Switching to MacOS for the first time, help find alternative apps

Ultra Male

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 10, 2018
179
46
Been a Windows user all my life. Never used a Mac. I am getting a MacBook Pro soon and would like some suggestions to get quality alternative apps for the below. I know I could Google that and find some results but I want to hear from you guys as to what are the best. Here are the apps I would find good alternatives on MacOS:

- AIDA64 (to give info about all hardware in a laptop like RAM brand, speed, etc, CPU, screen)
- CCleaner (for cleaning out junk files)
- FastStone Capture (the best screen capture utility I've used)
- Splash (a video player that is able to play any video but at 60 FPS)
- Nero Platinum Suite (for burning CDs, etc.)
- Revo Uninstaller (not sure there is a reason for using any uninstaller on Mac or if apps leave traces behind but do leave a comment)
- Tag&Rename (the best ID Tag editor that is able to edit multiple MP3 tags in one shot by grabbing the Artist - Song name from the file name and filling them up in the ID3 Tag accordingly)
- WinRAR
- dBpoweramp (the best app for ripping Audio CDs into MP3 or loseless formats)
- Internet Download Manager (what I love about it is not only the faster download speeds but the fact that it gives me a Download option to any streaming video I am watching)
- PDF-XChange Pro (for viewing / editing PDF files)
- PowerISO (for opening, converting, creating ISO files)
- qBittorrent (what is the best torrenting app for Mac with no spyware such as the ones in uTorrent)
- SyncBackPro (any app out there like this that allows me to backup files to an external drive by selecting the source/destination and creating an exact copy on the destination drive)
- Photoshop, any good alternative for photo editing on Mac or is this till the best? I am covered with regards to video editing as I purchased Final Cut Pro with my MacBook Pro just wondering what I would need to use for photo editing
 
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cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
1,272
407
UK
Been a Windows user all my life. Never used a Mac. I am getting a MacBook Pro soon and would like some suggestions to get quality alternative apps for the below. I know I could Google that and find some results but I want to hear from you guys as to what are the best. Here are the apps I would find good alternatives on MacOS:

- AIDA64 (to give info about all hardware in a laptop like RAM brand, speed, etc, CPU, screen)
- CCleaner (for cleaning out junk files)
- FastStone Capture (the best screen capture utility I've used)
- Splash (a video player that is able to play any video but at 60 FPS)
- Nero Platinum Suite (for burning CDs, etc.)
- Revo Uninstaller (not sure there is a reason for using any uninstaller on Mac or if apps leave traces behind but do leave a comment)
- Tag&Rename (the best ID Tag editor that is able to edit multiple MP3 tags in one shot by grabbing the Artist - Song name from the file name and filling them up in the ID3 Tag accordingly)
- WinRAR
- dBpoweramp (the best app for ripping Audio CDs into MP3 or loseless formats)
- Internet Download Manager (what I love about it is not only the faster download speeds but the fact that it gives me a Download option to any streaming video I am watching)
- PDF-XChange Pro (for viewing / editing PDF files)
- PowerISO (for opening, converting, creating ISO files)
- qBittorrent (what is the best torrenting app for Mac with no spyware such as the ones in uTorrent)
- SyncBackPro (any app out there like this that allows me to backup files to an external drive by selecting the source/destination and creating an exact copy on the destination drive)
- Photoshop, any good alternative for photo editing on Mac or is this till the best? I am covered with regards to video editing as I purchased Final Cut Pro with my MacBook Pro just wondering what I would need to use for photo editing
- AIDA64 - No app required, just go to the Apple menu and select About this Mac
- CCleaner - Not required, the system works very differently.
- FastStone Capture - SnagIt is really good.
- Splash - Take your pick, there are so many choices. This may help https://mac.eltima.com/best-video-players-mac.html
- Nero Platinum - No app required, the OS has got it build in. If you must have a specific application then there is Toast.
- Revo Uninstaller - Not required, the system works very differently
- Tag&Rename - Against too much choice, you need to look what is important. I just use iTunes. And actually just streaming these days. No point doing that all yourself.
- WinRAR - Mostly build in, but if you want something else with a UI than The Unarchiver is pretty good
- dBpoweramp - Just use iTunes
- Internet Download Manager - Lots of plugins into the browsers that can do this
- PDF-XChange Pro - Lot's of PDF Editors, but the build-in Preview may do all you actually need
- PowerISO - Build into the operating system, no need for a different app
- qBittorrent - Sorry, no idea. I have no need for such systems
- SyncBackPro - I would recommend to just use the build-in TimeMachine for backups. It is really good. If you truly have a need to manually clone your discs then there is Carbon Copy Cloner.
- Photoshop - If you have the license then you can install the Mac version. If you haven't then I'd recommend Affinity Photo. But either are only for true photo editing to radically change the composition. If you have a need for just adjustment then Apple Photos will do the trick much better, easier and fully integrated. You may also want to check out Affinity Designer which is basically like Adobe Illustrator. And don't forget Apple Motion for your video editing, compliments it nicely.

