Geeky Stuff Life

Mostly Lisa’s Top 6 Media Apps for your Mac

Photonic is an awesome flickr desktop client for Mac OSX. Just drag and drop photos, add titles, description, tags, add to albums and groups, and upload. I talked about it more in depth here. Works really well and it looks like it actually belongs on a Mac. Ahem twhirl.

Skitch is a desktop app that works hand-in-hand with to allow you grab screenshots or take photos from your iPhoto library, add sweet text or arrows, and with 1-click, upload and share them.

I’d seen Skitch on people’s twitter feeds for a while but I thought it was just another flickr wannabe, but oh was I wrong! This app combines three of my favourite things: Capturing screenshots of silly skype chats, drawing funny things on said screenshot, and sharing with my iFriends.

So Shady!

Before I would do everything in Illustrator or PS, and it would be laborious and very un-fun. But Skitch is heaps of fun, basically like having a revamped 2.0 MacPaint Now all I need is the Moose.

If you are a PC User you should check out Jing. It’s like Skitch, only it doesn’t look as good. I guess they didn’t want to scare PCers with cool design stuff. On the flip side, it does let you screen capture video, as well as photos which is pretty sweet. Mac users can use it too. I’ll give it a go and tell you what I think.

VLC is a cross-platform media player. This awesome app plays everything – every video format you throw at it VLC (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, avi, mov, mp3) it plays. Never download another obscure Codec or QT plug-in again! It also seems to play videos with video errors or audio issues that other players will completely reject and allow you to correct audio sync problems in preferences.

Visual Hub is a universal video converter for Mac made by Techspansion. It offers wikkid fast conversion from nearly every video format to iPod, PSP, DV, DVD, AVI, MP4, WMV, MPEG and Flash. If you work with video, that previous sentence probably make your eyes enlarge a bit and maybe bust out a little nerdy grin. VisualHub solves the most frustrating part of video production: Converting. Especially if you are working with clients who have no idea about compression, frame rate, or video in general:

Yeah, can you make it big.
Yeah, big enough for my screen.
But don’t you want to put this up on your website? I’m pretty sure you don’t want to go bigger than 640×480.
Yeah. Can you make it that big? And make it look HD.
But we didn’t shoot it in HD.
Well can you make it look like HD with some kind of ‘bells and whistles’?
*stabs stylus in left eye.

I use VisualHub on a daily basis. I’ll even use it to burn simple DVDs over Popcorn when I’m in a rush because the presets are so quick and easy to use. Also, if audio is more your game, you should check out Techspansion’s new audio converter, AudialHub.

iShowU is an awesome screen capture app that allows you to grab video and audio with great presets i.e., . I recently used it to create a short demo of a new firefox plug-in, PriceAdvance.

PodWorks is an app that allows you to move songs from your iPod back to your Mac. Don’t you hate the unidirectionality of the iPod? I sure do. This app solves that screaming face you make when you can’t do something you want to do something on your Mac and can’t. Take back your iPod!

What are you opinions on these apps? Is there a multimedia application that you love? Let me know if I’ve missed anything.

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  • Reply
    May 22, 2008 at 9:22 PM

    Is that Pasquale?

  • Reply
    May 22, 2008 at 9:55 PM

    PodWorks is sadly the most brilliant and unnecessary application all rolled into one. Should be no need for it, but there is, so it rocks.

  • Reply
    Michael Zahora
    May 22, 2008 at 10:24 PM

    Perfect timing. Thanks Lisa!

    I was planning on spending a good part of tomorrow looking for software for a screen capture video I want to do and you just nailed it! WOOHOO! I can now sleep in tomorrow and work on a couple of posts for my blog, instead of looking online for software until my eyes start to bleed.

    You rock!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2008 at 11:18 PM

    Nice include on VLC. What about Quicksilver, girl?.. and Perian (a Quicktime plug-in:

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    May 22, 2008 at 11:29 PM

    @Brady — the one and only.

    @Paz — i’ll let you use one of my macs :wink:

    @Tom — whoa. you actually commented on my blog?!? what’s wrong? are you ill?

    @Michael — sweet! i’m glad i could help. get iShowU for sure!

