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A little while ago, Laurence Simon came up with the wonderful idea of what are the Ten Blogs I Would Take To A Desert Island. That turned into a huge meme, and well, I though why not take it a step further, and ask Mac Lovers – their ten most favorite apps. Forget, the Microsoft Office, or any of the applications that are bundled with an Apple. Instead, focus on small freeware and shareware applications that have helped you get the most out of your Mac.

I think it would be great if we wrote why we love these little apps (or scripts if you want to) and share them with everyone else. This would be a good way to discover some goodness which we might all be missing out on. So here is my list of apps, I love the most.

* quicksilverQuickSilver, a launcher on steroids.
* ectoEcto, still the best blogging client in the world and well worth the $18 dollar price.
* nnwNetNewsWire – a lot of pretenders out there, but when it comes to Apple like intuitiveness, this is my choice for a RSS news reader. You can get a freeware version as well.
* vlcVideoLan/VLC – the cross platform media player that is better at handling video files better than any other player. Of course the price is right.
* bluephoneeliteBluePhoneElite, the perfect application to help you get the most of your bluetooth enabled phones. SMS, caller ID and a iTunes pause function, make it the most used application on my PowerBook.
* cocktailCocktail, a general purpose utility for Mac OS X. The application serves up a scrumptious mix of maintenance tools and interface tweaks, all accessible via a gorgeous graphical interface and toolset. Definitely a must have for us non-UNIX geeks.
* candybarCandyBar, the perfect way to spend your weekend, when all your friends are off doing ungodly activities like climbing mountains, biking or simply running. This is the perfect tool for pimping your Mac.
* usb over driveUSB Overdrive X – turbocharge your multibutton mice for optimum productivity.
* foldershareFolderShare – The simplest way to keep your folders synchronized between various Macs and even PCs. There is a free version as well.
* caminoCamino – Even as a beta product, it is still feels better than Firefox and better than Safari!

All right folks, lets this meme going!

84 Responses to “10MacApps”

  1. Spencer


    -visit and bookmark it.

    -visit and check it out. if it looks like your kind of thing, bookmark it.

    -If you don’t believe in cracking, go to and search for the kind of program you’re looking for and download a free one (or buy one, cheapskate).

    -DOWNLOAD LITTLE SNITCH FIRST! Little Snitch ( is a program that blocks applications’ attempts to contact home and ask if their serial codes are legit. You should not allow them to do this. The demo version works for a short period of time, but there should be codes available in Serial box. Check the “cracking” section for more info.

    Instant Messaging:

    -you probably already have Adium (

    -If you want more of a developer-style chat client, you should try Fire (

    -If you’re really into telephone voice chat, or just want to see a cool program in action, check out Skype (

    -If you like IRC, I like Colloquy (

    File Sharing:

    -you may have acquisition (

    -or you can download a lighter, nag-free version, called Acqlite (

    -Lastly, there’s a program I don’t use a lot, but many people like based on Java called Cabos (


    -Most games that you can play on the mac can be downloaded for free. I’ll cover this in the bittorrent section.

    -In terms of shareware, you should use as a reference.

    -The Cheat ( is a great multipurpose cheating app that helps you out in any game that has numeric values (ammo, health, points, lives, etc.)

    -Immediately, you should check out Kill Monty ( It’s fucking awesome.

    System Software

    -Onyx ( is an awesome tool to tweak your system and generally find out cool stuff you can do with your mac you didn’t know before.

    -Preferential Treatment ( is cool for checking your preference files. If your computer ever breaks, this should be your first fix attempt (repairing disk permissions using disk utility is useless. Ignore this advice if anyone gives it to you. an explanation why is available at:

    -SMART Reporter ( monitors your hard drive for failures. I have it set to run on startup, and when I see my disk is good, I click the icon and quit it.

    -a more complete least of “tweaking” utilities is available at:

    Video Software

    -First you should download VLC or VideoLAN client ( this is the magic little bugger that will let you play .avis, DivX, etc.

    -Next, you’ll inevitably have to play movies in Realplayer format. You’ll need realplayer (

    -Windows Media player is no longer released or supported by Microsoft for Mac (although you can track it down, if you need to(but you have no reason to))

    -Luckily, the flip4mac plugin ( IS supported, and is great because it plays WMVs in quicktime.

