumes of both sides of a recorded podcast conversation, but happens to perfectly produce files that ACX wants for audiobooks.
The Levelator is almost a decade old, and development stopped on it in 2007. But it’s lasted a good long time, and you can make it last a bit longer if you follow the steps below.
(The full write up on this is over at my friend Adam Engst’s TidBITS site. Just click here to read all the gory details.)
Be sure you only do this if you’ve decided to update your MacOS to El Capitan, and have already done so. This isn’t for Windows users, and it isn’t for users that are on Yosemite or below. You can check this by going to (Apple menu) >> About this Mac. If you see anything other than El Capitan, Version 10.11 as shown below, you don’t need to go any further with this:
If you drag an audio file onto The Levelator, you’ll see this instead of the usual progress bar:
(If you don’t, please let me know – I’d love to find out why.)
Here’s the step-by-step on how to fix this. You’ll need to do some surgery on your Mac’s user library. This is pretty straightforward, so put aside any fear you have and follow these instructions to the letter.
1. Open your Applications folder. Leave it open on your desktop.
2. Right-click (or control-click) on the Levelator.app, and choose Show Package Contents (click on the image to show it full size):
3. You should see the Contents folder. Within that, open the Resources folder, and then open within that the osx folder. There will be a file called libsndfile.1.dylib.
(You can click on that image to see it full size as well.) That file is our culprit, and we have to find a new home for it. We’re going to create that home, then place a copy of it in that new home (folder, actually).
4. Open a new Finder window (File >> New Finder Window).
5. Immediately go to the Finder’s Go menu, choose Go to folder…:
Then, type this exactly: /usr/local (you can also copy and paste it from here, just don’t have any spaces before or after it). Then, click the Go button:
6. You may already have a lib folder inside /usr/local. If so, open it. Otherwise, choose File >> New Folder to make a new folder, and name it lib. You’ll need to enter your administrator password, the one you use when you boot your Mac, to create a folder here:
7. Last step. Hold down the Option key (this will create a new copy of the file rather than just move it), and while you’re holding down the Option key, click and drag libsndfile.1.dylib from the first Finder window (the package contents of The Levelator) into the second Finder window (the lib folder you now have) to make a copy. You’ll need to enter your password after you do this. Now, restart your Mac.
Everything should be hunky dory. Let me know if it isn’t.
As I said, I’m working on a universal solution for the future – I can only imagine what new versions of the MacOS will do to The Levelator. I’m not waiting to find out.
Leave a comment below if you have any issues or ideas.
Hope this helps.