With all the noise surrounding Apple’s iPod, iTunes, the Mac’s iLife applications, and promotions from Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, and other major developers, it’s easy to forget ‘the little guys’ who do cool stuff for free, and near free.
Tera’s always told me I was a sucker for a bargain, but had a sharp eye for nifty utility applications that do more than the sum of the parts (features).
In keeping with that astute observation, here’s the first installment of a Cool Mac Developer’s segment to highlight new and nifty Mac applications that don’t get much attention, though they deserve it.
We live in a digital age where our music is no longer on records or CDs, it’s stored on a ‘device.’ Our photos are no longer negatives and prints, they’re stored on a ‘device’—our computer.
Life has changed such that we no longer need a darkroom for photographs and don’t have to pay someone to create a photo gallery. Welcome to the age of Xtralean software applications.
Here’s one for free, one that’s nearly free.
What I like about Mac applications is simple. And simplicity. Open it up. Click around. Get things done. So it is with Xtralean’s ShutterBug. The name is a giveaway.
ShutterBug takes digital photographs and lets you create a content-rich photo gallery without all the HTML web page hoopla and rigmarole.
From a simple control panel you can drag and drop photos. Re-arrange photos. Create albums. Name and re-name pages. Add links and create navigation. It’s point and click.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the photo albums you create with ShutterBug should be worth a book or two. These are professional-looking, quality, photo albums. 45 built-in themes to choose from make ShutterBug a bargain at $34. A free trial lets you try before you buy.
There’s two important keys to ShutterBug (besides the fact that it’s simple to use and looks professionally done): speed and quality.
Speed is how quickly you can create a photo album with drag and drop, WYSIWYG. Uh, that’s ‘true’ WYSIWYG. What you see on the screen is what you’ll see on the screen of the photo album. It’s never a surprise.
Quality is what you expect to pay for and you won’t be disappointed. These themes look great. Out of 45, you’ll find a dozen or so that you love. The end result is a photo album that you can share with family and friends, publish, or just feel great about how cool you are to find such a nifty Mac application.
Click to layout. Click to choose a theme. Click to preview. Click to publish. Click to add text or headlines or content or captions. Click to make a slideshow. How hard is ‘click?’
Click Here to download and give ShutterBug a tryout.
Wait? I wouldn’t be the queen of nifty Mac bargains without a Friday Freebie bargain. Not only does Xtralean recognize the need to provide you with an elegant tool for managing photo albums, they also see a need in managing photos.
No, not ‘management’ as in storage like iPhoto or Kodak Easy Share or the expense of Adobe’s classy Photoshop Elements.
Xtralean’s ImageWell is a wealthy utility all digital photographers need.
Take a digital image and drop it in to the well, then out again. It sorta makes your image ‘well.’ Resize, crop, rotate, shape, add a border, set a drop shadow, even embed a watermark.
Need labels, text, arrows, etc? Yes? Easy. Just click. Need to send the image up to a server for display? Just click.
ImageWell handles most any JPG, PNG, and TIFF image format in drag and drop fashion. There’s a prview and quality/size adjustment tool.
Oh, there’s a reason why this is such a cool application. It’s fast, easy, no headaches, works well, tastes great, and is less filling. Less filling as in ‘ImageWell is free. Free as in beer should be.
As part of our desire to bring nifty little applications to your attention, we thought it would be worthwhile to bring to you attention the nifty little application developers. XtraLean Software makes both ImageWell and ShutterBug.
In five minutes of use you’ll understand why they’ve won awards and why customers like their applications. Both apps live among dozens and dozens of other graphic and image applications for Mac OS X, but a little attention won’t hurt anything.