I love a good bargain. Sure, I have a list of free applications for my Mac. There’s also a list of Almost Free applications for my Mac. They’re worth every penny. Are they worth twice the price?
We all have a few applications on our Macs that don’t cost a dime. Or a penny. They’re free. David Kocher’s CyberDuck comes to mind. It’s a great FTP/SFTP application that’s also free.
Most Mac developers who offer free applications do so because of their love for the Mac, OS X, or the love of a good challenge.
Just as there are free applications, there are plenty of Mac applications and utilities you can buy that are not free. They’re ‘Almost Free.’ That means they cost about $20 or less. Some are $5.00. Some are $12.00.
A few of these applications could get by with a price tags double or triple what the developer charges.
Here’s an example of what’s on my list of Mac applications that I can’t live without, I’m willing to pay the price, probably would pay more.
There must be something like twenty-eleven color pickers for the Mac. You know, little applications that give you a variety of colors for web sites, graphics, etc.
They’re a dime a dozen, right? No. Some, including some good ones, are Almost Free. So it is with piDog Software’s Hue Go.
I help build web pages so I’m always looking for something to help with the color. Sometimes I’ll see a graphic on another web site, and I’ll want to know what color is in the graphic.
Usually, I download the graphic, open it up in Fireworks or Photoshop, then use the ‘eyedropper’ tool to sample the color. Wouldn’t it be cool to eliminate a few steps and sample the color ‘live’ while I’m viewing the graphic, image, or photo online?
Hue Go to the rescue. $5.00 gets a nifty little Mac application that lets you sample the color in any graphic on your Mac; in Safari, Photoshop, Fireworks, email, whatever. How?
“Select colors from anywhere on your screen and copy the html HEX code with ease. Easy to use, just open Hue GO! and press the escape key to begin sampling. Point to the color you want to sample and press escape again. Press Apple-c to copy the code.”
Yes. It’s just that easy. Then I can paste the HEX code right into my application and get the color I want without having all those middle steps. $5.00? Worth every penny.
Do you have an iSight camera on your Mac? No camera is cooler or offers better quality video and audio for the money. Except there’s a need for lots of light with iSight.
iGlasses to the rescue. This nifty little Mac application gives your iSight camera additional settings to help out in low light situations.
Standard. Extra bright. Super bright. Enhanced (my favorite). Black & White. Sepia. Crazy colors. Night vision. And(another favorite), Macro Focus.
How much is this little goodie? $8.00. What? $8.00? It should be included in Sight for free. It’s worth more than $8.00
The same folks who make iGlasses for iSight also make a nifty add-on for iChat AV called Conference Recorder. If you use iChat AV for video/audio conferencing, you will positively love Conference Recorder.
What’s it do? Something iChat AV should do but doesn’t do. Record your video conferencing into a QuickTime movie. $15.00 let’s your Mac record both the audio and video conference to a QT file so you have a permanent record.
The Mac is a special place to do your computing. While Mac OS X is loaded with excellent features and benefits, and Apple provides some of the best applications available anywhere, there’s always a Mac developer who ‘thinks different’ and comes up with something we need.
How about USB Overdrive? Apple gives you USB. You also get a USB mouse and keyboard. Not much else.
What if you want to try a USB camera or a different mouse with different settings? USB Overdrive to the rescue. While at the high end of the ‘Almost Free’ scale, $20 will get you want no one else can give you…
“…universal USB driver that handles all USB mice, trackballs, joysticks and gamepads from any manufacturer and lets you configure them either globally or on an application-specific basis. It reads all kinds of wheels, buttons, switches and controls and supports scrolling, keyboard emulation, launching and complex macros as well as all the usual stuff like clicking, control-clicking and so forth.”
What’s that worth?
Got an ‘Almost Free’ Mac application on your list? Share with others and click the Comments link below.