Saturday, January 01, 2011

Essential Free Mac Applications

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Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010Unless you built yourself a Hackintosh, Macs can be get pretty expensive. Fortunately, some of the best Mac software costs you absolutely nothing. Here's a look at the most popular, free Mac downloads for 2010.

VLC 1.1 Brings Hardware Acceleration and Lighter Operation to Media Playing

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

VLC's been around for awhile, playing basically any media file you can throw at it, but things got especially good on the Mac with version 1.1. This update brought hardware video acceleration, support for the the open WebM video standard, and making it extra fast. If you're not up-to-date on your VLC knowledge, you can go through our full VLC coverage, spanning more than just a Mac to give you VLC playback support on other Apple devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

VirtualBox 3.2 Beta Virtualizes Mac OS X (On Macs)

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

VirtualBox is a free solution for putting a virtual Mac on Mac. Why might you want to do this? If you want to test a thing or two on a Mac without putting your own system at risk, a virtual machine is an excellent solution. It's also extremely useful for Hackintoshers who want to test specific settings. Whatever reason you have for needing a virtual Mac in a Mac, VirtualBox is a great, free solution.

Kylo Is a Big-Screen, TV-Optimized Web Browser

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

Maybe you've got a Mac mini hooked up to your TV and you want to use it for more than just playing videos. Kylo makes web browsing a lot easier with its TV-optimized user interface. Everything is a bit bigger than you'd actually like it on your laptop or desktop, but those big buttons and couch-friendly features make browsing a lot easier in the living room.

MakeMKV Rips DVDs and Blu-Rays with Just Two Clicks

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

There is still no official Blu-ray support on the Mac, which is extremely frustrating for some. Nonetheless, if you're intent on ripping your Blu-rays to high quality MKV files, MakeMKV will do the trick. It's very straightforward and surprisingly quick. It's also pretty much your only option—if you need to rip Blu-rays—so be very glad it exists.

MediaRover Is Push Sync for Your iTunes Libraries

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

While I wouldn't call MediaRover the holy grail of iTunes sync, it is free and pretty great. Media Rover lets you take multiple machines (both Macs and PCs) and sync your music between them all. It only works on your local network and needs a network-attached storage device or central Mac to act as your iTunes hub, but if all of that works for you then MediaRover will too.

HyperDock Brings Window Previews, Other Dock Enhancements to OS X

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

Apple likes to criticize Microsoft for copying user interface elements from OS X, but lately Microsoft's come up with a few gems of their own. One of the more popular user interface features in Windows 7 is Aero Peek, letting you hover over a minimized application and quickly get a preview of the open windows. If you'd like to have a little Aero Peek on your Mac, HyperDock can provide. In addition to peeking at your docked application's windows, it also provides a number of window management features as well.

Perian Makes Nearly Every Video Playable in QuickTime

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

If VLC were a plug-in for QuickTime it would be Perian. While Perian isn't quite as versatile as VLC, if you prefer the minimalist, attractive interface that QuickTime Player provides you'll really appreciate Perian. All you have to do is install it and suddenly QuickTime will support a slew of new video formats. Even if you're like me and use VLC primarily, it's worth installing Perian anyhow for QuickLook support or for the occasional moment when you do use QuickTime Player instead.

CloudApp Instantly Shares Any File, Is My New Favorite Timesaver

Most Popular Free Mac Downloads of 2010

I have an obsession with menubar apps, since they're so tiny and offer some of the best, simple functionality. CloudApp exemplifies what's great about about great menubar apps, letting you quickly drag a file to the menubar and share it with anyone. It reduces file sharing to a single step and provides a great online interface for uploaded files.


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