Hope that helped.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,781
198
Canada
Been a Windows user all my life. Never used a Mac. I am getting a MacBook Pro soon and would like some suggestions to get quality alternative apps for the below. I know I could Google that and find some results but I want to hear from you guys as to what are the best. Here are the apps I would find good alternatives on MacOS:
- Splash - VLC but no idea if it does the 60.
- Nero Platinum Suite - Burn, SimplyBurns or Toast (most likely what you want)
- Revo Uninstaller - AppCleaner
- Tag&Rename - Jaikoz, a little on the many options to do everything side but has worked great for me for at least a decade, I think.
- qBittorrent - use mac version
- dBpoweramp - XLD (X Lossless Decoder also does mp3 aac lossy to)
- SyncBackPro - Carbon Copy Cloner
- Photoshop - use mac version
 

moderniste

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2005
250
96
You might want to try Setapp for a month and experiment with the apps available through their service. Even if you don't want to keep Setapp, you might find some apps that you'd want to buy.
 

tarsins

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2009
847
579
Wales
- AIDA64 - Built in: About this Mac->System Report
- CCleaner - Really no need for these type of programs on MacOS
- FastStone Capture - Built in capture is good
- Splash- IINA
- Revo Uninstaller - Appcleaner
- WinRAR - Unarchiver
- PDF-XChange Pro - Built in Preview works well
- SyncBackPro - Carbon Copy Cloner
 
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adrianlondon

macrumors 68000
Nov 28, 2013
1,614
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I've had a Macbook since 2013 (the same one, actually, which is still going strong), after switching from Windows. Despite being a Mac user for 6 years, this thread has some great informative posts. Thanks!
 

jamietshaw

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2009
78
11
UK
The first reply was excellent so just a few extra notes:
  • The built in screenshot tools are almost certainly good enough, and better than Windows'. Related: you can also record the screen as video using QuickTime, also built-in.
  • Not sure exactly what you want to do with PDFs. The built-in Preview certainly has some functionality (including markup and extracting pages etc.) but it's no Acrobat Pro and I haven't found any other pieces of software which offer that level of functionality (e.g. editing content, viewing CMYK output plates)
  • FYI the built in Preview app can do a few minor things with images like cropping and resizing - probably not enough for all your image manipulation needs but useful to know about (and you can automate it too - e.g. I can right-click on a bunch of images and choose to reduce their size by 50% because I have set up a workflow to do so)
 

