Ask the Mac.AppStorm Editor #8

It’s time for another “Ask the Editor” post today. A big thank you to everyone who sent in their questions – it’s great to have the chance to help you out with your Mac-related queries and quibbles.

Some of the topics covered this week include digital asset management software, finding a solution to stay on top of what’s added to the Mac App Store each day, keeping your Mac running smoothly, and the dilemma of whether you need to regularly shut down.

Read on for plenty of handy Mac knowledge, and I hope you’ll find most of it useful for your own situation as well!

Is there a simple way to find out which new apps have been added daily to the App Store?

– Regina

There sure is! Although I couldn’t find an RSS feed for Mac App Store additions (maybe someone can share this in the comments, if it exists…), you should check out a website called AppShopper. They added a new section for the Mac App Store just over a week ago, which gives you plenty of options for taking a look at the latest changes and additions to the database.

AppShopper is a good way to see what's new on the Mac App Store

AppShopper is a good way to see what's new on the Mac App Store

It’s actually an incredibly useful system, and makes it easy to stay on top of what’s new, and any offers/discounts that are currently available. Hope you find it fits the bill!

Is it true that I can (almost) never shut down my Mac and just put it to sleep? Is it safe?

– Lorenzo Peña Álvarez

Absolutely. There’s no real need to shut down your computer, unless you aren’t going to be using it for an extended period of time. This won’t cause any damage to your Mac – it’s designed to happily move between sleep and wake states, and performs regular maintenance automatically without the need to restart.

If you find that your Mac is behaving oddly for some reason, logging out and back in again often fixes the issue – there’s no need to perform a full restart.

The only thing you may want to consider is how to handle your notebook in order to maintain battery life for as long as possible. Apple offers plenty of advice on this topic, which is interesting reading if you’d like to extend the life of your battery as far as possible.

I’m looking for the best utilities to keep the Mac running smoothly. It’s starting to become a little sluggish after two years!

– Nick Tyson

Although we often expect our Mac to be invincible, it does need a little spring cleaning from time to time. Rather than repeat myself here, I’d point you in the direction of a post we published around a year ago: Cleaning Up Your Mac for the New Year.

In it I discuss how to scour your hard drive and delete cumbersome files, cleanly delete unwanted applications, empty various system caches and logs, speed up browsing, and keep things minimal.

Hopefully this will contain plenty of tips to point you in the right direction. In terms of an application to help you out with the whole process, take a look at either MacKeeper or CleanMyMac, both of which might fit the bill!

Are there any well-designed, inexpensive digital asset management apps for Mac?

– Manon Michel

I’ve cut your question down a little to save screen-estate here, but it’s worth mentioning that you mentioned having tried both Extensis Portfolio and DevonThink for this task already (with the former being a little too expensive, and the latter becoming unwieldy with large collections).

I’m actually a big fan of DevonThink, but only have a library of around 5GB. I can’t vouch for whether it struggles with particularly large libraries. There are couple of other options that might be worth exploring:

  • Yojimbo – Similar to DevonThink but with a slightly more appealing interface, Yojimbo could work well. It’s priced at a very reasonable $38.99.
  • Canto – Supposedly, this is “the perfect standalone central media repository to efficiently catalog, organize and reuse any type of digital file.” It might be worth investigating, but comes in at a price of several hundred dollars.
  • FotoStation – A pro solution, for managing media files. It’s seriously pricey, at €489, but you can download a trial to see if it works for you!
  • Cumulus – Another fairly advanced, multi-platform system that requires a central server.
  • Lightroom – Although not exactly a digital asset management app (and not something that would fit your file type requirements), other people may find this a viable solution.

Alternatively, you could use the simpler solution provided by Adobe – Adobe Bridge. This integrates nicely with the rest of the Adobe suite, and would work with all the file formats you mentioned (JPEG, PNG, AI, PSD, and EPS). It’s bundled with pretty much any Creative Suite purchase, so won’t break the bank.

Didn’t See Your Question?

If you asked a question but didn’t have it answered today, don’t worry! I’ll do my best to get to it in a future week. I love a challenge, so feel free to ask some weird and wonderful questions…

If you’d like to submit your query, you can do so here:

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you agree or disagree with anything I mentioned today!