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Whether you’re just learning to play guitar or you’re an experienced musician, it’s always helpful to have some music theory resources lying around. Chord books are especially useful for guitarists, they can help you find variations for playing known chords as well as new ones to play around with. But wouldn’t it be nice to have an interactive chord book on your computer?

ChordMate is just that, and much more. It’s a Mac app that can help you find new chords, new voicings, and even string together chord progressions right on your computer. Sounds interesting?

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As a podcaster, having an audio editing tool that is simple, quick, and easy to use is priceless. So when Rouge Amoeba, the Mac developers known for popular audio tools like Audio Hijack Pro and NiceCast announced version 2 of their Fission audio editor – I took note.

Although it distinguishes itself from the crowd with the promise of “fast & lossless audio editing”, Fission still faces fierce competition from both ends of the spectrum. To carve out a meaningful niche for itself, Fission 2 needs to be a worthwhile option against the likes of professional tools like Logic Pro, and free options like Garageband or Audacity. So does it succeed? Read on to find out!
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Giving up iTunes is a tough sell. It’s the music app we love to hate, and with every update, it seems we find new reasons to both cherish and recoil at what for many of us is our default music player. Because iTunes gets the job done, though, most of us don’t go looking elsewhere for a better choice.

Clementine, with lots of options and even more ways to play your music, may be the music app we all didn’t know we were looking for. Integrating with lots of music services and giving you plenty of ways to create playlists and control your music, Clementine is a fresh take on something we all take for granted. Is that enough to displace the mighty iTunes? (more…)

Recently, I’ve found myself buying less music than at any other point in my life. The rise of “all you can eat” monthly subscriptions to services like Spotify and Rdio have sapped my desire to pay for an album when I can just stream it. When I want a more passive music-listening experience, I opt to have services like Pandora make my listening choices for me. I’ve recently fallen back in love with the seemingly marginalized medium of radio due to the passive listening experience and the skillful curation of knowledgeable DJs who can find great new music for me.

Radium has long been a popular app for listening to internet radio. I’ve been using the private beta of Radium 3 for the past week to listen to the radio on my Mac. How does it stack up to its predecessor and the competition?

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Streaming music apps are definitely in vogue these days, and with Spotify, Rdio, and other services’ slick Mac, mobile, and web apps, it’d seem that you wouldn’t need anything more. There’s plenty of companion apps in the App Store so you can get exactly the music experience you want. It’d seem that you’d never need anything more.

That is, unless you live somewhere that doesn’t have access to the most popular streaming music services, like in Asia. Then, Grooveshark is your best option, and it’s only available as a web app, albeit one that works globally. So if you’re a Grooveshark fan but want a nicer way to play music on your Mac, what are you to do?

That’s where Shiny Groove, a new app from the folks behind Pixa and Delibar, comes in.

Shiny Groove is fresh out of beta, and you can get your own copy of Shiny Groove from the App Store today for $3.99

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I know there are Mac users out there who still have hurt feelings, even after all these months, over the most recent iTunes redesign. Let me tell you, you’re among friends here, and I want to help. While it’s hard to replace iTunes, especially if you have to sync any iOS devices with your Mac, you can find alternatives to lessen the iTunes sting.

Music player app Pinna works with your iTunes library so you won’t have to give up iTunes altogether, but it’s a far sight better looking and easier to use. Will it have what it takes to displace iTunes, at least for pumping out your jams? (more…)

I spend a lot of time on the Hype Machine website, listening to the latest or most popular tracks from some of the best music blogs around the web. Constantly having a webapp open in the background can get in the way, though, especially when I get click happy and close all my open tabs.

What I need is a desktop client, but there’s nothing official out yet. Fortunately, Hypegram is filling the void, allowing me to listen to new music I wouldn’t hear otherwise without fear of my clicking finger running amok. We’ll take a look at how Hypegram stands up to the official web app and see if it’s as cool as the real deal. (more…)

Getting into any hobby is bound to be expensive. That’s especially true about getting into music: it’s cheap and easy enough to get an acoustic guitar and learn your way around it, but if you want the full experience and go the electric way, you have to make a pretty big investment in equipment, and even worse, once you start with a few pieces of gear, it’s hard to stop looking for more new additions to improve your sound.

That’s where AmpKit comes in. It started off as an iOS app that allowed you to plug in your guitar and gave you access to a lot of cool amps and pedals that would otherwise be really expensive to own. Well, recently AmpKit made its way to the Mac, and today we’re going to take a look at it. Interested?

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Jelly Belly rang this morning, saying they wanted their selling point back. While I do enjoy their sour variants and assorted flavours always have been quite delicious, iTunes 11 also matches this little catchphrase. Take its new icon, which is conveniently sitting just above this paragraph. It appears to be bubble-like, does it not? In fact, it looks like the designer took the iTunes 10 icon and added a few layers to it in Photoshop to give it a more 3D look.

That’s not why we’re here though. iTunes 11 is a big release and it shouldn’t be reduced to the size, or design, of its icon. All proportions aside then, I’d like to take you on a ride into a different kind of Apple. Whether this is just something the company will be doing with iTunes or we may be seeing it in other OS X apps, the 11th edition of a Mac music player is a big deal. Let’s see what the company decided to change. (more…)

When it comes to Internet radio, Pandora is the king. It’s been around since January 2000, nearly 13 years, and is going strong. Even though its stock definitely hasn’t gone anywhere good since the company went public last year, it has remained the most popular Internet radio service. On-demand streaming services like Spotify have tried to compete but Pandora holds its place well.

One of the problems with this great service is its availability. It’s always been a browser-only thing and the developers don’t care to expand it to have its own native app on anything except a mobile phone. There is an official lightweight Mac app, but it requires that you have Pandora One, a monthly or yearly subscription. It’s also not a very nice app, being coded with Adobe Air and Flash. Instead, Maha Software’s PandaBar, a native Mac app that sits in your menu bar, seems like a great alternative. Let’s take a closer look.

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