As the Mac gains market share and popularity among former Windows PC users, it becomes more difficult to find good freeware utilities and tools.
Mac software developers smell the money. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it spurs development for even better Mac software.
The search for free software just takes a little longer.
For example, my famous freebie list contains a veritable grab bag of Mac utilities, tools, and fun stuff you can’t live without. Well, yes you can, but life won’t be what it once was if you don’t.
#5 – Buddi
You’d think this was iMoney Week at Mac360 with all the “iApps” we’ve reviewed. So, along comes Buddi.
That’s Buddy with an “i” at the end, not the beginning, and with no “y”.
Buddi is an Open Source finance and budgeting program for the Mac; especially for those among us with little or no financial background.
I’m half way there. I know how to spend. I only got married so I’d have someone to track and count the money. Oh, and to share money with me.
There’s not much to Buddi. It’s available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and lets you track expenses, set up a budget and give you a few reports. If Quicken is overkill, and iBank is underkill, the Buddi may be just right. Easy to setup, easy to use. You will need to know some basic numbers, though.
This sounds like something the New York Times could use, or something you never see on Fox News.
SMARTReporter is a nifty tool that sits on your Mac and doesn’t appear to do much of anything until your hard disk is about to die. Then you get a warning.
Cool, huh? Most new hard disks have a self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology built in to the disk. It doesn’t mean much if there’s not something to tell you about problems and that’s what SMARTReporter does.
It sits in your Menu Bar and checks the status of your hard disk. If something wonky happens, you’ll get a notification. Mostly. But it’s free.
#3 – Netscape Navigator
Without bothering to ask or answer “why?” I’ll just let you know that an old favorite finally died. Again. Almost
Netscape used to be the browser that did everything, until Microsoft squashed it like a fly under Steve Ballmer’s heavier-than-thou Redmondian boot.
AOL bought what was left and for some reason still publishes Netscape, now at version 9.0. Yes, it’s free. It’s fast. It’s stable. It’s loaded with features. It runs on the Mac. And Netscape is mostly Firefox underneath with the old Netscape color scheme on top.
Some of the extra features are nice, like the auto URL correction. Hey, if a computer’s so smart, how come it doesn’t know what I want to type when I type something that’s obviously wrong?
Still, AOL says Netscape is about to die. Again.
#2 – SWF & FLV Player
Like it or don’t, we live in a Flash world on the internet, and that means a gazillion Flash movies from YouTube and who knows where.
Enter SWF & FLV Player, the only stand-alone application for the Mac that can play back SWF and FLV files. You get all the basic controls—stop, start, backup, fast forward and, my favorite, frame-by-frame, which is perfect for checking Flash videos for hidden messages.
Also nice is the ability to browse to any web address and view a Flash video, then save the video to a playlist. Sweet. Free.
#1 – DeskTop Lyrics & Harmonics
Admit it, when iTunes is playing on your Mac you sing along, right? I knew it.
The problem is you can’t remember all the lyrics to what’s playing. The Mac has plenty of add-ons for iTunes which let you track down lyrics to songs, but that’s an extra effort, extra clicks, etc.
DeskTop Lyrics simply displays the lyrics of the current song in iTunes. Where? Right on your desktop. If that sounds too good to be true, just remember that DeskTop Lyrics is free. And, it’s too good to be fully true, since it doesn’t go out and find the lyrics for you.
For that, you need something that does the heavy lifting for you. Harmonics is the Dashboard Widget that downloads songs as they play in iTunes, then saves them in iTunes, then sends them to your iPod.
Individually, not so cool. Together, DeskTop Lyrics and Harmonics make a nice musical tag team on your Mac.
Got a freebie you love so much you’d lick it if it was on a stick? Talk Back to Mac360 and share your find in the Comments section below.