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A big part of design is inspiration. Graphic and web designers don’t work in a vacuum, they browse around to see what’s come before, and use other designs as references and starting points. Collecting these little pieces of inspiration and reference can quickly crowd your browser’s bookmark folder or your computer’s pictures folder, so the developers of Sparkbox sought to create an easy tool for capturing and organizing these images. Let’s find out if Sparkbox can really help organize your digital inspiration!
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As more of our digital lives are transferred from our computers to the cloud, many have claimed that there is a declining need for local storage. As netbooks gained in popularity, manufacturers found that consumers were willing to sacrifice gigabytes for portability. As high performance ultra-portables like the MacBook Air have shown, high performance Solid-State Drives are ready for consumers and have begun to slowly replace the once ubiquitous Hard-Disk Drives in consumer machines.

However, we still love to pack our computers with music, movies, photos, and other space-hogging files. Unless mobile carriers suddenly reverse the current trend of limiting data consumption, cell phone subscribers will not be able to comfortably stream all the content to their mobile devices that they would like. That means that smartphones will need to continue to carry enough on-board storage for average users to conveniently pack enough entertainment until the next time they plug their phone into their computer. The same principle holds true for our desktops and laptops: While the idea of streaming all of your content from the cloud seems quite appealing, it isn’t feasible for many people. Until ISPs stop limiting bandwidth and the cost of renting space in the cloud for huge media libraries and miscellaneous documents becomes cheaper, most users will have to rely on local storage.

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In the world of screenshot utilities, SnapNDrag Pro stands out as a lightweight, yet versatile and powerful tool for grabbing screen images. Its simple user-interface and flexible method for taking screenshots earns it high marks for getting the job done quickly and easily.

Join us as we take a closer look to see why this app from Yellow Mug Software could be just the screenshot utility you’ve been looking for.

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I love iTunes. As Apple’s native music player and iOS powerhouse command station, it is unlikely that anything will ever wholly replace iTunes for me. It’s an integrated hub for surfing the iTunes music store, buying iOS apps, making playlists, the Ping network (even though it’s somewhat barren), managing the media and content on my iPhone and iPad, and more. But in spite of my love for iTunes, I will be the first to admit that with a music library the size of mine, it can be a bit slow, unwieldy, and bloated when all I want to do is play some tunes.

When I began reading up on Sonora, a beta-phase app coded by Indragie Karunaratne and designed by Tyler Murphy, I was impressed with the obvious target niche that Sonora was appealing to. At the risk of sounding “scoff-y”, independently developed music players rarely appeal to me because they so often claim to be an iTunes replacement–which, for the reasons listed in the above paragraph, is unlikely for me. Sonora, on the other hand, markets itself as a companion player, humbly leaving the heavy lifting of music purchases and iOS management to iTunes and providing a lightweight player for the express purpose of playing music. Hit the jump to read more about Sonora.

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Ecoute, created by PixiApps, has been a moderately popular alternative to iTunes for over a year now. With version 3, developer Louka Desroziers and interface designer Julien Sagot hope to catapult their audio player’s status from semi-popular indie app to major-league success. So is the latest version of Ecoute ready for the big time?

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One area that hasn’t really been exploited in the app market is that of apps for musicians. And by that, I don’t mean apps for recording and producing, I’m referring to apps for songwriters.

Maybe there’s a reason for that? You could use a simple text editor to write songs, but what if you could also have an app that helped you make the songwriting process more organized, and gave you a few tools to make songwriting easier? That’s what Songwriter’s Pad claims to do. Let’s take a look and see how it fares.

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Since the dawn of portable Apple devices, the personal computer has always been the hub we’ve used to manage and sync our media. We are accustomed to our iPods, iPhones, and iPads being bound to our computers by white cables. But when Steve announced iCloud last summer, he declared, “We’re going to move your hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.” His vision was that the personal computer would no longer be the middle man between your media and your devices.

Of all of the digital media that accumulates on our hard drives, our music collections are often guilty of robbing us of significant hard drive space. This is even more of a problem when it comes to the smaller storage space of our portable devices. Most of us have spent time trying to narrow down our music to fit on these devices, only to be away from home and crave a song or album that missed the cut. This is where iTunes Match comes in. Read on to learn what Match is all about, and find out if it’s right for you.
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Choosing a media player – a music player, to be precise – for a Mac is a no brainer. iTunes is the crowd favorite and has the chops to entertain both an audiophile and the casual listener. Despite becoming bloated and unduly heavy over the years, iTunes is more or less the default audio player for the Mac ecosystem. Even folks who are die hard Windows users and those who don’t own an iOS device also are fans of iTunes.

But as I just alluded to, iTunes is a tad bulky and lacks the advanced features of a full fledged media player. The choice of full blown music players for Mac are pretty thin when compared to any other vertical. Winamp hardly needs an introduction. For more than a decade, it ruled the roost as the popular media player for Windows.

Winamp for Mac is a free download and promises to offer the same powerful featureset it is known for. Is it awesome enough to replace iTunes? Read on to find out!

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A journal is a great tool for keeping track of daily happenings and the start of a new year is a great time to begin your new journal. Whether you are tracking progress toward achieving those resolutions you’ve just made, chronicling the important milestones in your life, or simply creating a dialog with yourself, a good journaling application will be your constant companion throughout the year.That’s why it is important to select the best option for your needs.

There are a lot of choices in this growing category. Today we are going to take a look at one of the venerable Mac-based journaling programs, MacJournal from Mariner Software. Version 6.0 was released recently, and I’ll be pointing out the significant new features as we go along. Let’s get started.

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I remember from when I used a Windows machine how annoying the anti-virus apps used to be. It was kind of a “can’t live with them, or without them” relationship. If you ran a Windows machine, you had to have an anti-virus app if you wanted it to remain functional. But it was kind of like trading one thing for another, as most of the anti-virus apps were always annoying and slowed down my computer a lot (it almost felt like installing a virus that would keep away even worse viruses away from my computer).

When I made the switch to Mac, one of the big factors that influenced my decision were all the people telling me that Mac OS is safe out of the box, and that I didn’t need an anti-virus. This is kind of a difficult topic, though, and still many people don’t feel safe running their Mac without an anti-virus installed. Today we are reviewing a free alternative to the popular paid anti-virus Mac apps. It’s called ClamXav, let’s take a look!

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