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In many ways it’s the holy grail of Mac apps. Apple has instilled an appreciation for the beautiful, the polished, and the carefully designed. And if there’s one part of our lives that screams out for an experience like that it’s money management.

I mean it makes sense, right? Computers are good with numbers, and people usually aren’t. Computers can be used to identify patterns and formulate projections, and people like to see patterns and projections. And on the Mac platform we should be able to get all of that lovely functionality wrapped up in an aesthetically pleasing package, right?

Well there’s a new contender that’s entered the fray: Koku. Making the rounds, Koku has attracted the attention of the Mac community. We’re all dying to know if someone new can build the type of financial monitoring app that we’ve all been looking for.

And so here we are. Let’s take a look at the areas that Koku excels in, and the spots where they need to do some work.

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iTunes. You can’t live with it, and yet you can’t live without it. Sure, it does its job, but there are a whole lot of features which are unnecessary, and necessary features which haven’t been implemented. It has Ping, a social network used by about 7 people, but no support for AVI videos, a video format loved by millions. Unfortunately for us, there aren’t many decent alternatives.

Miro 4 was released recently, and although Miro was always an iTunes competitor, version 4 has really brought it into its own. The 100% free and open source media library does all of the things you want iTunes to do, and more. But is it worth abandoning iTunes for? Read on to find out.

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Desktop apps that aim to work along with popular web apps are a pretty common niche in the market, as they make it much faster and easier to use certain features of those websites by always remaining open in your desktop and allowing you to use features like drag-and-drop that might not be as easy to find on a web app.

The app that we are reviewing today is made for quickly publishing pictures and videos over popular social networks like Facebook and Flickr, from your desktop. It’s called Poster.

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Here at AppStorm, we’re huge fans of Dropbox. It’s fast, incredibly useful, and extremely easy to use. How can you go wrong with it?

That said, there are always ways to improve an app – and DropIn aims to do just that. Add some extra functionality to Dropbox in order to make your life even easier. You can get notified of changes made to your files, and quickly upload files by dropping them in the menu bar icon.

Is DropIn an incredible boost to an already awesome app, or just another unnecessary extension? Read on to find out.

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Graphic designers need to consider a number of crucial design elements when creating work – layout, colour, dimensions, typography – you name it, a designer will have to incorporate it into their designs. Although Photoshop can handle most of a designer’s needs, there are many parts of a design which you’ll need other software for.

Art Director’s Toolkit from Code Line tries to fulfill all of a designer’s needs. It has tools for layout, colour, dimensions, typography – a total of 11 tools.

In this review, we’ll discover if it’s a designer’s perfect companion, of whether they’ve made several good tools rather than one great one.

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OS X comes with CD and DVD burning capabilities built-in, so you might have managed so far without needing to install a separate app. When I reinstalled Snow Leopard a few months back, I decided to keep my system as lean as possible, since my old Core Duo MacBook has been showing its age. I only installed applications as a real need for them arose.

As it happens, one of the very first apps I added was for burning discs, since I found the native OS X burning seemed to be slower, and certainly gave me less control of how discs are burned.

I had previously had an earlier version of Toast installed, but I decided not to return to that outdated software, and instead went with a free burner app that had good reviews on MacUpdate. Recently, Roxio released the newest version of Toast, and I’m very glad to have updated.

Though there are lightweight apps that can do some of the things Toast does, and there are many cheaper, and even free, programs available, I believe Toast remains best-in-class. And if you go for the Pro version, it’s actually very good value – but more on that later.

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The internet has opened up a whole new world of recipes, available to anyone, anytime, without the need for piles of sauce-stained cookbooks. With so many amazing recipes out there, it can be hard to keep track of your favourites. Some people are content to use bookmarks, but what if you want to keep your recipes more organized, or want to add recipes of your own?

MacGourmet is designed as an “iTunes for your recipes”, allowing you to import, store, sort and update a huge library of recipes. Can an app take the place of a stack of recipe books and loose hand-writen recipes? Find out after the jump.
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A couple weeks back, I reviewed an app called Yep, a scanning and tagging app for managing documents. I love the idea of tags and am just starting to harness their power in other apps like Things and Evernote, and nudge:nudge’s Punakea attempts to offer tagging support for documents and folders of any kind.

I purchased this app in a bundle a couple months ago, and I’m sure there are many other people out there who have this app sitting in their applications folder unused like I did, so perhaps it’s time to take a look at what it can do!

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When Time Machine was released with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) back in October 2007, it was one of the highlights of the new release. Apple was the first company to offer a fully-functioning, built in backup utility into their operating system and in true Mac-style, they pumped it full of eye candy. Well, only Apple could take a simple system utility and transform it into a work of art.

Although Time Machine is good for recovering files if anything does happen to your Mac, it is a bit basic in its functionality. You do not have the option to schedule backups depending on when you want them – when your external hard disk drive is plugged in (or the device you are backing up to), Time Machine will simply sync any changed files and folders hourly.

For the average user, this won’t cause too much of a problem, but for someone who uses their Mac for high-end software or gaming, the backup can slow down the performance of your Mac. Time Machine also isn’t a true backup option per se, as it does not create disk images (unlike other programs), where you can restore your Mac in the case of a drastic failure.

This is where ChronoSync comes in. At $40, it is quite a pricey alternative to Time Machine (which is bundled in with Mac OS X 10.5 and above) and some might question paying this amount for a piece of software which is pretty much identical to something they get for free anyway. I decided though to download the 30-day trial version of ChronoSync to give it a test run and to see whether it is really a viable (or better) alternative to Time Machine.

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I’m a sucker for notebooks. Paper or digital it doesn’t matter. I’ve got a stack of Moleskines right next to my Field Notes notebooks. And you don’t even want to know how many different journaling-type applications I have on my MacBook. Most of these digital notebooks don’t try to mimic a “real” notebook. The few applications that do try to look and feel like a paper notebook have always failed in that regard (though they often have other redeeming qualities).

But along comes Per Se, the new digital journal from Sprouted Software. It’s the first application that actually feels like a three-dimensional, paper journal. Too good to be true? Let’s take a closer look.

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