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The Summer, 2010 "Must have Mac apps" thread


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The Summer, 2010 "Must have Mac apps" thread
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2010-05-27, 10:39

It's been a while since our last "essential" Mac apps thread, and a few new apps have come out recently, thought it would be a good time for a new thread.

I'll start:

Tweetie- I use Tweetie for Mac constantly. Definitely needs an update, but it just seems like the best Mac Twitter client out there. No way I'm using anything that runs on AIR.

Click2Flash- Simply awesome. Never have to see Flash again unless I want to. My MacBook Air runs much nicer after installing this.

VLC- There are many things that QuickTime can't/won't play. VLC will play pretty much anything you throw at it.

Adium - Best IM client for OS X. I don't really use it anymore because I just use iChat with my gChat account, but Adium is the best for IM.

Grand Perspective - A nice visual representation of what is taking up all of that room on your hard drive.

I generally use Apple stuff for the rest of my daily Mac use, but I'm sure there are some that I'm forgetting.

What else do the rest of you peeps use?
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2010-05-27, 11:10

Adium (free) - multi-protocol chat client

NetNewsWire (free with ads, or $14.95) - RSS reader that syncs with Google

Google Quick Search Box (free) - QuickSilver is dead. Long live QSB!

TextMate (30 day trial, €39) - the best, last text/code editor you'll need (unless you're one of those emacs freaks )

The Unarchiver (free) - expands dozens of compressed formats

GlimmerBlocker (free) - easy to use local web proxy, great for blocking ads and modifying web pages

ClickToFlash (free) - require click before loading Flash objects, but with optional whitelist

Cyberduck (free) - excellent FTP/SFTP/WebDAV client with a terrifyingly bad icon (excellent replacement icon here)

Chromium (free) - Nightly builds of Google Chrome. It's like Safari but with more features!

Flip4Mac (free player) - for the rare/occasional need to view Windows Media files

Perian (free) - QuickTime component that adds support for many more file formats and codecs

RipIt (30 day trial, $19.95) - easily rip DVDs

HandBrake (free) - convert ripped DVDs or other video files to MPEG-4 with tons of options

Plex (free) - Media center app. One day when I build a hackintosh and hook it up to my TV, it'll be running Plex.

MenuMeters (free) - adds CPU/memory/network/disk monitoring to the menu bar

Little Snitch (3-hour trial, $29.95) - out-bound firewall and network monitor, useful to see if apps are "phoning home"

Alarm Clock 2 (free) - unobtrusive alarm clock that uses iTunes and increasing volume

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Yontsey
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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2010-05-27, 11:11

WeatherDock - A great weather forecast program that has a current temp and whatnot in the top menu bar and can do up to a 5 day forecast.

iSquint - Great program for converting video files into iPod/iTunes ready use.

Handbreak - Great for ripping dvds onto your computer.

SuperDuper! - Creates bootable backups as well as general backups. When I switched hard drives forever ago, I used this to create a copy and then just transfered it to my other hard drive and was good to go.

Mojo - I do have an older version of this, but it allows you to connect with other peoples iTunes library that you give access to and get songs from their library.

I also agree with VLC and Adium. I don't really use Adium much either as I went back to iChat and same for VLC as more or less just use iTunes or something like Netflix, but both are great programs.

I really need to try Click2Flash so I can get better battery life out of my Macbook.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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Capella
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2010-05-27, 11:15

Scrivener.

A thousand times over. A must have if you do writing. It's hard to put into words exactly how much Scrivener has done for me and my writing, but it's completely revolutionized things for me. No more am I sorting things into dozens (literally) of documents and then searching frantically through them until I find what I need. No, I can just make one Scrivener binder and then make a folder for the drafts, a folder for research, and then make a subfolder for characters, and then subfolders in that subfolder, and on and on.

(For example, an old folder of mine contains 11 different word documents of backstory, because I split things up by what it's about. If I need to find one piece of info I'd have to open all 11, and that's painful; in Scrivener, you just open the document and flick through all your scrivenings, no need to have billions of windows open.)

It's not just good for fiction writing, either, even though that's what I primarily use it for. I used it to write an academic report once and it was beautiful; I had, as mentioned above, a big folder for research, a folder for drafts, and a folder for final "chapters". I loved being able to add whole HTML and PDF files to my research because that let me have access to the original research in Scrivener, rather than tabbing between apps to copy and paste what you need. It's so advantageous.

I could keep going on and on, but I'll refrain. But still, for any kind of writing where you're working with lots of research and need to keep it really organized? Scrivener is just a steal at its price.

