iWow makes your music sound 'wow'

Mar 10, 2009
Updated • May 26, 2017
Music and Video

iWOW is perhaps my favourite iTunes plug-in. It makes your sound, whether videos, podcasts or music, feel much more vibrant. To dramatically improve sound, the user must simply choose their form of speakers (surround, laptop speakers, headphones etc), the type of sound and if music its genre. This takes no audiophile, but advanced options do exist.

iWOW exists for Windows, OS X and iPods. On OS X, only an iTunes plug-in is available. On Windows, either an iTunes plug-in or system-wide software are available. The system-wide software can obviously be used to improve sound in all applications, such as games. On an iPod, a hardware-based adapter is available which plugs into the iPod to improve its sound. I haven't tested the iTunes version.

The software or iPod adapter are unfortunately not free. The iTunes plug-in costs $40, the system-wide software costs $50 and the adapter costs $80. This sounds expensive but it sometimes included in bundles and discounts, MacUpdate for example offered it in their bundle.

SRS Labs, the makers of iWOW, claims to create 'an expansive sound stage' and to 'restore audio cues that are buried in the original source material'. I personally don't understand what that means, but have heard the sound quality it produces... even on my laptop speakers!

The software, at least on the Mac, is very easy to install. All one must do is run it. It is then installed in iTunes.

The question is whether or not it is worth $40. 51 reviews on MacUpdate give it 4/5 on average.

A few features like 'auto-detect' are missing in version 3, but were present in version 2. SRS Labs promise that this will be offered in an update in a few weeks.

Update: It appears that iWow is no longer available. The website it was posted on does not offer it anymore for download, and there does not seem to be alternatives available at this point in time.

The parent company SRS Labs, Inc, was acquired by DTS Inc back in 2012.

Article Name
iWow makes your music sound 'wow'
iWOW is perhaps my favourite iTunes plug-in. It makes your sound, whether videos, podcasts or music, feel much more vibrant.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source – WorthyTricks.co.cc

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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