Looking for new Mac software? Hoof yourself around to half a dozen different tracker sites to find the latest updates, or save your soles and ring our doorbell instead. Details
Beginning today, the middle of September, the end of MAT2010-09-16 04:41:40
After more than 6 years of tracking the trackers, we're closing the door here. Our low-key approach made MAT semi-popular, but not really popular enough to go beyond just passing along the announcements of the big guys. And with the death of VersionTracker, there is very little left to aggregate. It was an interesting project while it lasted.
The plan going forward, for whatever it's worth, is to keep things around in an archival state. By the end of the month we'll swap out the index page with a static listing of all the old daily pages. Anybody interested in the full SQLite database of announcements? It's under 77MB! Let us know and we'll include that, too.
The RSS feed will also start pointing to Subsume's main news feed, just in case there is some sort of miracle . . .
CNET Ruins VersionTracker2010-09-08 04:14:19
You may have noticed that there really weren't any VT updates today. Pop on over there yourself and you'll see why. Then take a look at the pathetic RSS feed that CNET offers. Congratulations, MacUpdate, because it looks like you're the winner!
The only real question is what will become of MAT in light of the changes. It doesn't seem like it's worth it to just republish what is mostly going to be just the MacUpdate feed with Apple's sprinkled in. The plan right now is to monitor the CNET feed for the next week, or maybe two, to see if they add at least the version number to their announcements. If not, MAT will come to an end as well. We'll let you know once the decision is made, so now would be the (perhaps last) time to give us feedback, just in case you want MAT to stick around for some reason despite the loss of VersionTracker.
Now even more iPhone friendly!2010-07-05 00:20:43
For the few (but growing number) of you who visit the MAT site itself, we've long been aware that the layout of the site on the iPhone wasn't exactly great. The main culprit was the chat space, which is normally a large, scrolling piece of a style that makes the iPhone sad. We finally took the time to make the iPhone happy, by stuffing that big block behind a link. Further improvements will likely be made in the future to enhance the mobile experience, so be sure to let us know your suggestions.
Some of that crapware you haven't been seeing on MAT? Yeah, turns out we were ahead of the curve . . .2010-06-03 18:43:05
Since January 2009 we've been selectively removing certain Mac software releases from our aggregation of sites. The worst offenders simply skin a video converter or screen saver and dump it out expecting to somehow profit on yet another generic rebranding. It has recently come to our attention that some may do even worse. We do also make it a point to mark software as dangerous any time we find it asks for administrative access to do things that shouldn't require it (including big name apps like Google Earth). If you ever find suspicious software that we might have missed, please let us know so we can update the listing or remove it completely.
When Good Feeds Do Bad Things2010-02-27 23:48:39
You might notice things have gotten strange from time to time in the last week or so. The VersionTracker feed seems to frequently revert back to August 2009 for some strange reason. There's nothing we can do about that, but MacUpdate is also having problems at the same time that we can tackle. Currently, their detailed listing of Bean is not valid XML, and that makes the parser fail on all new releases until the erroneous item drops off the list. It has happened before with BashFlash last week, but we wrote it off as an isolated incident. Now, to keep the Mac software updates timely and reduce the chance that more items are lost, we're going in to manually correct/add the bad listings. They'll be coming out in the Subsume feed until the MacUpdate feed gets fixed.
Talk of the Town2009-08-13 21:20:19
We have a slight, but internally important, change to the site today. Those who mainly use the RSS feed without a fuss have probably forgotten that the MAT home page uses a shoutbox for brief comments and questions about the site. In the past, we used smiletag to get the job done, but we're trying out software of our own to do the same thing.
It all started years ago when we began work on our Subsume game. Over time it became clear that what we were working on was expanding to become more of a general board game engine. Over even more time, it became clear that that sort of thing is, in fact, the basis for social networking sites and other content management systems. So, with a little tweaking, we began to beta test Town Square. In short order, it occurred to us that still a little more tweaking would give us a layout very much like a shoutbox. So that's what we're starting to use today. Feel free to try it out and self-referentially tell us what you think of it. Thanks.
Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead2009-04-19 23:39:38
In case it's escaped your notice, it appears that VersionTracker hasn't been updating its feed in over a week (since 09 Apr 2009). From where we're sitting, it doesn't even look like their Windows side is working. Their site is definitely working, so perhaps they're just asleep at the wheel or maybe they're attempting to drive ad revenue by forcing people to visit their main page. Whatever the case may be, rest assured that unless they go completely dark we'll keep monitoring their feed for any signs of life. Otherwise, it's a big win for MacUpdate.
Venting On Software2009-02-25 15:22:08
People who have used MAT for long enough know that we hate bad software. We note the dangers with direct links when appropriate, and now have even started removing the worst offenders. For those interested in a more detailed and colorful take on it, try this recent rant on installers. Not very shy indeed.
Dumping Garbage Announcements2009-01-22 02:28:10
Maybe you haven't noticed, but there has been an increasing number of fake announcements from VersionTracker (e.g., LarryJan21 MAC INTERNET browser product, Kurt Test Product #3, etc.). Coupled with the endless video converter crapware from RegNow affiliates, we think it has finally come time to go beyond tagging bad software and start out-and-out removing some of the worst offenders from the listings. Hopefully this will only improve your MAT experience, but if you think something has gone missing that shouldn't have, let us know.
Get Fresh With Me2008-09-28 19:52:42
Today we welcome freshmeat back into the MAT club. We had stopped way back on 2005-01-25 due to their feed format changing and we were too busy at the time (read: lazy) to update our software. Since we had to go in and patch things up thanks to MacUpdate's feed changes, we decided to restore freshmeat back to its former glory. Now, while the code is warm, would also be a good time to make any suggestion you might have for improving the site as well.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for today just happens to be aggregate. Nice.
¿Happy Ad-iversary!2008-08-16 18:21:52
Exactly one year ago we posted a news article discussing what it would take to get a feed longer than 12 hours. Nobody stepped up with a sponsorship at the time, and we're just too reasonable to bother hunting around for new ways to show you ads. Google fixed all that by finally offering AdSense for feeds, which means we'll at least give it a try. Things we don't like right out of the gate: too many ads (the minimum is every 4th item, whereas we'd choose every 50th if we could) and too frequent update checks (every 30 minutes, despite our feeds only being updated hourly). Regardless, we can now introduce the MAT MAX feed, a crazy-large 3 day listing of new Mac software. As with all new site features, your feedback is appreciated.
Who Watches the Watchmen?2008-02-01 19:48:11
Should Softpedia Go?2008-01-21 15:14:39
You know what we just said about the Kewlbox/Blockdot deception? How amazed would you be to find out that Wondershare is now doing the same sort of thing under the name Aimersoft? We're completely dumbfounded by the recent flood of garbage releases that have come in via Softpedia. We are at the point where we no longer consider them a worthwhile site to aggregate. Would anybody even miss them if they were gone? Please leave feedback if you have anything good or bad to say on the issue, because the next crapware incident from them is likely to be their last.
The Misses Keep Coming2008-01-18 00:18:50
This year is really starting off with a bad software company bonanza. Remember Kewlbox, the packager of Flash games that change your Mac's system settings and track you online, from our report about six months ago? It appears they've returned as Blockdot. We would have completely missed their name change, too, if they hadn't been up to their old malware-esque tricks again. Here's a key tip to any software company trying to re-brand a bad image: stop screwing over your users. Shame on SeaWorld, Panasonic, and many other big companies that commission operations like Kewlbox/Blockdot to produce adware that is so shoddy.
Wondershare Crapware2008-01-17 09:53:39
If you've felt you've been dumped on the last couple days by another bad company, then you're not alone. Wondershare seems to think it's OK to release what is essentially the same software over and over, but apparently feel it is worth charging another $30 because they went through the arduous task of changing "iPhone" to "iPod" in the name, and dozens of other similar variations. We're not having it, though, since all it does is clog up the tubes of our Internets. In general, we see this as an advancement of the terrible marketing technique that brought us the excessive announcements for the likes of Lite, Standard, Pro, etc. versions of one piece of software. We're so tired of it that we're just going to consider them all to be duplicates. I don't know about you, but we're certainly feeling cleaner already!
