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We’d like to say a big thank you to this month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can order a slot through BuySellAds.

You could also consider a Quick Look submission, an easy way to showcase your app to all our readers.

MacKeeper – What can MacKeeper do for you? It’s an app that will keep your Mac clean, foolproof, secured, fast, reliable and attended!

CleanMyMac – CleanMyMac represents a sophisticated all-in-one-suite utility that helps keep your Mac clean and healthy.

Billings – Billings’ simple workflow and intuitive interface makes quoting, invoicing, and time tracking effortless.

MiniBooks – A handy iPhone app from FreshBooks that lets you track your time and invoice your clients while you’re away from your computer.

Daylite Touch – Daylite Touch is a business productivity manager for the iPhone and iPod touch, winner of a 2009 Macworld Best of Show award, designed as a companion to Daylite on the Mac.

App4Mac – Makers of several different Mac applications, including CheckUp, SecretBox, Sequence, Projector, FlexTeam, and Delegate!

ImTOO Video Convertor – Looking to convert all your media files on your Mac to just about any format you fancy? Look no further than ImTOO Video Converter for Mac. This versatile Mac video converter can convert between nearly all HD/SD format videos.

Raskin App – Inspired by Jef Raskin, our zoomable user interface shows you all the stuff on your computer on a single surface. Using zoom and pan to view, arrange and open documents feels so right.

Be Yellow – Get toll free phone support for your application, and make your customers lives easier!

Yum Recipe Manager – Yum is the cooking companion for your Mac. Add your favorite recipes, organize them like a pro, scale recipes, and be inspired by recipes uploaded by fellow Yum users.

Hidden – When you activate tracking, Hidden will locate your stolen computer anywhere on the planet, collect photos of the thief and screen shots of the computer in use and the Hidden team will also help you work with the police when recovering your stolen computer.

Pixmac – Stock photos and vector illustrations for all your print advertising and website needs. And there’s no need to register – you can buy an image in 3 minutes without registering!

Path Finder 5 – Path Finder is an award-winning file browser and management application for Mac OS X. If you’ve ever wished Apple’s Finder just did feature X or feature Y, Path Finder may be what you’ve been looking for.

I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this, you’re a Mac user (or very close to becoming one). But what does “Mac user” really mean? The beauty of today’s powerful desktop and notebook computers lies in how they can be used for almost anything.

People are using Macs for designing, writing, producing and editing video, creating films, post-processing their photos, astronomy, controlling their home, running a web server, and even as a replacement to the slew of boxes that used to sit underneath their TV.

A Mac “user” could mean almost anything. So today I’m going to give you an insight into what this means for me personally, and ask that you also share your own story. How do you use your Mac, and what does it enable you to do every day?

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Much has been said about solid-state drives (SSD) being the next “big thing” in terms of computer performance. If you regularly find that your Mac is running slowly when opening apps and booting, it might be obvious to immediately think that the problem is down to insufficient RAM.

Although the amount of memory in your Mac does make a big difference, we’re starting to get to the point where we all have plenty of RAM for everyday tasks (4GB is more than enough for most Mac users). The main piece of old technology inside your MacBook or iMac is actually the hard drive, and that can contribute significantly to poor performance with certain tasks.

Not convinced that you’ll notice a performance benefit? Check out this video and come back in two minutes. I’ll wait!

So why hasn’t everyone jumped ship to this new performance-boosting miracle? The main problem with solid-state drives at present boils down to price. They’re still far more expensive than a standard Serial ATA drive, and out of the budget of many Mac users.

The question I’m asking today is whether you’re sporting a shiny new SSD (and reaping the performance benefits), or waiting for the price to drop over the next year or so. Have your say in the poll, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear what you all think!

BuySellAds, a popular internet advertising service (and the company we use for advertising on AppStorm), has today announced a new venture into desktop advertising. They are launching a new service that allows developers to integrate advertisements into Mac applications, in the same way you would a website.

Although this isn’t a new idea – various Mac apps have been ad-supported for several years – it does represent another tipping point in the ongoing shift towards paying for apps with your attention rather than your wallet.

Today I’ll be exploring what this means, and asking for your opinion on whether we should be welcoming this shift with open arms, or becoming a little concerned!