"A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel my anger!" - Darth Baras
twitter ; amateur photographer ; fanfiction writer ; roleplayer and worldbuilder
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2010-05-27, 11:20

I totally forgot about NNW. I use that app all of the time, both on my Mac and my iPhone. It's great. Definitely recommended.

Of course Brad had to do and tonally one up me with links and prices and just sheer awesomeness.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2010-05-27, 11:27

Okay... my list has more than doubled since posting it because I keep editing things in. I think I'm done for now.
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Xaqtly
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-05-27, 11:46

If I could motivate myself to write more I would probably get Scrivener. I've always wanted something like that. Up till now I've been using Text Edit. I wrote my book in Text Edit, lol.
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CitizenTony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dallas
 
2010-05-27, 11:56

Google Chrome - It gets better every week.

Echofon for Mac - Actually gets updated, has lists and all of Twitters "new" features that Tweetie forgot to add in a year ago.

The Hit List - Simply the best task manager, but seemingly dead. If you don't need sync with an iPhone or iPad, this is it. If you do need sync...

Things - Second best, and rudimentary OTA on the same Wifi signal sync. Gets the job done, but a little to stringent in workflow to truly be great. It's the sync and portable versions that make it a winner.

Dropbox - Perfect in almost every way.

1Password - With the Chrome extension, a great way to manage passwords, wallet items, and license keys.

Adium - For the obvious reasons.

Delicious Library - So much better than a self maintained Excel spreadsheet.

Espresso - Really nice web developer tool.

Join Together - Applescript for joining up Audio Book files into one or three nice long sections.

Skype - For the obvious reasons.

Phoneview - If you jailbreak, this is easier than SSH access to your phones files.

Steam - The games I bought on my PC now work on my Mac.


Extensions for Chrome and Safari, since I use these most of all.

Xmarks - For Safari so my iPhone/iPad bookmarks match up. For Chrome so I don't lose changes if something goes down or I switch to my other computer.

GlimmerBlocker - Systemwide ad blocker. Works great and means I don't need to run a browser specific blocker.

1Password for Chrome - Not as integrated as the Safari or Firefox versions, but it's getting there.

Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer - PDF viewer for Chrome since they haven't included one on the Mac version yet.

Google Mail Checker Plus - I quit using Mail a little while back and just use this.

Google Reader Checker - The best (that I've found) Reader checker for Chrome. You can speed up it's check time so that when you're done going through Reader it won't be behind.

RSS Subscription Extension - Subscribe to RSS feeds.
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Yontsey
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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2010-05-27, 12:09

Forgot about DropBox. I was late getting into the game with that one, but it really is a great program.
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ezkcdude
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2010-05-27, 12:17

TeXShop and BibDesk - LaTeX front end and reference manager, respectively
Max - cd ripping
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SpecMode
Wait what
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NorCal
 
2010-05-28, 00:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Max - cd ripping
I use XLD, myself. Max started giving me problems after I upgraded to 10.6 - couldn't switch output formats in the preferences dialog anymore.
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ezkcdude
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2010-05-28, 05:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecMode View Post
I use XLD, myself. Max started giving me problems after I upgraded to 10.6 - couldn't switch output formats in the preferences dialog anymore.
I haven't upgraded to 10.6 yet, so that probably explains it. I wonder if you could re-build it using XCode.
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2010-05-28, 09:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecMode View Post
I use XLD, myself. Max started giving me problems after I upgraded to 10.6 - couldn't switch output formats in the preferences dialog anymore.
Running the latest version of Max? I had never used it until very recently to convert some FLAC files for iPod use, and I was definitely running it under 10.6.3.

edit: Yeah, looks like you need to update. Max 0.9.1 release notes (2009-08-29) contain one item:
Quote:
Bug Fixes

• Formats preference pane works correctly on Snow Leopard

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screensaver400
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2010-05-28, 23:29

FWIW, XLD is generally held in higher regard by the cd ripping community. Something about various features that produce more accurate rips...I don't remember the details.

I used to use Max, but I find XLD more simple to use while still having the wide range of formats and such. It's updated very regularly, too, which is nice.
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SpecMode
Wait what
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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2010-05-29, 00:13

I also like XLD's AccurateRip integration, for verifying ripped tracks are identical in quality to the CD originals. Is it overkill? Perhaps. But I like that it's there, and I use it for all of my CD rips.

