There’s so many video file formats, it can be infuriating trying to figure out how to play them all. So why not convert your full video library and put all of your videos into your favorite formats, then save them in the sizes that’ll be best on each of your devices? That’s exactly what Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate, our sponsor this week, is designed for.

Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate can convert over 100 video formats — everything from .mov and .wma to DVD ISO images — into any format you’d like. But it’s far simpler than you’d imagine. All you have to do is drag in your videos, select the device you want to watch the video on, and let Wondershare do its job. Or, you can tweak the settings if you like to the exported video format and size you want. Then, you can use it to add the metadata you want to your videos, and it’ll automatically add them to your iTunes library for simple playback and sync to your devices.

And that’s not all. Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate also includes a simple video editor so you can trim, add effects, and subtitles and more to your video clips and share just what you want. You can also can download online videos so you can watch them offline on your Mac just like you could with YouTube’s mobile apps. It can also burn videos to DVD, so you can backup your special footage and share it easily with anyone.

Get Your Copy of Wondershare Video Converter!

Want a simple way to share all of your great holiday videos, or perhaps convert some of your videos to keep the kids entertained on your Christmas road trip? Then grab your own copy of Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate today. It’s 20% off for the holidays, so you can get your own copy for just $59.95 this week!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

There’s so many things you could get as a gift, but there’s only a few things you’d actually hope to get. Surprises are always the best, but it’s hard to silence the inner child and not wistfully think of what gifts you’d like to get if you could get anything you want.

I know, I know. Every self-respecting Apple fan would kill to have a new Mac Pro — especially in Ive’s signature RED edition — under the tree, but the chances of that — at least without you knowing about it — are rather slim. But there’s still tons of other great gifts, from the practical ones like external hard drives to the surprising ones like hardcover books about Apple or perhaps coding and design that you’d love to have grace your bookshelves.

We’ve already rounded up the Mac gifts we think are the very best, but I’m certain there’s other great geeky gifts we overlooked. So, assuming you were nice and not naughty this year, what geeky Christmas presents are you hoping will be under the tree this year? Or did you already go out and splurge on some geeky gifts for yourself? We’d love to hear about them!

My Desktop can start looking pretty crazy if I’m not careful. I try to keep it clean and all of my files sorted and organized, but I’m just as guilty as anyone of creating a pile of files I’m working with on my Desktop. I end up creating folders to sort them, but that defeats the purpose of keeping everything where I can see it.

Enter Desktop Groups, a useful app for organizing all of that stuff that clutters up my Desktop. Rather than hiding everything away in folders, I can keep all of my files out and accessible. I’ll take a look and see if Desktop Groups can really improve my organization and productivity. (more…)

Control Center, recently added to iOS 7, put a lot of often reached for settings and tools close at hand. While that’s great for iPhone users, it doesn’t do a lot for us on the Mac. There’s some great stuff in there, though, and I’d like to have all of that at my fingertips or the click of a mouse. Controls+ aims to connect Control Center and OS X by putting a lot of the best tools in the menu bar. (more…)

I want an easy way to get inside of package installers, those .PKG files, without actually installing them. Is that too much to ask? It’s not, because Pacifist does just that. In fact, it does a lot more, allowing users to look inside of all sorts of files and find info about installers, too. I tried it out and will let you know all about it. (more…)

Always on the search for a new way to get things done, I jumped at the chance to give Silo a go. It has a companion app on just about every device, so I’ve always got my list and todos on me, something I’ve found is important not only to me but to anyone committed to being truly productive. I put the Mac version of the Silo app through its paces to see how it stands up to the competition. (more…)

I’ve long said that the best tools are the ones that do one thing well. There are some app categories that really benefit from this, but something I’ve been learning with all my photo-taking tools is that photography apps often benefit the most from it. I love my all-in-one kits like Photoshop and Aperture, but they’re not perfect. There’s certainly room for improvement in certain areas.

One of those areas, at least for me, lies within vignettes and focus points. I like to tinker with them, and they often cause really cool effects, but I never like to keep them — they never turn out well. For the longest time, I thought it was just me, but I’ve come to realize it’s also the tool. It should be no surprise to many that MacPhun, one of the kings of photography apps, has come up with an incredible solution for this problem called Focus 2. Read on to find out what makes this a must-have for photographers who love a little focus in their lives.

(more…)

I bought Day One as a gift to myself on all of my devices last January. I’ve always wanted to keep a diary and have been consistently impressed with the diligence of those who return to a journal day after day. I just never seem to keep up with daily personal writing, and I inevitably misplace my journal, eventually forgetting about it entirely for months at a time. Day One’s omnipresence on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad seemed like it would fix all of that for me.

And it did! Now Day One has updated with some great new features on the Mac app, and I wanted to take a closer look at all the improvements. (more…)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” wrote Charles Dickens, in a sentence that happens to sum up almost every human experience in my opinion. But for technology, the one thing that brings that quote to mind most is eBooks. See, eBooks are a brilliant idea. With a simple tap, you can download a full book that’d otherwise have taken a trip to a book store or a wait of a few days from Amazon. That downloaded book can be read on your phone, tablet, Mac, or eReader, devices which you already cary around and most of which weigh less than the average hardback — and which can also hold hundreds and thousands of books. It’s a bookworm’s dream come true.

And yet, eBooks are far from perfect. For every beautifully detailed eBook, like those made for iBooks with iBooks Author, there’s a horribly formatted Kindle book that doesn’t do justice to any text. Or, there’s the low-quality scanned PDFs of books that you’ll find online from questionable sources, that’ll quickly convince you eBooks are a terrible idea.

But eBooks shouldn’t be a bad idea, and you shouldn’t need an interactive, multimedia eBook to make it nice. Enter Vellum.

(more…)

I write in Markdown all the time, the easy-to-use writing syntax conceived of by John Gruber (of Daring Fireball fame). The nice thing about the syntax is that it doesn’t require any one specific app, so web writers can use it with whatever text editor they feel like — including default editors like TextEdit for Mac, which is much more powerful than most of us realize, I think.

That hasn’t stopped the flow of Markdown editors from arriving for Mac, though. Recently, I stumbled upon Lightpaper, which will be familiar to anybody who uses Android. Lightpaper Pro is well known on the Google Play Store, and I even reviewed it on Android.AppStorm. I went so far as to include it amongst the most noteworthy Markdown-equipped Android apps. The real question is: can lightning strike twice for developer Clockwork Engine with the Lightpaper Mac app? Read on to find out if this app is worth exploring, even in its beta state. (more…)

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