    @Sean — i do have QS installed, but to be honest, I haven’t gotten around to really learning it Merlin Mann styles, but I plan on getting into it soon. i didn’t include it here because it’s not specifically a media app. i started another list of sweet apps that i’ll post next week sometime.

    PS i just downloaded Perian cuz of my Flip ultra. it is cool, that’s fo’ sho.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2008 at 1:32 AM

    VLC is great, and in this list the only one I knew already.. I just downloaded a similar app to podworks, because a friend of mine gave me his old ipod and there were a lot of cool songs still on there.. Visualhub and iShowU are things I will definitely go out and try. Thanks!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2008 at 1:33 AM

    BTW is Flip4mac something for you?

  • Reply
    May 23, 2008 at 2:56 AM

    MPEG Streamclip is quite handy for splicing and editing movies (e.g., removing those pesky commercials from PVR recordings)

  • Reply
    May 23, 2008 at 4:23 AM

    Love VLC. The recent versions support the Apple remotes so it’s even cooler.

    Quite like ImageWell for quick image editing. Handbrake for ripping DVDs. Used hugin to make a panorama a couple of months ago. It worked well, but I tried to do one yesterday with only two photos, I guess there wasn’t enough overlap, or I didn’t have the right settings cos it didn’t work properly at all.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2008 at 5:36 AM

    Thanks for the info Lisa! Am sure I’ll be downloading some of these when I get my new shiny mac in the next couple of weeks!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2008 at 6:05 AM

    Useful Nf0! Thanks 4 sharing! :)

  • Reply
    Brad Ruggles
    May 23, 2008 at 6:56 AM

    I use Skitch ALL THE TIME! I would be a lost blogger without it. It makes snapping and uploading pics so stinkin easy!

    I found a couple new apps in your list that I’m going to check out (and probably love…I’m an app addict).

    Thanks for the list!

    Brad Ruggles //

  • Reply
    Ryan Ray
    May 23, 2008 at 7:45 AM

    Hey Lisa, thanks for those apps! Especially Photonic, I just got into using Flickr and have been using their software to upload. I’m excited to try Photonic, I’m also trying Skitch just for fun! I’ve always used this software called Senuti to get my media off of my iPod, check it out!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2008 at 8:06 AM

    Love Skitch.

    Thanks for the heads-up on PodWorks! Was looking for something like that not too long ago.

    I’m a relatively new iPod Nano owner so, I’ve been dutifully searching for all the little apps that would make my iPod-owning experience, oh, so much richer. Here are three that I love that also happen to be… FREE:

    is a GPL’d multiplatform, multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 ripper/converter” that works beautifully to get movies onto you iPod, and is unbelievably easy to operate.

    is a freeware program for Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard, and above which enables you to search for, save, and convert YouTube and many other flash videos to a format suitable for playback on your favorite devices.”

    is an iPod video conversion app for Mac OS X. It’s many times faster than QuickTime Pro, works with almost all popular video formats, and it’s infinitely free-er. It’s also really easy. Just drag in your file, and click Start. You can also choose ‘TV’ or “iPod” size, set your quality, or even go all-out by playing in the Advanced drawer.”

    Recently found a great little place to discover new little gems like this over at Works with Face book too.
    Shows a little box with all your “loved” apps too

  • Reply
    Friday Five - Building a photo business, 6 media apps for Mac, New image uses, Hard drive back-up, Your face on a book |
    May 23, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    […] Lisa (the geek goddess) made my day by posting about 6 media apps for Mac. Two of which I’ll be using for future video posts. Thanks […]

  • Reply
    Matt Przybylski
    May 24, 2008 at 9:27 AM

    Just a heads up about QuickSilver. I used QS for a long time until I realized that you can press ctrl+space and spotlight comes up, then you can start typing your program name there and its just like QS without the need for a third-party app. QS takes a while to load at startup so this is a much better solution.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    Matt – that’s strange, Spotlight takes far longer to search through my files for each individual search than Quicksilver takes to load at start up. How much of your computer did you have QS indexing?

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    May 24, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    @SpazZ — np. glad to provide my readers with useful info now and then. i have used flip4video loads in the past, but don’t find i use it anymore. maybe it’s cuz i avoid .wmv files like the plague.

    @spike — checked out MPEG Streamclip. looks decent. does it convert .flv files?

