iTunes 11.0.3 Brings Revamped MiniPlayer & Better Album Management

Forget its status as the iOS management suite; iTunes is among the most popular music players on desktops. After all, not many players let you purchase songs and albums from right within them. When it comes to features, iTunes is good enough to hold its own against any competitor. The only area where it was slightly lacking was the interface, but that issue was addressed pretty efficiently in the iTunes 11 visual overhaul. The MiniPlayer was among the features that got a complete makeover in the November update, and people liked it so much that there have even been attempts to emulate MiniPlayer view on iPhone and iPod touch devices. Apparently, even the existing MiniPlayer wasn’t good enough for Apple, despite its popularity, and that is why it has been tweaked a little more in the latest iTunes update. There can be no denying the fact that MiniPlayer changes constitute a large part of the iTunes 11.0.3 change log, but there are other changes as well, including more efficient management for albums with multiple disks and and a ‘Song View’ that looks better than ever. Read More

Favoriteer Is A Standalone, Lightweight RSS News Reader For Mac

Google Reader’s demise is almost on us, and yet I still instinctively visit the service every morning. A part of me thinks I should start getting used to something new, while the other part says I should enjoy using Google Reader while it is around. Google Reader itself reminds me occasionally that it will be gone forever on July 1, 2013, but I still haven’t decided what service I will turn to in the end. Feedly is looking the best at the moment. If you’re a Mac user still out on the hunt for something minimal to replace Google Reader with, Favoriteer is a another option. Available in the Mac App Store for free, the app is new and works independently of Google Reader. It’s a fairly basic RSS app that lets you subscribe to feeds individually, and you cannot import your feeds from an XML file, which can be a bummer for those migrating from Google Reader. Favoriteer runs in the Menu Bar and appears on your desktop as a floating window that  fades out when it isn't in focus, so that you can see the app behind it. Read More

Easily Check Sandbox Status, Permissions & Code Signing Certificate Of Mac Apps

iOS apps have always been sandboxed and while a significant number of users might not know just what that means in terms of app stability and permissions, it is likely that they know the restriction is there to keep things running smooth. Apple introduced sandboxing for OS X apps in 2012 for the then-upcoming Mountain Lion. Now, all new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must be sandboxed and while many users may not have noticed the difference, developers certainly have. If you have ever wondered just what a sandboxed app running on your Mac is doing, i.e. what permissions the app is using, SandboxInfo is a free app available in the Mac App Store that tells you just that. The app might be useful for developers as well, but for end users, it is the easiest way to see what an app can do, and check its signing authority. Read More

MacKeeper Is An All-In-One System Maintenance & Security Tool For OS X

We’ve covered a lot of small tools that help you clean up your Mac, make it run smoother, securely delete files, recover deleted file, or search for them. Though OS X does most - if not all - of these things natively, it doesn't offer as many customization options, or work as well as several third-party offerings. You can always look for apps that are meant to solve individual problems, or you could invest in an app that does everything for the right price. MacKeeper is a very famous app that acts as an antivirus and anti-theft app for your Mac. It also lets you encrypt data, recover deleted files, securely shred files, create backups, remove junk files, find duplicates, estimate the disk usage and break it down for you, uninstall apps and the many files they can sometimes leave behind, help you optimize start-up apps, and edit the default apps for different file extensions. Read More

Sync ImageShack Photos Across Windows, Mac, Android & iOS With SkyPath

There is no shortage of cloud storage services out there, but you will find that a particular niche exists among these services that specialize in photos. And it makes sense, since many of us preserve our dear memories in photos, and don't wanna risk losing them, plus want to have them accessible from all our devices. Also, lost photos aren't documents that can be typed again, or songs and movies that can be bought from anywhere. ImageShack is one such service that gives you 5GB of storage space for your pictures. Developed by the same company, SkyPath is an omni-access solution for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android (Update: Now Windows Phone as well) that allows you to upload images to your ImageShack account and sync them across devices.  Let's take a look at the service and its apps in detail after the jump. Read More

Viber Brings Free Messaging, Voice & Video Calling To Windows & Mac

Viber, the popular free messaging and voice calling app, has received a massive update and has released desktop clients for both Windows and OS X. Both iOS and Android apps now allow you to compose and send video messages. An in-app banner (which can be disabled in the app’s settings if it bothers you) notifies you when you receive a new message or call on the iOS app. The desktop apps themselves are pretty good as well, and come with the added feature of video calls (currently in beta). Calls can easily be transferred between your desktop and mobile phone. Other significant updates to the iOS and Android app include Whatsapp-like online status and last seen time visibility (that can be enabled or disabled), the ability to automatically download received images and videos, adding captions to videos and photos before sending them, a bunch of new stickers, and improved interface. Read More

qrSend Lets You Scan QR Codes To Transfer Files From Windows, Mac & Linux To Android

