Nuggets: Mac karaoke and tuning into the Web

Nuggets is a daily update on the latest software and hardware releases provided by our very own gadget man, Mr Justin Pearse. At the end of the month we will provide a roundup of our favourites which you could win in our monthly Nuggets competition.

Nuggets is a daily update on the latest software and hardware releases provided by our very own gadget man, Mr Justin Pearse. At the end of the month we will provide a roundup of our favourites which you could win in our monthly Nuggets competition.

Heard a rumour about a plan for a new gadget or software? Seen a device on your travels you'd like to know more about? Tell 'Nuggets' and we'll get you the facts.

MP3 for Macs

With Mac users traditionally being seen as some of the most creative computer users around, it seems a bit unfair that makers of commercial MP3 technology have largely ignored them. The good news is that Xing Technology has stepped into the void with the release of Audio Catalyst for the Mac. Using the CD-to-hard-drive ripping software of MPEG Audio Creator, Audio Catalyst extracts music files from music CDs and compresses them into the MP3 format using Xing's MP3 encoder engine. If you can't be without your new Billie album for a moment, don't worry - Audio Catalyst allows you to listen to songs as they're being encoded. And if you fancy a bit of geek karaoke you'll love the fact that you can encode from any ‘line in' source, including microphones. Available now for $35 (£21).

Shoutcast searches made easy

Since Nullsoft released its MP3 streaming media, ShoutCast, the Web has become flooded with radio stations using the new music format. Finding the station you want has suddenly become a whole lot easier with the launch ofMP3Spy. This great little programme searches out and lists all the ShoutCast servers broadcasting music. Severs are listed by name and genre, with number of listeners, total uptime and bitstream to give you an idea of the quality of connection. A cool feature is that you are automatically placed in a chat channel with others listening to the same station. MP3Spy is available as unlimited shareware, registration is $20 (£12).