AirBeam Pro 1.5 review: Turn your Mac and iOS devices into a home-surveillance system

Nathan Alderman , Macworld

Nathan Alderman is a writer and copy editor, and frequent Macworld contributor based in Alexandria, Virginia.
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Whether you want to beef up your home security, save a few bucks on a baby monitor, or just pretend you’re James Bond, Appologics UG’s AirBeam Pro (Mac App Store link) provides an inexpensive, powerful way to turn your existing Macs, iPads, and iPhones into a sophisticated home security system.

After a simple installation, AirBeam Pro starts looking for AirBeam-enabled cameras on your Wi-Fi network. It won’t work with third-party cameras, but if you’ve purchased and installed separate copies of AirBeam for your iPhone or iPad, or have AirBeam running on other networked Macs, the program will find them and start displaying crisp real-time video streams. You can also make your own Mac a camera, and broadcast that video to AirBeam on your portable devices, or to anyone on your local network via a Web connection tied to your Mac’s local IP address. (There’s a separate free Mac client for simply watching streams from other devices.) AirBeam even supports Motrr’s Galileo motorized mount for iPhones, letting you pan and tilt remote cameras.

airbeam pro screenshot
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InfoClick review: Find what you're looking for in Apple Mail

Dan Miller Editor, Macworld

Dan is Editor of Macworld.
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There are two kinds of emailers: Filers, who meticulously file away their messages into folders, and Dumpers, who just keep everything in one vast Inbox and rely on search to find messages they want. Nisus’s InfoClick has something to offer both of them, but particularly the latter.

InfoClick is essentially a supercharged search tool for Mail. (Note that it’s a separate application on its own, not a Mail plug-in.) When you first launch it, it indexes all of the messages in your various mailboxes. (It took roughly 15 minutes to do this on my 75,000 messages.) Once that indexing is done, you can use InfoClick’s Normal interface, which includes six search fields: contact (who sent or received the message); text (in the subject or content of the message); date (year, month, or day); kind (sent, received, trashed, and so on); attachments (including file name); and location (the mailbox where the message(s) are stored). There’s also a Detailed Search interface, which offers those same search options in their own specific search fields (email account; contacts in CC: and BCC: fields; and so on).

infoclick
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Welcome to GemFest 2014

Dan Frakes Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Dan writes about OS X, iOS, utilities, cool apps, and troubleshooting. He also covers hardware; mobile, audio, and AV gear; input devices; and accessories. He's been writing about tech since 1994, and he's also published software, worked in IT, and worked as a policy analyst.
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The Mac platform boasts an abundance of free, low-cost, and great-value software. (That’s partly because of the convenience and popularity of the Mac App Store, though the concept of excellent, inexpensive Mac apps has been around for decades.) In fact, one of the biggest challenges these days, at least when it comes to software, is that the Mac has a veritable overabundance of apps. How do you know which are the good ones—and which ones are truly great?

That’s where we come in. Here at Macworld, we call apps that give you great functionality for the price Mac Gems, and we review one or two of these products each week in our Mac Gems column. Veteran readers know that Gems reviews are special to us, because they epitomize why we do what we do: to help you make the most of your Mac without breaking the bank.

But at our usual rate of Gems reviews, we can’t keep up with everything that’s out there. So each summer, our editors, along with a number of regular Macworld contributors, collaborate on an annual Gems-review marathon, which we call GemFest (a.k.a., the Summer of Gems).

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Intermission 1.1 review: Pause and rewind your Mac's audio, TiVo-style

Dan Frakes Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Dan writes about OS X, iOS, utilities, cool apps, and troubleshooting. He also covers hardware; mobile, audio, and AV gear; input devices; and accessories. He's been writing about tech since 1994, and he's also published software, worked in IT, and worked as a policy analyst.
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Over the past decade or so, TiVo and similar DVRs have changed the way we watch TV—so much so that many of us take for granted that we can pause live TV, rewind to watch something again, and jump forward to skip commercials. These features have become such an ingrained part of my media-consuming experience that I often miss them when listening to music on my Mac.