Ultra Male

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 10, 2018
179
46
The first reply was excellent so just a few extra notes:
  • The built in screenshot tools are almost certainly good enough, and better than Windows'. Related: you can also record the screen as video using QuickTime, also built-in.
  • Not sure exactly what you want to do with PDFs. The built-in Preview certainly has some functionality (including markup and extracting pages etc.) but it's no Acrobat Pro and I haven't found any other pieces of software which offer that level of functionality (e.g. editing content, viewing CMYK output plates)
  • FYI the built in Preview app can do a few minor things with images like cropping and resizing - probably not enough for all your image manipulation needs but useful to know about (and you can automate it too - e.g. I can right-click on a bunch of images and choose to reduce their size by 50% because I have set up a workflow to do so)
I tried the built in preview app and I don't like the UI, it took me a while just to figure out how to resize a pic and it's no where near as good as FastStone Capture for Windows
 

loekf

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2015
620
205
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Don't agree to all suggestions here:


- AIDA64 (to give info about all hardware in a laptop like RAM brand, speed, etc, CPU, screen)

As people suggested: Apple logo => About this Mac => System report

- CCleaner (for cleaning out junk files)


- FastStone Capture (the best screen capture utility I've used)

Built-in.

- Splash (a video player that is able to play any video but at 60 FPS)

Hmm.. VLC or IINA ? Your LCD screen is 60 Hz...

- Nero Platinum Suite (for burning CDs, etc.)

You can use Toast Titanium (Corel) if you want to pay $$. Otherwise look for Burn in the Appstore (= free).

- Revo Uninstaller (not sure there is a reason for using any uninstaller on Mac or if apps leave traces behind but do leave a comment)

macOS apps can be removed easily by dragging them to the Bin, but they leave stuff behind in the Library folder.

- Tag&Rename (the best ID Tag editor that is able to edit multiple MP3 tags in one shot by grabbing the Artist - Song name from the file name and filling them up in the ID3 Tag accordingly)

Use Kid3:


But you loose Amazon and Discogs as source.

- WinRAR

Unarchiver can read RAR files. If you want to write RAR files, you can use Betterzip + command line rar (from Winrar) for macOS.

- dBpoweramp (the best app for ripping Audio CDs into MP3 or loseless formats)

There IS a macOS version.

- Internet Download Manager (what I love about it is not only the faster download speeds but the fact that it gives me a Download option to any streaming video I am watching)

Firefox has a plugin Videodownloader Helper.

- PDF-XChange Pro (for viewing / editing PDF files)

Preview can do it.

- PowerISO (for opening, converting, creating ISO files)

macOS can open iso images up to UDF 2.6 (= 4K BD ISOs)

- qBittorrent (what is the best torrenting app for Mac with no spyware such as the ones in uTorrent)

qBittorrent or Transmission. qBittorrent has the issue you've to self-sign it yourself to get rid of the annoying firewall popups. Use:

Open termina:

cd /Applications
sudo codesign --force --deep --sign - ./qbittorrent.app

- SyncBackPro (any app out there like this that allows me to backup files to an external drive by selecting the source/destination and creating an exact copy on the destination drive)

I use Sync Folders (see Appstore)

- Photoshop, any good alternative for photo editing on Mac or is this till the best? I am covered with regards to video editing as I purchased Final Cut Pro with my MacBook Pro just wondering what I would need to use for photo editing

Serif Affinity Photo (you pay once, no subscription)

As a replacement for Lightroom:

Neofinder (= not free) - no editing
ACDSee Photostudio 5
Luminar
DigiKam (buggy, open source)

But if you just want a "DAM" (managing photos) download Adobe Bridge (= free)
 
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StellarVixen

macrumors 68000
Mar 1, 2018
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So much trash in that software list. Why do you even need AIDA? You open it maybe 2 times per year, and it is taking space on your disk for nothing. Plus, it is not free.

