UPDATE: I’ve posted an updated list here for those of you referencing this old posting.
There’s a zillion of these lists out there, but this is mine. A list of the essential, cool, and nice-to-have Mac apps. This is all my most important free or shareware products. The list of commercial stuff will be the topics of another day.
- Adium – Premium, way cool, instant messenger. Supports Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Jabber, Google, + many others (free)
- Cyberduck – The FTP/SFTP client for Macs (free)
- Desktop Manager – Multiple virtual desktops with the coolest switch transitions. This alone has made people go “ooohhhh! I need a Mac” (free)
- FFView – The fastest, most feature rich image viewer I have been able to find for the Mac. (free)
- Firefox – if Safari won’t do it, this will (free)
- HandBrake – The easiest way to rip, transcode, and store DVD’s. Can be used for video iPods as well. (free)
- Thoth – The best USENET news reader out there (there’s also Unison – actively being developed). Thoth is not actively being developed, so you have to … ahem…. find it on USENET. (free – kinda)
- Vim – The VI clone with a GUI interface. Already comes in a CLI format built in. Vim.org has the GUI version. (free)
- VLC – The opensource Video viewer. If this doesn’t play it, you can’t play it on a Mac. (free)
- Flip4Mac – Microsoft has stopped supporting their video player and is now giving this as a Quicktime plugin instead. This works better than the media player ever did, but doesn’t work with DRM content. (free)
- RDC Menu – Let’s you launch multiple windows remote desktop sessions at the same time. (free)
- Spark – A key macro tool that lets you control your apps via keyboard shortcuts. I use it to control iTunes while it’s hidden. (free)
- CHM Viewer – let’s you view/print Microsoft CHM format documents. A ton of technical ebooks are now in this format. (shareware)
- ecto – A blog editor. WYSIWYG and HTML formats. Let’s you edit with spell checking and live previews. (shareware)
- Gimp – The opensource image manipulation program. (free)
- LaunchBar – Spotlight on steroids and then some. (free)
- MacTheRipper – Another DVD ripper. This one doesn’t transcode, but it does a superb job of de-DRM’ing your collection. (free)
- TinkerTool – tinker with a zillion Mac options. (free)
- Azureus – the best torrent client. (free)
- BBEdit – the most feature rich native Mac editor. If it wasn’t for VIM, i’d use this all the time (shareware)
- Opera – a very nice, fast, feature rich web browser. (free)
Outside of Safari.App, Mail.app, and Microsoft’s Office apps, I spend 90% of my time in the stuff here. There’s other command line stuff that I use, but that too is the subject of another post.