A Case Study in Bad Branding2007-12-20 04:53:52
Would you buy software from a site that spams its domain in the name of software announcements for versions that are extremely outdated? I sure wouldn't, but for some reason that's exactly what Macfun.com has been pushing for the last couple of days. We weren't really going to make a fuss about it until we saw them do it to Dream Chronicles, which we first covered 6 months ago when we started to flag bad software. In that, it's not surprising that a shoddy promotion tactic got attached to shoddy software. At the root of it seems to be some dispute over (or change of) publisher, but until someone cares enough to tell us what's going on we're simply going to mark anything with Macfun.com in the name as bad software.
Apple Spills Juice2007-09-28 10:39:39
You may have noticed some rather odd listings from Apple over the last few days. We can't explain what's going on, other than the possibility that someone is letting slip some upcoming support for additional iPhone software. They're all unversioned announcements, so it's messing with our shoddy software release parser even worse than those pointless "build" version numbers we've seen popping up recently. We'll leave Apple's wacky listings for now, as ugly as they are, to encourage idle speculation. At least they're all grouped together, making this the only time we can say we're happy they don't change their feed modification times more than once a day.
Length Matters2007-08-16 18:21:52
There has been an expressed desire for feeds longer than 12 hours, and our current thoughts on the matter is that it can't be done without ads/sponsorship. We understand that in some cases a 1 day or 3 day feed would get you to the next work day or past the weekend, but at some point it just makes more sense to catch up by going to the web site. Keep in mind, too, that our feed retention is already much longer than the sites we aggregate. The main issue is that feeds get loaded so often that making them larger multiplies the load on the server. Someone with Safari set to check our 12 hour feed 24*7 would actually suck down over 4 times as much data if we had a 3 day feed they only checked 24*5! Given how sparingly we show ads on the site, it should come as no surprise that we're not making money on this, and the RSS feed is our ultimate loss leader by being completely ad-free. So if people would be willing to put up with ads in order to get a bigger feed, let us know and we'll try it out if the demand is great enough. We'd also love to hear from anyone willing to directly sponsor a larger feed, which would hopefully result in something less annoying than most ads that randomly get served up.
We Missed You Too!2007-08-15 13:26:14
We were hoping to creep by with just our tails between our legs, but some of you pointed out we weren't updating for nearly 24 hours (nearly all of Tuesday). On the plus side, if there is a plus side, the timeline of missed releases from the sites we aggregate is more like half a day. We last had an outage like this over two years ago, but the way things went bad this time were totally different, so the steps we took then didn't save us now (solution: more steps! :-). Please take this unfortunate opportunity to visit our upstream suppliers and see what you missed, and also see a lot of their site clutter we feel won't be missed at all.
Disgraceful Developer of the Year2007-07-30 20:17:40
We've seen a recent spurt of dangerous software releases and they've seemingly all been related to one company: Kewlbox. What they appear to do is take Flash games, often developed to advertise for a large company, and package them into apps that do all kinds of un-Mac-like things. We highly recommend you avoid anything produced by Kewlbox. We also suggest contacting the large company that funded the bad software if you mistakenly download something from Kewlbox that does questionable things to your computer. It's a real shame to see software like this still gets regularly produced, and we really hope this "award" never has to be presented again.
Nightmares Chronicled2007-06-13 11:02:32
We've written about how to handle bad software before, but a light bulb finally went off on how to deal with it after downloading (and then promptly deleting) Dream Chronicles. With just a couple tweaks on the back end, we've set it up so that direct links for potentially nasty software come up in red (web page only) and link to an internal page that highlights why the software is suspect. We hope that this is another value-added feature you will find useful. Keep in mind, too, that we don't download and check every piece of software that gets released, so if you come across a piece of software that worries you, please let us know!
We Still Hate Ads2007-05-28 05:09:30
You know that big blank space you see at the top of the main page at the beginning of a day when there aren't many new software releases yet? If not, then you won't see any ads, either! We've decided to fill that hole in the page, and an ad is the best idea we could come up with (what, you got better? :-). They'll only be shown until there are at least 10 new announcements to fill in that empty field of white. With any luck, it will fund a long overdue site update.
