MacMost Recommended Products

I am often asked about which hardware and software I use to create the MacMost videos and what I use in my regular everyday work. Here is a list of products that I use and recommend (affiliate links, FYI). I’ll be adding more from time-to-time so check back. — Gary


Online Backup Services

Backblaze
The only reason I can think of to not use an online backup service is if you have a slow or pay-per-use Internet connection. Otherwise, using a service like Backblaze means that you are storing your Mac backup in a different location so you are protected from local disasters which would take both your Mac and your backup drive. I still backup with Time Machine, because it is easy and convenient when I need to restore a single file or use Migration Assistant. But Backblaze is surprisingly cheap ($50/year for unlimited data from one Mac) and it means I have a remote backup. You can also encrypt your backup with your own private key to make it secure.



Software

Here’s software that I currently use, or have used in the past to create the content here at MacMost or as a developer. I use all of the built-in Mac software like Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, Photos and GarageBand. In addition, I use lots of software from both Adobe and Microsoft. Here are some other recommendations.


1Password
I’ve been using 1Password as my password manager long before Apple introduced the native password functionality in Safari and iCloud. I still find it useful as I can store notes and other information in it, not just passwords. And it syncs across all of my devices. If you have a single non-Apple device it also comes in handy as you can’t easily access your stored iCloud passwords there. Even if you have all Apple devices, 1Password’s iOS app lets you get access to passwords that you can then use in other apps on your iOS devices. That’s not easy to do with iCloud yet.


Webcam Settings
Wish you have more control over your Mac’s camera? This system extension sits in your menubar and lets you control things like exposure, gain, contrast, color, pan and zoom. You can save presets. This is an indispensible part of how I record the MacMost videos each week.


Acorn
Need more image editing power than Preview, but don’t want to shell out the full cost of Photoshop? The Mac App Store has many good image editing apps. I’ve used Pixelmator in the past, but as a non-artist I feel a little more comfortable with Acorn. It is pretty powerful, but also easy and quick for basic editing tasks.


Final Cut Pro X
For most home users, iMovie is fine for editing video. But if you edit video for work and are always trying to do things that iMovie just can’t handle, then it may be time to move up to Final Cut Pro X. I love this software. You’d think editing video should be a chore, but with FCPX I find it to be a delight instead.



Microphones

What’s the most import part of video? Audio. You’ve got to have good sound. Getting a good mic for your Mac is the important for most users. I’ve used many different microphones over the years. These are the best combination of quality and value.


Audio-Technica AT2020USB Plus Microphone
My friend David Lawrence does professional voiceover and audiobook recording work and he loves this mic.


Blue Microphones Yeti USB
I’ve had good experiences with Blue microphones as well. I used a Snowball for years, and the Yeti is a solid competitor to the AT2020USB.



Video Camera

I started out using a $1,000+ HD video camera. But finding one of those that feeds directly into your Mac so you can record to a file isn’t easy anymore. So I’m always looking for alternatives.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
This little “webcam” records 1080p video and you can use QuickTime Player to record directly to your Mac. I use it to record the intros to my MacMost videos.


Logitech Brio 4K Ultra HD Webcam
I recently switched from the C920 to Logitech’s newest offering, the Brio. This is a similar camera but records at 4K! It also offers 65, 78 and 90-degree field of view settings, so I can use it to make the MacMost videos (65-degrees) and others can use it for webcam meetings (90-degrees). So far, I’m very happy with it and you are seeing it in action in the most recent MacMost videos.



iPhone Accessories

iPhone 6 Plus Wallet Case
I’ve been using wallet cases for a long time now. Why carry a wallet and an iPhone case when you can have one that does both? Many of these are high quality with a price to match. This is a medium quality one that lasts for about 6 months, but is cheap enough that I don’t mind ordering a new one when it is time.


Bedphones Gen. 3 On-Ear Sleep Headphones
Sometimes I like to listen to music or an audiobook while falling asleep. To do that without disturbing my wife I’ve got to wear headphones, which press against your ear when you lie on your side. These headphones solve that problem and sound great too.


RAVPower External Battery Pack
An external battery for my iPhone is a must when I go backpacking. There are no plugs in the wilderness. I’ve been using this battery for a while now and unlike others I have had in the past, it works as advertised and has provided me with plenty of power as I charge each night in my tent.



Mac Accessories

Seagate Backup Plus Fast 4TB Portable External Hard Drive
I recommend that everyone back up their Macs with Time Machine. For a desktop Mac, the cheapest and easiest way is to use a small external drive. This is the one I’ve got and it has been working great. 4TB for under $200.