This is easily the most popular of the iLife applications and add on utilities abound; the free, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m usually selective about my utilities, and the same holds here. These are my Top 4 For iTunes:
1 – YouControl’s You Control:tunes. This is a great little menu bar application that gives you control over iTunes, iTunes playlists. It even pops up album cover art. You gotta love the price. Free. Click Here to check it out and download.
2 – Search for Lyrics. I’m still one of those who loves to sing along with select tunes. True, I couldn’t carry a tune with both hands, a bucket, and a flashlight, but I try. This Applescript lets you search lyrics.astraweb.com for matching lyrics to the tune that’s playing in iTunes. Click Here to review the script and download.
3 – iPod.iTunes. This is as much for iTunes as it is the iPod. What happens when your Mac hard drive dies and your iTunes Music Store music dies with it? Back it up from your iPod. Great application. This one I paid for. Click Here to review.
4 – iHam on iRye. This is a neat little iTunes application. Though it hasn’t been updated in awhile, and won’t work on every iTunes configuration or Mac system, iHam.iRye lets you control iTunes from another computer on a LAN. Yes, that’s similar to what Airport Express does. Except that this is cheaper. Click Here to get a taste of how it works.
No flames, please. No add on utilities yet and I’ve been using this for about 9 months or so. Yes, I picked up all three of the Jam Pack series so I’m loaded with loops. Even the SoundTrack loops work in GarageBand. I’m also a Logic Pro user so having extra Audio Unit audio effects is waaaay cool, even in GarageBand. While GB is aimed at the newbie musician, there’s a lot of power there, made better by more loops, some musical talent, and audio effects.
Next to iTunes, iPhoto gets the nod as the most used of the iLife applications (no flames; we ran a survey). For quite awhile, my favorite iPhoto app was necessary because iPhoto was sooooo slow you needed multiple Libraries. Speed isn’t the problem now.
1 – iPhoto Library Manager. Brian Webster’s great little application makes multiple iPhoto libraries a manageable exercise. Click Here to see what it can do for you.
2 – Jalbum. There’s really not a better photo album generator for iPhoto photos than Jalbum. Simple. Elegant. Loaded with features when you need them. Priced right, too. Free. Click Here to give it a spin.
Others – I like BetterHTML Export because it’s built in to iPhoto, but makes exporting web page galleries very easy. It’s not as feature laden as KeyWebX, which I like and use. A newcomer, TalaPhoto does better slide shows than iPhoto but not much more. Sorry, no links. They’re not Top Picks (and it’s late at night).
“I’d like to see are more themes for iDVD. Apple doesn’t provide enough. Perhaps ten times as many would be a good start.”iMovie
Now we’re getting into a few of the utilities that are nothing short of brillian add on’s for iMovie. Get out your credit card, folks. iMovie really has matured to become a worthy application. It takes no time at all to put together credible, attractive, near professional videos. And the integration with iPhoto and iDVD and iTunes is a sweet touch.
Apple, unfortunately, doesn’t give you enough effects, title choices, or transitions. Never mind. The Mac community came through big time and I have a couple of complete libraries to prove it (and less money).
1 – Slick. These utilities from GeeThree do just about anything you can think of in the way of digital video effects. I’ve got the entire set of Volumes 1 – 8, but not all the special utilities (I also use Final Cut Pro for important work).
The QuickTime video demos show you what you get. Click Here to review.
2 – Virtix. These folks came on the iMovie scene after GeeThree but managed to secure their own niche deep within my checkbook. Taking a different perspective than most other iMovie plugins, Virtix has a handful that I love.
Bravo and Echo, Virtix Arsenal, to mention a few. I had trouble with iBubble (captions). Still, some of my money disappeared in their direction. Click Here to view the Arsenal of 12 effects.
Yes, there are a few others I’ve paid for, too. Generally speaking, I’ve had best success with GeeThree’s Slick for iMovie. If you’d like some great plugins for Final Cut Pro, check Klaus Eiperle’s CGM. Wow. These are good filters. Click Here to look at the work Klaus has put into these.
You knew I’d get here sooner or later, right? Either Apple got iDVD just right and there’s no need for add on utilities, or there’s no way to do it right so no one’s tried. The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason, you know? Your mileage may vary.
There are a few utilities available, but none that I’ve tried. While there’s a great deal of capability in iDVD, it’s also not an application for casual use like iPhoto or iTunes. First, you really need a SuperDrive. Second, iDVD works well with iMovie, iPhoto, and iTunes, but that requires you’ve got some experience with all three already.
What I’d like to see are more themes for iDVD. Apple doesn’t provide enough. Perhaps ten times as many would be a good start.
OK, that’s my list of Top Add On Utilities for Apple’s iLife applications. What’s yours? What have you added to iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie or even iDVD or GarageBand to make the experience more personal for you?
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