One of the things I like best about the Mac platform is the abundance of good simple software tools that do one thing very well. Because of the frameworks Apple provide to Mac developers these tools all tend to share a common look and and feel and generally have very simple and intuative user interfaces (UIs). Personally I really like this approach to software, give me lots of small and simple apps that do one thing really well over a monolith that does millions of things poorly any day!

iRecord Screen ShotiRecord is the perfect example of this kind of Mac tool. The one thing it does is quickly and simply record video from your iSight camera. The (UI) could not be simpler, it has a grand total of one button! It’s a big red record button, you push it to start recording and again to stop. That’s all you have to do. Your video gets saved to your desktop.

Perian LogoThe second tool I want to talk about is Perian, the ‘Swizz-Army Knife for Quicktime’. Perian is a Quicktime component that adds support for extra codecs to Quicktime. I came across this tools while looking for a free FLV (Flash Video) player for OS X. It deals with FLVs wonderfully as well as AVIs and DivXs. You can see a full list of the codecs supported on the web-page. For Mac users who are used to drag-and-drop installs installing a Quicktime component may seem a bit tricky since you actually have to copy it to the Quicktime folder in the Library folder on your hard-drive. However, a cleverly designed DMG file makes installing Perian trivial, drag a few pixels, drop, done!

Both these tools are free and embody what I believe are the best things about Mac software. Enjoy!