Three Mac software bundles worth checking out

Good news, Mac fans: For as little as $29, you can score 10 apps with a combined value of over $500.

(Credit: Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET)

How do I like my software?

Bundled.

For not much more than the price of a single app, you can often get as many as 10 of them, usually with a combined value in the hundreds of dollars. In fact, I've got three such bundles for you to check out right now.

They're all for Mac users, who already paid a premium for their hardware, and therefore deserve a break on software. Here's a rundown of the three bundles, followed by my pick for the best of the bunch.

1. Macbundler: Nine apps for $45

The nine apps in Macbundler's bundle have a combined value of $491. It's a mix of high-end tools like MotionComposer, a no-coding-required utility for creating animated/interactive Web content, and smaller stuff like Cocktail, "a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair, and optimize your Mac."

There's some good stuff here, but you have to click through nine pages to see descriptions of each app -- kind of a hassle. And although I'm no expert when it comes to Mac software, I don't see any real standouts among the selections. A bundle is worthwhile only if there are at least two to three apps you'd buy separately anyway.

2. Mac SuperBundle Holiday 2012: 10 apps for $29

The SuperBundle actually consists of nine Mac programs and a "special gift" 10th app, but that's just semantics. The collection has a combined value of just over $500, and includes photo editor Arcsoft Perfect 365, Web-site builder The Escapers Flux 4, and drive-copy utility Stellar Drive Clone.

My favorite app in the mix is none other than the special gift: Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition, which normally sells for $19 all by itself.

What's especially great about the SuperBundle is that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Not so great: nowhere on the bundle page can I find contact info for the company, an FAQ, or details about the guarantee. There's a phone number for ordering, but that's it. Borderline unacceptable.

3. The iStack Mac Bundle 2.0: 10 apps for $49.99

Another bundle with a little something for everyone, the iStack collection is worth a whopping $782 -- if you include the bonus app, a $250 course in iOS game development. That's ostensibly limited to the first 3,000 buyers, but even without it, you should find this a worthwhile bundle.

Among the highlights: popular screen-capture tool Camtasia 2, Windows emulator CrossOver XI (which allows you run Windows software), and Printopia, which lets you print wirelessly from your iOS devices to your Mac printers.

Also, if you check out StackSocial's Facebook page, you'll see an offer for $5 off the bundle, making this an even better deal.

Ultimately, however, I think the bargain to beat is the SuperBundle, which is around $20 cheaper than the other two and includes not only a Star Wars game, but also a money-back guarantee. And while the bundle page glaringly lacks contact information, it's easy enough to find bundler Nova Development online.

Which bundle would you choose and why? Or do you think you might grab all three?

Update: There's a fourth one! The MacLegion Holiday Bundle 2012 includes 10 Mac apps for $49.99, with a combined value of $548. These Mac bundles are multiplying like rabbits!

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