Software picks of the week

Every now and then I come across a bit of Mac OS X software which does just what I want and is reasonably priced. Keyboard Maestro was one I wrote about in September. A plug for some recent finds:

  • ImageCaster is a $20 bit of software which captures images, typically from a USB or Firewire-connected camera, and saves or uploads them to create a webcam. Many cameras come with such software, but if yours doesn’t, or if it doesn’t support OS X, or if it isn’t any good, this is worth a try.
  • Audio Hijack captures audio from apps which may not support saving. I use it for saving RealAudio streams to hard disk or to my iPod. (I do wish the BBC wouldn’t try to do such complex stuff on their web pages though. They don’t work on the Mac, and I have to view the source of the web pages to find the URL to type into RealPlayer.)
  • It took me a while to discover that my Powerbook has a built-in microphone. Almost nothing in the bundled software advertises this fact. But using SoundStudio I’ve been able to get some reasonable-quality recordings from it. SoundStudio is a general-purpose audio editor which is fully-functional for 14 days, after which it costs $50. Recommended.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser