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Top 5 Free Apps

Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: May 22, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: August 29, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: March 27, 2009
Release Date: August 07, 2009

iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: September 20, 2009
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: August 25, 2009

Top 5 Paid Apps

Release Date: April 22, 2009
StickWars $0.99
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Genre: Games
Bloons $0.99
Release Date: April 05, 2009
Genre: Games

Discover New Music

  • Pressure Chief

    • 6 out of 10
    • Cake
    • Pressure Chief, Cake's latest album, didn't immediately grab me. In fact, it took perhaps half a dozen listens before I started truly enjoying it. Any

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Once More, with Feeling

    • 10 out of 10
    • Various Artists
    • Most musical episodes of TV shows frankly stink. They are usually little more than ill-conceived vehicles intended to let the stars show off what musical talent they have. Once More, With Feeling,

  • Go Away White

    • 10 out of 10
    • Bauhaus
    • Go Away White is an album I've been waiting more than 20 years to hear, and the good news is that it was worth the wait.  The latest -- and last, no...for real this time -- album from

  • Pretty Hate Machine

    • 8 out of 10
    • Nine Inch Nails
    • For years I wanted to make music that sounded like something between Love and Rockets and Ministry. In 1989, Trent Reznor beat me to it with this genre-defining album, and it smacked me upside the hea
  • Abnormal Anonymous

    • 8 out of 10
    • Congo Norvell
    • Very few albums manage to capture snapshots of a quality of life in the manner that Congo Norvell's sophomore record, "Abnormals Anonymous," does.

      Comparisons to the Velvet Underground are

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Apple Learning Experiences and More

OK, so I'm in the local Best Buy and, like many Best Buys nowadays, there's Apple Mini Store tucked neatly by the premium audio center in the back of the store. As I usually do, I stopped by to take a look at the new Macs on display and chat up the Apple rep. He's a good guy and has given me many OS X and iPhone tips in the past.

He's usually busy talking to customers so our conversations tend not to last very long. This time, however, the Apple rep was happier than normal when I showed up this week (Wednesday, April 15). For months he's asked me to stop by on Wednesday to look in on the Apple classes held in the store.

I've often wondered how such a tiny Apple Store could host a room full of people. Would they all hover around the single Mac workstation set up behind the Mini Store wall? The rep uses that for work, but it does have a 22" monitor so he could easily school 2, maybe even 3 people at once. I guess my curiosity never overcame my laziness and I never managed to be in the store during one of his classes, until yesterday.

Instead of a small handful of folks squinting over the rep's shoulder, I was surprised to find at least 10 people in various states of repose in large overstuffed chairs watching intently as a tiny salesperson with a big voice demoed the stacking feature in OS X on a huge plasma tv screen. Some of the late, therefore unlucky arrivers watched from comfortable, but hard chairs placed in the periphery of the gathering.

I couldn't help but be impressed. I've been in the Apple Store in San Francisco and while the presentation area upstairs(!!) is comfortable and ideally suited for crowds of onlookers, the little class in the back of the Best Buy store had a more intimate, personal feel, and I liked that.

After the salesperson had finished her demoes, which included Spotlight searches and how to change the icon of an app, file, or folder, the class moved to one of the stereo rooms where another rep had set up an iMac and synth keyboard on one of the killer audio systems in the room so he could demonstrate Garage Band. Again, impressive and intimate.

After the demo questions were answered as reps walked among the group. They even allowed a bit of hands-on training.

Very, very nice.

In a Best Buy no less!

And it's free!

Who would have thought I would actually want to go to a Best Buy to learn anything? Of course, not everybody isn't lucky enough to live near a Best Buy or Apple Store. What do these folks do when they want to learn something about a particular aspect of OS X, iMacs, iPhones, or iPods?

Go to the iTunes Store, of course! There you can find all manner of Mac related podcasts featuring how-tos, what's new, and just plain weird stuff.

Your first stop should probably be Apple's own Apple Quick Tips podcast. There's like a zillion of them (ok, more like 80) and all are about 1 minute long. They show you how to transfer files to other folks via iChat, how to customize your Mighty Mouse, how to share screens and more.

I like them because they are short and sweet and they give me the info I want without a lot of chatter. Good stuff.

If you are looking for something a bit more focused on work then take a look at MacBreak Work.

This is a relatively new podcast that offers tips on working in Apple's business suite of tools found in iWork (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote).

Back when Apple offered AppleWorks I often complained that Apple was letting its customers down by not offering a more robust suite of office tools. I can't say that anymore.

Pages is a very capable word processor and while I haven't had the chance to play in Numbers and Keynote much, from what little I've seen I can tell that both are very useable in a serious office environment.

MacBreak Work tries and so far succeeds in exposing the little niceties buried inside each of the iWork apps.

Unfortunately there are only 5 episodes so far, but more should be coming, and these podcasts really get into the details. Check them out, I think you'll like it.

Now, here's a podcast that's right up my alley: Mac App Guide.

I like free stuff, but not just any old freebie will do. I like free stuff that is really good at what it's suppose to do.

Mac App Guide shows us some of the good stuff available for free for your trusty Mac. We're talking games, productivity apps, tools and more.

This podcast is also a new one so there aren't that many episodes yet, only 8, but more are promised.

Free is good. Free Mac apps are better. A podcast reviewing free Mac apps is sheer nirvana.

OK, that's a wrap for this week.

Since we are talking about Mac related podcasts why not take a listen to TMO's very own podcasts; Mac Geek Gab and Apple Weekly Report. Both are choke full of Mac news goodness and offered up weekly for your listening pleasure.

More free stuff below with direct links:

Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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