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Jacob Penderworth

Jacob is a freelance writer at his own blog and a few others across the Internet. In his free time, he listens to a lot of music, plays music, and takes photographs of amazing places. You can email him with inquiries, should you have any.

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There are a lot of apps to make your Mac faster. At least, ones that claim to do so. Most of them are either a waste of time, hard to use, or completely unnecessary. The best “cleaning” app I’ve ever come across is CleanMyMac, but it has its area of expertise, and some areas are out of its reach.

Whereas cleaning is typically in one arena and tweaking is in another, some apps are hybrids, apps that take on both sides of the fixing-your-Mac equation. 128bit Technologies’ MacOptimizer is just that. (more…)

News started on paper, then it went to the television, and now we have digital print. People still read the daily local newspaper and some even request a print edition of The New York Times or Wall Street Journal. It seems to be only a matter of time until print newspapers are completely discontinued. When it is, we’ll all be reading digital articles. So you may as well start finding a nice RSS reader, because it gets awfully tiring visiting all your favorite publications when you wake up.

I was looking around in the news section of the Mac App Store the other day and stumbled upon Leaf, a straightforward approach to news reading. After a bit of usage, I’ve gathered my thoughts on the app.

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When all the breaking news is on Twitter, it seems as if there’s no need for audio streams or radio stations any longer. NPR and BBC are still listened to by many, but how long will it be until they are no longer needed?

A new app called Hourly News wants to make sure radio reports stay around for a bit longer by putting them in your menu bar for a nice streaming experience. Shall we see what this app can do to keep us listening to radio news?

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Controlling music on an iPod has always been easy. The buttons are right there — there’s nothing more to it than that. When you look at most computers these days, that’s not the case. Some have media control buttons, some prefer to go with a special extra row of touch buttons, and others just don’t implement the idea into the keyboard well. Apple did it right with volume, play, pause, and skip buttons on the function row of its keyboards. The thing is, you can’t use those for, say, Pandora radio or YouTube because they’re in the browser.

Or can you? Tube Controller gives you full media key support for Google’s video website. Now let’s see how well that works compared to clicking and dragging. (more…)

I wasn’t one of those people who hated iTunes 11 right off the line, and was even fairly generous to it in my review. After a while, I just got used to the idea of a new — and improved, from Apple’s perspective — iTunes. All seemed well, until I started paying attention.

A few days ago I downloaded a new album from the iTunes Store on my iPhone: Daniel Bashta’s “The Invisible”. Since he’s one of my favorite artists, I purchased the album on the release date while on lunch break and listened to half of it. When I got home that night, I went to my Mac to transfer the music purchase so all my devices would be in sync. Of course, when I opened iTunes it wanted to download the LP and the entire album, but I paused it to shorten the process. To my surprise, the album did not transfer. My iPhone synced “successfully” and the album didn’t appear in my library. I then headed to the artist on my iPhone to find out what happened. The whole new album thing was gone.

But that was just the beginning. (more…)

Microblogging has become very popular thanks to Tumblr. The social network/microblogging service was founded in early 2007 by David Karp, accompanied by Marco Arment of Instapaper as the company’s lead developer. Since its launch, more than 86.8 million blogs have been created on Tumblr (as of late December 2012). It’s been going strong, and many people are happy with the service, but there’s always been one thing missing for some Mac users: a native app.

Now that’s no longer a problem, thanks to Yunseok Kim’s TumbleKit. (more…)

Macworld has always been a great place to network with your favorite app developers. There were even times when apple attended the conference and announced its own products. Now that those days have come and gone, it’s important to focus on the smaller companies, like Smile Software.

While at Macworld 2013, I spoke with Greg Scown and Jean MacDonald about the company’s history and latest developments. It’s the perfect follow-up to our previous interview with the company.

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Pictures capture moments, videos capture time. The former is valuable, yes, but the latter is its parent. Sadly, it’s not realistic for the average person to capture a beautiful sunrise in video that’s as high resolution as a photograph. That’s because not everyone has a Red camera. (For good reason: they’re priced in the tens of thousands, far out of the price range of the average consumer.) However, you can always make a time-lapse: a series of images taken seconds (2–30) apart and then merged to form a beautiful moving picture.

Time-lapses are a fascinating concept, and also one of the best ways to show someone what a scene looks like because you can get a larger aperture and use fancy 10mm lenses. Since it’s captured differently than a video — there are less frames per second — you are able to get a much higher resolution, so you can edit and crop things to your liking. Time-lapses are perfect for constellation movements and you’ve probably seen a lot of them around Vimeo. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own, Sequence may just be the best app for that. (more…)

The holidays have come and passed and here we are again with those trusty deals for the week. You would think that cheap prices didn’t live through the end of the winter holidays, but they have. We’ve got some utilities, text editors, and music players waiting for you after the break. (more…)

It was a premature spring day in March of 2011 that users began downloading Bloom Built’s Day One en masse from the Mac App Store. People initially reacted by asking for more features and bug fixes, as the comments in our review later in the month of March show. It’s not that they didn’t like the app at all, but rather that it was incomplete for what it was meant to be. The majority asked for something that was not being delivered — something that arrived a month later: search.

Now, 20 months after the release of version 1.0 on the Mac App Store, I’d like to take another in-depth look at the features Day One has adopted since we last told you about it.

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