Category Archives: Software

Exploring the Mac App Store

Aspect Ratio Converter

My new app, Aspect Ratio Converter, is available in the Mac App Store as of the day before yesterday.  It’s not a challenging piece of programming – its only purpose is to allow you to rescale images and video without losing the original aspect ratio.  I wrote it to explore the process of publishing an app on the Mac App Store.

I highly recommend starting out with a tiny, single-purpose app as your first project.  There are a bunch of trivial annoyances when publishing your first app (mainly around “certificates” getting passed back and forth between you and Apple), and it was nice not to have the process complicated by a weighty project.

“Aspect Ratio” is a fancy way of referring to the original shape of a file.  If you’ve ever tried to resize a photo and accidentally smooshed a square photo into a rectangular display, you’ve experienced the dissonance of a non-retained aspect ratio.  Aspect Ratio Converter tells you the new dimensions for your images, so when you resize them, they don’t come out smooshed.   Most image editing programs are able to do this automatically, but Aspect Ratio Converter helps me resize embedded videos on web pages, and specify the exact dimensions of placeholder images.

You can download Aspect Ratio Converter from the Mac App Store.  It’s free, although I think it only works on Lion, aka Mac OS 10.7.