Do you transfer a lot of files from PC to your Android device? What sort of connection you mostly prefer for the purpose? If it’s, Wi-Fi then today we have an impressive app for you that will make file transfers dead simple. qrSend is an Android app with desktop counterparts for Windows, OS X and Linux that lets you transfer files by scanning QR codes. That’s right - no more drag and drop or copy-pasting files around, because all you have to do is scan the QR code that's displayed on your computer and bingo, your desired item will instantly be transferred to your phone or tablet. Click the Read More button for the details. Read More

Nekoze For Mac Monitors Your Posture & Alerts When You Start To Slouch

Keeping a good posture while using a computer is very important to avoid issues like RSI, but for many of us, sitting upright and making sure our elbows are level with the table takes a backseat to slouching in our chair and getting comfortable. Ergonomic work setups can significantly help, but the fact is that unless you force your self to stop slumping, there is no chair comfortable (or uncomfortable) enough to get you to straighten your spine. In all fairness, we’re so used to slumping in our chairs that we often forget what we’re doing to our spines. Nekoze is a free health and fitness Mac app that takes a somewhat different approach to helping you maintain a good posture while you work. It connects with your webcam and detects when you start to slump in your chair. An on-screen and audio notification alerts you to sit up. You can customize how lenient or strict the app is in its assessment of your sitting posture. Read More

Twitter For Mac Updated With Retina Support & Easier Photo Sharing

Twitter has been integrated in Mountain Lion much like was in iOS 5 allowing you to tweet from just about any where. It does lack a universal hotkey that lets you open the compose tweet box, but you can easily add that with Quick Tweet. Even though Twitter has been integrated throughout the OS, this does not render Twitter clients obsolete as the timeline itself is not part of the integration, and thus, we continue to see Twitter clients evolve, even if slowly. The latest to upgrade its feature-set is none other than Twitter’s official Mac client. The update includes the long-awaited support for Retina displays, additional languages, and a new button that allows you to share photos directly from the New Tweet box. Read More

Create Your Own Mixes & Variations Of Music Loops With LoopJam

LoopJam is an open source application targeted at audiophiles for creating music loops in a variety of ways. The application lets you load or generate music loops by rearranging their waveforms from existing music files to create a new variation. Samples of music loops can be easily grabbed from sites like SoundCloud and similar places that provide royalty-free music, and LoopJam also packs in a few sample loop files out of the box to get you acquainted with how the program actually works. It’s fairly intuitive and fun to use once you get past the initial learning curve. Lets take a closer look at it after the break. Read More

RSS Master Is An OS X Feed Reader With A Built-In Tabbed Browser

Google Reader’s retirement will not just impact those who used its web interface, but also the scores of apps that synced feeds using Google’s API, and everyone who used such an app. While the hunt for the best web alternative for Google Reader is still in progress, many users are also considering switching to a desktop alternative. Mac users can get RSS Master for free for a limited time in the Mac App Store. It syncs with Google Reader, but can also work independently of it. You can add feeds from a local file, Blogger, LiveJournal, Xanga, MSN Spaces, or a URL. You can import feeds from an XML file as well. RSS Master had its own built-in browser that allows you to open articles in different tabs. The app lets you share articles on Twitter, Buffer, Evernote, Instapaper, Facebook, Pocket and Delicious, and add them to Safari’s reading list. You can set RSS Master to open articles in your default browser instead of its own, customize the font, and choose how often the app will check for new items in your feeds. Feeds can be organized into folders and refreshed manually all at once. Read More

BitTorrent Sync Introduces Unlimited & Secure Two-Way P2P File Syncing [Review]

IF you've ever wondered how file syncing can take place in the absence of a server and the need to create an account with it, BitTorrent has the answer for you in form of their latest app - BitTorrent Sync. It’s a peer-to-peer file syncing client by BitTorrent that relies on ‘Secrets’, which are 32-character long passcodes that you can set up to connect two computers and sync files between them - no link sharing or account sign up with any web service needed. The biggest benefit such a setup has over traditional Dropbox-style web service-based syncing is that there are no limits on file size or total space - you are only limited by the total space on the connected devices themselves. Though one drawback is that you don't get to have your files saved on the cloud for access from any computer or smartphone. The app is in public Alpha and undergoing active development, so there might be some quirks yet to be ironed out. The apps are available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, and as per our tests, they all work perfectly for syncing files. Read More

