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5 Ultimate Christmas Gifts for Mac Lovers

5 Ultimate Christmas Gifts for Mac Lovers

Well the DFS ads have hit our screens (although if I bought my wife a sofa for Christmas I fear the end would be nigh) so I have decided to think about what hardware will be hot this Christmas. I still consider myself a bit of a switcher from PC to Mac. I have been using my trusty Mac for a over four years now and it seems to play a growing role in all areas of life.

I have decided to list my five ideal Mac hardware Christmas presents, these are sort of add-ons devices that I would use on a very regular basis in a range of both personal and work settings. These devices not only Christmas day that little bit special but they will also make life that little bit easier.

ultimate

I should point out that (with the exception of the Elgato) all these devices will work equally well on Windows as they do on Mac. In the case of the Native Instruments Guitar Rig Session Apple’s Garageband is a perfect combination for recording your own songs or guitar lines. Check out our previous post entitled Guitar and Garageband.

1. Guitar Rig 4 Kontrol or Session

grIf you play guitar you will love this device. Back in the 80s and 90s we struggled with four track tape recording, we advanced to minidisk but now thanks to Native Instruments and Apple’s Garageband we have it all nicely on a single Mac.

The Guitar Rig session not only offers the best Guitar to computer interface device we have used but it also ships with an XE version of the amazing Guitar Rig 4 software. Say goodbye to the string of expensive (and noisy) stomp boxes this application has it all.

From guitar effects, pre-defined guitar sounds and amp simulators you can be your favourite guitarist recording direct to Garageband in 2-3 clicks. The XLR input also allows you to venture into voice recording which is useful not only for music creation but also for podcast recording.

Read our full Guitar Rig Session review, and our Guitar Rig 4 Review.  [Read our Review] [Price on Amazon]

2. Elgato TV Device

33Turn your iMac into a TV allowing you to watch, pause and record live TV these devices combined with the brilliant EyeTV software are brilliant. We have covered the EyeTV software on a number of occasions (check out our full review, text tutorials, video tutorials here).

The system just works and the software is excellent. Record TV and sync it with your iPhone, iPod Touch or Apple TV. If you can’t afford the Elgato system then the Eqinux Tubestick offers an impressive alternative. [Read our Review] [Price on Amazon]

3. Apple TV

42Our recent post entitled ‘Five reasons to own an Apple TV‘ was been one of the most successful posts ever on DigMo! The Apple TV offers the ability to sync Music, Movies, TV, and Photos directly from iTunes and iPhoto.

In addition the Apple TV is a networked device able to play video from YouTube, display photos from Flickr and MobileMe while at the same time play trailers from the Apple Trailers site. If that isn’t enough you can buy TV shows and rent/buy movies directly from iTunes (now in HD). Read our review of the Apple TV. [Read our Review] [Price on Amazon]

4. iPhone or iPod Touch

iphoneCombine a Mac with MobileMe and an iPhone or iPod touch for the best in communication and cloud computing. Sync with iCal, Address book and Safari, as well as take your music and movies on the road.

The iPhone and iPod Touch are just as powerful independently to the Mac with the brilliant iTunes Apps store. Apple have announced over one billion downloads from the store since it opened last July and the Apps keep getting better and better (see our top 5 here).

It seems silly to list such a powerful device as an add-on to a Mac but I feel the way it integrates with both iTunes and MobileMe enhances the Mac user experience greatly.

For example many of the personal finance applications for Mac offer a sync with the iPhone as does the great GTD application Things. Both examples offer direct sync with the Mac desktop apps directly over a LAN wifi network. Read more about our iPhone love here.

5. Drobo Storage Robot

Working with music creation, video or a large media folder can take its toll. Over the years I have worked with USB Hubs with two or three external USB drives attached. Primarily for work although I did have one USB device dedicated to iTunes.

5-1It all worked really well but it is amazing how quickly you can out grow external drives especially now we are able to buy full movies from the iTunes store. The Drobo storage robot offers a scalable storage solution that at the same time protects your data.

The Drobo data storage robot is unique in that you can hot swap drives, replace small drives with larger without having to turn the machine off nor does it require any user intervention. [Read our Review] [Price on Amazon]

Next week I will look at the top 5 sub ?100 Christmas Gifts for your everyday Mac lover.

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