This week's independent software highlights in the subjective opinion of Macworld UK's news editor, Jonny Evans.
With spam and virus attacks becoming endemic, it's time to take grass-roots action – and my software choice this week does just that: A new release for any Web designer from Railhead Design, SpamStopper 1.5, is a utility that hides Web-site-hosted email addresses from email-harvesting spiders. Essentially, this utility encodes the text of an onsite email address so it doesn't look like an email address in the HTML code of the site, meaning the spambots don't find the address. The software has a number of handy features – and best of all, it's free.
Digital music drives the hub
Meanwhile, the Mac community continues moving to the music with more apps arriving this week for Apple users deep-down in the digital dub:
Independent developer Andy Drabble is offering new software called GB Import (GarageBand import). This utility will import standard exs files (used by eMagic's Logic music application) into GarageBand as new software instruments.
Its primary features include the capacity to automatically copy .exs files and sample files into Apple's consumer music application; the capacity to automatically create Instrument and patch files. Users can choose the name of an instrument as it will appear in GarageBand. Thousands of .exs files are available for download – the developer suggests visiting www.musicbootcamp.com as a starting point. The utility costs $15.
Ergonis Software has released easy beat 2.0, a MIDI sequencer, for OS X. Features include over 100 instruments and drum beats within the software synthesizer, multiple views, support for up to 16 tracks and a click/metronome track, music-score printing and more. The software requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and costs $89. It uses Mac OS X's CoreAudio system to play the songs – so no extra hardware or software are required.
Bitcartel has updated two of its applications this week, bringing both RadioLover and iRecordMusic to version 1.2.
RadioLover is an MP3 radio song recorder with song-splitting options. Users can record MP3 radio streams as separate songs, with support for iTunes Radio Tuner, Shoutcast-compatible radio streams, and MP3, M3U, and EXTM3U radio stream playlists. The $15 application will record multiple streams at once.
iRecordMusic 1.2 offers advanced iCal scheduling, iTunes playlists and tagging, and other enhancements and fixes. This utility lets users record Internet audio as MP3 and AAC. It supports RealAudio, WinMedia and QuickTime, and costs $20.
Security, control and management
Security. It matters. As the demand for data storage increases, driven by consumer-friendly applications such as iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie, Mac users must continue to consider ways to protect themselves.
SubRosaSoft this week released CipherDisk 2.0. This utility protects data on internal drives, external FireWire or USB drives and even CDs and DVDs. It does this by encrypting data using strong algorithms, so no one but those authorized to do so can access that information. Be warned: these applications need users to exercise the best possible care choosing and remembering their passwords.
Mac users hoping to extend their controls over their computer are being offered DiskWrangler 2.0 by PandaWare. This is a file-launching and -browsing utility for OS X that offers users more ways to control their Mac using their keyboard. Among other features, it lets users launch applications, files and URLs. The utility also offers a disk browser that lets them view and manipulate files under keyboard control. Users can also copy, move, delete, view and change files and file attributes and permissions through the keyboard. The utility costs $30.
Finally, Yazsoft this week released an update to its Speed Download utility, bringing this to version 2.3.2. Speed Download 2.3.2 offers download and software-management features. The latter means users can set the utility up to track installed applications, and it will download fresh updates as they are made available. The software offers an extensive list of features, including download acceleration; scheduling; Web downloads; and remote Internet-based control of downloads. It costs $20.