How do I find the location of a plugin given an id?

If the plugin is a VST then the “fileOrIdentifier” field in the plugin description structure has a filename, no problem.
But if the plugin is an AU, you just get an identifier. How do you find the full filename in this case?


As far as I know, it’s deliberate that you can’t get the filename.

For example, some of the Apple AUs seem to be hidden away inside packages in the system folder and they really don’t want you poking around in there!

Yeah, I get that for some of the AUs included by Apple but pretty much every third party AU lives in “/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components/” (or the user’s local version) so couldn’t the filename be made available for those in the pluginDescription?

I don’t think you can get the filename… What use would it be anyway?

A convenient way to allow a plugin to be removed (or moved to a backup location) — e.g. move all plugins that failed validation (perhaps 32-bit plugins no longer needed) somewhere else or simply to do plugin management

Ok, well…

a) That’s a terrible idea, don’t do it!!
b) The whole point of AU IDs is that it doesn’t matter where the files are, a scan will find them all anyway, wherever they are on the machine. So you can’t hide them by moving them.

So are you saying that if I get a new AU plugin, I don’t have to put it in /Library/Audio/Plugins/Components (or ~/Library/Audio/Plugins/Components) and it will still be found? I was under the impression that (other than Apple’s proprietary stuff) all 3rd party AU plugins have to live in one of those two locations

As for whether it’s a terrible idea, there are a heck of a lot of apparently terrible ideas that are making a fortune :slight_smile: Users who have many hundreds of plugins need some plugin management support and a tool that will remove unwanted plugins doesn’t seem that unreasonable.

TBH I don’t know what the official answer to this would be, but I believe the whole point of the Apple bundle management system is that like apps, they can be found wherever they are. Of course they encourage them to go in this folder so that users can manage them manually. But I think attempting to move them around automatically would be a bit of a nightmare to make work without many edge-cases.

Understood completely and of course if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Nevertheless, I’d like to add some plugin management functionality to our product. This wouldn’t be the first nightmare with which I’ve had to deal !

I guess I’ll just have to capture the file information when I do initial validation.

Thanks for the responses.

Good luck!

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