This is typical of Windoze user who has icons plastered all over their desktop, thinking they need special piece of software for everything there is. No offense, but that is how it is. I was like that long time ago, too, so I know.
- - Post merged: - -

Revo Uninstaller (not sure there is a reason for using any uninstaller on Mac or if apps leave traces behind but do leave a comment)
Yes, many times Mac OS does leave trash in Library folders.
 

cdcastillo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2007
936
311
The cesspit of civilization
Just wanted to mention 3 things:

  1. Instead of using the built in Preview app for PDF files I use (and swear by) SmileSoftware PDFpen , it is powerful and versatile. It also has an iOS version. It is not exactly cheap, but it is so worthy. I use it for work every day.
  2. Transmission is a great torrenting app
  3. Instead of paying for photoshop, try Pixelmator, a fully featured image processing app that's really cheap considering how much it does.
 

The Man

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2004
483
108
- SyncBackPro (any app out there like this that allows me to backup files to an external drive by selecting the source/destination and creating an exact copy on the destination drive)
The best I've used for years on the Mac is ChronoSync by Econ. I find it strange not many people know it.

Price is steep at $50, but I have had years and years of free updates (have been using it since 2004!). They never charge for new versions. One time purchase. I don't know how they do it. I think a trial is available.

Just select folder on left and sync to folder on right. Can exclude specific files and folders. Can do many different kind of syncing: Normal, Bidirectional, Mirror, Bootable. Deletions can be synchronized, and replaced files can be archived instead of deleted for safety purposes. Scheduled syncing and syncing when drive is mounted.
 
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Ultra Male

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 10, 2018
179
46
Still cannot find any app like IDM (Internet Download Manager) which gives me a "Download" Button for any streaming video that I'm watching, I don't mean the retarded method of copy/pasting the YouTube Video URL and pasting it in the app which is cumbersome, I mean an actual download button to grab the video and that's not only for YouTube, with IDM you can download any video on the web that you're watching; that is a priceless feature.

I tried Folx Pro and it's horrible. Not only does it not work for capturing anything I was trying to download, when you right click on a YouTube video you get a Download All with Folx context menu entry but all that does is show you 10s of YouTube URLs that mean nothing as you wouldn't know which is the right one and its developer's customer service is appalling.
 

allan.nyholm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2007
957
253
Aalborg, Denmark
I'll try and help a little -- I spent some time writing this and I didn't go all through to the end to see that my suggestions we're all taken - most anyway

- AIDA64 (to give info about all hardware in a laptop like RAM brand, speed, etc, CPU, screen)
* XRG here https://gauchosoft.com/Products/ (XRG displays on the Desktop)
** iStat Menus from https://bjango.com/
*** System Monitor from http://www.bresink.com/osx/SystemMonitor.html

- CCleaner (for cleaning out junk files)
* Maintenance or OnyX here https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/index.html

The following might not strike your fancy.
** Take a look at TinkerTool too for further tweaking macOS should you desire from http://www.bresink.com/osx/0TinkerTool/download.php

- FastStone Capture (the best screen capture utility I've used)
* Built-in with macOS CMD-SHIFT-5 for the macOS screenshot tool or CMD+SHIFT+3 for fullscreen and 4 for window-mode if you hold down OPTION when CMD-SHIFT+4 is active you can exclude the shadows on the window/app you're screenshotting. Keyboard shortcuts are all listed in System Preferences / Keyboard / Shortcuts section where you can make your own too should you want an f-key that you have free for the purpose of taking screenshots.

- Splash (a video player that is able to play any video but at 60 FPS)
* There's a few - but the 60 FPS I am not sure about.
* IINA from https://www.iina.io/
** MPV from https://mpv.io/installation/ and open the link to the macOS build. You'll get re-directed.
*** VLC for macOS.

- Nero Platinum Suite (for burning CDs, etc.)
* Toast Titanium or the Finder

- Revo Uninstaller (not sure there is a reason for using any uninstaller on Mac or if apps leave traces behind but do leave a comment)
* AppCleaner from https://freemacsoft.net/appcleaner/

- Tag&Rename (the best ID Tag editor that is able to edit multiple MP3 tags in one shot by grabbing the Artist - Song name from the file name and filling them up in the ID3 Tag accordingly)
* Kid3 from https://kid3.sourceforge.io/ I've been using this for a long time with great succes.

