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Do you find yourself looking for calming music or background sounds to make your day at work less stressful? Magic Mind, our sponsor this week, is an app that can help you out. It’s designed to help anyone who undergoes stressful situations at work, has trouble falling asleep, or wants to meditate.

No matter if you are looking for a lunch brake relax or a deep stress relief, this application has you covered. You can choose from 28 background sounds, including thunder, crickets, birds and more, to help you relax while tuning out other background noises. You can custom mix sounds and adjust the volume of each individual sound to get it sounding just like you want. Then, there’s 40 unique sessions with a predefined music track, which can be changed to any of 48 available different melodies.

Magic Mind includes:

  • 48 Music Tracks, all of which work as endless loops
  • 28 Background Sounds that you can custom mix
  • Custom Timer settings to control fade-out time and more
  • SoundScapes to save your favorite sound combinations

Go Get It!

If you’ve been wanting a way to get some calming background noise to help your workday be a bit more peaceful, Magic Mind might be just what you’ve been looking for. You can get your own copy of Magic Mind for $4.99 from the App Store. At half the price of a music album, it’s a cheap way to get your own calming soundtrack for your work life.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

The end of another week at the office is in sight!

We got some really nice picks to make your weekend feel closer. Here we’ll talk about the new Dropbox menubar functionality, a sneak peak of upcoming version of Pixelmator and, best of all, the long waited release of Alfred v2!

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If you’re subscribing to Mac.AppStorm or any other sites via RSS, chances are you’re using Google Reader. Even if you’re using a Mac app like NetNewsWire, Reeder, or any of the newer news apps that have popped up in recent years, you’re likely using Google Reader to do the heavy lifting of syncing your RSS feeds. That’s all going to come to an end this July, as Google just announced that they’re shutting down Google Reader.

There’s a few options you’ve got. First, NetNewsWire can sync RSS feeds standalone already, so it can work without Google Reader integration, only you’ll lose the syncing options. Then, the Reeder team has announced on Twitter that Reeder won’t die, though it’s yet to be seen how it will continue syncing RSS feeds. On the Mac, Reeder only works with Google Reader, though on the iPhone it already works with Fever, a self-hosted online feed reader.

Then, if you used Google Reader online, you’ll just need to find a new app to subscribe to RSS feeds. Plus, you’ll need to export your Google Reader data, no matter what app you’re switching to. Over on Web.AppStorm, we’ve put together the tips and apps you need to make the leap from Google Reader. I personally switched to Fever, but there’s a number of options that’ll work no matter what your needs.

Now, would anyone like to predict what app Google will shutdown next?

Continue Reading on Web.AppStorm…

You know you shouldn’t use the same simple password on every site online, but password managers can be so complex to setup, not to mention expensive. Perhaps you should try out PassLocker, our sponsor this week, which is a new take on a password management app.

PassLocker is a nicely designed menubar app that makes it dead-simple to generate random passwords for your online accounts and save your account info in one place. You won’t have to install any browser plugins to use it, and there’s no extra features or settings to make it complex. It’s just a simple way to manage your passwords. We called PassLocker “the simplest password app” in our recent review, and found it to live up to its claims as an easy-to-use password app.

Best of all, PassLocker works great on the iPhone as well, so your passwords will be with you wherever you go. And you won’t have to worry about staying in sync, either, since PassLocker will automatically sync all of your info over iCloud. PassLocker is a promising alternative for those who are tired of complexity of other apps, or who don’t want to pay a fortune for managing passwords.

Go Get It!

Ready to get your passwords organized in a simple way on your Mac and iPhone? Then go download PassLocker today from the App Store. At just $4.99 on the Mac and $1.99 on the iPhone, it won’t break the bank, and it’s so quick and easy to use that you’ll have your accounts more secure without much trouble at all.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

If there’s one enduring set of apps that’s practically a requirement to use in most business and education settings, it’s Microsoft Office. Love it or hate it, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are the de facto standards for their categories.

On a Mac, you’ve got a ton of options these days. You could obviously use Office for Mac, though it’s often a bit behind its Windows counterparts despite coming out for the Mac before Windows was even around (though sometimes it does seem ahead of the Windows versions — see the Publishing layout options in Word for Mac). Then, there’s Apple’s iWork apps, though you might end up with some compatibility issues if you have to regularly share heavily formatted documents (but, for most purposes, iWork really is fine, while being nicer to use than Office. Really). There’s also OpenOffice and its new counterpart LibreOffice, though they come with their own slew of issues. You could also use web apps for free these days instead, from Google, Zoho, or even Microsoft itself.