Sure, iTunes has a pause button, and if I’m listening to tracks in my iTunes library, I can skim forward and back. But I’ve got plenty of other ways to listen to music on my Mac that don’t necessarily provide such features: In addition to iTunes and other apps for playing local music tracks, I’ve got streaming-audio apps such as Pandora and Spotify (and, of course, iTunes Radio), and I’ve got myriad websites and online services providing music, podcasts, and online “radio” shows. Some of these let me skip forward and back, but not all; some have ads, while others don’t. And while most have a pause button, I have to remember which app I’m currently using, switch to that app, and then pause or resume—I don’t have a universal Pause button.

At least I didn’t until I started using Rogue Amoeba’s Intermission, which aims to bring TiVo-like features to your Mac’s audio, regardless of the source of that audio. Like TiVo on your TV, Intermission constantly records your Mac’s audio in order to create a buffer you can browse.

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iReal Pro for Mac review: A harmonious practice tool for musicians

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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At the risk of giving away the secrets of musicians everywhere, there are bound volumes of (sometimes legal) musical scores called “fake books.” Rather than denoting every note and rest within a composition, they instead offer a "lead sheet" made up of a single melody line and chord headings. It’s then the musician’s job to devise an arrangement (read: fake their way through) based on this bare outline. The most well known of these fake books is the Real Book, which is full of jazz standards.

I mention all this to give you some idea where iReal Pro (Mac App Store link) gets its name. (iReal Pro is available in versions for iOS, Android, and the Mac; I discuss the Mac version, which costs $20, here.)

iReal Pro is more than a collection of musical scores (known as “charts” to us hep-cats). It’s additionally an auto-accompaniment application rudimentarily similar to PG Music’s $129 Band-in-a-Box. The idea is that you select a chart and press Play, and iReal Pro plays a three-instrument backing track—drums, bass, and piano (or guitar), for example. Your job is to play or sing along with this virtual band.

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iResizer review: Get your images to fit, without cropping

Serenity Caldwell Associate Editor, Macworld

Serenity has been writing and talking and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, writes, acts, sings, and wears an assortment of hats.
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When it comes to Instagram, I usually prefer to post images that I took on my phone. But some people like to use the image-sharing service as a highlight reel for their DSLR images—which is great, but chances are those photos weren’t shot with a square aspect ratio.

You could crop your images, of course, but the $20 iResizer (Mac App Store link; currently on sale for $2) offers a different option: The app’s content-aware resizing tools fit all of your image—no cropping involved—into a square frame, maintaining the original aspect ratio of the important parts.

resizer 05
You mark the parts of an image you want to keep at the original aspect ratio, then let iRisizer make the overall image square.
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Ulysses III review: Document writing and management in one

Kirk McElhearn Senior Contributor, Macworld

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville. He's also the author of Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ.
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I didn’t use to be a fan of Markdown, a plain-text syntax that’s designed to be easy to write and read while letting you easily publish to HTML. I write to HTML for several blogs and websites, but I’ve been fluent enough in that language over the years to be comfortable typing the code directly. (I also use a number of TextExpander shortcuts to handle some of that code for me, so I don’t need to remember the details of certain tags.) In addition, Markdown handles only a subset of HTML tags for styling text, and I often need other, more-complex tags. But if you’ve read my reviews of Mac writing apps here at Macworld, you may have noticed that I’ve slowly been coming around to Markdown—for much of what I write, it does what I need with little complication.

These days, many Mac writing apps support Markdown, though they handle Markdown code in different ways, and they offer different approaches to HTML previews—from showing a preview in a separate window, to showing text and previews side by side in the same window.

The Soulmen’s $45 Ulysses III (Mac App Store link) takes a different tack, showing styling right inline with your text: When you apply styling to a bit of text—such as the italics on the word “with” just above—Ulysses shows the text in the style you’ve applied, with the style-syntax characters displayed in a lighter or darker color (depending on which theme you use).

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