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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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iTunes is probably one of the most used applications on Mac. It comes pre-installed, plays music well, and has the iTunes Store where many people shop for new music. It’s the way we manage our iPods, iPhones, and iPads, lets us watch movies, listen to music, and more. It’s priceless to many first-time Mac users, even if it does have a few flaws.

Of course, there are those who enjoy alternatives. While iTunes should still be used for syncing one’s library to an iPod or iOS device, a lot of third-party substitutes do a fine job of playing music and other content. A more beautiful way to play music is something the Mac could use — iTunes isn’t really the most aesthetically pleasing right now — and until the iTunes 11 update is released, why not take a look at the additional solutions? (more…)

Apple introduced FaceTime on June 7, 2010, and released it with the iPhone 4 later that month. Later that year, Apple announced a Mac version of the service, but put it in beta and the final version was released in February 2011. People didn’t know what to think of this new way to communicate. Video chat was nice, yes, but most people use Skype, so what was the purpose of Apple’s own solution? To connect all Apple users with video chat, apparently.

The aim of FaceTime seems too simple, too limited. There wasn’t a lot of hype surrounding its launch because most people didn’t see themselves using it on a daily basis. What was this service lacking and what could it benefit from gaining? A few suggestions are available after the break. (more…)

Welcome to this week’s issue of App Deals. There are a lot of great apps floating around the sales racks, including Boom, Typeli Notes, and Quake 4. Keep reading for the full list of deals. (more…)

Photography can often be a troubling trade when little things don’t go according to plan. After all, if you only have one chance to take a photo, you had better get a good one. Post processing has become a big part of modern photography, from amateur tools like Snapseed to more professional apps Photoshop, Aperture, or the increasingly popular Lightroom.

But simply owning Photoshop or Aperture isn’t enough. You must keep it up to date and use the best plugins for your trade. I’ve been doing a lot of concert photography lately, so I decided it was time I got a better way of reducing noise (a high ISO is required with my fairly slow lens). Imagenomic’s solution, Noiseware, seemed most appropriate, so I began with the 30-day trial. During that time, it was useful enough to sell me on getting a full license. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this plugin better than Photoshop’s built-in noise moderation.

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The Mac App Store is rife with price cuts this week, so come take your bounty from Mac.AppStorm’s deals. (more…)

This Week in Mac News is a new column we’re now publishing each Saturday, rounding up the latest Mac and Apple news. Just the fact here; no rumors. See, rumors are expensive, so we’ll stick to the facts.

Welcome to the first edition of This Week in Mac News. There’s so much going on in in the world of Apple, beyond just regular app updates, we wanted to be able to help our readers stay a bit more informed about what’s going on without having to trace down every rumor and Apple press release. That’s why we’ve started this new column, and we hope you enjoy reading. Let us know your thoughts about it and if there’s anything we’ve missed in the comments below.

With that out of the way, let’s get started with this week’s news. Briefly, Apple released a OS X 10.8.2 and 10.7.5 supplemental update with bug fixes, the company’s fourth quarter earnings will be announced on October 25, and Ping closed at 11:59 p.m. September 30. Keep reading for full coverage of these topics. (more…)

The Mac App Store is rife with price cuts this week, so come take your bounty from Mac.AppStorm’s deals.

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In the past few months, I’ve found myself looking for a better way to take note of things. Right now, I’m using Simplenote, but just the Web app and not a native one. So that means there’s no Launchpad icon unless I use something like Fluid, which I really don’t want to do at this juncture since I already have too many little Web apps in my collection. To that end, I turned to the Mac App Store.

Welcoming me was Notefile. It was sitting happily in the New and Noteworthy with no user ratings, so I thought I’d give it a try. As always, you’re going to be wondering whether it’s worth the $4.99 and your time. Carry on reading to find out. (more…)

On a fine summer day this year, I stood in front of my MacBook Air — yes, sitting had become tiresome — thinking of a way to make my process of reviewing apps better. Sure, there are lots of ways my workflow could be improved, but I had one element in particular that kept me from being a pedant: the unobtainable icons for iOS apps. I could review whatever I wanted, but how was I to get a quality 200 x 200 pixel image? I thought about it a bit and to no avail, then pushed on to another task that needed attention.

A few weeks following the transpiration of said events, I happened upon Retina Mac Apps, my new favorite place to discover quality Mac apps. Among the collection of beautiful icons was Pragmatic Code’s Crunch, an app that stood out by having an icon closely resembling the well-known home button found on iOS devices. I wondered, why would a Mac app have such an icon? After a bit of reading, I realized that this was the very app I had been searching for weeks before. So I downloaded it and have been using it regularly. If the idea of this app sounds like something you see yourself using, keep reading for a assiduous appraisal of the app and its worth. (more…)

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