by: Boyd Petersen
There are some wonderful free applications for your Mac out there. Most of the popular ones you probably already know about unless your a beginner user.
Below is a list of what I believe are some must have applications. Please feel free to share your own in the comments section.
One of the most annoying features of Mac is that when you drag an application that you no longer want to the trash it still leaves some files behind. Appcleaner solves this problem by deleting files associated with the application such as plist files. Simply open up appcleaner and drag an application into it and it will bring up a list of files associated with that app. Hit delete and your all good.
Handbrake is an open-source program to convert MPEG video (including DVD-Video) into an MPEG-4 video file. It is used to convert DVDs into other forms as well so they can be viewed on iPods, iPhones, and with most media players. Handbrake is one of the most popular apps out there for the Mac and gets rave reviews.
Media converter is a must have for converting files. You have a video you want to convert so it will play on your iPhone? No problem. Just drag and drop it and let the magic happen.
It can convert almost every input file your throw at it. It uses ffmpeg so a bunch of file formats are supported such as avi, wmv, mkv, rm, mov and more. Media Converter comes with presets to convert popular video and audio formats and you can fine tune these in Preferences.
I love it’s drag and drop interface. It makes it’s very fast and easy to use.
Formally known as Open Office this might be the best free app out there. Why? Because it’s a full productivity suite that gives you six applications. Don’t want to buy Microsoft Office or Apple iWork? No need to. Libre Office can pretty much do it all and it’s free and can save and open in multiple formats.
Included is: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.
Basically you will have a free alternative to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
Dropbox is my most used free application. I just absolutely love it. It allows you to access your files across multiple computers and devices and it just works beautifully.
The way I use it is I create a folder called Dropbox in my documents folder and then drag that dropbox folder over to my sidebar in finder. Then I just drag my documents and files over to it. You can treat it just like you would your documents folder on your hard drive. Create as many folders as you want.
Make sure to download dropbox to all the computers you want to keep in sync. Simply choose the folder (in my case it’s called dropbox) to keep in sync. I have it installed on my imac, macbook air, my windows pc, and my iphone. You can also get them by logging in on the web. Now when I drag a file over to my dropbox folder on my imac I can access that file on my windows pc under the same folder.
I don’t even store my documents on my hard drive anymore. I want to be able to access them anywhere. I pretty much just use my hard drive for photos, music and videos. Most documents don’t take up much space so I have been fine with the free amount provided.
Dropbox has many other powerful features as well. If you want even more free space then go ahead and download Memopal and Windows Live Mesh and you can treat them the same as Dropbox as you see in my finder window above. For example: You can use Dropbox for all your documents, Memopal for Music and Windows Live Mesh for Photos.
Disk Inventory X is a disk usage utility for Mac OS X 10.3 (and later). It shows the sizes of files and folders in a special graphical way called treemaps.
If you’ve ever wondered where all your disk space has gone, Disk Inventory X will help you to answer this question.
You may already be familiar with this one but if your not it allows you to remotely access a computer from the computer your on through the web browser. They even have iphone, ipad and android apps where you can access a remote computer using your phone or tablet.
I like to check in at work and pull up some things I need. I simply go to logmein.com and enter my username and password. It then shows me a list of available computers that I have set up to access remotely and it’s like I am sitting right there. The free version is fine for most people and if you want more features you can upgrade.
Gimp is a free alternative to Photoshop. It has a bunch of plug-ins and plenty of community help.
I will just take this snippet from the VLC website. I think it pretty much sums up how awesome this application is.
Simple, Powerful and Fast
Plays everything, Files, Discs (DVD, CD, VCD), Devices and Streams
Plays most codecs with no codec packs needed
Completely Free, 0 Spyware, Ads or User Tracking
Best Mpeg2, x264, DivX player
Works on most platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, Unix…
Media Converter and Streamer
This is probably the best torrent downloader out there for Mac.