Mac: Software to get started

Mac No Comment

Since I got my first Mac I have encouraged a few of my friends to get them as well. To help them out I sent them a list of things to download to get started. This is the list, along with a few newer things that deserve to be on the list.

Instant Messenger Client. Let’s you customize a lot, depending on how crazy you want to get. Can use all the various IMs in 1 buddy list. The interface is a lot quicker than iChat, as far as checking status goes. You lose the audio/video abilities of iChat but I never have used those.

Instead of iChat I used Skype for my audio/video. It isn’t perfect but if you are patient it gets the job done.

Web Browser. Safari bugs me, but its getting better. See here and here. Camino is made by the same people as Firefox. Firefox has been a little weird on Mac. I’ve been using Firefox 3 a bit and it seems solid. When its finally released (or Camino goes whacky for a few days) I will give it another look.

Player for Windows Media. It’s certainly not perfect but if you want to play Windows Media files online you need it. Microsoft stopped making Windows Media Player for Mac so this is what they recommend now.

Video Player. If you come across a video that won’t play in Quicktime or Flip4Mac then try it out in VLC. If that doesn’t work then the file is likely bad.

Flickr Uploadr
If you put this on your Dock you can drag right from iPhoto then upload to flickr. Sometimes it puts pictures out of order, which really bugs me. FlickrExport probably does a better job, but it costs a few bucks.

Keeps track of what you listen to in iTunes, suggests other stuff you might like. The next version fixes some issues in tracking what you listen to on your iPod.

Google Notifier
Will let you know you have new Gmail (it also works with Google Calendar). It even gives you a preview of the message.

You Control:Tunes
iTunes controls on the menu bar. I have mine setup so I can play, change tracks, and rate the current song. It also has a pop-up that shows you information about each song when it begins to play.

If you have a Sirius subscription this is a great app to listen. Especially since the Sirius Player only seems to work well in Internet Explorer.

Radar In Motion
Current weather radar. I love radar.

Sing That iTune!
Will download lyrics for the currently playing song in iTunes. Is far from perfect but is the best available. The site isn’t in English, I usually download from here.

Happy Birthdays!
Shows you all the upcoming birthdays for the people in your Address Book. That is the Apple link since this is another non-English developed Widget.

Delivery Status
Put in the tracking info for just about any service and it will give you updates via Growl.

iStat Pro
All sorts of details about your system. I use it most often to see what program is hogging my CPUs instead of opening up Activity Monitor.

TV Forecast
Tells you when the next new episode of all your shows is coming.