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5 Useful Apps for Mac OSX

Since a few of my friends have been getting macs over the past couple weeks, I decided it would be a cool idea to showcase some of the applications that I REALLY love. I decided to pick out 5 of my favorite *free* apps. Here they are, in no particular order.

1) Quicksilver (Download)            

Quicksilver is an extremely powerful tool that will completely change the way you use your mac. Essentially it’s an application launcher. With a quick keystroke, you can quickly search your entire computer, launch apps, send emails, run scripts, etc. I find it to be 10x faster (and easier) than using spotlight. By default, pressing control and spacebar will pull up the Quicksilver window. Begin typing and the search will start automatically. Lets say you search for a song. You type “Call on Me” and it finds the song and provides you with actions. The obvious action is to open the song (in iTunes). Another action might be to copy the song, or email the song. Try it out and you’ll quickly see what all the hype is about. In fact, I think Quicksilver lends itself to an entire blog post!! I’ll get working on that.

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2) Twitterrific (Download)            

Twitterriffic is the perfect app for all you Twitter lovers out there. It brings Twitter to the desktop in a very simple and sleek application. The app checks every 3 minutes for new tweets and displays them. You can post new tweets and replies to other people. It also lets you view direct messages! My favorite part is the alerts that allow you to set awesome bird noises everytime you get a tweet. Warning: alerts might annoy your friends… Lastly, combine Twitterriffic with Growl (see below) and you have an unbeatable combination.

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3) Transmission (Download)

Transmission is my favorite bittorrent client for Mac. I used to be a big µTorrent fan when I ran Windows, but fell in love with Transmission when I made the switch to Mac. It’s very lightweight and provides just enough functionality without getting too bloated. It seems to run pretty well and gets the job done. You might wanna give µTorrent a try (they just released the mac version) to see which you prefer. I haven’t checked on it lately.

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3) Growl (Download)

Growl is awesome. It’s a notification system for your mac. So, what does that mean? Well, many applications are able to take advantage of the growl capabilities and easily provide you with information about things that are happening with your apps behind the scenes. This works great with Twitterrific by popping up your tweets regardless of what application you’re using. I can start FTP transfers with Cyberduck and get growl notifications when they complete! Basically, it’s awesome and you just gotta have it.

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5) Handbrake (Download)

Handbrake is a video encoding tool. It lets you take all types of video (DVDs, AVIs, etc) and convert them to MPEG-4 video. This is very useful if you have an iPod or iPhone and want to put video files on it! Apple pretty much forces you to encode your video as MPEG-4 and Handbrake makes it really easy to optimize your video files for your device. There are SO many features and presets to make encoding video really quick and easy. This is definitely the best application for this type of job.

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Comment from steveballmer
Time December 27, 2008 at 8:08 pm

… but this is Mac stuff!

Comment from Ben Birk
Time December 29, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Thanks for this Man. I would love to see more post like this. Keep on blogging!

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