When Software Attacks2007-02-25 02:51:48
A lot of publicity has developed over the weekend about claims by the developer of Display Eater. First they said it might intentionally delete your home directory, then they said it wouldn't (also giving a date, 2/7/07, that doesn't coincide with any release version we have on record). MacUpdate seems to have gone as far as removing Display Eater from its listing. The truth is that while the Mac may not have a malware problem like Windows, it does get a fair amount of "questionable" software releases. We've been thinking for a while about adding a feature to the database that at least flags bad software. If you have any thoughts, pro or con, now would be a fine time to leave feedback.
Web Page With RSS Smarts2007-02-17 23:43:07
How We Roll2007-02-03 09:33:33
We've picked up a lot of new users over the years, so this might be a good time to explain how MAT is designed to work. Every 15 minutes, we check the feeds of a bunch of Mac software sites. If they haven't been modified we do nothing, but if they have we do a little processing of the data and add the announcements to our local database. At roughly the top of every hour we update the main page with a full 24 hours of Mac software releases and the RSS feed with the last 12 hours, and on weekdays we also update the main page around the half hour, too. What that all means is that while you might not be able to exercise fine control over the exact part of the hour when you read a feed or visit the site, there is really no reason to stop by more frequently than every 15 minutes. Then again, what do we know? If you happen to have a 10 Mac LAN and thought it would be useful to have MAT available on all of them, then we'll just be shutting up now. :-)
Dr. Aloha or: How I Learned to Stop Reloading and Love the MAT2007-02-02 09:17:32
Did you know that January has 44,640 minutes in it (31 * 24 * 60)? Now you do! Did you know that one IP hit us 28,812 times last month (in the neighborhood of hawaii.res.rr.com)? Now you do! That works out to about once every minute and a half. While we appreciate that kind of love for Mac software, stay tuned tomorrow to see why that's about an order of magnitude too eager.
Search Me2006-09-28 09:14:19
The focus of MAT has always been to keep track of all new Mac software updates, and most people seem happy to use the RSS feed for that. Search has never been a high priority, but that doesn't necessarily mean it should be completely absent. So let's start by adding a Google site search to the header, and if it does turn out to be a worthwhile feature then we'll add some better direct search capabilities ourselves.
Added Softpedia2006-06-01 22:50:39
When it comes to adding new sites to the aggregate, the main goal is timely announcements of Mac software. That means we would link directly to developers if only they had good RSS feeds of product releases. While we aren't particularly impressed by how timely Softpedia is on some Mac releases, they do have a number of timely software updates and some things not seen elsewhere. Consider it a trial listing, if you will, and we'll see if they're still worth tracking at the end of the month.
Celebrating Youth2006-04-08 16:53:15
With the flood of releases that happen daily, it is often handy to sort out what is truly new from what is an update. With that goal in mind, we have modified the page to give a green background to software that is newly added to our database. We're not sure exactly how to best add similar info to the RSS feed, or if that is even useful to you, so feel free to make suggestions on this or any other feature you'd like to see.
Feedback Fun2006-01-30 19:54:50
In an effort to keep things timely, we're testing out a feedback mechanism that is commonly becoming known as a shoutbox. While there is still email, we don't like to be spammed and we don't want you to have to worry about us spamming you (though we never would! :-). There are also feedback forms, but we're going to try out a shoutbox. It's nice and small, and fits on the main page in the same place the ads go on the archive pages. Please use it to give quick feedback or to let us know if you spot a duplicate we missed.
No More "Selfish Widget" Direct Linking2006-01-24 18:20:44
There has been an increasing proliferation of Dashboard widgets that seemingly do nothing more than display the RSS feeds for a site and/or exploit affiliate programs. While they're welcome to write such widgets and while we will still list them, a duplicate that we manually group will no longer result in the listing getting a direct link as it does for other software.
