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Zach LeBar

Zach LeBar is a freelance web and graphic designer. Billing himself as a web craftsman, he takes great pride in his work, giving time and attention to the details and nuance of what he builds. Zach also dabbles in the world of amateur photography, and has a passion for writing. He's written for Mac.AppStorm, Web.AppStorm, and is always yammering on over at his blog.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on June 16th, 2011.

Do note: this video screencast is only in Flash, so you won’t be able to view it on your iOS device. Sorry!

In this, the next installment in our series on iMovie ’11, we’re going to take a look at adding assets to your iMovie projects. What do I mean by assets? Well, in truth, the video clips themselves could be considered assets. But we’ve already gone over how to add those to a project, and even how to splice them together to start to form a movie. What I call assets are anything you add to a movie that isn’t a video clip. I’m talking about images, audio, titles, transitions. All of those things that can help flesh out what would otherwise be just home movie footage into a work of film.

Ok, so maybe your plans aren’t quite that grandiose. But I think you get the idea. So, sit back and watch as I show you how to add these things in iMovie, and how they can take your next project to the next level.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on April 20th, 2011.

Do note: this video screencast is only in Flash, so you won’t be able to view it on your iOS device. Sorry!

Bundled with every new Mac is the iLife suite of apps. iLife promises an exciting and fulfilling digital experience, one that integrates your Mac into your day-to-day life. But having the program is only half the battle – the hardest part is knowing how to use it!

Today’s screencast overview will walk you through using iMovie for the first time, how to create your first project, and how to import in your video. Let’s get started!

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Git. If you hail from the US, perhaps you’re thinking of the word “get” being said with a southern accent. Or if you’re from the UK then maybe you’re thinking of the rather unpleasant slang term.

I don’t mean either. I’m talking about the distributed version control system called Git. Or more specifically, I’m speaking of the hosted version of that software known as GitHub.

What’s GitHub you ask? And why are we talking about it on Mac.AppStorm? Well, the answer to the fist question is a bit long, so if you’ll humor me, I’ll address the second question first: we’re discussing Git and GitHub because the fine folks at GitHub have released a Mac app. And that’s what we’re all about here at Mac.AppStorm. So before we dive into GitHub for Mac, allow me to briefly explain just what Git is in the first place.

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Who here likes music? Yep, that’s what I thought, everybody. Some might go so far as to say, it’s what makes us — or at times perhaps keeps us — human.

Music tastes are as diverse as we ourselves. And we seem to be constantly on the prowl for more. Enterprising people noticed this fact, and decided to see what they could do in the world of web apps to help satisfy this constant need.

One such web app which appeared was Last.fm. And while its extensive feature set isn’t the topic of today’s article, one interesting feature of Last.fm is scrobbling. Scrobbling is a unique aspect to the Last.fm music streaming service, and for a lot of people, its best feature.

But this is 2012, a decade since Last.fm launched, and there are a myriad of music streaming services today. But none of them have tried to duplicate Last.fm’s scrobbling functionality, or the in-depth statistics that it generates. Why? Well, I suspect a big reason is that Last.fm has an API that allows developers to tie into Last.fm’s scrobbling service. Today we have for you seven Mac apps that support Last.fm’s scrobbling API.

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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on Feb 22nd, 2011.

It’s that item in your iTunes sidebar, fourth from the top. The one that looks like a little figure, with weird circles radiating around him? You click on it, and iTunes tells you this is where Podcasts live. If it’s the first time you’ve explored this little crevice of iTunes, you’re given a nice little explanation of what a podcast is, where you can find one, and how iTunes will help you to enjoy them.

But there’s still one critical piece of information missing – what podcasts should you download?

Today we’ve put together a list of ten of the best Mac and Apple related podcasts. The list ranges from the perennial greats, to some of the new kids on the block. From pixel-perfect designer, to hardcore developer, from an OS X power user, to the most recent convert — there’s a podcast here for everyone.

The bottom line is, if you want to be entertained and educated about the Mac ecosystem, these are the podcasts for you.