Or, you could use Office for Windows on your Mac, either in Bootcamp or in a virtual machine. That way, you could use Office 2013 today on your Mac, or stick to an older-and-trusted version of Office in an old XP virtual machine. I personally have Office 2010 in a Windows 7 virtual machine, as well as an Office 2013 trial in a Windows 8 virtual machine for testing and more. We’d love to know if you use Office for Windows on your Mac. If so, we’d love to hear how you use it, and what version you’re using in the comments below!

MacTuts+ is the superb new site dedicated to teaching people how to use their Mac, and OS X, more effectively. We’ve got you covered for apps, but combine that with an in-depth knowledge of OS X and you’ll be unstoppable, limitless!

This is a quick roundup of the best tutorials from MacTuts+ in February, from Use Your Phone to Automatically Lock Your Mac When You Walk Away to How to Move Your iTunes, iPhoto or Aperture Library to an External Drive.

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We’re back!

After a long hiatus, we’re back with a weekly news and deals update, along with some extras that’ll make our weekly news post the one you won’t want to miss. We’ve even thrown in the best longreads and podcasts from the world of tech, to give you something extra to add to your reading list this week. It’ll be brought to you weekly – each Thursday – by our writer Phillip Gruneich, and should be a great sidekick to our normal slate of reviews and roundups.

Grab some popcorn, then dive into this week’s best news, deals, and longreads!

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Kyle Kinkade is the man behind Monocle Society, and has worked with other popular development teams such as Tapulous and Monster Costume. He’s responsible for an app called Pomodorable, that brought the Pomodoro Technique to your Mac in an understandable and fun way.

Recently, the app had to be taken down due to branding problems. We had the opportunity to talk with him about what happened, what’s next for the app, and what his thoughts are on the market for productivity apps.
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Today, we are excited to announce a new site dedicated to Tuts+ Live Workshops and two fantastic new workshops; Professional Photo Retouching with Photoshop and An Introduction to Adobe InDesign. If you’re keen to take your Photoshop or InDesign skills to the next level, this is the best way to do it!

Tuts+ Live Workshops are presented live by experts in their field with a talent and passion for teaching. And don’t worry, we record every workshop. So even if you can’t make it to the live workshop, you won’t miss out. We have two exciting new workshops available, and more on the way, so be sure to join the Tuts+ Live Workshops mailing list to stay posted on upcoming workshops.

For both of the new workshops we’re offering a special price of $49 for early takers. Places are strictly limited and the early bird tickets for our first workshop sold out in 48 hours, so act fast to make sure you don’t miss out!

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If you’re looking for a great deal on Mac apps this week, then we have quite the deal for you: the PickABundle! This all new Mac app bundle that lets you pick 10 apps for your own bundle, all for the low price of $49.99, no matter what you pick.

There’s 30 apps you can pick from for your own bundle in PickABundle, enough for everyone to pick from. There’s web development tools like Rapidweaver, Hype, Flux, and Lucid. There’s Mac tools like Awaken, Hands Off!, and Blu-ray Player. You’ll find Tembo for searching through files, DEVONThink Personal to keep your information organized, Swift Publisher to create beautiful publications, MoneyWell to keep your finances organized, Boom to make videos and audio louder on your Mac’s speakers, and more. Then, as a bonus, every bundle will get a free copy of NyxQuest, an adventure game to top off everything else you’ve already gotten.

If you’ve wanted to pick up a copy of any of these apps – and yes, a number of the apps such as Rapidweaver, Hype, and DEVONThink are worth more than the price of the bundle on their own – then you’d better hurry and pick up a copy of the PickABundle with the apps you want. The bundle is running until March 18th, so you’ve got just under 2 weeks to get your copy.

Best of all, we have a special for Mac.AppStorm readers. Everyone who purchases the PickABundle gets entered in a random drawing for a free copy of Pixelmator, Analog, My Wonderful Days, Scribe, and other great apps that aren’t already in the bundle. If you purchase the PickABundle after clicking the link in this article, you’ll be entered in the random drawing exclusively with other Mac.AppStorm readers, so you’ve got a much higher chance of getting one of the extra apps!

If you do buy the PickABundle, we’d love to hear what apps you got in the comments below.

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