- Ferrite 3 is an example of a pro iPad app that beats all Mac or PC apps.
- Yes, it’s also available on the Mac.
- Even the pricing model is better than anything else.
Regular users of the Ferrite podcast editing app will be very happy about some brilliant new features in version 3, but the real news is that Ferrite continues to be one of the best pro-level apps on the iPad, period.
Ferrite shows that deep, full-featured apps can not only exist on the iPad but can be better than any other option on any platform. You could use Logic Pro to edit your podcasts on a Mac, but why bother when there’s something better suited to the task and much easier to use? Ferrite 3 even shows us how a developer can build a sustainable app business on iOS, which is a feat in itself.
“I like that it is a powerful podcast editing app that is better than any desktop app, including Logic Pro, for editing long-form audio. It is an example of what pro iPad apps should aspire to,” Zak Kann, podcaster and founder of smart home website Smart Geek Home, told Lifewire via email.
Ferrite is an app that records audio, then lets you edit it. The trick is in how well it's done and how it was built for an iPad from the very beginning. Instead of forcing desktop metaphors and awkwardly converting mouse-based editing to touch, the developer—Wooji Juice—came up with an incredible touch interface.
Let's take an example. When editing a multi-track podcast (with each person on their own separate audio track), you can tell Ferrite to "strip silence." It cuts out all the silent parts, so you get a bunch of audio clips of people talking. This makes it easy to see coughs and interruptions on the timeline.
While this is also available in Logic, what's not available is being able to circle those unwanted clips with the Apple Pencil and have them disappear. You can also draw around a whole section, including all the speaker's recorded tracks, delete it, and have the remaining audio close the gap. The Pencil is not required, but because you can assign different actions to the Pencil and your fingers, it really speeds things up.
“In a word, wow: This is the iOS multitrack editor that I’ve been waiting for,” said Apple-watching journalist and podcaster Jason Snell on his Six Colors blog. “Ferrite has all the features that have made my podcast editing workflow so efficient: Strip Silence, compression, noise gate, ripple delete, quick selection of all following clips. It’s all there. And it’s all built inside an attractive interface that’s a pleasure to use. It’s like Ferrite read my mind.”
In short, Wooji Juice has taken the most common podcast editing tasks and not only made them easy but turned them into a pleasure to do. Another example: If you connect a USB audio interface with several mics attached, you'll see a neat animation with all the mic channels fanning out from a microphone icon, making it very easy to see what's what.
Ferrite 3 adds some very handy new features. The biggest is that you can now edit with the audio sped up. Listening to podcasts at anything but 1x is pure evil, but it makes total sense for editing. In addition, you can also hear audio while scrubbing, which makes it easy to hone in on glitches, etc.
But there’s plenty more, from new search tools to custom smart folders and a new, streamlined interface. The point is Ferrite manages to pack a ton of features into a touch-first app without being either too messy or oversimplified, which is how Apple’s own pro iOS apps—like Pages and Numbers—end up.
As said before, the iPad’s hardware—even the four-year-old iPad Pro from 2018—is still more powerful than its software. That’s usually a complaint, but in this case, it means Ferrite can take anything you throw at it, up to 32 tracks of audio, with live FX plugins, and never stutter.
And finally, we get to Ferrite’s pricing model. On iOS and iPadOS, developers usually have to either change once for their apps and then provide free updates forever, or they opt for a subscription model, which people generally hate. With Ferrite, Wooji Juice does it the old-fashioned desktop way; if you update to version 3, you can keep using it for free, but the new features require a one-off in-app purchase. Easy.
Perhaps this is a pain for the developer to manage, but for the user, it’s like the rest of the app: simple, easy, and exactly what we want.