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Winners Announced

First of all, I’m pleased to let you know that SaneDesk have given us an extra three license keys to give away, bringing the total to eighteen. We’ve picked the lucky winners, and they are:

  1. AndyTheJoker
  2. Steve
  3. Erik Rasmussen
  4. Marius Stuparu
  5. Hiroshi
  6. Pieter
  7. Andrew Dilger
  8. Stephan
  9. The incredible Frank
  10. Niels K.
  11. Andrew S
  12. Dennis Nieling
  13. Selene
  14. Jaryre
  15. Animaster84
  16. Revell
  17. Cardiac7
  18. Andy Hutchins

Old Competition Details

We’re kicking off another competition today, this time to win a copy of SaneDesk. We’ll be writing a full review of SaneDesk in the next week or two, but I thought that you’d love a chance to get your hands on a copy for free!

SaneDesk gives you more power and control over your desktop, letting you set up different views and configurations so that your desktop appears differently depending upon your current task. It’s fairly powerful, and definitely worth giving a go if you often find yourself wading through a sea of cluttered desktop icons.

Entering is really easy. All you need to do is a post a comment below. The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick fifteen winning comments at random on Monday 4th October. Best of luck!

It’s been over six months since we first took a look at Alfred, a fantastic application launcher for the Mac. Since then, I’ve heard about many of you switching to this system from Quicksilver, Google Quick Search Box, and various other launchers.

I’ve become a devoted fan of Alfred, and it’s probably now one of the most oft-used apps on my Mac. A recent update to the app comes in the form of the Alfred Powerpack, bringing a set of fantastic new features and significantly broadening the scope of what Alfred is capable of. He’s turning into a pretty handy butler!

I’ll be taking a look at some of these new “Powerpack features” after the break.

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Whenever Apple announces a new feature or application update, there’s always a huge amount of commotion and furious opinion sharing. iTunes Ping was one such feature addition, aiming to broaden iTunes into a social network for music.

I think Apple is really starting to stretch the limits of what iTunes is capable of. What started as a simple application for collating your music library now stores TV Shows, Movies, and Podcasts as well, is a full-fledged music and video store, your iPod/iPhone/iPad sync tool, your Apple TV counterpart, an App Store, online radio player, and – now – a social network as well. Phew!

Almost all the software tools I love and use every day on the Mac succeed because they do one thing remarkably well. Simplicity is the absolute key for a successful piece of software, and Apple themselves know this. Most of their software for the Mac and iOS leaves out many features that are packed in by competitors (consider the one-button simplicity of the iPhone camera app, for instance).

My question for you today centres around your thoughts on iTunes Ping. Is this a valuable service for music lovers, or have Apple finally succumbed to the perils of feature-bloat?

I can’t believe that we’ve featured 75 MacTastik comics over the past 18 months. How time flies! It’s been a fantastic addition to our usual content, and always provided an interesting break from the norm.

Today marks the end of the MacTastik series, as we make some changes to our publishing schedule and move on to offer ever more useful and interesting content.

I’d like to say an absolutely huge thank you to N.C. Winters, the talented artist and writer behind MacTastik. You can still catch his work in the form of the Freelance Freedom comic strip over at FreelanceSwitch.

Without further ado, we’ll leave you with the final instalment of MacTastik. I hope you enjoy it!

Embedding this MacTastik strip elsewhere? Please provide a link back to this post and to NCWinters.com

Mac software bundles are big business these days, and new ones seem to be cropping up on a regular basis. Spawned by the still-popular MacHeist in 2006, bundle software sales always generate a stir in the Mac user community.

Whether this is down to the excitement of gaining a bunch of software for a really low price, or in kickback to the often poor deals given to the developers, most Mac users have an opinion on the issue in one form or another.

Whichever camp you fall into, you’ll be interested to know that two popular Mac bundles are drawing to a close over the next few days.

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Winners Announced

We’ve chosen the winners of the giveaway, and congratulations are in order to:

  • Brandon Roach
  • Graphics Cove
  • Dania G
  • Mazi
  • Steen

Your license codes will be on the way shortly! Thanks to everyone who took part.

Competition Now Closed!

We recently published a Quick Look at TrackRecord, and I’m pleased to let you know that we have five licenses available to give away today!

TrackRecord is a new time monitoring application for Mac OS X that integrates with 37Signal’s Basecamp. TrackRecord lets you track and manage the time you’re spending, filter your Basecamp account to see as much or as little as you like, and even edit and delete the time you’ve already posted to Basecamp.

It usually costs $20, but you have the chance to bag one of five copies for free! Entering 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

The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick five winning comments at random on Friday 24th September. Best of luck!

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