First, for what it’s worth, I buy shareware. I’m proud of that. Mac developers are creative and courageous and deserve to reap something good because they created something worthwhile.
Second, this list isn’t inclusive. At any one time I’ve got 20 to 30 Mac utilities on my machine. Some I use daily (Drag Thing, Super Duper, others I’ve written about), and some I buy, then check out only to wish I’d checked it out more thoroughly.
Finally, the “shareware” business is different these days. At one time, shareware was just that. Use the utility application, pay some money if you like it.
Then, shareware as a business changed the model. Try it out, but it’ll quit working after 30 days or so. Today, some Mac “shareware” isn’t really shareware at all. It’s a crippled demo that doesn’t fully function unless you fork over the money.
That’s meat for another pot roast, I suppose.
Regardless, here’s a few applications, that, if you don’t have you should have, if you have and don’t agree with my assessment, shame on you.
One To Show – SnapZ Pro X 2.0.1
For about three years I was tempted to buy SnapZ. I downloaded it four or five times and tried it out. Once or twice each time. Then I forgot about it. Does that happen to you?
So, a month or so ago, I did the same thing. I downloaded it. Tried it out. Tried it again. Forced myself to use it to “clip” pieces of the screen and send to a few friends (via email).
Suddenly, SnapZ Pro X clicked. This is very cool and it works flawlessly. So far.
The Mac has always had a built-in way to save a screen shot. Shift-Command Key-3. You get a shot of the whole Mac screen saved as a file on your desktop. That used to be cool. Now it’s not.
SnapZ Pro X, among twenty-eleven other things, puts the “fun” back in that fundamental process. Shift-Command Key-3 now gets you a little pop-up dialog box with a few selections. Save a QuickTime movie of your Mac’s screen, select any portion of the screen and save it (to Preview, no less), and many other functions.
It doesn’t get any easier. The learning curve is smooth. Basic functions are right there. More complex features are ready once you’ve learned the basics.
Complaints? None yet. Well, other than I should’ve started using it a few years ago.
For more info on Ambrosia Software’s SnapZPro X, Click Here.
Oh, one more thing. This is a true “try before you buy” application.
One To Go – Ranchero’s NetNewsWire 1.0.8
NetNewsWire is very good at what it does. It’s an RSS newsreader. If you’re not sure what that is, Click Here and I’ll give you more detail than you need to know.
Many news and information web sites use RSS as a way to distribute the latest headlines to users online. A newsreader “subscribes” to the RSS feed and lets you read the headlines and a summary of many, many web sites in a fraction of the time our point-and-click habit costs.
If you visit many different web sites in search of information, many of them have an RSS link somewhere on their home page. Download NetNewsWire. Click Here and get the details. Try the freeware version and you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
Using NetNewsWire I can chew through dozens of sites in 1/10th the time of normal browsing.
Now, here’s why NetNewsWire is “one to go.” Apple promises that Safari will have RSS reading capability built-in to the next release of Mac OS X, Tiger.
While I like NetNewsWire and recommend it, and I paid for the bigger brother version (more features), once RSS shows up in Safari there may not be a need for a basic RSS reader anymore.
One Shareware No-No – Hijack iTunes
Fortunately, the folks at Actionable Intelligence Software pulled Hijack iTunes so it’s no longer available.
What Hijack iTunes did was to “automate the integration of Audio Hijack Pro (a popular utility for recording audio on the Mac) and iTunes.
Needless to say, VersionTracker reviewers managed to give it only One Star, which is somewhat more generous than I would be. Hey, $10 will get you lunch at most places. Actionable Intelligence Software still asks for your money and promise a “free” upgrade to the upcoming 2.0 version which hasn’t been released yet.
The 1.2 version doesn’t work and isn’t available, so you’re buying this one on blind faith.
Don’t. That’s a No-No.