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Justin Woodbridge

Justin Woodbridge is a mac-obsessed freelance writer/budding web designer from Cleveland. He has a slight Internet problem, and loves to write about good software and all things Apple. Check out his blog, Macafarian Ramblings and follow him on Twitter.

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Imagine your files and folders sitting in a Finder window. It’s simple, and there’s no clutter. The only information you have about them is the name underneath. Of course we both know that there’s more to learn about each file. Much more!

Picture that all the “metadata” for a file or folder is engraved on it – unique – just like our finger prints. You’d need a magnifying glass to see it all. Let me introduce you to your magnifying glass: the “Get Info” Pane.

In this article I’ll introduce you to it, take you through a tour, and give some helpful hints along the way.

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Burning files to CD or DVD, although gradually becoming an outdated practice, is still a necessary function for many people. Mac OS X comes bundled with some basic disc writing capabilities in iTunes and the Finder, however these options do not give you full control over some of the finer details of burning to optical media

Today I’ll be reviewing the free, open-source burning application (aptly named) Burn. Although keeping things simple on the surface, Burn packs quite a bit of useful power and custom functionality under the hood.

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When iTunes was first introduced, it was lean, trim, and efficient. It was focused and to the point. However, as the version number has grown, iTunes now manages, plays, and purchases your movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts.

It’s a mammoth of an application, especially for those of us on a basic MacBook (yours truly). When you just want to play your media, iTunes can be overkill. A simple player is what you need, and Everplay aims to be that player.

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Compared to Word and TextEdit, Bean is a happy, open-source alternative. It has more features than TextEdit, though not enough to be a full-fledged word processor. But that’s the point.

Like every good app, Bean has a story. Its creator, James Hoover loved to write. His tool was Microsoft Office X, which started to leave a bad taste in his mouth. Seeking a tool that “Worked like he did,” he began to research what a good writing tool should have, seeking something that worked for him. And now we have the result of that process – Bean.

In this article I’ll go over what’s included in Bean, how it implements the basic features a text editor should have, and determine whether it really is worth using.

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The first words that jump into my mind when I think about the iTunes controller market are “over saturated.” That said, many of them skimp on the features, and lack a little design polish. Only a handful of them do their job well, and only a few of those do it with style.

CoverSutra by Sophiestication software is my personal favorite iTunes controller. I’m going to detail why I chose it over the other controllers out there, and highlight a few of the features that make it particularly unique.

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Keeping media on your computer has some great benefits. Watching movies directly from your hard drive saves battery life. DVDs scratch easily, so backing up lets you have some peace of mind.

Now here’s the problem: You don’t have any visual cues as to what is what. Rather than looking for the covers and cases you know so well, you must rely on the same sterile document icon (or preview of the first scene of the movie if you have icon previews on) and the small label underneath.

SlipCover, from Bohemian Coding is a free solution for this little problem. Today I’ll show you SlipCover and it’s features, as well as how and where to find cases to expand SlipCover’s Repertoire.

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When it comes to task managing applications, I’ve tried them all. The Hit List, Things, Omnifocus etc. But I just couldn’t get myself into a system that worked. For a while I turned to .txt files. Simple and ultra-portable.

And then I found TaskPaper. TaskPaper is basically steroids-driven .txt file. After testing it for a while, I think I’ve found an application that will stick.

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Every day you process loads of information: due dates, notes to self, phone numbers, and serial numbers to name a few. Almost all of this information is miscellaneous, and has no real place to go.

What usually happens is one of the following: a) Your desk is yellow from sticky notes or b) your computer’s desktop and your folder hierarchy are bogged down with the virtual post-it note, text files. What’s needed is an easy to follow system, that you can easily reference.

VoodoPad from Flying Meat Software is a text editor rolled into a personal wiki. It’s a place to dump all your information, no matter how obscure. File types are not an object either; pictures, folders, PDFs, URLs, and applications all can be put in your VoodooPad. This application is elastic, it can stretch to meet your needs, and shrink accordingly. (more…)

Apple first introduced the MacBook Air in 2008. Other than its thinness (and its ability to fit inside a manilla envelope) it brought a multi-touch trackpad, similar to the iPhone. Since then, the unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro have received the trackpad makeover. The trackpad seems very useful, and it is; when you are in a gesture-supported application. For me, my trackpad’s abilities fade into the background. Most of the apps I work in do not support them.

Until I discovered MultiClutch, a preference pane extension that lets you set up trackpad gestures for any application. In this tutorial I will show you the basics of setting up gestures in Multi Clutch, as well as some ideas for different uses.

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