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The internet has opened up a whole new world of recipes, available to anyone, anytime, without the need for piles of sauce-stained cookbooks. With so many amazing recipes out there, it can be hard to keep track of your favourites. Some people are content to use bookmarks, but what if you want to keep your recipes more organized, or want to add recipes of your own?

MacGourmet is designed as an “iTunes for your recipes”, allowing you to import, store, sort and update a huge library of recipes. Can an app take the place of a stack of recipe books and loose hand-writen recipes? Find out after the jump.
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It’s an application that everyone has been talking about recently, and we ran our own review last week. Fantastical is a menu bar application that provides a simple way of interacting with iCal. You can view your upcoming events, and enter new ones using a natural language engine that works flawlessly.

Today we’re giving you the chance to win one of two licenses for Fantastical, so you can get your hands on this excellent piece of software completely free of charge!

Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
  2. Leave a comment, letting me know where you posted the link!

Best of luck, and I’ll be picking the winners in just over a week. The competition closes on Wed 1st June, but I’d strongly recommend giving Fantastical a try for yourself – I really can’t recommend it highly enough!

Much has been speculated over the idea of Apple creating a competing service to Dropbox – either under the MobileMe/iDisk banner, or through a completely new service. Some people think it would be great for competition, and others think that Dropbox already has the market sewn up.

I’d hazard a guess that the majority of AppStorm readers are Dropbox users in some form or another (if not, you should be!) It’s hands down one of the most useful applications I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

Will Apple launch a competing service? My hunch is no – at least not directly. There’s little reason for them to create a like-for-like competitor that allows storage of all your files in the cloud.

There is, however, a good opportunity for them to create a better sync platform, so that developers don’t feel the need to use Dropbox as a central storage location for syncing between multiple Macs/iOS devices. This would be much better handled by the OS, and it’s an area where I’d love to see some innovation from Apple.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments, and let me know whether you think Apple has a plan to get into this market!

Thanks to Our Weekly Sponsor: Smoke

This week’s sponsor is a fairly unique application – Smoke. Not your usual graphics editor, Smoke is all about creating unique graphical effects.

It offers a unique type of brush that renders stunning graphics with the simplest mouse movements. Abstract backgrounds, lighting texts, art-house drawings – or anything else – this tool helps to convert an idea into a painting.

You can head over to the Smoke website to see an few examples of the application in action, or grab your copy from the Mac App Store. It’s definitely worth giving this unusual, unique application a try – you’ll be surprised by what it can do!

Winners Announced

I’m excited to let you know that we’ve chosen the five Rubbernet winners, and they are:

  1. Robin Lundgren
  2. Drew
  3. Pablo Lara H
  4. Dodie
  5. OSX BOY

Thanks to everyone who took part, and we’ll be sending your license codes through shortly!

Old Competition Post

Today’s competition is for an application we recently reviewed, called Rubbernet. This is a new piece of software from Conceited Software which tracks what apps are accessing your network connection, and how much bandwidth they are using.

Not only is this useful for monitoring bandwidth usage, but it can be used to detect any software which might be secretly sending out personal data of yours!

Entering the competition is really easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
  2. Leave a comment, letting me know where you posted the link!

Best of luck, and I’ll be picking the winners in just over a week. The competition closes on Friday 27th May, but you can head over to the Conceited Software site to download a trial in the meantime!

Perhaps it’s just me and my complete lack of musical ability, but any time I open up a bit of DJing software, I get completely lost – There are far more knobs, levers, sliders, options and timelines than any man could ever want. I do, however, quite enjoy doing a bit of casual mixing, but don’t want to go through a massive learning curve to get there.

Enter Djay, a very impressive DJing app from Algoriddim, which does everything most users will want it to, in a beautiful interface which is very easy to get to grips with. Sounds like your sort of thing? Read on to see just how good it is.

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In today’s interview, we’ll be speaking with Keith Blount – the writer and developer behind the phenomenally successful Scrivener. Created by the Literature & Latte team, Scrivener is a fantastic application for writers of all types, helping you organise your ideas and produce a piece of work to be proud of.

Keith will be talking about the Literature & Latte team, how Scrivener came about, giving back to the developer community, and sharing a few fascinating, high-profile examples of people using the app.

I hope you enjoy the interview!

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After opening Skype to have a conversation with a colleague this morning, I discovered that my trusty Logitech headset had completely stopped working. It’s served me well for four or five years, and is always useful to have on hand.

There’s something about using my in-built MacBook microphone that feels sub-par in terms of quality – especially when not using headphones, as you tend to hear quite a bit of feedback.

I also picked up a Samson Studio Condenser mic last year for recording screencasts and podcasting, and am incredibly happy with it. The quality is second to none, and it looks pretty stylish.

I thought it would be interesting in today’s poll to find out what type of microphone you use when on your Mac – whether it’s for chatting with a friend, screencasting, audio production, or gaming. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks to Our Weekly Sponsor: SoftFacade

Although we usually feature a Mac application as our weekly sponsor, today I’m excited to tell you about a different company – SoftFacade. They specialize in designing user interfaces for mobile apps, websites and the media – and their work is absolutely fantastic.

You can see a few examples over at their website, and SoftFacade’s previous client list includes FormSpring, Radium, Project Noah, Speedtest.net, Swipely, and various iOS apps.

You can contact the SoftFacade team from their site, follow them on Twitter, or check out their latest creations on Dribbble. Even if you’re not looking for any design work in the near future, I’d recommend checking out their site to see a few examples of icon and interface design at its best!

With Microsoft splashing out a few dollars on Skype this week, the communication platform has once again hit the headlines. The numbers are impressive – 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010 is nothing to be laughed at, and it’s clear that this medium is growing in a big way.

Although Apple has had a foot in the door with iChat for several years, FaceTime has been their major foray into video communication – initially on the iPhone, and now also on the Mac. It’s been almost a year since the technology was announced at WWDC 2010, but I believe that FaceTime still has a long way to come – as does the whole concept of video communication – before it becomes a pervasive technology.

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