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Yesterday. A Wednesday night. I was home, watching TV. I had some friends over. One of them was using my iPad to read the latest DC comics. He’d been reading them for most of the night. All of a sudden, he looks up at me, shock written across his face. I’d assumed he had reached a cliffhanger ending. I chuckled, and asked him which comic he’d finished reading.

No. The tone of his voice was serious. He walked across the room, iPad in hand, and held it up to me. In the center of the screen was a notification from the CNN app. It’s surreal message: “Steve Jobs, aged 56, has died.”

I never met Steve Jobs. Neither had my friend. But judging by the look of shock on his face, you’d be forgiven of thinking Steve was probably a relative, or at least a close, personal friend. Across the Internet, across the world, there’s an outpouring of grief at this loss. This is a loss for mankind as a whole. This is the disappearance of a historical figure, a living legend. A man famous for his talents and abilities. A man we all thought we knew because we used the products of his mind each and every day.

We’ll all miss you Mr. Jobs. We already do.

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That’s a pretty bold title, isn’t it? I didn’t really mean for it to be. I’m not a fan of shameless link bait. And it’s not my intention to be hyperbolic. I chose that question as the title because it’s the reason I’m writing this right now. That question has been rattling around in the back of my mind. And instead of continuing to ignore it, I thought I’d try and solidify my thoughts into a cohesive essay.

I’m not making any claims to brilliance here. I don’t think I’ve stumbled upon any insightful or revolutionary ideas here. I’m not even really trying to prove a point. I’m just trying to give a voice to this ever present feeling of dread that’s crept into my thoughts when they drift to the future of Apple. And I’m sharing these thoughts with a community of people who will hopefully understand where I’m coming from, and what I’m trying to say.

Steve Jobs has left the helm of Apple. And while he’s still at the company in what amounts to an advisory role, everyone knows that the Jobs’ era at Apple has ended. Sure the ripples of his presence there won’t subside immediately. David Pogue thinks we’ll need to really start worrying in about two years. But we’re all wondering what this will mean — Apple without Steve. None of us knows for certain. The only way we’ll know is to wait, and watch, as time goes by. The question isn’t so much, will Apple change? It’s, how will Apple change?

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Twitter. 5 years ago that was a word that described the sound a songbird makes. And while that’s still the first definition in almost every dictionary you check, in the public mind it means something else entirely. It’s a social network, one composed of short little messages intended for public consumption. Like any good ecosystem, Twitter has changed the definitions of more words than just its name. Now we have “tweet,” “retweet,” “follow,” and of course “hashtags”. More than vocabulary, the sphere of influence Twitter has created has its clients buying into the ornithological metaphor as well. You’d be hard pressed to find a Twitter client that doesn’t have a bird or something bird-related in its icon.

It’s true of the Twitter client we’re going to talk about today. It’s called Wren, and has an adorable yellow bird as its icon. However, the similarities with its Twitter client brethren ends there. Wren is something different. By some people’s definition, it shouldn’t even be called a Twitter client. It has no timeline, no “river of information” to wade through. And yet I contest it is a Twitter client, one that every Twitter user should take a long, hard look at and see if it’s the missing piece in their Twitter workflow. Let me show you what I mean.

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And here we are again, with another installment in the iMovie ’11 video tutorial series. Today we look at iMovie’s themes. Themes are a unique part of iMovie that really let you take your home movies to the next level. But there are a couple of tricks to be aware of when trying to make use of them yourself.

Let’s dive in!

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In many ways it’s the holy grail of Mac apps. Apple has instilled an appreciation for the beautiful, the polished, and the carefully designed. And if there’s one part of our lives that screams out for an experience like that it’s money management.

I mean it makes sense, right? Computers are good with numbers, and people usually aren’t. Computers can be used to identify patterns and formulate projections, and people like to see patterns and projections. And on the Mac platform we should be able to get all of that lovely functionality wrapped up in an aesthetically pleasing package, right?

Well there’s a new contender that’s entered the fray: Koku. Making the rounds, Koku has attracted the attention of the Mac community. We’re all dying to know if someone new can build the type of financial monitoring app that we’ve all been looking for.

And so here we are. Let’s take a look at the areas that Koku excels in, and the spots where they need to do some work.

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