posts on CNET

PhotoDirector 5 review

PhotoDirector is an all-in-one photo editor and manager that gives you complete control over your digital photography workflow. For new users and photography veterans alike, PhotoDirector has robust tools to help you perfect each snapshot.

Pros

Intuitive interface: PhotoDirector shares many traits with tried-and-true workflow interfaces like Lightroom. Primary adjustment and management tools are in menus that are aligned to the screen edges. Manual-adjustment sliders give you incremental control over every aspect of your photo file, from standard color-correction, brightness, and noise-removal tools to more perspective-altering adjustments like lens correction.

Filtered management: Get as basic or as granular as you … Read more

Compose loops and remix songs with Beatlab

Whether you're an aspiring producer or just itching to drop a beat, Beatlab makes it fast, easy, and fun to forge a quick track.

Many of us march to our own rhythm, sometimes unconsciously. We see it everywhere: commuters bobbing their heads on the way to work, students lost in their music players, or even those who beatbox under their breath when they think no one else is watching. Don't kid yourself; we know you've done it, too, at some point. Artists, musicians, and producers consciously try to tap into this rhythm when they are brainstorming or … Read more

Updated: Mac Starter Kit

Now that your new Mac is set up and you have the Internet hooked up, how about some software? Out of the box, your Mac is loaded with cool apps to get you started on stuff like uploading and organizing your digital images, creating a music library, making your own movies, and surfing the Web. But it doesn't come with everything.

There are several apps Mac users count on every day that aren't included in the initial setup. To get you started, we've rounded up our must-have downloads for your new Mac. From Web browsers and useful … Read more

Windows app makes iTunes toting easier

A new, free little Windows app by Matthew Allen called PhoneAble does exactly one thing for iPhone owners: it enables them to manage the music on their device from any Windows computer with iTunes installed.

It does this by changing the computer's iTunes key--which is unique to each installation of iTunes--to match the key of your iPhone. This tricks iTunes into thinking that the phone plugged in via USB is one it's allowed to edit. It's simple, and that's why it's good.

Above is a screenshot showing how easy it is to use: back up … Read more

Sobees: The iPad's ultimate Facebook app

Let's face it: the pixel-doubled version of the current Facebook app, well, bites. I'm sure the company will give us an iPad-optimized version at some point, but until then (and possibly even after then), I'm sticking with Sobees.

Sobees for Facebook turns your Facebook content into an attractive, neatly organized, newspaper-style page. Though it lacks many of the real Facebook app's capabilities (like chat and access to your in-box), for the moment it's my favorite way to share and browse updates on my iPad.

The "front page" consists of five handy sections: Breaking … Read more

Two free and easy ways to share and sync folders

Few people do all their work on a single computer. Fewer still don't occasionally need access to files on another PC, whether their own or someone else's. The free Gbridge program lets you access and synchronize files and folders on any Internet-connected PCs quickly and simply.

Gbridge uses Google Talk to create a VPN connection for the secure transfer of files between your own PCs and the machines of family, friends, and coworkers. The service requires a Gmail account, but if you'd rather not use your primary Gmail account, you can create one for free specifically for … Read more

Four awesome alarm clock apps

During a recent spring cleaning, my wife and I wondered aloud why either of us needed an alarm clock on our nightstands.

After all, my iPhone and her iPod Touch both have a perfectly good alarm feature. What's more, the App Store is home to hundreds of alarm-clock apps--many of which are pretty slick.

With that in mind, here are four "alarming" apps that aim to make your mornings a little nicer:

1. Alarm Clock Free Just the basics. Alarm Clock Free lets you choose from an assortment of alarm sounds, any of which can "fade … Read more

Three software freebies worth $1,089

Nothing thrills me like getting something for nothing. Yesterday, for example, I redeemed the last of my birthday coupons, wolfing down a free scoop of Cold Stone ice cream (Fudge Brownie Batter with brownies mixed in--yum).

Today I've rounded up three software freebies that have a combined value of $1,089. Seriously! Take a look:

IOBit Security 360 Pro Normally $29.95 for a one-year license, this security app is free until Nov. 11. It promises "advanced malware and spyware removal," along with protection from all manner of threats: trojans, keyloggers, worms, etc. I haven't found … Read more

Get 770 free MP3s from Amazon

Want to freshen up your music library? Amazon.com is offering a whopping 770 MP3s you can download free of charge.

I've long been a fan of Amazon's MP3 store, which offers DRM-free music downloads compatible with PCs, portable players, cell phones, GPS devices, MP3-playing fry pans, and other gizmos.

I visit the store almost daily to check out the Daily Deal, which is usually a complete album for just $2 to $4. (For example, last month, Amazon had U2's new "No Line on the Horizon" for $3.99. Alas, it's back up to $… Read more

Featured Freeware: Wise Disk Cleaner

A reliable freeware application, Wise Disk Cleaner Free may surprise you with its quick scanning pace. Novices will appreciate its optional wizard to guide you through the process of naming and taming space-sucking files. More experienced users can proceed on their own.

As you would with any system cleaner, you'll still need to take precautions when fixing problems. Luckily, this app wisely lets you move files to the Recycle Bin in the event you've deleted something important.

Wise Disk Cleaner Free is simple, has just enough options for more serious users, and can quickly make a difference in … Read more