It's about the closest you can get to a Mac equivalent to EAC, one of the gold standard CD rippers for Windows.
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ezkcdude
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2010-05-29, 02:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecMode View Post
I also like XLD's AccurateRip integration, for verifying ripped tracks are identical in quality to the CD originals. Is it overkill? Perhaps. But I like that it's there, and I use it for all of my CD rips.

It's about the closest you can get to a Mac equivalent to EAC, one of the gold standard CD rippers for Windows.
Interesting. I used to use EAC before I switched full-time to OS X.

Have you tried Rip (beta)? It's a new ripper from the guy who made Max, and it uses AccurateRip. I just tried it, and it seems legit. Here's some output:

Code:
Rip 1.0b (14) Audio Extraction Log ======================================== Saturday, May 29, 2010 3:42:10 AM ET Drive Information ======================================== Drive used: MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-875 (DB09) Interconnect type: ATAPI Location: Internal Stream accurate: Yes Read offset: 102 Compact Disc Information ======================================== Name: Altar of Plagues - White Tomb MusicBrainz ID: iMm9BGnEneXVy9YlgaN8eBoijBM- FreeDB ID: 260bb804 AccurateRip ID: 004-0008a671-00228580-260bb804 TOC: Track | Start | Stop | Duration | First | Last | Total Num | MM:SS.FF | MM:SS.FF | MM:SS.FF | Sector | Sector | Sectors -------+------------+------------+------------+----------+----------+--------- 1 | 00:02.00 | 12:05.09 | 12:03.10 | 0 | 54234 | 54235 2 | 12:05.10 | 27:05.45 | 15:00.36 | 54235 | 121770 | 67536 3 | 27:05.46 | 36:53.13 | 09:47.43 | 121771 | 165838 | 44068 4 | 36:53.14 | 50:02.51 | 13:09.38 | 165839 | 225051 | 59213 Extracted Audio ======================================== Track 3 saved to 03 Through the Collapse_ Watchers Restrained.flac Audio MD5 hash: d7c444f7b2c767d892c57c114d13c82b Audio SHA1 hash: 36cc0a73d0e049e8ce122d2bc5f7c40475e53216 AccurateRip checksum: 015bb923 Replay gain: -7.95 dB Peak level: 1.00000000 Accurately ripped: Yes Confidence level: 3
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SpecMode
Wait what
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NorCal
 
2010-05-29, 03:54

Quote:
Rip is currently beta software available for public testing. While every effort is made to ensure Rip works correctly, there will be bugs. By using it you acknowledge that Rip may delete your hard drive, cause massive data loss, punch you in the face, cause divorce, etc.


Somewhat related: the last beta was posted last September, about a month after the last release of Max. Is it still being actively developed? New builds of XLD tend to be released fairly regularly (bi-weekly or more often).

Off-topic (click to toggle):
Also, I thought it was recommended not to use C2 error correction for cdparanoia/EAC-type rippers, even if the drive supports it - i.e., don't rely on what the drive tells you, let the software do the heavy lifting via multiple passes instead.


Here's a couple more to add to the list:

iSwiff, an app to run Flash games outside of the browser.

Boxer, a DOSBox wrapper that packages old DOS games into pre-configured, standalone bundles.

Last edited by SpecMode : 2010-05-29 at 04:15.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2010-11-11, 08:27

I've moved on from Tweetie for Mac and am now using Echofon. Not as nice as Tweetie, but it's got all of the new Twitter features. Really hoping Tweetie for Mac still gets an update.

NetNewsWire is also my go-to app for RSS, but the iOS app Reeder is coming to the Mac shortly, so that looks promising enough to give it a try.

Last edited by kieran : 2010-11-11 at 10:28.
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Yontsey
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2010-11-11, 09:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by kieran View Post
I've moved on from Tweetie for Mac and am ow using Echofon. Not as nice as Tweetie, but it's got all of the new Twitter features. Really hoping Tweetie for Mac still gets an updated.
I did the same. I never knew that Echofon had a desktop client until I saw you talk about it. I tried it out and love it. It's not the prettiest of programs but it has a lot of great features and worth a look if you use a Twitter desktop client.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2010-11-11, 10:28

I would think that it's a great Mac app had I not used Tweetie prior.

It really is a good Twitter app on the Mac desktop though. I've tried a few others, such as Hibari, but Echofon seems to be the best.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2011-01-27, 23:45

Bumping this back from the dead.

I'm back to using Tweetie for Mac under it's new name, Twitter for Mac. It's a great update to Tweetie and I just wish they had done this sooner.

I'm also digging Reeder for my RSS reading. It's just like an iOS app, but on the desktop. It's awesome.
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