Of Versions And Names2006-01-11 19:21:29
We have made the slightest change to our RSS feed, replacing the middle dot separator with a tab. In theory, this will be both friendlier to automated readers, who can now treat name and version as tab-delimted fields, and it should read more smoothly for us humans, too. A tab is also much less likely to be a significant part of name or version strings. Not that a middle dot is particularly common, mind you, but the sites we aggregate all seem to have a nasty habit of using very common delimiters like spaces and dashes when they feed their updates. That's why you occasionally see part of a version number stuffed in the with name. Our parser does a pretty good job, but we also hope to improve it in 2006.
What Goes Up2005-06-03 21:18:28
Yeah, there was a bit of downtime on a server and we missed probably half a day's worth of updates. Hardware was (finally!) swapped and we should be fine now. Now would probably be a good time to cry about costs and introduce an ad-heavy main page or link to our registration page and ask for funding; we don't work that way, though, so continue to enjoy getting more than what you paid for.
Now It's Just Getting Silly2005-06-01 11:42:40
Not only did the feed traffic more than double from April to May (5249 to 13544 hits respectively), the main page traffic was relatively flat, making for what is now a 5:1 ratio. No, we won't be getting rid of the main page, but such a shift in readership in such a short period has been interesting to see.
SS Update: R Kicks A2005-05-02 02:59:15
In just the second full month of operation, the number of hits for the RSS feed is double that of the main page! Most of that was pre-Tiger, too, although there did seem be another interesting bump on the last two days of April as well. While we're sure some of the increase is due to RSS readers loading more often than a person would manually, we still see is as a big sign of success for the feed. Will an RSS-aware Safari cause the numbers to double again in May?
What Ads?2005-04-05 06:14:19
Yes, we've started advertising on the site. No, you probably wouldn't have noticed if we hadn't told you. Just for fun, we want to see what happens if we stick Google AdWords on archived pages. The index page with all the updates for the last day is unchanged, as is the RSS feed. This little experiment should have almost no impact on regular readers.
It's About Time2005-03-14 01:29:42
Changed the site index to display a rolling 24 hour period. At the same time, updated the RSS feed to give 12 hours. Hopefully this means a lot less effort in the morning to see "missed" items from the previous night. Weekends, though, you're still on your own!
By The Numbers2005-03-12 01:04:54
Changed the way the right side number works. It used to number items individually, which "broke" when duplicates were removed manually. Now it simply does hourly groupings, a change which should make even more sense after a few other changes we plan to release over the weekend.
RSS Feed Available2005-02-28 05:11:24
Deemed "experimental but working", we offer up the MAT RSS. Please give it a try in your favorite RSS app and let us know if there are any problems. It currently lists the releases of the last 6 hours and is updated hourly. Once the format settles down over the next couple weeks, we'll probably expand it to 12 hours.
Wider Is Better2004-11-08 20:07:28
Slightly tweaked the HTML to display the icons horizontally even when a long description would normally stack them vertically. In most cases, the should result in a more compact, readable page.
Support For Direct Links2004-10-27 22:01:13
Since we sometimes have to go to developer sites to determine the correct name when there are duplicates, it makes sense that we now add that link to our database. A direct link should be obvious enough because the name itself will display as a link. In theory, we can make any piece of software a direct link, but it's still all manual and so the plan is to provide direct links only in special circumstances.
Better Duplicate Handling2004-10-26 10:10:38
Sometimes the same piece of software gets announced on different sites with a different name. This usually occurs when there is a discrepancy in case (e.g., Objectscript vs. ObjectScript) or because some listing add an unnecessary token to denote Mac OS X software (e.g., AstroShareX vs. AstroShare or Apple iTunes vs. iTunes). From now on, they will be normalized and listed together under the actual name. This requires us to manually discover the duplicate and go to the software's site to get the actual information to make the correction. Because of that, there may be a delay in grouping duplicates, or we might miss a duplicate altogether. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you see duplicates that are not grouped together as they should be.
News Section Added2004-10-22 15:52:54
MAT has been operating, aside from HTML tweaks, without much human involvement behind the scenes since April. Some new ideas are in the works that will change all that, and hopefully you'll find it's for the better. As a prelude to announcing those updates, we offer up this brand-spanking-new section on the page.