Chimoosoft's Mac Picks and Reviews
This page is part of our archive. For weekly reviews of software and hardware for Mac OS X, please visit our main OS X Picks page.
A simple dashboard widget to calculate beats per minute (bpm) for songs. Tap the widget or space bar in time to your music and bpmWidget will calculate the tempo and store it in the song's bpm tag. Having this information allows you to build more powerful smart playlists in iTunes.
Although other programs exist which automatically determine the tempo of each song, they often don't work as expected and can be frustrating to deal with. Even in conjunction with an automated program, bpmWidget is still convenient for fixing its inevitable mistakes. Hopefully a future version will include the option to auto advance to the next song and possibly jump midway into it.
LaCie Portable Hard Drive
This LaCie 100GB portable FireWire and USB 2.0 hard drive is designed by Porsche and serves as an ideal backup companion for your lonely PowerBook or MacBook Pro. (It also gets along with iBooks and MacBooks, but the metal styling doesn't match as well.)
Available sizes range from 60 to 160 GB and the drive is bus powered via the FireWire or USB port on your Mac laptop which solves the annoyance of having to plug in a separate power cable. Unlike some other tested drives, this one is able to draw enough power from even the pickiest Apple laptops which often provide no more current than the exact bus specification (which some drive manufacturers don't follow very carefully). In the unlikely case that your laptop doesn't provide enough bus power, this drive can even draw juice from both the FireWire and USB ports simultaneously via an included cable.
The drive is stylish, small, solidly built, fast, quiet, and works flawlessly with Macs. It comes with a soft drawstring case and thoughtfully short FireWire and USB cables. Note that you should use Disk Utility (in your Utilities folder) to reformat the drive as an HFS plus volume (Mac OS Extended) before using it for optimum Mac compatibility. If you need to exchange data with Windows users, leave it with the default format.
Adds bayesian spam filtering to most popular email clients including Apple Mail, Emailer, Entourage, Eudora, GyazMail, Mailsmith, Outlook Express, and PowerMail (see review). The author has used SpamSieve for several years and has achieved a 98.6% accuracy score out of 91,348 emails processed. From personal experience, it appears to work better than Apple's own spam filter in Mail. SpamSieve offers a great deal of customizability and even allows you to view the corpus of words which it uses to calculate spam scores. Integration with clients such as PowerMail is seamless via AppleScript.
Find your hard drive filling up? OmniDiskSweeper can help. This handy little utility scans your drive and hierarchically sorts every file and folder by size - even the invisible ones. This is very handy for finding those huge cache files or old applications, movies, and music that you forgot about. The demo still sorts all your files but forces you to go to the Finder or use the Terminal to delete them manually. Pay the small fee for this software and you gain the ability to delete unwanted files directly within DiskSweeper.
An assortment of the best software and hardware for Mac OS X chosen from around the web and briefly reviewed. Our picks are normally updated on a weekly basis, so check back often for more! No, we don't take requests for reviews at this time; the programs are chosen solely by the reviewer and tend to be lesser known but useful titles which deserve a bit more attention.
The companies or individuals producing reviewed software or hardware are in no way affiliated with Chimoosoft. Software reviewed includes freeware, shareware, commercial, and built in to the OS. All software is tested with the most recent shipping version of Mac OS X currently available at the time of the review.
The software reviews above are for programs (a.k.a. software) for the Macintosh OS X (ten) operating system (Mac OS X, or sometimes just osx). A program may also be referred to as a utility or application depending on its intended purpose. Reviews are copyright 2006-2007 by Chimoosoft.