Yep, another MacHeist

MacHeist 3 is here.

There's a lot of controversy about the pros and cons (for developers of Mac software) about steeply discounted bundles of Mac applications, and MacHeist is at the core of it. The controversy revolves around what these kind of steeply-discounted bundles portend for third-party Mac developers. Will it ruin their ability to make a decent profit? Will it kill or maim third party development? Well, it's the third year of the MacHeist bundle, and I say the developers know well what they're getting in to. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

What we, users of Mac apps, need to know is that bundles are great deals, and MacHeist is hard to pass up. This year, I initially thought I'd pass on MacHeist, but I ended up purchasing it...even though I had no interest in many of the apps. Why? Because I could re-gift the ones I didn't want to my friends, and the few I did want justified the relatively small price. The price, by the way, is $39 for over $600 of apps, and if all applications are 'unlocked' (meaning they sell enough bundles) three more apps will be included to raise the total value to $950. Twenty-five percent of each bundle purchase goes to charity, which is an added incentive and a nice touch.

I decided to buy this bundle for Wiretap Studio so I could try this out as a replacement for my much-appreciated, but aging license of Audio Hijack Pro. What appeals to me about Wiretap is a much more simple interface and what looks to be a better (again, simpler) way to hijack audio. I also decided to spring for the bundle to get a Kinemac license. It looks like a promising app to create nice 3D animations, and at a retail price of $300, it's software that I wouldn't otherwise try.

Finally, I'm interested in Espresso 1.0 from MacRabbit, creator of my much-loved CSSEdit. I use TextMate, but I have to say...there haven't been many updates over the past few years. Espresso, on the other hand, seems poised to mature rapidly. Most people say it's a Panic Coda competitor, which I don't use. I do, however, use Panic's Transmit. If Espresso competently handles the chores that I rely on with TextMate and Transmit, then I'm all for it. I'm counting on the eventual unlocking of this app, I should add. It's the last app in the bundle, and I'm not clear what it'll take get unlocked. Still, every bundle I've purchased in the past has reached sale levels that permit unlocking of all apps, so I'm somewhat confident MacHeist will reach that goal. If not, I'm still content. It's still a good deal.

P.S. After I bought the bundle, I was pleasantly surprised by two apps. I like the included game 'World of Goo.' It's a lot fun and has great style. And I'm pleased with LittleSnapper, a screen capture utility from the makers of RapidWeaver, a great web development tool. As a user of SnapNDrag and Skitch for capturing and manipulating screenshots, I thought I wouldn't get much from LittleSnapper. But I like it. I like the library management, the clean and professional look of added text and other accoutrements (including callouts) that I can easily add to screenshots, and the ability to blur parts of my screenshots. It's still early in my testing phase, but this appears to be a promising tool that might just displace SnapNDrag and Skitch.

Troy Kitch @troykitch