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MacUpdate: App Reviews

older | 1 | .... | 78 | 79 | (Page 80)

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    BeaTunes is approachable as a general music playback app while remaining a robust and novel DJ library management utility that is initially unassuming for the novice but still expansive and delightful for the veteran. Its interface has a distinctly Apple vibe with its familiar 3-pane setup making it easy to navigate, but it’s dotted tastefully with with helpful, colorful information throughout. The hallmark feature of beaTunes is its ability to analyze your music and display BPM, musical key, and ‘color’, which is analogous to the mood of the song. Songs of the same or similar color sound great together; very different colors will be more jarring when played back to back. These are the most basic bits of analysis that you can have performed on your music, but for the true audiophile that wants to emphasize the particulars, there is a world of granularity lying just under the surface. Your first launch of beaTunes will be the most time-intensive one as it scans your library and analyzes each track with an ear for a series of information. beaTunes is an all-in-one master of your library, able to edit and update metadata as easily as it offers a semantic breakdown of a song’s structure. For the perfectionist DJ, volume levels are at hand to avoid any jarring volume transitions, song key is at hand to ensure a harmonious set, and color is made obvious to keep the mood going in the right direction. And for a user just trying to make an action or event specific playlist, beaTunes is the perfect option as it takes all the guesswork out of playlist creation, offering up great suggestions and crucial information to give you variety that works beautifully and seamlessly. Whether you need an iTunes library helper or a full-featured DJ library utility, beaTunes is poised to help just about anyone.

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    BeaTunes is approachable as a general music playback app while remaining a robust and novel DJ library management utility that is initially unassuming for the novice but still expansive and delightful for the veteran. Its interface has a distinctly Apple vibe with its familiar 3-pane setup making it easy to navigate, but it’s dotted tastefully with with helpful, colorful information throughout. The hallmark feature of beaTunes is its ability to analyze your music and display BPM, musical key, and ‘color’, which is analogous to the mood of the song. Songs of the same or similar color sound great together; very different colors will be more jarring when played back to back. These are the most basic bits of analysis that you can have performed on your music, but for the true audiophile that wants to emphasize the particulars, there is a world of granularity lying just under the surface. Your first launch of beaTunes will be the most time-intensive one as it scans your library and analyzes each track with an ear for a series of information. beaTunes is an all-in-one master of your library, able to edit and update metadata as easily as it offers a semantic breakdown of a song’s structure. For the perfectionist DJ, volume levels are at hand to avoid any jarring volume transitions, song key is at hand to ensure a harmonious set, and color is made obvious to keep the mood going in the right direction. And for a user just trying to make an action or event specific playlist, beaTunes is the perfect option as it takes all the guesswork out of playlist creation, offering up great suggestions and crucial information to give you variety that works beautifully and seamlessly. Whether you need an iTunes library helper or a full-featured DJ library utility, beaTunes is poised to help just about anyone.

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    CloudMagic Email is a beautiful hybrid application: at its core, it’s a full-fledged email application in the vein of Airmail, Mailbox, and many other 3rd party apps, but it comes in a package that is reminiscent of minimalist word processing apps like iA Writer, Byword, or Ulysses. Most mail applications focus on organization, labeling, and other general mailbox maintenance pursuits, while leaving the email composition step as a seeming afterthought, peripheral to the application. CloudMagic Email flips the script by putting serious thought into the way the application looks and feels when you’re actually composing an email. It does so to the extent that the application could legitimately stand in as a word processor for many users — no minor claim, given the wealth of word processing options available these days. But that’s not to say that CloudMagic Email skimps on mailbox management. A wealth of intuitive gestures and neat tricks make it as worthy an option as any of its direct competitors, meaning you’re not sacrificing quality for an attractive feature. Because it began as an iOS application, CloudMagic Email delivers a forward-thinking interface that is at once informed by the simplicity expected of an iOS app, and the greater range of freedom that is afforded by the Mac environment. This developmental decision-making comes through beautifully, as the iOS app is geared towards quick, simple replies while the Mac app is designed for longer form, thoughtful responses, and their respective interfaces and feature sets are geared towards these causes. It’s a new Mac app being robustly developed, so there’s much more to come, but as an initial offering, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better email client.

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    SongKong is an automated tagger for your music collection. As music listeners gain access to what increasingly feels like every song ever, the notion of a collection of music begins to feel remote. When listening to music means logging into a streaming service and wandering around a limitless selection of music, the sentimental connection between the listener and the song is minimized. So while SongKong is just a music tagger and organizer – and a very powerful one, at that – it does more than just bring order to some files; it cares for things that really mean something on your Mac. And luckily, SongKong is up to the task of maintaining your music. Simply point the app at your music folder and go step-by-step through SongKong’s clear workflow to get your music cleaned up. Each section of SongKong’s workflow couldn’t be clearer; all of its tweaks are out on the table, and the user gets to treat their music collection exactly as they’d like. SongKong fills in the gaps that bubble up when music is imported from a multitude of sources. Users with vinyl collections will love SongKong for ripping their records to their Mac because SongKong can fill in the missing metadata in a snap. And by setting it up to continuously monitor particular folders, you can grow your collection without heaping cleanup work on yourself. Keep your music collection in pristine condition with SongKong.

