Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Killer App- Mac FreeWare Review

iShred is an app that will securely delete whatever you want it to, so there’s no chance of it ever being found again. You can set the number of times it’s overwritten as well, for extra control over your files. Don’t play around with this, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Rating: 5/5. Quick and easy.
Developer Site:

Audacity is an amazing audio-editing app. No matter what you might say, it’s a must have on every audio user’s Mac. It has options like cut, copy, and paste,as well as a large library of effects. It’s been in development for quite some time, so it’s pretty stable as well.
Rating: 5/5. Super-fast, super-easy. Great job on this one, devs.
Developer’s Site:Audacity.SourceForge.net

The Unarchiver is a simple unarchiving tool (who would have guessed) that will open a variety of zip formats. For example, it can open the following archive formats:
Zip, RAR, 7-Zip, LhA, Stuffit, BinHex, MacBinary, Gzip, Gzip Tar, Bzip2, Bzip2 Tar, Tar, GNU Tar, Unix Compress, Unix Compress Tar, ACE, CAB, Comic Book Zip, Comic Book RAR, Linux RPM, DiskDoubler, Self-Extrancting, Windows Self-Extracting, CPIO, Gzip CPIO, Pax, HA, Amiga Disk File, Compressed Amiga Disk, Amiga LhF, Amiga LZX, Amiga DCS Disk, Amiga PackDev Disk, Amiga xMash Disk, and Amiga Zoom Disk.

Rating: 5/5. Quick, only needs to be opened once to activate.
Developer Site:Wakaba.c3.cx/s/Apps/Unarchiver.html

Service Scrubber is a useful little app that lets you edit the contents of your “Services” menu (which is found under the current application’s name). It’s nice when you delete an app that you don’t need, but then it leaves a link for one of its actions in your Services menu. Great app, easy to use.

Rating: 4.5/5. A little slower than you’d think, but gets it done fast enough that you won’t be left with a bad taste in your mouth.
Developer Site:ManyTricks.com/ServiceScrubber

Perian is an expansion to Quicktime that lets it play numerous other video codecs, like FLV or DivX files. Very, very useful because you can keep Quicktime as your main video player, and still play other video formats. Whoever made this app is a genius!

Rating: 5/5. Quick install is all you need, plays other video codecs perfectly.
Developer Site: Perian.org

Monolingual is a space-saving app that is definitely worth using at least once. If you were to look inside of your computer, you would see tons of localization files (about 1.2GB in Tiger). Monolingual deletes the language files of your choice, and deletes them. It can also delete files with the architecture for the system you don’t have (for example, I’m on an Intel Mac, so I could have it delete all PPC files). Great app if you are running low on space. I think it saved me 1.5GB of space on my hard drive in my first use.

Rating: 5/5. Fast and light, gets the job done. Great idea for a freeware app.
Developer Site: Monolingual.SourceForge.net

iSquint is a video conversion app designed to convert almost any video to iPod or TV format. It works extremely fast and accurately, and is customizable to whatever you need it to be. Worth a download if you have Handbrake, and are frustrated by the slow iTunes video conversion process (HandBrake doesn’t make the videos in iPod format when they’re ripped).

Rating: 5/5. Faster than a speeding bullet (I converted 130 video files–about 3 minutes each–to .mp4 in 50 minutes), offers advanced options.
Developer Site: iSquint.org

Burn is an easy to use disc-burning app with a simple interface. It lets you burn discs without any hassle, and goes quite fast (I got 1.3GB in 5 minutes). It burns audio, video, or data discs, and you won’t have a difficult time learning how to use it.

Rating: 5/5. Burn makes it very easy to make quality discs at high speeds.

Developer Site: Burn-OSX.SourceForge.net

GIMPShop is a Photoshop alternative that uses many of the same features. Unfortunately, it still has X11 dependencies, but it is still a great, feature-rich application. If you’re going to buy Photoshop, you should try this, because it might save you a few hundred dollars. GIMPShop, if you were wondering, is based on GIMP (The GNU Image Manipulation App)

Rating: 4.5/5. Needs to lose the X11 dependency, but is still a feature-packed image editor.
Developer Site: GIMPShopNet.BlogSpot.com

Bullet is easily the most entertaining Mac app available today. If you have a friend over, be sure to turn this on, and turn up the volume all the way. Whenever you click anywhere, it’ll shoot a virtual bullet hole in your screen (with a loud sound effect), which is enough to scare anyone out of your computer chair!

