Friday, September 23, 2005

MacOnMacs: Apps no Mac-head should be without

I've had a lot of friends purchase Macs recently, and so I've gone through the process of "bring your Mac over and I'll download the apps you really want from the start" with them. Having done this several times, I thought it'd make a good blog post (and would save me some time by just pointing them here ;-) ). Search for these using or - these are two great sites that all Mac people should know about for finding software (bookmark them!)...

MPlayer - this is my default video player for everything except VCDs and DVDs. I've yet to find something it won't play (unlike QuickTime, which can't seem to deal with DivX stuff very well, among other things). Easy controls, good funcionality, and free. PS: If you're double clicking on a video file and it's coming up as unplayable in QuickTime, just drag and drop it onto this open app.

VLC - this is my video player for VCDs and anything that MPlayer has trouble with (which ain't much!). Don't like the controls, but the functioality is certainly there.

Acquisition - the best non-BitTorrent P2P for the Mac, as far as I'm concerned. Great integration with the OS/other apps (espcially iTunes), a wide variety of networks, and constant/ongoing development/improvements. There's a nag warning that comes up but that's a small price to pay for such a well-developed program (and frankly, this is worth buying).

Cyberduck - my choice for a free FTP app with good functionality and a simple interface.

AbiWord - this isn't needed for everyone, but if you want to work with WordPerfect/.wpd files (yes, some people still use WordPerfect :-) ) then this is a great, free way to do so on a Mac. Spread the word!

OmniGraffle - okay, it's not free (though there is a limited functionality version to try) and it's not something everyone will use, but this Visio-replacement is one of my fav Mac programs of all time. Good for anything from org charts to web wireframes to laying out your garden or mapping out your home theatre connections! If you've ever needed something like Visio for the Mac then this is it. Do a search for free templates online (there's lots!).

I'll be going over some more great Mac apps in the future (and a lot of non-Mac things too :-) ), but the above is a great starter list for switchers and other Mac newbies. Have fun!
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9/23/2005 09:29:00 a.m.  


Blogger Martini said...

Hooray for Macs! I'm always so conflicted though. I'm on a Mac at work, but a PC at home. loads properly on my PC, but never on my Mac, which sucks, because I prefer my Mac.

September 23, 2005 3:07 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

Wow, my first comment - thanks! :-)

Hmmm, I haven't had any problems with Blogger on my Mac to date. What browser are you using to look at/load it? And are you having the problems just when you're logged in to your account, or also when viewing people's blogs? Could just be a browser setting/incompatability.

September 23, 2005 4:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you've joined the blogging world bro! I know you'll have lots of great content - Macs on Macs, love it ;-).

September 23, 2005 5:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good list. Set a feed for your blog.


September 23, 2005 6:32 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

OK, I THINK I set up a feed. Check out Links to the right. Let me know if there's any problems.

September 23, 2005 8:22 p.m.  
Blogger Bryan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 23, 2005 10:23 p.m.  
Blogger Bryan said...

I really enjoy your contributions to Command M and often find your tips are the best part of the show. You didn't include a recommendation for a BitTorrent client in your list, which I'm hoping you will do in a future post. I'd be very interested to hear your opinions on what is available out there for the Mac. I look forwaard to frequent postings on the blog! Thanks!

September 23, 2005 10:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good recommendations, I just bought a mac mini so this'll help. Mplayer is pretty nice even if it is brushed metal. Acquisition seems good, but paying for a p2p program just seems odd/ironic.

September 24, 2005 3:20 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff, MPlayer is great! I can now finally watch Thebroken which is in divx format. Keep up the good work w/ your Commandn segments.

September 25, 2005 11:29 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

Hmm, I thought I just posted a response here, but I guess I'll have to try that again :-) ....

Thanks for the feedback everyone, and I will certainly get some info on BitTorrent for Mac online soon. I'm trying not to cannibalize my commandN segments too much (after all, we need to keep you guys watching!), but I plan on keeping everything very Mac-focused here, so no problem putting up a little guide for people.

September 26, 2005 10:42 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you recommend for an IRC client OSX?

September 26, 2005 5:23 p.m.  
Blogger Rob Fuz said...

Thanks Jeff

I have been dying to ask someone this very topic. I had just purchased a G5 and was clueless on a lot of the programs to use. I am a web developer and was wondering what other web creation oriented programs you use free or not free. A program to thumbnail and publish photos? Also can you suggest a free or cheap Newsgroup reader.


Rob Fuz -

September 27, 2005 10:16 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

I'll put the web creation tools (and a newsreader) on my list for MacOnMacs segments, Rob. Will try to get to that in the next week or two (FYI, my core purchased web creation software is Dreamweaver/Photoshop).

September 29, 2005 4:25 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

Hmmm. I wonder, when I add comments to a post this old, does anyone see them?

In any case, I haven't forgotten about your requests, guys. Just need to do a little research before I put this stuff down in print forever ;-) . I might finally have some spare time to do that after I shoot my commandN segment this weekend!

October 13, 2005 8:44 p.m.  
Blogger CMac said...

Hey Jeff, we can see your comments! Just not as likely someone will, being that the original post is a few weeks old. But I just got here after your "plug" during the Altec Lansing piece, so I'm catching up.

Great blog, keep it up! As a recent returning Haligonian, it's great to see local content out on the internets. :)

October 16, 2005 7:42 p.m.  

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