- WinRAR
* BetterZip from https://www.macitbetter.com/
** Keka.
*** The Unarchiver.
**** WinZip.

- dBpoweramp (the best app for ripping Audio CDs into MP3 or loseless formats)
* Perhaps XLD from https://tmkk.undo.jp/xld/index_e.html

- Internet Download Manager (what I love about it is not only the faster download speeds but the fact that it gives me a Download option to any streaming video I am watching)
* Leech or a most annoying Folx Downloader (because of activation limits - even on your own Mac)
Video downloading tips:
** (Suggestion)Buy Dropzone 3 from https://aptonic.com/ and download the YouTube Downloader plugin for it. This will allow you to download most any video and song from almost any given video site(own experiences; YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud and adult websites)
*** Or download the Terminal command called youtube-dl from https://yt-dl.org/ (look on the right hand side for a more in-depth download tutorial) Downloads most videos too. I prefer Dropzone 3's method as I have a thing for just dragging and dropping an URL over to Dropzone and have it download the video put in a specific folder for me.

- PDF-XChange Pro (for viewing / editing PDF files)
* Preview which built in to macOS or Skim from https://sourceforge.net/projects/skim-app/

- PowerISO (for opening, converting, creating ISO files)
* Terminal commands usually do the trick here. Try this website for converting; https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/271734/how-to-convert-an-iso-file-to-dmg-in-terminal
* And try this website for creating an ISO; http://osxdaily.com/2012/03/16/create-iso-images-from-the-command-line/
* Toast Titanium can also create ISO files via an easy to figure out interface with graphic progress indicator and all. It's what I've used with past versions of Toast. The copy I have doesn't work on Catalina due to it being a 32bit app and as such I don't get to create an ISO easily anymore.

- qBittorrent (what is the best torrenting app for Mac with no spyware such as the ones in uTorrent)
* qBittorrent for Mac or Transmission(best integrated with macOS and much cleaner in its interface, preferred by me) qBittorrent has its pro's.

- SyncBackPro (any app out there like this that allows me to backup files to an external drive by selecting the source/destination and creating an exact copy on the destination drive)
* Carbon Copy Cloner from https://bombich.com/ or SuperDuper

- Photoshop, any good alternative for photo editing on Mac or is this till the best? I am covered with regards to video editing as I purchased Final Cut Pro with my MacBook Pro just wondering what I would need to use for photo editing
* Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer, Acorn, Pixelmator or Photoshop. I would have suggested The Gimp as an alternative but that app doesn't yet approve of a Retina display that you'll be getting on your new MacBook Pro if you get one directly from Apple and not any MacBook Pro from before the shift to Retina displays.
 
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The Man

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2004
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Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are more about making 1:1 disk backups (cloning), and not about selective folder synchronisation. You need an app like ChronoSync, or Sync Folders, or the likes if you need the latter.
 
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The Man

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2004
483
108
I also don't get all these maintenance apps. I haven't used any since OS X Tiger. I don't see the point, because MacOS does all by itself. Also, most apps deleting is just drag and drop to trash. Yes some leave files behind, but we're mostly talking about a couple of KB or MB. Mostly it's just about digging into (~)Library/Application Support/ and trash the folder.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2009
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Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are more about making 1:1 disk backups (cloning), and not about selective folder synchronisation. You need an app like ChronoSync, or Sync Folders, or the likes if you need the latter.
CCC will selectively synch folders to a backup. O do it all the time by running an hourly task to synch my Documents file to an external drive.
It’s a great compliment to Time Machine in that I can backup to a Windows formatted file system as well.
 
