The best music, gift card and privacy apps this week

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Music, gift cards, text, and privacy — what a mix we have this week.
Music, gift cards, text, and privacy — what a mix we have this week.
Photo: Cult of Mac

This week we check out yet more amazing music-mangling apps, check in with web browser savior StopTheMadness, and find out how to buy gift cards from anywhere, at any time.

StepBud – AUv3 MIDI Sequencer

StepBud looks like a super intuitive way to make music.
StepBud looks like a super-intuitive way to make music.
Photo: StepBud

2019 is a golden age for iOS music apps, especially MIDI apps. StepBud is another gem. This sequencer app proves as fast and intuitive to use as old-school hardware drum machines. Each step in the music sequence has a slider. This can be used to set the pitch, the volume, pitch bend, modulation and more. Just tap the button for the parameter you want to set, slide the sliders, and you’re done.

You also can lock the sequence to a scale (making “wrong” notes impossible) or use the chord mode.

Price: $4.99

Download: StepBud – AUv3 MIDI Sequencer from the App Store (iOS)

DapIt: Buy and Sell Gift Cards

The DapIt app lets you share local coupons and gifts with friends
The DapIt app lets you share local coupons and gifts with friends.
Image: Torres
Sponsored: The DapIt app lets you buy gift cards for participating local businesses.

The idea is that you can buy a gift card at any time, and from anywhere, and send it to another DapIt user. They can then redeem it, instantly.

You could even use it to pay for the dinner of a friend who is already eating in a restaurant that’s signed up with DapIt.

Participating business owners get information they can use to market their wares.

Price: Free

Download: DapIt: Buy and Sell Gift Cards from the App Store (iOS)

Procreate

Procreate, now with text.
The Procreate app now lets you add text.
Photo: Procreate

Procreate, maybe the best painting app on the iPad, now does text. You can add text to a painting, just like adding a text box in, well, in any other app. Add a text box, choose a font (you can also import your own fonts), use sliders to tweak spacing and alignment, and then rasterize the result. There’s more to this update — layer sharing, for example — but the text is the biggest news.

Price: $9.99

Download: Procreate from the App Store (iOS)

Cality

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Cality is another music app (I told you this was a good year for them), this time a kind of mangler for your MIDI. This one takes MIDI note input from another app, then changes it based on the knobs you twist. For instance, you can change tempo, probability and swing of the notes, but you can also go more crazy. The Cloud section adds extra notes to your music, from simple rhythmic additions to crazy clouds of notes.

Price: $6.99

Download: Cality from the App Store (iOS)

StopTheMadness

Stop the madness! Stop it now!
Stop the madness! Stop it now!
Screenshot: Jeff Johnson

One of our favorite Mac Safari extensions, Jeff Johnson’s StopTheMadness is a privacy enhancer and website de-breaker. If you ever get frustrated when a site prevents you from ⌘-clicking to open a link in a new tab, or stops you from copying or dragging text, or won’t let you paste a password, then you need this app. It stops all that madness, and more.

New this week is a feature that stops websites from tracking your clicks. It does this by removing the anchor “ping” attribute on link clicks. It also protects middle-clicking on a mouse to open links in a new tab.

StopTheMadness is an essential tool if you like being in control of your own browser.

Price: $8.99

Download: StopTheMadness from the App Store (macOS)