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Now that the Mac App Store exists, if an app is available there I prefer to buy it there instead of on the developer's site. This has several advantages, but the one that I've been enjoying recently is the ability to sign into the store on a new or freshly wiped Mac, go through my list of purchases, and click "Install" next to each app I want to reinstall. Leave the computer for a bit, come back, and they're all installed and waiting for me in /Applications.

However, there are a number of non-App Store apps that I like to reinstall as well. Some, like Transmission, would not be allowed in the App Store for rule violations, and others, like VLC, are kept out because of license issues. Is there an app that I can use that acts similarly to the Mac App Store app, but allows me to quickly and easily download and install third-party apps?

There's a service for Windows and Linux called Ninite that seems to do this, but they don't appear to have a Mac version. Another possibility is AppBodega, but it doesn't seem to have the concept of an "account" so I'd have to still remember and hunt through the list of apps in the app.

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One solution could be to use Dropbox. Instead of installing your applications to the Applications folder, you can install them to the Dropbox folder instead. The only drawback is that some of the applications data may not be copied over unless you mess around with the settings and folders the data is stored in. However, this may not be an issue with applications that don't have many settings, such as VLC.

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MacUpdate may have the feature you are looking for. It has a list of over 30,000 Mac apps, VLC and Transmission are included. It helps you keep all your apps updated, and one of its features is download history. This may be an easy way to know which apps to reinstall on a new system.

The app is called MacUpdate Desktop, and it's $20/year.

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Do they have an app? –  Kyle Cronin Apr 2 '12 at 17:28
    
They do! For $20/year... macupdate.com/desktop –  Kyle Cronin Apr 2 '12 at 17:29
    
Trying it out now. Seems to be a pretty good app, but I don't know about paying $20 for it, much less $20/year –  Kyle Cronin Apr 2 '12 at 17:45
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