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    iShowU Instant is a remarkably capable application that gets you from on-screen action on your Mac or iOS device to full-fledged screen recording production in just a few quick steps. With a handful of unexpectedly useful features, iShowU Instant delivers an experience that far surpasses what you might expect from an app in its price range. Particularly useful is iShowU Instant's audio processing capabilities, which allow you to boost or fill out recorded audio whether it's coming from your Mac or from your microphone. You wouldn't think to focus on audio when producing a screen recording, but you end up with a strikingly professional polished product. Area selection is deceptively feature-packed as well, letting you select entire application windows and accommodating pixel perfect nudges when hand selecting a portion of your screen. And once the recording is complete, iShowU Instant's built-in editing features are as intuitive as iMovie with simple, straightforward options to round out your project with precision. Basic and Advanced recording modes give you varying degrees of control over your final product, including how your screen is captured and how the recording is shared. The app's trial mode leaves nothing to the imagination, so go ahead and give it a shot!

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    Vitamin-R is an all-in-one task management powerhouse. At first glance, it’s a simple time keeper, affording the user the ability to quickly and easily time their work session. You can extend your time block if the task isn’t over or enter a break period – easy and straightforward. The fuss-free time keeping interface is reason enough to give Vitamin-R a shot, but it’s what the app offers after the “time slice” is complete that makes it shine. The Now & Later board is the perfect space for capturing transient thoughts, and it’ll propel you through your task rather than bog you down with bells and whistles. Ingenious templates give you a place to comment on your in-progress task, linking one session to the next, encouraging reflection and improvement as you proceed through your time slices. The ‘Tools’ section of the app is a revelation, as it gives you an enhanced perspective of your ability to focus through a statistics view, as well as a running history of completed tasks in a log; these two sections of the app are tucked away just enough to sit out of sight of users that are trying to get work done with minimal friction, but at hand enough for the true power user to get great insight on their self and their work. And the noise machine is a delightful, unexpected addition, creating a soft bed of noise to drown out distractions and keep you on task. If given the opportunity, Vitamin-R will surprise you over and over again, making you increasingly productive with diminishing amounts of effort.

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    BeaTunes is approachable as a general music playback app while remaining a robust and novel DJ library management utility that is initially unassuming for the novice but still expansive and delightful for the veteran. Its interface has a distinctly Apple vibe with its familiar 3-pane setup making it easy to navigate, but it’s dotted tastefully with with helpful, colorful information throughout. The hallmark feature of beaTunes is its ability to analyze your music and display BPM, musical key, and ‘color’, which is analogous to the mood of the song. Songs of the same or similar color sound great together; very different colors will be more jarring when played back to back. These are the most basic bits of analysis that you can have performed on your music, but for the true audiophile that wants to emphasize the particulars, there is a world of granularity lying just under the surface. Your first launch of beaTunes will be the most time-intensive one as it scans your library and analyzes each track with an ear for a series of information. beaTunes is an all-in-one master of your library, able to edit and update metadata as easily as it offers a semantic breakdown of a song’s structure. For the perfectionist DJ, volume levels are at hand to avoid any jarring volume transitions, song key is at hand to ensure a harmonious set, and color is made obvious to keep the mood going in the right direction. And for a user just trying to make an action or event specific playlist, beaTunes is the perfect option as it takes all the guesswork out of playlist creation, offering up great suggestions and crucial information to give you variety that works beautifully and seamlessly. Whether you need an iTunes library helper or a full-featured DJ library utility, beaTunes is poised to help just about anyone.

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    LaunchBar is often grouped with most file launchers, but it’s really a full productivity suite shrunken down into a single-line search bar interface. While it’s true that the most common system-level actions can be completed through LaunchBar, the utility shines when you bend it to your will, performing actions that you wouldn’t expect from an app launcher. As soon as you replace Spotlight with LaunchBar as the default for ⌘-Space, your clipboard history is at your fingertips, along with a URL launcher, calculator, URL converter, file metadata viewer, and so much more.

    LaunchBar truly shines when you take it a step beyond its conceivable limit. One of OS X’s great draws has always been its intuitive drag-and-drop fluidity, but LaunchBar folds that complexity into itself, letting you do it all – copy/move files across your file structure, open specific files in particular apps – from a single place, one common launch point that can send you anywhere you’d like. Extensive contextual menus unfold and direct you along your way as you navigate the expansive feature set that LaunchBar offers, meaning you’re simultaneously guided along the path you expect, and tempted to take a detour when you realize it can do something completely unexpected and new. It’s an app that reveals itself in new ways over time, easing you into its simplest features and blowing your mind if you give it a chance. When you get used to LaunchBar, any other computer without it feels like its missing the glue that holds everything together.

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    SongKong is an automated tagger for your music collection. As music listeners gain access to what increasingly feels like every song ever, the notion of a collection of music begins to feel remote. When listening to music means logging into a streaming service and wandering around a limitless selection of music, the sentimental connection between the listener and the song is minimized. So while SongKong is just a music tagger and organizer – and a very powerful one, at that – it does more than just bring order to some files; it cares for things that really mean something on your Mac. And luckily, SongKong is up to the task of maintaining your music. Simply point the app at your music folder and go step-by-step through SongKong’s clear workflow to get your music cleaned up. Each section of SongKong’s workflow couldn’t be clearer; all of its tweaks are out on the table, and the user gets to treat their music collection exactly as they’d like. SongKong fills in the gaps that bubble up when music is imported from a multitude of sources. Users with vinyl collections will love SongKong for ripping their records to their Mac because SongKong can fill in the missing metadata in a snap. And by setting it up to continuously monitor particular folders, you can grow your collection without heaping cleanup work on yourself. Keep your music collection in pristine condition with SongKong.

    Read more]]>

older | 1 | .... | 78 | 79 | (Page 80)