Pitting two great software bundles head-to-head in CultofMac cage match? What the heck, we have to do something to amuse ourselves until WWDC
Mac users this week are presented with two choices for bundles of shareware. The MacHiest bundle that includes 12 titles, bundled together for $49, and the MacUpdate promo that includes 10 titles for $64.99 (albeit 3 of them are locked until they reach specific sales numbers).
We get under the covers of these bundles to see which are worth your hard-earned duckets.
The draw here is that it bundles in Parallels Desktop, which alone is worth the price of the bundle. The trick here though is that three of the 10 bundled apps are locked until MacUpdate reaches certain sales numbers.
That’s right, no SoundStudio, no BannerZest, and yes, no Parallels until they unpublished sales milestones (the milestone for SoundStudio is 5000 units, the milestones for BannerZest and Parallels are not published (the previously reported mile stones of 10K and 15K were an error)).
Personally, I admire MacUpdate’s innovative strategy here, unlocking by tiers as well as the fear of loss (only 10 days left) marketing, are exceptionally clever. Their assertion that they sold 27000 units last year, and will certainly hit all three tiers aside, the question remains: is there anything here worth nearly seventy bucks, other than Parallels (which you may not get).
Based on our “hands off” (reading reviews and Google) research, StoryMill looks nice, but not so much as Scrivener, DVDRemaster Pro is a handy little utility if you’re into making compressed single layer copies of your dual layer DVD movies (although you’ll still need a DVD Decryptor). I’m perplexed as to what SoundStudio (needs 5000 sales to unlock) does that the GarageBand can’t for free (before I get flamed, I understand that there is some difference, I just find it hard to reconcile that if someone absolutely needed the added features why they wouldn’t just get Logic Express).
Frankly, the rest of the applications in the bundle seem like filler, they automate things that are perfectly easy to do with Leopard, or have counterparts that are free.
The MacHeist Bundle
My admiration for previous bundle’s clever marketing aside, the no-nonsense licensing approach of the MacHeist bundle appeals just as much as it’s very reasonable $49.00 price-point. Their only gimmick: The fact that they give a significant amount of money away to charity, also appeals. All of that said: is there anything to this bundle that’s worth sacrificing a couple of cases worth of beer money?
Short answer: yes.
Nanosaur 2 looks to be a spectacularly fun game, if you’re a writer, WriteRoom plus any one of the other utilities or games is worth the price of admission, and just about anyone who owns a Mac could use iClip (dare I say Office for Windows has had this functionality forever). There’s a nice budgeting application, an iWallet for storing personal information, an most of the other utilities look to be of a nice quality and not just filler, I’m particularly interested in trying XSlimmer hands on.
The bottom line:
The MacHeist bundle looks to be a real starter. If you have use for even just a couple of the full featured applications in the package, it’s worth the money.
I’m not so convinced of MacUpdate’s. Of the apps you’re guaranteed to get: ArtText, DVDRemaster and StoryMill are the only ones that have any real legs. The rest seem to be just filler. Of course, if they reach their sales numbers and you can get both BannerZest and Parallels desktop for 64 bucks, It would be a nice deal. Otherwise, Parallels sells for $79.00 everywhere, and often for $10-25 with the purchase of a new Mac.