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taja reviewed on 04 Dec 2013
I've tried to switch to Safari, Chrome and Chromium innumerable times, for OSX integration and iOS interoperability but keep coming back to Firefox for its much more powerful add-ons, excellent RSS support (especially with the Liveclick extension), and non-blurry middle-click autoscroll, which is a brilliant way to read long-form pieces of writing on the web.

I would advise those annoyed at its un-Mac-like behaviour to try the nightly build: http://nightly.mozilla.org/

The nightlies include the forthcoming UI revamp (Australis) that some might not like – but I personally do very much. Crucially, they contain a lot more OSX-like behaviour. For example, back/forward swipes work like in Safari, and there is rubber-banded scrolling. They are also stable and in my experience, no longer break many extensions (none in my case).

Now if only a) Apple eased its restrictions on iOS, or b) Mozilla accepted that it can't use its own rendering engine on iOS and produced a mobile version synced to the desktop...
[Version 25.0.1]


taja reviewed on 11 Aug 2013
RAM usage in the latest version on the appstore is down to around 90-100MB for me, which is good, significantly less than itunes. And I still really like the slickness of the GUI.

But there are other complaints, the first two being perhaps the most important
- CPU usage is still far too high, resting around 13% and often reaching 25%
- For a player with an emphasis on compactness, it absolutely needs to allow the playlist to be resized
- The click-to-enlarge artwork display is pointless. There should be an option to have a separate window with the artwork, or preferably, to turn the main window into a resizable artwork display with controls overlaid and the playlist underneath. Like the iTunes 11 Miniplayer, which I think is actually a great example of UI design.
- The 'General' section of preferences is too big and needs to be hived off into another section

And some suggestions:
- There ought to be some way of displaying track lyrics in a popout, accessible via a hotkey
- The menubar icon should indicate that Vox is playing. It should also have options to quit and access preferences.

Though they don't actually seem to be replying to emails, the developers have been fairly responsive in dealing with issues like typos and fuzzy artwork in the alt-tab app switcher. Then again, these issues – like the Growl error in the appstore version – shouldn't have been there in the first place. In fact, I've just noted another typo in General preferences: 'posititon'! They need a feedback button. And the real stuff to work on is the CPU usage and efficiency of the playlist interface.

More generally, they should go over the old Vox, and bring back all the idiosyncratic features that users found valuable about it. Else there's little reason for users with more specialist needs – who were surely a large portion of the original users – to use it over the old Vox.

Overall, though I think it’s a promising start for *most* users.
[Version 1.0]

taja rated on 05 Aug 2013
[Version 12.0.3]

taja rated on 01 Aug 2013
[Version 12.0.2]

taja commented on 16 Jul 2013
Oh and the album art displayed in the cmd+tab app-switcher is fuzzy, probably because its using the same resized version of the image embedded in the mp3 as the dock icon (which can be much smaller).
[Version 0.99rc]

1 Reply


taja replied on 16 Jul 2013
I realise I should have sent that in a bug report to the developer.

They should also really put some release notes somewhere so users know what's changed and what to check up on.

taja reviewed on 16 Jul 2013
Briefly, the latest beta improves the already excellent UI, which really is very slick and a pleasure to use. The preferences are now much better organised (and comprehensive).

Most importantly, it starts up much more quickly than before; substantially faster than iTunes, finally.

Unfortunately, as someone points out below, it’s still fairly resource-heavy, using around 150-200MB of RAM (still not that much less than iTunes. That would be just about ok, but it also is pretty heavy on the CPU. Hopefully this is a problem that can be remedied, rather than being a result of the app trying to do too many things.

On that note, I'd like to see some built-in way of displaying lyrics in a HUD, perhaps with a global hotkey. But maybe that's the sort of bloat this app doesn't need.
[Version 0.99rc]

taja rated on 12 Jul 2013
[Version 2.4]

taja rated on 07 Jul 2013
[Version 22.0]


taja reviewed on 28 Jun 2013
Firefox 23 (the beta) finally has OS X 10.7 style disappearing scrollbars. More than a little late, but makes it worth switching from the stable release.

Otherwise a robust, fast and extensible browser; I've tried switching to Safari and Chrome, but find myself missing things like the smooth middle-click autoscroll (excellent for reading), excellent tab handling and far superior extensions.

I do wish, however, that there were easier ways to sync tabs and history with iOS devices than these sorts of apps: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sync-for-firefox/id468995230?mt=8
[Version 22.0]


taja reviewed on 07 Jun 2013
I frequently need to split and crop PDFs of scanned books, as well as adding outlines (permanent Bookmarks) to break them up into easily navigable chapters. I also read and annotate lots of journal articles. Post-Snow Leopard, Preview has been a buggy, constantly crashing mess, so its useless even for reading and annotating. Skim is great, but offers no PDF editing features. I wanted one PDF app that could do all the above: I tried Adobe Acrobat Pro and PDF PenPro. Acrobat Pro is hopeless: clunky, slow to scroll and with a counterintuitive non-standard UI. PDF PenPro has significant stability problems. PDF Nomad, on the other hand, works great.

The UI is attractive and carefully well thought out, and the dev is friendly and responsive to feature requests. Most importantly, its very stable – can’t remember it ever crashing on me – and fast. Much faster to perform editing (rotating, deskewing, saving) functions than the above apps, actually. It’s also the only app I’ve found that allows splitting pages vertically en masse; very useful when you have book scans consisting of double pages. You can edit PDF metadata very easily, which is rare, and again, very helpful for academic researchers.

It’s also excellent value: the latest version 2.0 adds OCR, which though I rarely use (I normally get documents already scanned off colleagues), is good to have and normally entails a much more expensive app. PDF Nomad normally $50, but is $25 till the end of June; 1/2 the price of Prizmo (the slick scanning app that was in the last Macupdate bundle), 1/4 the price of PDFpenPro, 1/12 of the absurd Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Ideally, I’d like the OCR function to be faster, and to use less RAM, and to have some example Applescripts provided for batch processing documents, but I can’t find much to fault. More generally, I’m excited to see an efficient PDF editing app that gets the basics right (speed and stability), has lots of features and is in very active development. I don’t normally post long reviews, but I really think PDF Nomad deserves more exposure. And more selfishly I hope this leads to an even better app.
[Version 2.0]

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