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This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on Feb 2nd, 2011.

There’s a huge range of amazing paid software out there, but more often than not there is some form of free alternative. For those of us who can’t afford to spend up on every great app we desire, gathered here are 15 great free pieces of software that achieve much the same purpose of a popular but paid application.

Of course – nine times out of ten you get what you pay for, and the paid applications are usually going to do the job better, look nicer, or have more features than any free app. But that doesn’t mean free applications are worth overlooking, as they will often be more than functional enough for your needs.

Join us after the break for a look at some great examples!

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The Mac has long been the homestead for effective and easy video editing, graphic design, and video compressing for many professionals and novices alike. If you are at all interested in getting your creative juices flowing, video wise, you will absolutely love this roundup. Many people know the big video apps for Mac, while other smaller and still great apps out there remained a mystery. So as a professional video editor and cinematographer, it is my mission to let you in on over thirty of the best video apps around.

Many of these apps are free and others are paid. Bang for your buck is very important when choosing what to spend your hard earned money on, so rest assured that all of the apps listed are in fact worth every penny. Lets dive right in and get creative!

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Back when the Mac App Store launched we gave you a roundup with all the great games available in it. Things change pretty quickly, and tons of new games have been added since then to the App Store. So, we decided to give you a second iteration of the roundup. Here we’ll cover everything from casual games, to more in-depth hardcore games.

11 more awesome games available on the App Store that you should play!

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Are you looking for a good way to have fun on your Mac but don’t really consider yourself a gamer? Perhaps you’re nostalgic for the days when playing a game involved a couple of dice, a colorful board and some interestingly shaped pieces to move around that board.

Well you’re in luck because there are a ton of board game apps out there for Mac. You can stick with the classics (there’s at least one version out there of every big name board game you can think of) or you can try some board games that you might not often find in physical form. Those are less common, but I’m going to take you through the classics and then point you in the direction of some you might not have seen before.

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If you are searching for good apps at the Mac App Store, chances are you’d take a look at the featured app categories on display.

I’m talking about the “Apps for Writers,” “Get Stuff Done,” “Better Together,” and “Great Free Apps” categories where apps similar to one another are grouped together and given a snazzy section of their own. More importantly, these categories help you cut search time by providing unique gateways to apps that can contribute to your productivity, help you stay fit, or make work easier for you.

One of my personal favorites is the “Apps Starter Kit,” which welcomes new Mac owners with a set of 30 apps that can enhance user experience further. Although the suggestions are pretty helpful (I see a few of my favorites in there), it’s pretty limited. There are a handful of other apps at the Mac App Store that deserve a cozy spot in this category too. So in this post, I’ll share 12 apps that should be in the Apps Starter Kit as well.

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One of the first few apps I downloaded was the popular Alfred launcher. Being able to launch apps, open files, shutdown and restart my laptop with just a few taps on the keyboard intrigued me, so I decided to give it a shot. And hey, who can resist that adorable black bowler hat?

Months after, Alfred is now one of my favorite Mac apps and the most commonly used in a day. Moreover, there is this nifty upgrade called the Alfred Powerpack that contains features that enable me to do so much more with Alfred—features that will surely boost time efficiency and productivity better than ever before.

The Powerpack is definitely an upgrade many Alfred power users enjoy. In my case, my favorite Powerpack feature is the ability to extend Alfred, and it is in this post that I’ll explain briefly what extensions do as well as share a list of 20 really cool Alfred extensions you should download and try.

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For those of us who have trouble finding the proper motivation to make difficult changes in our lives, New Year’s represents a perfect opportunity to start fresh with some resolutions. There are dozens of great Mac apps that can help us to lead happier, healthier, and more organized lives.

This list covers some of my favorite apps for managing your workflow, organizing your Mac, and keeping your mind sharp and your body fit.

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OS X Lion has now been around long enough for us all to dig in and really find some interesting functionality that is either completely hidden or just enough below the service that many users don’t even know it exists.

We’ve spent hours combing through Lion for secrets and put out a call on Twitter for your favorites. This post brings over forty such hidden tricks and tips for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

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We recently went over the best apps of 2011 and it’s safe to say that last year was an amazing time to be a Mac user. Not only did our favorite apps see major updates, there was a nice influx of brand new apps that were simply too good to pass up.

Today we want to reverse things and start looking forward instead of reviewing what has already come. We’ll introduce you to ten apps that are going to make big waves in 2012. Interestingly enough, most of them happen to be geared towards designers and web developers so if you fit that description, you’ll definitely want to take a look! We’ll also look at an awesome new Google Reader app, what’s in store for Spotify and even get a glimpse of the gem that 6Wunderkinder has been keeping up its sleeve.

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As we bid farewell to 2011 and greet 2012, we always like to take a look back and see which apps really stood out over the last year. There’s never a shortage of amazing apps to discuss, the hardest part of this post is simply narrowing down the options to something manageable! We put out a call to all our contributors and Twitter followers and asked for your favorite apps from the past year. The votes are in and the results were loud and clear.

Before we begin, let’s go over the rules. The idea here is to take a look at apps for which 2011 was significant. Perhaps they were released in 2011 or had a totally overhauled new version that blew us away. For instance, in last year’s post, Transmit 4 was a clear and easy choice. However, this year Transmit 4 won’t be on the list. It’s still an amazing app, but 2011 wasn’t really that significant in the Transmit story. Now that you get the idea, let’s jump in and take a look at some awesome apps that made big waves in 2011.

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