Free, open-source video transcoder. It just works and has some reasonable default template settings for the non-technically literate (like me).
Apple provides plenty of free software to get you started with a new Mac. But there are some gaps, and a number of the firm's own freebies have been improved upon by some equally inexpensive alternatives. Here, then, is our selection of the ten apps you should download onto every new Mac you buy. RH Numbers Adium Adium is …
I haven't had to bother with the Stuffit signup annoyances ever since I discovered "The Unarchiver", which handles at least as many formats (if not more) and is free and open source. The author seems readily available on his site to take bug reports and feature requests too, not that bugs seem too common.
Monolingual is a great way to save some disk space, but beware, it can completely break your Office suite. After using Monolingual, Word 2008 became extremely unstable for me (crashing every few minutes), and the Auto Update procedure ceased to work.
A Time Machine backup saved the day, at the cost of several hours productivity.
If there's only room for one video-transcoding utility in this list, I would probably choose Handbrake over MPEG Streamclip - partly because it looks a little more user-friendly, but mostly because it includes a lot of device-specific presets (iPod, etc.), and does DVD ripping.
That said, I haven't looked at MPEG Streamclip for a while, so perhaps it's time to get reacquainted :-) Many thanks for a very handy list, which I'll probably be working through over the next few weeks...
eh ? You can use time machine to restore onto a fresh HD no problem.
In fact, not only that, but i have even restored a mac mini time machine backup onto a freshly formatted macbook air drive (to save me the hassle of sticking all my apps onto it again).
including 'everything' as you say - apps, updates, my data, etc, etc.
Was surprised with with different underlying hardware it worked at all, but work it does with no issues whatsoever.*
I tried CCC and it failed twice, and since then I've stuck with time machine.
you just book off osx disk - select disk utility, restore from time machine, and 10 minutes later all is well.
* I've even restored the same backup with all my apps onto a snow leopard MBP (the mac mini is leopard), and told it just to move apps across - rather optimistic this, as they are all being moved across to a different OS entirely (64 bit, etc)... and blow me, if that just didn't just work too - saving me hours and hours of reinstalling and configuring all my apps and utilities.
Great collector and sorter of information, from personal notes, web cam shots, random images, screen shots, web pages, and scanned text - with limited OCR function. Your data is stored in the cloud and the app is cross platform, with several mobile versions. Free account gives you 45mb monthly upload allowance.
Another vote for Handbrake here. You need to install VLC for it to work fully, but once that's done, it's fantastic.
Handbrake can rip from DVDs or transcode from most other video formats. Where it scores over MPEG StreamClip is in ease of use. In particular, the presets will give you great quality output for iPods, iPhones, Apple TVs, whatever in a single click. With MPEG SC you have to know a bit about what you're doing.
There are certain things that MPEG SC is useful for (which is why I have it too), such as joining two H.264 movies into a single .mov or .m4v container (without hours of transcoding). Plus, a few MKV or other source files will crash Handbrake but work with MPEG SC. But, outside of these rare occasions, I use Handbrake every time.
I'd also pair it with MetaX for correctly tagging (including chapter names) your TV and movie files. They integrate quite nicely (and your Mac moos when it finishes -- what more could you want?)
Keka (http://www.kekaosx.com/en/): for decompressing files, just runs in the background.
Cyberduck (http://cyberduck.ch/): for SFTP chores
Flip4Mac (http://www.telestream.net/flip4mac-wmv/overview.htm): play WMV on mac, also has a paid for pro version for doing other stuff.
Perian (http://perian.org/): codecs galore for QuickTime
Opera (http://www.opera.com/): Opera web browser :)
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Insomnia is pretty awesome - I close the lid of my laptop all the time, and I'd rather that my ssh sessions stay connected.
To fully correct the bizarre power behaviour on your average mac laptop, this command:
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 1
Will turn 'sleep' mode into suspend-to-disk, instead of suspend-to-ram. You'll want to use that one w/ Insomnia to prevent a hibernate every time you close the lid, however.
Tiny, efficient torrenting app. Can't live without it!
I'm confused by your claim that Time Machine can't restore apps, though - of course it can! When I got my new iMac, I simply used Time Machine to restore from my external HDD that had a backup from my MacBook (with a previous version of the OS, no less). Restored files, OS setup, applications, everything - but with the new OS.
Absolutely amazing in my opinion. Sure, Time Machine is short on options - but after using it for a while I now understand why; it just works!
This free plug-in gives codec support to QuickTime for all major video formats, including OGG and MKV, as well as subtitle support. While it is a close second to VLC for its formats, the fact that it integrates into QuickTime and therefore exports videos is a huge boon.
Side note: The Squared 5 MPEG Streamclip download link is broken.
I cannot take this list seriously as it does not include Quicksilver. I put it at number one. It is quite brilliant and has completely changed how I use my mac. I ignore the Dock and have no desktop icons. I can open any file, program, address, mail recipient or just about anything else with half a dozen keystrokes.
If you have a Mac install it now and soend a few hours playing with it and learning. If you have Ubuntu 10.4 there is a very passable clone.
OpenVPN client for Mac OS X, allows you to use an OpenVPN server without knowing anything about OpenVPN and just double-clicking on the .ovpn config file provided by VPN providers. In the days of increased spying activity - which even though Labour are out of government will still linger for too long, privacy is important.
TunnelBrick is free, while the better Viscosity (http://www.viscosityvpn.com) is $7.
Little Snitch controls what information can be sent from your machine to the internet. All sorts of things try to phone home on your bandwidth. With Snitch, you get the say about which do and which don't. It should make it much harder for people to get into from your computer. Not free, but not costly either.
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