    -For ripping/importing DVDs, some people like Mac the Ripper (, while others like handbrake ( For the record, I’ve never ripped a DVD, but I plan on doing it soon. I can’t recommend either, I can just say that from the reviews I’ve read, Handbrake is more extensible, but Mac the Ripper is easier to use.

    -Movie editing software is crappy (if it’s a free download). You can download professional stuff from bitorrents (again, more later)

    Sound Software:

    -Again, no such thing as a free lunch, but there are a few notable mentions.

    -Roni Software’s Amazing Slowdowner ( is great for slowing down or speeding up music (without changing the pitch!) for whatever purpose. (more about cracking shareware below)

    -iPod Access ( is great for pulling songs off of an iPod. It’s not free, but it works. (again, more on cracking shareware/demos below).

    -Ourtunes ( is awesome. It will let you download music from other peoples’ iTunes libraries on your network. I’d recommend creating a folder on your desktop called “ourtunes” to save music into.

    -Transcribe! ( is great for transcribing music (it’ll even pick out sheet music for you!!!).

    -There are a couple other applications that can be found on Macupdate.

    Laptop Specific stuff:

    -You need Slim Battery Monitor ( It replaces the ugly finder icon with a nice looking (customizable) one.


    -Fetch ( is a sweet FTP appllication. It’s the most full-featured and etc. It’s not free

    -Transmit ( is another good FTP application. It’s cheaper, and the demo is great.

    General purpose apps:

    -WeatherPop ( is a menubar icon that tells you the weather for today and for the next 5 days when you click it. It’s pretty neat, but nothing special.

    -Snapz Pro X ( is a great screenshot and more utility (fullscreen movies, audio capture, etc.). It’s not free, but it is solid Ambrosia shareware.

    -Stuffit Expander ( is an essential app for expanding compressed files. It is free and comes with demos for some other stuff.

    -Vuescan ( is an AWESOME scanner utility with built-in support for HUNDREDS of scanners and a built-in OCR (optical character recognition) feature. It’s expensive, though.

    Torrents/Cracking software

    -Serial Box ( is a collection of serial codes for programs. they update it twice a month. Download it. learn it. love it.

    -What are Torrents???!?!??(from wikipedia at: BitTorrent ( is both the name of a peer-to-peer (P2P) file distribution client application and also the name of the file sharing protocol itself, both of which were created by programmer Bram Cohen. BitTorrent is designed to widely distribute large amounts of data without incurring the corresponding consumption in costly server and bandwidth resources. According to CacheLogic BitTorrent is responsible for 35% of all traffic on the internet. The original BitTorrent application was written in Python and its source code has been released under the BitTorrent Open Source License (a modified version of the Jabber Open Source License), as of version 4.0. Sources say the upcoming release will be modified and coded in C , in order to ensure further compatibility, as well as a bittorrent version for macs. The name “BitTorrent” refers to the distribution protocol, the original client application, and the .torrent file type.

    -What should I use them for? Everything. games, movies, applications, music. whatever you want to download for free that normally costs money, use a torrent. use either:

    to find torrents. Happy hunting!

    -Transmission ( is a very simple, very cool bittorrent client that I use most often, but it’s not as full-featured as

    -Bits on Wheels ( is a badass bittorrent client with a graphical representation of the download and everything. it’s somewhat complicated and hard to understand, but it certainly gets the job done.

    -Azureus ( is a great app for downloading torrents, but it’s written in java, so it may run slow on slower machines.

    Mac OS X misc

    -Websites you should visit (probably regularly) that haven’t been mentioned above:

    -Learning OS X shell commands should happen at

  2. Transmit
    Chat Transcript Manager

    and.. the one I helped create so I could try out a bunch of apps and still keep organized..


  3. It makes getting around my Mac thousands of times easier. Prior to using Quicksilver, in order to have easy access to commonly-used applications, I had three choices: I could drag a shortcut to my Dock and use up precious screen real estate, I could place a shortcut on my Desktop, or I could open a Finder window, drill down to the Applications folder and start the app from there. Now, I simply hit Ctl+Space and type the first few letters of the application in question.