Rating: 4.5/5. Lacks many options, but great for a few laughs.

Get it here:Bullet (Universal Binary)
Developer Site: Twocanoes.com The developer no longer updates this application, so it is no longer on his website (which is why I provided a download link above).

NeoOffice is a great alternative to Microsoft Word that is totally free. It has most all of the the features, but keep in mind that it is in a beta stage at the moment. If you (like most people) don’t want to pay a few hundred dollars for a Word Processing Suite, try NeoOffice. It comes with its own Powerpoint and Excel-style apps. NeoOffice, in addition to being a great freeware app, doesn’t use X11 like OpenOffice.org (the program that it’s based on).

Rating: 5/5. Rarely crashes, works just as well as MS Office in most cases, and is compatible with many word processors.
Developer Site: NeoOffice.org

Developer app4mac has made a lot of nice nice apps available for free on his website. One of the nicest is RapidoSerial, which is essentially a database for storing all of your serial numbers. It has a great interface, and plenty of features to keep you busy for a while. Very impressive app.

Rating: 5/5. Useful, and looks very nice. app4mac does it again!
Developer site: app4mac.com/Action_Freewares.lasso

Dock Library is an impressive application that lets you change the look of your dock. You can find many docks online at sites like LeopardDocks.net or LeopardDocks.com. Changing your Dock can make for a really cool look–you can have a Garden-style dock with a flower wallpaper if you please. Dock Library also has an absolutely gorgeous interface.

Rating: 5/5. Works wonders, and is extremely nice looking.
Developer site: DativeStudios.com/DockLibrary

Caffeine is a useful, minimalist tool that sits in your menu bar, and lets you control whether or not your Mac goes to sleep, and when it should. It’s extremely simplistic (one click of its icon will keep your Mac from sleeping). You can set it to not sleep for certain time cycles, as well. Very useful.

Rating: 5/5. Does what it does, works great. Nice icon, too.
Developer site: LightHeadSW.com/Caffeine

iBlendIt is an absolutely useless, yet extremely entertaining toy for Macs. Essentially it’s a virtual blender that you drop anything into, and it shows a cool blending animation. It doesn’t actually blend files, it just does a cool splitting animation with all of the icons of the stuff you dropped in. It’s pretty fun to watch.

Rating: 4/5. Absolutely useless, but surprisingly amusing. Interface needs some work, though.
Developer site: FernLightning.com/Doku.php

fseventer is a great troubleshooting tool that lets you see what changes have been made to files recently. It makes a map of changes, and mouse-over events show what it changed. It’s really a cool application, and is great for anyone who is skeptical about installing something (it shows everything the Installer did) or running potentially destructive programs on their computer. This can really help you in the long run, and is worth downloading for any advanced user. It can also be turned on and off when you please.

Rating: 4.5/5. Extremely useful, but needs an interface refresh. and now has a really nice, new interface.
Developer site: FernLightning.com/Doku.php

Joost is a new, free media service that lets you watch and subscribe to videos. It’s sort of similar to the previously reviewed app, Miro, but you don’t have to subscribe to a feed watch its video, and it’s P2P-based. The quality is great, and it has lots of channels being added every day. Nice interface, too. It has tons of cool little features like chatting and making a video feed that you can use. Remember, this is all free!

Rating: 5/5. Great app. I can see this going far.
Developer site: Joost.com

Simplify Media is a cool music sharing app that lets you create a buddy list of up to 30 people, and play their music on your computer without downloading it. It keeps you from using all that hard drive space, and saves you lots of money, too. There’s also a mobile client for jailbroken iPhones and iPod touches that lets you make an account and buddy list, then listen to other people’s music when you have wifi. It’s really quite useful for music buffs. Note that it can’t send video yet. It’s available on Mac and Windows.

Rating: 4.5/5. Connecting can take a while, but it’s an awesome app.
Developer site: SimplifyMedia.com

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