Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #394

I have no issue with the Mac App Store in general. It’s convenient, easy, and useful. But many Mac developers don’t offer their wares in the Mac App Store for a variety of reasons. Some developers object to Apple taking a cut of every sale and subscription. Some apps don’t meet the Mac App Store guidelines (of which there are many).

If you only buy apps from the Mac App Store, you’ll miss out on many of the most useful, reasonably priced, and effort-saving Mac apps available today. So, this week I’d like to introduce you to two of my favorite non-App Store apps: SoundSource 4 and A Better Finder Rename.

SoundSource 4

I listen to music when I work at my Mac, so I love SoundSource 4 from Rogue Amoeba ($29), which is like the Apple menu bar Sound widget after being bitten by a radioactive spider.

SoundSource lets me access settings from the Sound System Preferences pane and many more, all without opening System Preferences. Rather, I choose input and output devices and set levels directly from SoundSource’s menu bar icon.

SoundSource 4: Like the Sound widget after being bitten by a radioactive spider.

SoundSource 4: Think Sound widget bitten by a radioactive spider.

Another of my favorite features is called “output redirection,” which lets me choose to send audio from any app to any output device. So, I can send listening music to my stereo speakers, alerts to my MacBook Pro’s internal speakers, and Logic output to my studio monitors

.Finally, I think SoundSource’s 10-band equalizer and presets sound better than the ones in the Music app, and I appreciate SoundSource’s (optional) menu bar level and volume indicators.

SoundSource provides an equalizer for each app!

SoundSource lets you select a different output for each app, and each app has its own equalizer!

A Better Finder Rename

If you’ve ever wasted time trying to get the Finder’s built-in Rename Items command to do what you want, consider A Better Finder Rename, which, as the name implies, is better at renaming files than the utility built into the Finder.

I often find myself having to change the names of dozens or hundreds of files at once. For simple renaming, Apple’s built-in Rename Items is sufficient, but you need to do more than simply replace characters or add index numbers, you’re out of luck.

A Better Finder Rename is the solution, doing all that the built-in utility does and way more including:

  • Extracting MP3/AAC tags (such as Artist, Album, Song Name, Song Length, Bit Rate, and using them as parts of the file name).
Rename MP3/AAC files by extracting tags such as Artist, Album, Song Name, Song Length, Bit Rate.

Rename MP3/AAC files by extracting tags such as Artist, Album, Song Name, Song Length, Bit Rate.

  • Determining the dimensions of an image and adding that info to a file name (e., Clouds 3800 x 3000 pixels).
  • Extracting EXIF data from digital camera images to use in file names.
  • Multi-step file renaming (i.e., Change “semifinal” to “final,” insert the date and time, and add an index number).
  • Instant before and after previews.

There is a trial mode that lets you rename up to 10 files at a time for free. If you rename as many files as I do, you’re going to love it.

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