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I heart Mac OS X: Favourite Freeware

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
There are, I think, disproportionately many Mac users on Head-Fi. Birds of a feather; great minds, etc. I'm particularly happy with my Mac this morning, so I decided to start a thread celebrating the free apps that help to make Mac OS X great. Hopefully this will help some would-be converts and newbies. Post your favourites, with short descriptions about what they do and why they're great.

Alphabetically:
Adium: A wonderful and wonderfully customizable multi-service (MSN, Gtalk, Facebook, etc.) IM client. Sadly, no video chat...yet.

Convert Pictures: A useful set of Automator functions that I found on the Apple site, which allows the user to simply drag and drop image files to convert them to different formats (e.g., jpg to gif).

DisApPear: Hides and password protects folders. Great for confidential documents and...other fun things.

ffmpegX: Officially shareware, but it's really donationware in that all the features are available whether or not you donate. Very powerful video conversion app.

FilmRedux: New open source version of VisualHub, which is iSquint's (see below) more powerful older sibling.

GimmeSomeTune: My favourite iTunes companion. Automatically fetches (and displays) lyrics and album art, among other things. Tells you what song is playing too.

Handbrake: Primarily a DVD ripper (converts DVDs to avi or mp4 files), it also handles other video files now too.

InsomniaX: Annoyingly, Mac OS X doesn't natively allow the MacBook to remain active while the cover is shut. InsomniaX is the answer to this problem!

iStrip: Comic subscriber and reader! Great time waster!

iSquint: Primarily an flv to mp4 converter, I think it now also deals with other file formats. FilmRedux certainly does.

MactheRipper: Another great DVD ripper. By-passes annoying encryption things. For backing up DVDs which you own, of course... Rips DVDs into Video_TS folders.

Max: Great CD ripper and converter. I use it to convert FLAC files to m4a and ALAC, mostly.

Quicksilver: What doesn't it do? While principly an application launcher (saves from clicking an app's icon in the Applications folder or, for Windows users, from using the Start menu), it also launches bookmarks, sends e-mails, does calculation, saves things to an extended clipboard, renames/copies/pastes/moves/deletes files, adds text to .txt files, etc. For me, Quicksilver is the ultimate Mac OS X app.

RapidoResizer: Resizes images quickly. Can handle batches too.

Renamer4Mac: The name says it all, really. Powerful re-namer app for Mac OS X. Deals with batches well.

Vienna: My favourite RSS aggregator.
post #2 of 89
Nice list - thanks for the initiative

Can anyone tell me if you can use InsomniaX to shut the lid & turn off the LCD of a MBP, whilst still keeping it running? (playing music for example). My understanding is that the screen stays on with lid closed?
post #3 of 89
If you just want backlight off you can easily turn down brightness to min, im not familiar with that program so to completely turn off pixels is beyond me.
post #4 of 89
Ubuntu is all freeware

(sorry for thread crapping)
post #5 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by poo View Post
Nice list - thanks for the initiative

Can anyone tell me if you can use InsomniaX to shut the lid & turn off the LCD of a MBP, whilst still keeping it running? (playing music for example). My understanding is that the screen stays on with lid closed?
There is a "Sleep Display" option, which should do what you want.
post #6 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnothingpoetic View Post
Ubuntu is all freeware

(sorry for thread crapping)
LOL. Yes, Ubuntu is the next step, I suppose. Might get a netbook with Ubuntu.
post #7 of 89
Ubuntu is nice, but linux is a rougher experience than OSX when you have driver issues it seems. Ubuntu and my ati cards in my old desktop don't get along.

Personally I like
Cyberduck - Good clean FTP Client
Seashore - Works great as a lighter than photoshop image maker/editor.
Grabup - Handy for screenshots
OpenOffice - Not native, but after disabling java not a single crash.
post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathanjong View Post
There is a "Sleep Display" option, which should do what you want.
Well that couldn't be more obvious...

Thanks, even if I am a moron

Thought for posterity I should add an app or two... Obvious one is VLC, but I also love Xpad (best notebook app I've used), Cyberduck, Max, Plex (Brilliant media center software - XBMC for Mac)
post #9 of 89
Basic Needs
AdiumInstant Messaging
Firefox OptimizedWeb Browser
Growl System Notification
iLife 09Media Applications
iWork 09Office Applications
MenuMeters System Status
MS Office 2008 Office Applications
QuicksilverApplication Launcher
JungleDiskBackup to Amazon S3
1PasswdPassword Safe
DropboxFile Synchronization
fuzzyclockSystem Clock Replacement
TruecryptFile Encryption
EvernoteUbiquitous capture
skitchScreenshot tool
PathfinderFinder Replacement
Google NotifierMail.app replacement
NetNewsWireNews Reader (RSS)
Flip4MacWMF Codecs
Perian CodecsMultimedia Codecs
SerialBoxSerial Keeper
Text WranglerText Editor
TransmissionTorrent Client
VLCMedia Player


Drivers
MS Intellipoint

Geek Tools
Apple Developer ToolsSoftware Development Tools
CyberDuckFile Transfer Client
MS RDCMicrosoft Remote Desktop Client
StuffitFile uncompressor
FinkSoftware Repository
DarwinportsSoftware Repository
ParallelsVirtual Machine Software
VMware FusionVirtual Machine Software
hazelSystem cleanup
ez 7zFile uncompressor
RAIDarRAID management tool
post #10 of 89
Thread Starter 
So, if Plex used to link up OS X to XBox? Or is it like a Front Row replacement?

P.S.: Thanks for the xPad recommendation. It looks great. Love how it handles multiples. Might just replace TextEdit.
post #11 of 89
Thread Starter 
@GreatBug: I asked for freeware. Commercial apps are a little less useful to new or not-yet converts IMO. Care to trim that list accordingly?
post #12 of 89
I'm running OSX on my MBP and Ubuntu on my eee pc. It's the best of both worlds, in my opinion.

Aside from the freeware mentioned already, I like celtx, an open source screenwriting software, coconut battery to check my battery health, soundsource for routing my audio output.

And just to emphasize my favorite OSX app, a Mac just isn't complete without Quicksilver.

Ubuntu actually has a similar app to quicksilver called Do. Not as robust as QS, but still extremely useful.
post #13 of 89
Thread Starter 
Ooh, coconut battery. Neat. Not sure how much use this information is though...
post #14 of 89
Excellent list Johnathan.

I also use SMC fan control if my MBP is getting a bit too hot.

InsomniaX sounds interesting, doen't the MacBook have a clamshell mode? Its the only situation i can think of when wanting it to be closed but still in use.
post #15 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D.N View Post
Excellent list Johnathan.

I also use SMC fan control if my MBP is getting a bit too hot.

InsomniaX sounds interesting, doen't the MacBook have a clamshell mode? Its the only situation i can think of when wanting it to be closed but still in use.
Thanks ^_^

What's a clamshell mode?
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