Control your Mac’s volume, EQ and port output on a per-app-basis

SoundControl-iconSometimes you want to listen to your iTunes at a low volume (mostly as background noise), but that means you can’t hear System Alerts, app sound effects and web audio/video files very well. The macOS’ volume is all-or-nothing by default.

Enter SoundControl, a nifty $10 utility by Static Z Software.

SoundControl allows you to control you Mac’s audio on a per-app-basis in three different ways.

SoundControl-volumeVolume: The menubar app affords you the luxury of setting your iTunes volume at a different setting than say, Safari, Chrome and the version of Windows you’re running in a Virtual Machine.

SoundControl-EQEQ:And if that weren’t enough, you can adjust the EQ settings of your apps individually as well. Maybe you like System Alerts to have a little more treble, your iTunes have a little more bass and the Podcast you’re listening to in Safari to boost the voice track. No problem with SoundControl

SoundControl-routingAudio Routing:To top it off, you can have SoundControl send the audio from iTunes to your external speakers, System Alerts to internal speakers, and other apps to any other audio output device you may have—including external DisplayPort monitors.

Keyboard shortcuts allow you to control the volume of the foreground app, and mute background apps at will—which is a critical component of this type of utility, if you ask me.

SoundControl works with macOS 10.10 up to 10.13 High Sierra and costs only $10. A 14-day demo is available.

Force Apple’s Mail to add images as attachments instead of inline

Mail attachments
One of the longest-standing complaints I see about Apple’s Mail app is that it places any images you drag into an email as inline images (which means the image appears in the email wherever you actually drag & dropped it) instead of as a standard attachment (which appears as an icon at the bottom of the email regardless of where you drag & drop it). The problem is that inline images (and PDFs) don’t always work well with all email apps on the receiving end. Some people complain that the image quality gets degredated, and in some cases the image doesn’t come through at all.

Apple doesn’t offer a way to change the feature easily. You can choose the “Send Windows Friendly Attachment” option when attaching the file, and even right-click on the image and choose “View as Icon” – and it’s still iffy if it’ll work.

Cheap Solution (works better)

Clive Galeni has the only GUI solution I could find called AntiInline. It’s a plugin for Apple’s Mail app and it solves the problem perfectly. Once turned on in the Mail preferences, all files placed in an email (regardless of how you do it) show up as true attachments at the bottom of the email.

AntiInline also has the option of allowing to keep images in your email signature remain as inline images so they show up the way you would expect. You just have to include “email-signature” (without quotes) in the filename of your signature image.

AntiInline is offered in a version for macOS ElCapitan, Sierra and High Sierra and costs $14.90 and runs on up to three Macs per license.

Free Solution (works, but works too well)

There is a FREE solution, and it’s simple if you’re familiar with using the Terminal app. Fire-up the terminal and enter the following:
defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes
Just know that this turns off inline images entirely, including any images you may have in your email signature. To revert back to the default inline mode, simply replace the “yes” at the end with the word “false” (without quotes).

I’m not a fan of images in email signatures, so I’ve decided to just turn off images completely using the Terminal code method.

CloudMounter for Mac updated, drops price to free for popular services

CloudMounter for MacEltima has released version 3.0 of CloudMounter for Mac, bringing some major changes to the cloud storage management app. If you’re unfamiliar with it, take a look at my review of CloudMounter here.

Previous versions of CloudMounter cost $30. The update now makes the app and most popular cloud storage services FREE! If you need more cloud storage services, a full license is now $44.99

What’s new in CloudMounter for Mac v3.0:
– From now on you can mount Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive services for free;
– Encryption for aforementioned cloud accounts is also without charge;
– Box cloud storage is now supported;
– Backblaze cloud storage is now supported;
– Amazon S3-compatible storage solutions are also supported;
– “Shared with me” Google docs can be managed in Finder.

CloudMounter 3.0 runs on macOS 10.10 and later, and a 15-day demo is available for download.

Make your Mac’s desktop fun and useful

Backgrounds.appBackgrounds makes your desktop more interesting and useful with 7 themes: Music, Parallax, Video, Quartz, System, Time and Web.

Hide your Desktop icons easily and enjoy your wallpaper. Add time, day and date, along with useful system information graphs to your desktop. Backgrounds includes a Notification Center Today Widget and 2 screen savers.

I really like the Parallax and Video desktop options!

Backgrounds is free and available from the Mac App Store.

iMac Pro first impressions

iMac Pro
Let me be clear, I haven’t even seen an iMac Pro in person. If you want a fantastic first-impressions review of the iMac Pro from someone who has, look no further than Rene Ritchie’s iMac Pro first impressions: Beauty of a beast review at iMore. It’s excellent.

As for me, I think there’s a whole lot to love about Apple’s latest pro-level Mac. It’s the most powerful Mac Apple has ever made, and that includes the Mac Pro. It’s so powerful that I can’t recommend any designer buy one. In fact, I can’t recommend anyone buy it that doesn’t do very high-end video, animation or 3D rendering work on a daily basis.

There is simply no use-case scenario for a print or web designer for this beautiful beast of a Mac that justifies its price. I’m not saying it’s overpriced, not at all. The iMac Pro is actually priced cheaper than any DIY PC you can find. It’s just so much more computer than is necessary to do any manner of print or web design work. Buy a decked-out regular iMac and use the extra money for nice peripherals and upgrades, and pocket the rest of the money—or get yourself a MacBook Pro for taking work on the road.