hands on with the macheist 3 bundle

March 25, 2009

For the third year in a row, MacHeist has rolled out a bundle of software which any Mac user should consider. The MacHeist bundle includes 12 programs, worth over $550 combined, for $39. You may not use every app in the bundle, but even interest in a few of them makes it worth the money. I’ve bought the last two bundles. More than once, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to realize I had use for an app months after I’d bought the bundle.

So did I buy MacHeist 3? Yep…about an hour after it was released last night. I’m finding that there are several apps that I likely wouldn’t have considered paying full price for, but have a good chance of finding a home in my Applications folder. Here are my quick impressions of what’s offered in the bundle this year:

iSale: – I have GarageSale from a MacUpdate bundle a few years ago. It’s a definite upgrade from creating an auction via the eBay website. iSale looks very similar, though it appears to offer more templates and control of the auction layout. I have a couple of items I need to post on eBay soon, so I’m going to give iSale a try. I think it stands a chance to win out over GarageSale.

Picturesque:Picturesque is a simple little app for dressing up images with reflections, shadows, outlines, and more. My first impression was that it would be useless to me, but I’m realizing it offers a painless interface for spicing images for blogging or documents. I think I’ll put this one to use.

SousChef: – We’ve been using YummySoup for a few years in our house, and it works well. Our favorite feature is the ability to drap a URL from a FoodNetwork.com recipe (or other recipe sites) into YummySoup and it automatically reformats it. I spent about three minutes with SousChef last night, and it couldn’t do this, so it’s not going to last.

World of Goo: – I try to avoid games, other than those I can play on the Wii with friends or family. That said, I’d heard a lot about World of Goo. I played a little on the couch last night while my wife watched Dancing With the Stars, and I can see why I should probably delete it before it eats up some of my time.

PhoneView: – I had never heard of PhoneView. I don’t think I would have considered buying PhoneView. But after two minutes of use, this will be a gem. It’s more convenient than iPhoto for grabbing in image off the iPhone, and it will be handy to have access to my notes, my call logs, and my SMS from my laptop. Now, if someone can write a script to automatically transfer my notes into Yojimbo, I’ll be set.

Little Snapper: – I played with Little Snapper when it was released, and it’s a nice app. I thought it was pricey, but it inspired me to find a way to create an archive of website designs that I found inspiring. I discovered how easy it is to do just that in Yojimbo, and I already use Skitch for screen capture. That said, I’ll work Little Snapper some more to see if it is worth keeping around.

Acorn: – I have PhotoShop and Pixelmator (thanks to last year’s MacHeist). I like both, so I’m not going to take the time to learn Acorn. But, if you need an image editor, it looks like it can do most everything an average user would require.

Kinemac: – I opened Kinemac. It looks pretty straightforward but more than I want to learn right now, since I don’t have an immediate need for it. But, I am scheming up a video series for Creativityist, so this might be an app that I’m pleased to remember I own in a few weeks…or months.

Wiretap Studio: – I listen to a lot of spoken word lectures and teaching on my iPhone. Sometimes, when I find something that is only available in streaming audio, I’ll use Audio Hijack to record it to listen to on the go. But Audio Hijack has been discontinued by the developer, so I think I’m going to be able to put WireTap Studio to good use. Besides…the icon looks great in the dock.

BoinxTV: – I opened BoinxTV. It looks pretty straightforward but more than I want to learn right now, since I don’t have an immediate need for it. But, I am scheming up a video series for Creativityist, so this might be an app that I’m pleased to remember I own in a few weeks…or months. (Wait…didn’t I just say that about Kinemac?)

The Hit List:The Hit List is yet another task/GTD app. It’s pretty, but I’m still deliriously happy with OmniFocus, so The Hit List won’t become part of my workflow. But since it’s the kind of app I talk about around here, I’ll try to work up a review of it sometime.

Espresso: – Just last week, I said: 1) I would consider Espresso once it was out of beta and 2) I hoped it would be part of MacHeist. A lot can happen in a week, and both of those things came true. From the few times I’ve played with it, I know it will require a little time to learn, but that’s time I’m willing to spend.

Now…my favorite part of all this is that MacHeist gives 25% of every purchase to charity. You can pick from ten different charities, or share your portion with all of them. I designated my money to go to Action Against Hunger because of their work to provide safe drinking water to those who don’t have it. I consider unsafe drinking water to be one of most unnecessary and fixable ills of our broken world. If you don’t have a strong preference on where to give your funds, I hope you’ll consider Action Against Hunger as well.

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