    @kristarella — VLC is uber. i tried ImageWell but found it really clunky. i’d rather use iPhoto for quick image editing. Handbreak for sure! they released 0.9.2 in Feb. it’s awesome. i also use MactheRipper. hugin looks pretty neat. i’ll check it out.

    @Adam — ooh! lemme know when you get it! awesome!

    @MhawSayar –Nfo! wow that’s a new one. i’m totally gonna tweet that!

    @Brad Ruggles — Yeah Skitch!! i’ve used it so much in the last couple of days. totally rocks.

    @Ryan Ray — Senuti eh? checking… does look pretty good. dunno if it’s any better than PodWorks. is it?

    @Steelie — hi-5! that’s what i like to hear. TubeTV looks pretty neat. i don’t put my vids on YouTube cuz i’m kinda scared of it and the super mean commenting that goes on there. but if i ever do i’ll give it a go. i’ve heard about iSquint but never used it myself as VisualHub seems to pwn it. but i guess if you convert loads of vids for the iPod it would be useful.

    @Matt — YES! someone told me that a few days ago and it works so well! i use that method to launch all my apps. i don’t know if it’s a better solution than QS, as QS can do so much more, but for simple app launching it’s ace.

  • Reply
    Matt Przybylski
    May 25, 2008 at 8:27 AM

    kristarella: To be absolutely honest with you, i don’t remember. :\ It’s been a while since I had it installed.

    Lisa: I only ever used QS for app launching and again, to be quite honest, i never knew what the big fuss was as to its other uses. all i needed was an app launcher so the spotlight method works great for me.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    VisualHub is excellent – just a shame it lets itself down with such a poor icon. These days on Mac, the attractiveness of the icon can make or break an app’s popularity, at least in the inital stages at least

  • Reply
    May 25, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    glad that steelie mentioned Handbrake – that’s a fantastic piece of software.

    I also recommend Pixen for editing photos.

    “Pixen is an innovative graphics editor for the Mac. It’s designed from top to bottom for pixel artists—people who make low-resolution raster art like the sprites you see in old video games. But it’s great for artists of all arenas: Pixen is like a very powerful MSPaint or a simpler, more agile Photoshop. And best of all, it’s Free!”

    Great post!

  • Reply
    Ryan Ray
    May 25, 2008 at 7:46 PM

    I’ve never experienced PodWorks, but I will let you know my findings!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    @Kenji Totally agree about the icon. Wrote a post yesterday with a list of image software, you can see the difference icons make and how appealing they make the software.

    @erik I can’t believe I didn’t come across Pixen when I was writing the aforementioned post!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Never tried it, but I think MPEG Streamclip will work with .flv files if you have Perian installed.

    Another second for using Spotlight to launch apps. Here’s a related Leopard trick I found a few months back: add a handy “Recent Applications” stack to your dock with this shell command (all on one line):

    defaults write persistent-others -array-add ‘{ “tile-data” = { “list-type” = 1; }; “tile-type” = “recents-tile”; }’

    Activate with a ‘killall Dock’ command.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2008 at 4:12 AM

    Holy delayed response on my part…

    Forgot to mention that TubeTV works for far more than just the Google and YouTube videos as described in the blurb I copied over. You can actually download any flash based video from any site you are visiting. And If the site you are visiting has multiple videos on the same page, simply press play on the one you wish to download and that will be the one that TubeTV targets.

    If you want to download more than one video from a single page, just press pause on any already downloading movies, press play on the next one, press the download button and VOILA!

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2008 at 4:13 AM

    Oh, right…

    Not sure if you saw this bit o’ news already… me thinks it’s up your alley (’specially given this post):

  • Reply
    vlc mp4 codec
    June 21, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    […] I talked about it more in depth here. Works really well and it looks like it actually belongs on a file extensionJul 11, 2005 … effectively vlc starting V0.8 plays directly .mp4 files without […]

  • Reply
    Making and editing a screencast —
    July 8, 2008 at 6:43 PM

    […] After trying those ones out I thought I should look for actual recommendations, and seemed to remember one on Mostly Lisa. […]

  • Reply
    December 12, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    thanks for sharing this of great apps for mac. I can use it to my new macbook.

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