Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's on your Mac?

A new Apple Mac computer is a beautiful thing, and it comes preloaded with lots of useful software (QuickTime, GarageBand, and TextEdit to name three). But I don't feel like a Mac is really ready to go until I install these (free!) apps...

  1. VLC Media Player: a "highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac ...) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols." And, though I haven't tested it extensively, VLC seems to be able to play DVDs from any region.
  2. Handbrake: maybe my favorite freeware ever. Great for ripping your DVDs for playback on your iPod, PS3, or home theater computer. (Handbrake requires VLC to rip some commercially-produced DVDs.)
  3. Perian: enables the awesome QuickTime player to read just about any video format (including the popular DivX and 3ivx formats).
  4. Silverlight: why would you want to install a Microsoft (!) product on your Mac? Because you need Silverlight to take advantage of Netflix's groovy "Watch Instantly" video-streaming feature.
  5. Flip 4 Mac: Speaking of Microsoft, if you come across any pesky Windows Media video files you need to watch with your QuickTime player, Flip 4 Mac makes it possible.
  6. Firefox and FireFTP: Apple's Safari is a fine browser, but it's not as customizable as Firefox. And my favorite Firefox plug-in is FireFTP, a clean and simple FTP client.
  7. Celtx: We no-budget filmmakers need to save money any way we can. Thank goodness for Celtx. It's a solid screenwriting app, and it's free. Which is to say, it's much more affordable than Final Draft.

If there are any cool free Mac apps I didn't mention, leave a comment and let me know about 'em.

One tech note: if you have a newer Mac and want to install the 64-bit version of Handbrake, you'll need a 64-bit version of VLC, available at:

1 comment:

juanblanco said...

Developer Tools
Mac The Ripper
Sequel Pro
NOAA Dashboard Widget