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Paula DuPont

Paula DuPont is a New Orleans-based ukulele player, writer, and geek. She has six cats, but only one has a Twitter account.

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There are lots of RSS readers in the App Store, and with each release, it seems they’re each more feature-rich and impressive. What if you don’t need all of the bells and whistles and the sometimes hefty price tag? What if you just need to know when the sites you’re interested in get an update?

NewsBee, more or less just a menubar app that links to your favorite sites, may be the answer. It’s not really an RSS reader, since you can’t actually read anything in NewsBee. Instead, it aggregates the titles and links of all the most recent posts of a particular site. But is NewsBee just enough for a menubar RSS app or not even close? (more…)

I’m always looking for apps to make things easier and make my workflow run more smoothly. Especially when I’m repeatedly opening the same document or the same website, over and over again, I want to make what I’m doing less of a chore. I stick things on my Dock or in my bookmarks bar, but then I just end up with a lot of clutter. What I need is workflow help that goes unseen until I really need it.

RocketShip may be the app I’ve been looking for. It allows users to create shortcuts to just about anything, including applications and URLs. Instead of clicking an icon in your Dock or on your menubar, you get there by typing a keystroke you created yourself. Can RocketShip save me the time, and most of all the stopping and starting, of switching among applications and websites all day? (more…)

I have a lot of music, as most of us do, and I need to keep my music organized. I download and import music from lots of different places, so my music files end up tagged with all sorts of different genres, artist and song titles are garbled, and they get all kinds of comments stuck on them. It can be a burden to clean all that up.

Yate, an audio file tagging app, can edit metadata and get all your music organized the way you want it. We’ll try editing a few files, see if Yate stands up, and find out whether it can really clean up the mess of your iTunes library. (more…)

QR codes are kind of ubiquitous now, but they all sort of look the same. For the most part, you can expect a QR code to be black and squarish, boring and samey. If you want something that looks really special, you’re on your own.

Until now. iQR Codes helps you create interesting and attractive QR codes that you can stick just about anywhere. That’s not all, though; iQR Codes will help you make lots of different kinds of codes. From contact cards to URLs to maps and more, iQR Codes has you covered. (more…)

There are a lot of cloud sharing services, but most of them either have pretty strict limits on file size or require you create an account and buy storage space. The free filesharing services used to transfer larger files, while great in a browser, have typically lacked desktop clients. Either chopping a file up into multiple parts to share via an app or opening your browser to upload a file would both break your workflow.

Drip, a menubar app to accompany SendSpace, is trying to piece your workflow back together. Giving you access to SendSpace right in the menubar, Drip allows you to share large files seamlessly. But can Drip make a splash or will it get lost in the sea of cloud sharing apps? (more…)

Puzzle games are everywhere, and it can be hard to find something new that you love and can connect with. Fortunately Fractal: Make Blooms Not War burst onto the scene and gave us an engaging puzzler with a new spin on matching and board-clearing games. An attractive interface and inventive gameplay make this one not to be missed.

What sets Fractal apart from other matching games like Bejeweled, though? We’ll answer that, look at what makes Fractal such a special game, and go over a few tips for getting started. (more…)

I’ve tried more than a few Facebook menubar apps, because while I want to keep in touch, I don’t want to be constantly refreshing a browser or checking a separate window. It throws off my workflow and I inevitably end up playing Farmville, even if I just went there to look at a picture of a panda waving.

Keeping me off Facebook and on task is Glow for FB. It notifies me whenever something happens, but unlike a lot of other Facebook menubar apps, I can’t update my status or browse my News Feed. Glow removes that temptation while still keeping me connected. With this week’s release of Mac OS X 10.8.2 and new Facebook integration, though, there may not be a lot of use for Glow in the future. We’ll take a look and see if it has anything special to offer. (more…)

You’ve probably gotten invited to more than your share of Facebook events, and if you’re like me, you tend to lose track of them fairly quickly. Either you RSVP that you can’t make it, and when you change your mind, you can’t find the event to save your life, or you did let the organizer know you’d be coming but promptly forgot until Facebook reminded you the day of the event.

With seemingly everyone using Facebook events to plan everything from baby showers to beauty pageants, I’ve thought there has to be a better way. So did the developers of Going, a menubar app that keeps track of all your Facebook events for you and even syncs up with Calendar. With the ability to RSVP, create events, and event post to Facebook, is there anything Going can’t do? (more…)

If you want to store your notes in the cloud, but haven’t clicked with Simplenote and are looking for a better solution than a TextEdit file in your Dropbox folder, CloudJot may be the note syncing app you’ve been waiting for. It keeps your notes close at hand, both on your desktop and in your menubar, while always staying synced to Dropbox.

Is CloudJot as robust as the Simplenote apps we’ve reviewed? Or is it a gimmick playing to Dropbox’s popularity? We’ll see how well CloudJot shapes up as a quick note-taking app while testing it’s syncing chops. (more…)

There’s a lot of music all over the internet, which is great, except that it’s in a lot of different places. If you want to listen to something on YouTube, something on SoundCloud, and something in your iTunes library, you’re going to need at least two browser tabs open along with iTunes. And if you want to create a playlist, you’re going to have a job of work getting all those tracks in one place.

Enter CloudPlay, a menubar app for streaming music from all over. Currently in beta, CloudPlay lets you search for music from lots of different sources and then pop it all into one playlist. We’ll take a look at how the app works and find out if it’s really that easy. (more…)

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