To recognize the software programs that have excelled on the Most Popular list this year, CNET Download.com has compiled the total download counts for the products in the Download.com catalog for 2010. We've ranked the top-10 biggest, for both Windows and Mac.
Software publishers who receive the Top 10 Download of 2010 distinction will have the privilege of displaying their accomplishments to the world with a special badge designed to commemorate the achievement. Look for the Top 10 Download of 2010 badge around the Web.
Mac users are certainly a growing breed, and this year's list shows what those users want in downloadable software: home music production, file conversion for iPhones and other mobile devices, video transfers from YouTube, and a simple video player that handles all formats. Read on to see which apps were the most popular Mac titles for 2010, and learn which honorable mention software just missed the list.
No. 10: All2MP3
Quick, reliable, and free are three adjectives most Download.com users love. The popularity of All2MP3 shows that Mac fans may like drag-and-drop MP3 conversion even more. A simple-as-pie graphical interface lets users drag files onto the All2MP3 interface and get instant MP3 conversions. Though it doesn't handle M4A files, it does convert the rest of the major file formats, and also provides some tweakable settings under the hood...if you can find them.
All2MP3 received 214,819 downloads in 2010, making it the 10th most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 9: ManyCam Virtual Webcam
What fun is video chat without fake mustaches and party hats? In case your costume collection is stashed in the attic, ManyCam Virtual Webcam provides scads of digital dress-up opportunities, as well as background animations and text effects. You can also broadcast your Webcam simultaneously on MSN Messenger, Yahoo, Skype, AIM, PalTalk, and CamFrog. When used in conjunction with programs like iChat and Photobooth, you can access your ManyCam settings directly from those programs' effects lists.
ManyCam Virtual Webcam received 247,518 downloads in 2010, making it the ninth most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 8: Mozilla Firefox
Apple's Safari is the default browser for Mac OS, but the open-source powerhouse Mozilla Firefox is the Web browser that Download.com users choose to put on their machines. Netscape begot the Mozilla suite; the Mozilla suite begot Firebird; and, in 2004, Firebird morphed into Mozilla Firefox, which has slowly but surely gained more users every year. The rise of competition means that Firefox is no longer fastest, but fantastic extensions and general reliability across all Web sites keep it on top of the list for Download.com Mac users.
Mozilla Firefox received 258,087 downloads in 2010, making it the eighth most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 7: TeamViewer
This free screen-sharing program made big waves this year, vaulting up the Most Popular list for both Mac and Windows software. In fact, TeamViewer is the only application to make both Mac and Windows top-10 lists for 2010. Free and easy for even those who aren't computer-savvy to use, TeamViewer lets you quickly show or share your screen, as well as transfer files privately or set up a virtual private network (VPN). Secure and encrypted data eases privacy concerns, and the remote-desktop feature even lets you check your Mac at home while you're on the road.
TeamViewer received 277,716 downloads in 2010, making it the seventh most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 6: RAR Expander
Mac OS can do a lot of things, but one thing it can't do by default is decompress RAR files. The RAR format is a proprietary system developed by engineer Eugene Roshal. It has gained fans through the years because of its high compression ratios, particularly for multimedia files like images and video. Though RAR archives can only be created with the WinRAR software, lots of products decompress RARs, and RAR Expander has leveraged its simple interface into a top-10 Mac download for 2010.
RAR Expander, received 343,251 downloads in 2010, making it the sixth most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 5: StuffIt Expander
For Mac users who need more than simple RAR extraction, this longtime compression tool is the first pick on Download.com. The freeware app Stuffit Expander was forked from the longtime archiving tool Stuffit back in the early 1990s. Stuffit Expander only decompresses archives, but it can handle all sorts of them, including WinZip, WinRAR, 7-Zip, 7zX, iShrink, SimplyRAR, Rarify, Rucksack, iArchiver, BetterZip, and RarMachine. The 2011 versions of Stuffit Expander added a universal 32-bit/64-bit installer, e-mail notifications, and compatibility with the latest versions of Stuffit and Stuffit Deluxe.
StuffIt Expander received 353,042 downloads in 2010, making it the fifth most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 4: YouTube Downloader+
Mac and Windows users might not agree on much, but both are certainly looking for an easy way to get videos from YouTube. Much like its similarly named counterpart on the Windows side, YouTube Downloader+ lets users transfer videos from the popular site to their local drives. Written in Java, the free utility lacks the polish and pizazz of most Mac software, but simplicity--paste in a YouTube URL and hit return to save a local FLV file--and name recognition keep it at the top of the heap.
YouTube Downloader+ received 409,362 downloads in 2010, making it the fourth most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 3: Adobe Photoshop update
Despite some recent antagonism between Apple and Adobe, the two companies and their users have had a long relationship that isn't ending anytime soon. At the opposite end of the spectrum from YouTube Downloader+, Adobe Photoshop is a highly polished, full-featured image-editing application that has been generally considered best in its class for decades now. It also currently retails at $649. This update for the popular app keeps Mac users up-to-date with the latest changes from Adobe.
The Adobe Photoshop update received 423,964 downloads in 2010, making it the third most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 2: VLC Media Player
An honorable mention on the Windows list, VLC Media Player makes a much bigger splash in Mac software, competing for the No. 1 spot in the Most Popular list for much of 2010. Highly portable, VLC also covers a wide range of video and audio formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, DVD, VCD, and a variety of streaming protocols. Recent versions even make it possible for users to record live video.
VLC Media Player received 591,698 downloads in 2010, making it the second most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
No. 1: Virtual DJ
Mac users have traditionally been known (stereotyped?) as "creative types," so perhaps it's no surprise this bedroom music-production software reigns as king of the Mac mountain for 2010. A spin-off from the original AtomixMP3 mixing software, Virtual DJ has been assisting new and veteran DJs since 2003. Its newbie-friendly BeatLock engine keeps tracks automatically in sync, and automated seamless loops allow for impressive live-performance support. Virtual vinyl controls even let users scratch as if on a real turntable.
Virtual DJ received 774,287 downloads in 2010, making it the most popular Mac software on CNET Download.com.
Correction: A previous version of this post listed the number of downloads in 2010 for VLC Media Player as 52,648,408. The correct number of downloads for VLC Media Player for Mac is 591,698.