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For many of us, recording memories and life experiences is a labour of love — and as with most things in modern life, “there’s an app for that.” Or, more accurately, there are now many apps dedicated to personal journal-keeping.

MacJournal and the now-retired Chronories led the way on Mac, and in their wake have come new, original offerings such as Bits, as well as iOS imports such as Day One.

The latest addition to this genre is Life, a heavyweight diary app built by the folks at MacAppStudio, which features an advanced search and numerous methods of capturing day-to-day happenings, as you might expect of an app that costs $59.99. But does it make life-logging sufficiently frictionless to be worth the hassle? I went hands-on with the premium beta to find out…

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When all the breaking news is on Twitter, it seems as if there’s no need for audio streams or radio stations any longer. NPR and BBC are still listened to by many, but how long will it be until they are no longer needed?

A new app called Hourly News wants to make sure radio reports stay around for a bit longer by putting them in your menu bar for a nice streaming experience. Shall we see what this app can do to keep us listening to radio news?

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Controlling music on an iPod has always been easy. The buttons are right there — there’s nothing more to it than that. When you look at most computers these days, that’s not the case. Some have media control buttons, some prefer to go with a special extra row of touch buttons, and others just don’t implement the idea into the keyboard well. Apple did it right with volume, play, pause, and skip buttons on the function row of its keyboards. The thing is, you can’t use those for, say, Pandora radio or YouTube because they’re in the browser.

Or can you? Tube Controller gives you full media key support for Google’s video website. Now let’s see how well that works compared to clicking and dragging. (more…)

Microblogging has become very popular thanks to Tumblr. The social network/microblogging service was founded in early 2007 by David Karp, accompanied by Marco Arment of Instapaper as the company’s lead developer. Since its launch, more than 86.8 million blogs have been created on Tumblr (as of late December 2012). It’s been going strong, and many people are happy with the service, but there’s always been one thing missing for some Mac users: a native app.

Now that’s no longer a problem, thanks to Yunseok Kim’s TumbleKit. (more…)

Finder is the first element of the Mac OS you interact with after booting your computer. On a fresh Mac with nothing installed, it is the only program that starts automatically. It’s such a central component of the system that you can never close it, and only restart it. Finder lets you mange the files and documents stored on your Mac. It’s where you interact with files, disks, and network volumes and therefore the main way to find your files and documents for all users and how you keep things organized the way you like.

In spite of this ubiquity, Finder has rough edges. For the power user there are many lacking features that would save time and speed up common operations. Two programs look to extend Finder by adding additional features and functionality. TotalFinder expands the functionality of Finder while Path Finder provides a full alternative to Finder with many additional features and functions. How helpful can they be? Let’s see.

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Whether you got your Mac from the Apple store, customised it online, or found it on the street, for the most part your Mac is the same as pretty much everyone else’s Mac – at least as far as the eye can tell. For some people, that’s okay. But others strive to make each machine their own, to show the world that they are different. You could do something simple like changing the wallpaper on your Mac, perhaps using one of the many wallpapers we’ve rounded up. Or, you could get several monitors to turn your Mac into the perfect workstation. Customizing your wallpaper then, though, can be a rather difficult task if you want a continuous picture across your screens that looks perfect.

This is where Multi Monitor Wallpaper comes into play. No longer are you forced to open photoshop and manually split the wallpaper into parts and attempt to align it perfectly for your display setup, only to find you misses it by a few pixels. With Multi Monitor Wallpaper, you can now get a wallpaper to span across your displays perfectly every time. Read on for our in-depth review of the app. (more…)

The CD data disk came as a revolution when it arrived. Before the most common storage method was still the 3.5″ floppy disk that held only 1.4 MB. The size of programs was rapidly increasing and many popular programs already came on a dozen or more disks and a bad floppy disk was all too common. The arrival of the CD made larger programs and games not just easier, but possible in the days when dial up Internet was still the norm. The DVD soon followed and increased the amount of data on a single disk to 4.7 GB and also brought the digital movie to the computer user.

Installing software now most often comes from a download, whether from the Mac App Store or the vendor’s web site. The DVD adds space and weight that can seem unnecessary. Apple now shows no concerns about removing the drive to shrink the size of their computers. The MacBook Air doesn’t come with a DVD drive to save space and the new MacBook Retina also removed the DVD drive. The trend is clear that Apple considers these drives to be unimportant and best relegated to an external drive in the rare times it’s needed.

Still, computer users can’t quite completely ignore the CD and DVD yet. Most boxed software, which now is relegated to mainly large suites like Microsoft Office or Creative Suite, still comes on a DVD or CD. While digital downloads of both movies and music are the future, many of us also have DVD or Blu-ray movie collections and even (gasp) CD music collections that we’d like to bring with us to the digital world. Here we’ll look at a few programs either included with your Mac or freely available that will help you deal with those physical disks still lying around. An external DVD drive will allow you to get anything on those disks to you Mac with the programs below.

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Slowly we have seen how Apple has implemented iOS features into the Mac, and have made them work delightfully. Lion was aimed right at making the Mac more intuitive and more iOS like. Everything from the scrolling direction to the gestures were all improved with the iOS experience in mind, and it shows.

But there are still plenty of things that iOS has that Mac OS X doesn’t. For example, the cool little copy and paste pop up menu. Today we are reviewing an app called PopClip that brings this functionality to the Mac. How well does it work? Read on to find out!

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rooSwitch is now the new SwitchUp from Irradated Software. It’s mostly the same as in our review here, but now with menu options. Our article still refers to it as rooSwitch, but if you want to try it out, SwitchUp is essentially the same app, just updated and with a new name.

Do you ever wish you could set up an app’s preferences, then create another profile with a completely different set of preferences?

rooSwitch is a unique app that does exactly that. Read on to see how you can put this incredibly useful app to work.

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Creating an outline is a handy way to organize, plan and brainstorm. One of the strengths of the outline is its hierarchical linear relationship among the topics in the list. That can also be one of its limitations, as the list can become long and start feeling one-dimensional.

The outliner Tree tries to remedy this with a twist on the standard outlining format. In Tree you can expand your outlines horizontally, as well as vertically. Today we’re going to take a look at whether or not the approach Tree takes actually bears fruit.

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