Useful Mac Apps



namebench. Free, Hosted on Google Code. If you are comfortable with fiddling with your internet settings, specifically DNS servers, then namebench can siginificantly speed up your internet experience. Basically, namebench finds which DNS servers will optimize your internet speeds and give you the server addresses and how much faster they are than your current configuration. It is then up to you to set those servers in your Network settings. It is a little work but it is worth it for the speed boost. I run it every month or so.


Ringtones. $12.95, The Little App Factory. Just started using this app. Since iTunes 10 has done away with custom ring tones, this is an elegant solution. Ringtones lists all of the songs in your iTunes library and lets you easily create, preview, and send custom ringtones to iTunes.


RipIt. $19.95, The Little App Factory. I was using HandBrake to rip DVD’s onto the Mac, and thus to the iPad, but RipIt is so much easier to use that it is well worth the price. The results are better quality, too, because it’s automatically optimized for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Great results and easy to use… So, exactly what a Mac app should be.


SuperDuper. $27.95, shirt-pocket.com. Along with Carbonite and Time Machine, SuperDuper is a critical component of my backup scheme. SuperDuper lets you easily schedule backups to an external drive. The great thing about SuperDuper, though, is that you can make bootable backups. So, every night it not only creates a copy of the entire contents of my MacBook, but that copy is bootable. So if the MacBook hard drive dies, I have a copy I can boot to that is less than 24 hours old.


TextWrangler. Free, Bare Bones Software. This is a cool text editor that I use to write blog posts. It makes in-line HTML markup easy by color coding all of the tags. It makes it simple to embed photos and videos with a simple copy-and-paste. You can, of course, also use it strictly for writing and organizing content.


There you have it. A list of the programs on my Mac that I use most often (other than iTunes, Safari, and Mail). They are all really useful and generally inexpensive. All of the paid ones have free demos as well.