Shotcut Is A Nifty Multi-Platform Video Clip Editor With Custom Filters

Shotcut-Windows-Mac-Linux video editor
Video editors like Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas Pro are exceptionally powerful when it comes to professional-grade video production, but these programs don’t come cheap. If you’re looking for a powerful video editing application that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, try Shotcut. It’s an open-source, cross-platform app that provides an expanded workspace with a whole variety of features to let you quickly edit your homemade videos and recordings. In fact, it’s so powerful that you might soon find yourself carving out commercial-grade videos, after going through the initial learning curve, of course. It can encode videos at up to 1080p and packs a ton of options, while keeping the interface simple. Read More

Share Photos & Videos Between Mac & iOS Over WiFi With Transfr

iOS devices and Macs work very well with each other and it’s rare to hear complains about users having trouble connecting an iPhone or iPad with a Mac. Transferring photos and videos from them to a Mac via USB is also quite easy. If you don’t have one, you can still transfer pictures over Wi-Fi, provided you have the right apps installed on your phone and Mac. There is a large number of apps available for the purpose but Transfr provides possibly the most fluid experience of the lot, as long as you don’t mind the $1.99 price tag for its iOS app. Transfr is free for Mac and with its iOS companion app, it lets you receive photos and videos from your iDevice and save them to a predefined folder over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Read More

How To Add Facebook Chat To The Mac OS X Messages App

Both the Facebook app itself as well as the dedicated Facebook Messenger app allow you to chat with your Facebook friends on your smartphone, giving you two very easy ways to keep in touch with them. When it comes to OS X though, despite Facebook’s integration in Mountain Lion, no native chat feature exists in the OS itself that would allow you to connect with your Facebook friends. If you would like to integrate Facebook chat with OS X itself without having to resort to a third-party app, you need look no further than the Messages app in OS X that is more than capable of acting as a chat client for Facebook. Here’s how you can set the app up to send and receive chat messages from Facebook, Read More

Add Chrome & Firefox Bookmarks To Mac Spotlight Search Index With Brow

Spotlight in OS X indexes a lot of things but when it comes to browser bookmarks, it does index the ones saved in Safari, but not the ones saved by other browsers. If you use more than one browser and often struggle with different bookmarks libraries for each one, you might like Brow. It’s a small free utility that adds your Chrome and Firefox bookmarks to Spotlight’s index. While it runs in the background or the Menu Bar, it continually monitors the profile folders that each browser creates, and keeps the bookmarks up-to-date in Spotlight’s index. This makes your bookmarks saved across three different browser searchable from one central location i.e. Spotlight. Read More

Time & Manage Multiple Speakers In Meetings With presenterCue Server

A few years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced a method to let starts giving their acceptance speech at the Oscars know when they were taking too much time without announcing it in an obvious way; they simply played a specific music tune to indicate that their time was up. Of course, things aren't as simple in the real world and trying to get someone to stop talking during a speech or meeting can be a formidable task in itself. Sadly we don’t have n app that’s going to get people to stop talking, but presenterCue Server is an excellent solution available in the Mac App Store for managing speech or presentation times for multiple speakers. It is free and can be used to rehearse timed speeches, group presentations, and manage meetings. Read More

Auto-Change Mac Screen Resolution When Switching Power Sources

OS X changes the screen brightness when your MacBook is running on battery power but sadly, there isn’t much else you can trigger when the system detects it is no longer plugged into a power outlet. While the aforementioned feature is useful, an ordinary user can’t do anything with it. Now imagine you’re using a Retina MacBook and would like to reduce your screen’s resolution when it’s running on battery power. One way to do it is manually changing it. Though if you would prefer to automate the process, you will need to make a little effort and be prepared for a little setup procedure. We’re going to show you how to change your screen’s resolution using an AppleScript and ControlPlane - a free Mac App that allows you to create contexts for running apps or scripts. This method works in Mountain Lion but may or may not work on older OS X versions. Read More

Save Selected Text To OS X Notes App From Right-Click Context Menu

Browser extensions and add-ons that allow you to save selected text as notes are one of the easiest ways to save useful text snippets for easily retrieving them later. However, these notes are mostly confined to your browser. Outside the browser, there are apps that can run in the background and collect text from your clipboard. In OS X, you will notice that there is a system wide-option to select and search for text in Safari from any app. With the help of Automator, you can create a similar service that can be used to select text in any app and create a note in the default Notes app with it. Read More

How To Create A Split Zipped Archive From Mac OS X Terminal

OS X comes with the aptly named Archive Utility that can be used to extract contents of compressed zip files, or create zipped archives of your own from your files and folders via the options provided in the right-click context menu. With no UI to speak of, the app works in the background and is fairly basic. What the default utility can’t do is create an archive of a folder that’s split into smaller zip files that can later be extracted as a whole into a single folder. There are several third-party apps available that allow you to do this but if you just want to quickly do it without using a third-party app, and don't mind typing in a command for the purpose, you can easily do so from Terminal. In what follows, we are going to show you how to use a Terminal command to easily create split zip archives of the contents of any folder. Read More