My Top 50 Mac Applications: Page 3

Posted August 13, 2007

Joe Kissell

Joe Kissell

(Page 3 of 5)

#21: PGP Desktop Home

URL: http://www.pgp.com/products/desktop_home/

Price: $99

I wish we lived in a world where encryption wasn’t necessary. But times being what they are, you can never be too careful. For encrypting email, instant messaging, and disks, PGP Desktop is quick, easy, and very secure.

#22: Logic Express

URL: http://www.apple.com/logicexpress/

Price: $299

My audio recording needs fall between the capabilities of GarageBand (easy-to-use and pretty but somewhat limited) and Logic Pro (awfully pricey at $999 and overkill for my modest projects). I like the fact that I can use audio plug-ins designed for Logic Pro and tweak every aspect of a recording to my heart’s content. I can feel, and work, like a pro without breaking the bank.

#23: Skype

URL: http://skype.com/

Price: Free

A free app that lets you talk to anyone else in the world for free. What’s not to like? Even Skype’s video capabilities outshine iChat’s in some respects. But the killer feature for me is the extra-cost (but cheap) SkypeIn (to get a real number people can call you at from regular phones) and SkypeOut (so you can call conventional phones from Skype).

#24: DiskWarrior

URL: http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/

Price: $100

Everyone, but everyone, should have a good disk-repair tool. And, sorry, but far too often Disk Utility just doesn’t cut it. DiskWarrior is indisputably the best at what it does, and it’s my top recommendation among disk utilities.

#25: Miro

URL: http://www.getmiro.com/

Price: Free

This little gem of an application, formerly known as Democracy Player, can download video from lots of free, legitimate sources (YouTube, even) using a built-in BitTorrent engine. The range of choices you can access is phenomenal, and Miro can also play virtually any video format you throw at it.

#26: Transmit

URL: http://www.panic.com/transmit/

Price: $30

Transferring files with FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, and similar protocols can be a rather dull, unexciting task, but Transmit makes it wonderfully smooth. If you’re managing a remote Web site, especially, you’ll appreciate Transmit’s clear, clever interface and its wealth of convenience features.

#27: SnapzPro X

URL: http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/snapzprox/

Price: $29; with movie capture, $69

Not everyone needs to take screen captures beyond what a simple Command-Shift-3 will give you. But for those who do, SnapzPro X is unrivaled in its flexibility. The higher-cost version can even do live captures of your screen with voiceovers, for easy, professional-looking screencasts.

#28: Timbuktu Pro

URL: http://www.netopia.com/software/products/tb2/

Price: $95; Twin-pack, $180

I do wish Timbuktu Pro were a bit less expensive, yes. But despite all the open-source, VNC-based alternatives, Timbuktu still stands out as the most powerful and flexible way to see or control another computer over the Internet.

#29: iPhoto

URL: http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/

Price: $79 for iLife '08, which also includes iMovie, GarageBand, iWeb, and iDVD

With the photographs we all generate by the thousands using our digital cameras and camera phones, iPhoto is an essential part of any Mac user’s toolkit. Sure, it’s not the most powerful app for image editing, but for basic cataloging, sorting, sharing, and printing, it’s a marvel.

#30: Hotspot Shield

URL: http://anchorfree.com/hotspot-shield/

Price: Free

Two words: free VPN. If you ever connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you need this. Sure, you could pay lots of money to subscribe to a fancy commercial service, but Hotspot Shield gets the job done effectively—at a price you can’t beat.

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