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The Man

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2004
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CCC will selectively synch folders to a backup. O do it all the time by running an hourly task to synch my Documents file to an external drive.
I see that it can do folder-to-folder backups. https://bombich.com/kb/ccc5/folder-folder-backups

The only difference with other more specific folder sync apps is that it doesn't show all the files and folders in a left to right column view. So there's no in depth preflight checkup possible, and excluding files and folders will be a little more difficult (but I believe still possible?). But that's up to personal preference, I guess.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2009
2,420
820
I see that it can do folder-to-folder backups. https://bombich.com/kb/ccc5/folder-folder-backups

The only difference with other more specific folder sync apps is that it doesn't show all the files and folders in a left to right column view. So there's no in depth preflight checkup possible, and excluding files and folders will be a little more difficult (but I believe still possible?). But that's up to personal preference, I guess.
I find it easy to exclude folders when setting up a task, you just follow the normal drop down file structure. I like the SafetNet that saves old copies if there is space on the destination, then again I am very anal about multiple backups and archived copies. I also use a program that saves a copy every time you use CTRL-S to save a separate copy so I have fallbacks if something goes wrong, and of course I backup the file data base hourly as well. Having had a catastrophic loss of data, cause by an idiot “help desk” that failed to backup my drive before reformatting, I’ve become quite compulsive about multiple separate backups.

As you say, it’s all a matter of preference.

What do you mean by preflight checkup?
 
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The Man

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2004
483
108
What do you mean by preflight checkup?
Just a list of all the files and folders you can check to see which get backed up, deleted or replaced (and archived). Just a compare left and right folder tool. ChronoSync, and I believe FolderSync, does this. Don't know about CCC. It's just a preference of you like this feature.
 

Cayenne1

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2016
25
12
Knoxville, TN
Why not run both Windows and MacOS on your MacBook Pro via a program called Parallels (~$80)?

I have Parallels installed on my iMac to run both WinXP and Win10 seamlessly with the Mac desktop. I can have all three OS's running at the same time. Why? There are some Windows apps I have licenses for (specifically Photoshop CS6, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Access, etc.) that don't exist for a Mac (or are very expensive). I also have licenses for both WinXP and Win10 which Parallels needs to create legal Windows Virtual Machines (VM).

For native MacOS, I have subscribed to Office 365 as my wife has her own Mac and you can use Office 365 on up to 5 devices. I also purchased Affinity Photo (~$50) as a Photoshop alternative. It's a FLAT fee, no subscription and does all the Photoshop type editing I need to do. I rarely use CS6 in a Windows VM now.

So how does this work. You'll find a row of application icons at the bottom of your MacBook desktop (called the Dock). Its similar to quickstart icons in Windows. After you've created a Windows virtual machine in Parallels, the WinVM will run in parallel and integrate with your MacOS. Any Windows apps can be added to the "Dock".

So, by double clicking on the Windows app in the Dock, it starts Parallels, starts Windows and then opens the app. You can drop and drag files between them, access drives (even NTFS), printers, etc.

Let's try a test. I'm going to double click on Visio: tic toc - it took 20 seconds to open the Visio app. That included starting WinXP. (iMac Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017; 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7; 24 GB 2400 MHz DDR4; Radeon Pro 580 8192 MB; 1 TB SSD).

Summary:

You don't have to leave your Windows world behind. The hardest part for me in switching was getting use to the Mac finder. And there is no ResEdit app to go in and really mess things up. I don't have an AntiVirus program either (you'll feel naked).

The previous posts have given good suggestions for the apps you're looking for. But, in all honesty, if I had to go back to Windows I'd quit.

Caveats:

- I installed WinXP SP3 in a Parallels VM. No AntiVirus. I disconnected this VM from the internet as it's only a platform to run Visio. I drag files in and out as necessary. I can access my printers. Runs like a bullet.

- I do NOT use bootcamp. Performance is just fine with VMs. If you start with Apple's Bootcamp and switch to a VM, or viced-versa, you will have hell with Microsoft Authentication for Win10. (been there).
 
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