  4. So I’ve already created my list of “topâ€? software for windows, and I’ve been building a nice collection of useful things to make my time more productive, faster, and easier. There’s a meme going around like a little virus, with…

  5. Om,

    I’m looking for a mac tool that will let me tag files on my desktop. Then if i could only view my folder by cloud!! I just can’t seem to remember file name structures and spotlight is only so good.

    If anyone would know, it would be you. Suggestions?

  6. I am a web designer/developer and as such, don’t have a lot of applications other than work-related (apart from a few games). There have been some applications I have discovered recently that I could no longer function correctly without, I have marked these as such. E = essential.

    Quicksilver (E) – Genius, absolutely bloody brilliant, nothing has increased my productivity as much as this has.
    Textpander (E) – I use this for inserting common html/php snippets, fantastic.
    AdiumX – When I have to use webchat, this is the one that gets in the way the least, it’s also cool that I can have a Star Wars soundset :-)
    skEdit – Fantastic little xhtml editor.
    Sidenote – Great for dumping temporary info for later use.
    Transmit (E) – Perfect FTP.
    OSXvnc – Remote control made easy.
    LaCie SilverKeeper – My backup app of choice.
    WebServerXKit (E) – Apache2/MySQL4/PHP5 in a few clicks :-)
    Audio Hijack Pro – For recording internet broadcasts (I bought it specifically to record Giles Peterson’s ‘Worldwide’ BBC Radio1 show).

    B.T.W., check out Macslack for some other cool utilities.


  7. 1-Click Answers
    Azureus – bit torrent
    Butler – app launcher
    Camino – sweetest browser
    coconutBattery – battery info
    FetchArt – grabs album art for iTunes
    MacStumbler – hot spot finder
    Mac the Ripper – great DVD ripping software
    MenuCalendarClock – integrates with iCal or Entourage
    Mouse Zoom – control speed of mouse and track pad
    Onyx – perfect maintenance program
    Spirited Away – just keeps my desktop clean
    Text Wrangler – simple text editor
    VLC – great cross-platform video player
    VooDooPad Lite – cool tool for creating wiki’s
    Weather Dock – weather info with small footprint
    Witch – tab through open windows not just programs
    You Control: iTunes – easy tool bar controls

  8. Om Malik has a great little write up on his blog about 10 ‘must have’ apps for the Mac. A while back Lockergnome had a great article that a lot the new killer apps were moving over to the Mac and Gear Live has to agree. This list includes most…

  9. My ten must-have apps are (in alphabetical order):

    -> Adium X – I’ve used other multi-protocol IM clients, but Adium has become my app of choice.
    -> BluePhoneElite – I agree, this is a great app and very useful. Have it set up to keep a record of incoming and outgoing SMS messages which is also very nice.
    -> DragThing – great great launcher
    -> iChat – Even though I use Adium X most of the time, I still keep iChat running on a different account for video conferencing. It’s by far the easiest way to video chat.
    -> Interarchy Still my favorite file transfer client. The latest revisions have made it work the same way as OS X, making it very intuitive.
    -> NoteBook – I keep an immense amount of data stored and organized with this app. Most natural way for me to keep myself organized.
    -> Photoshop – Among other things I’m a photographer – so there’s no way to live without Photoshop.
    -> SmartBook – Technically obsolete since Apple added smart groups to the address book – but this app does something Apple doesn’t – it’s smart groups can be synced via iSync, while Apple’s cannot. Hopefully they’ll fix this, but until then…
    -> SpamSieve – Best Spam solution I’ve found. It’s not perfect, but it saves me endless hours.
    -> VLC – Amazingly free, and works with more media than any app I’ve tried.

  10. Quicksilver (’nuff Said)
    Desktop Manager : Ability to have multiple desktops.
    Adium : Supports most if not all the IM systems and has tabs.
    TextWrangler : Tabs, open/save to remote servers
    OmniWeb : The ability to have workspaces, moves tabs between windows, individual site prefences. It isn’t the best, but what it has in features makes up for it.
    NetNewsWire : Simple, light, quick.
    X Resource Graph. Helps me keep track of my Pbook tempature, and memmory usage.
    iTerm : The Terminal redefined.
    JunkMathcher : No More Spam, plugin for
    MPlayer : The other free video player for OSX.