Even the most advanced blog's web browser interface suffers from problems: you need internet access to use it; it doesn't have the responsiveness or features of desktop software; and it doesn't have a true WYSIWYG editing system. MarsEdit 3.0 is one of the best desktop tools around for filling these gaps.

It can download posts from most blog systems, including Blogger, WordPress and Movable Type.

You can then compose and edit posts using the new built-in, syntax-highlighting HTML or rich-text editors, see what they'll look like using a preview based on your blog's template, then upload them when you're ready.

If you want to include pictures from your iPhoto, Aperture or Lightroom libraries, your hard drive or Flickr, MarsEdit lets you add them to an entry, resize them and upload them to your blog.

You can also use templates for blog entries and presets for photo uploads to speed up operations. The competition between MarsEdit and ecto, its nearest competitor, is a close-run thing.

Despite its new features, MarsEdit is still faster. Its rich text editor is (slightly) less buggy and more accurate, and its support for WordPress's custom and slug fields is better. However, it lacks ecto's Amazon integration, its interface is less clear, and its image uploader is a lot clunkier and less feature-packed.

However, both are great tools for the serious blogger, so it comes down to personal preference.

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