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  1. #1
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    Useful free applications and utilities.

    I thought it would be useful to bring over a topic I originally posted on the old forum which lists a lot of the free applications and utilities that are available to download.

    So here is the list from the old forum. Feel free to add more of your own recommendations to the thread.

    Graphics Apps

    IrFanView - http://www.irfanview.com/ - A free Image viewer utility which is very fast and also allows you to quickly trim and alter images and convert them into other formats. Also includes batch convertion.

    Audio Apps

    Audacity - http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ - Free audio editor which has a large range of options and functionality. Based around a wave form editor, it has the ability to edit multitrack compositions, record from any input and export to lots of different formats including MP3 and OGG, as well as lots of filters to clean up and alter audio. These even include hiss and click removal for when sampling in Record and Tape recordings for archive purposes.

    CDex - http://cdexos.sourceforge.net/ - A great music ripper. A while ago I went through all the different music ripper utilities I could find and thought this one was the best. It is completely free and much faster then any others I tried. It also does a great job of getting the right information about each track from the CDDB database.

    MediaMonkey - http://www.mediamonkey.com/ - This is a great Audio/Media library utility. It is very powerful and is a great library manager for managing all your Music files. I looked around for some time at different ones available before decided to use this one. It's much fater then WMP10 at accessing and creating it's database, and it has lots of interface customization and supports aubum art, has a great MP3 tag editor, supports direct playlist to CD burning, can sync with mobile devices and can rip audio too (although I tend to still use CDex for this).

    Deliplayer 2 - http://www.deliplayer.com/ - The Windows port of the Amiga mod player Delitracker, this audio player can play most music mod formats from the Amiga and many other systems including the C64 SID chip tune format. Invaluable for any Amiga and retro system fans.

    Internet

    Firefox - http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/ - Although some still say Opera is better. For me Firefox has been the best Web Browser since it's launch. It is the only browser to render pages based on true HTML compliance and it's extensions structure can increase it's functionality and options way beyond other browsers.

    Also see my pinned topic on Firefox extensions to see some of the best additions to this great browser.

    Opera - http://www.opera.com - Sometimes more stable than any other browser, it also has a lot of functionality built in that other browsers such as Firefox need extensions for.

    FileZilla - FileZilla is a great free FTP client. They also have free FTP Server version of it. I haven't really messed around with the server software but the client is very easy to use, well featured, and stable.

    SmartFTP - http://www.smartftp.com - This has been the best ftp client around for many years now. It is the fastest of all I have ever tried, has browser like bookmarks, and a really nice download and upload queueing system.

    Flashget - http://www.flashget.com/en/download.htm - This free download manager works very well and is a good utility to have when downloading large files in case your connection times out and you can then resume the download instead of needing to start it again. It can also be integrated into Firefox well using the Flashgot extension.

    Putty - http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/ - This will only be of use to server administrators and web site developers with SSH/Telnet access to their hosting servers. It is a telnet/SHH client to allow you to remotely connect to servers to open shell sessions and control servers directly for administration and backup.

    Compression utilities

    IZArc - http://www.izarc.org/ - This is the ultimate compression utility. I used to have WinZip, WinRAR and WinACE all installed at once to gain full control over ever type of compression format, but with IZArc I no loner need any of them. It's faster than other compression utilities and aupports all the formats.

    WinRAR - http://www.rarlab.com/ - Don't bother installing WinZIP, just install WinRAR instead as it can then handle both rar and zip compression formats.

    ZipZag - http://www.zipzag.com/index.html - This is a very advanced archiver utility that can handle over 250 different extension types including Linux and Amiga compression file formats. It can also use Total Commander plugins to expand it even further, giving it the ability to handle extra formats such as ADF, ADZ, D64, DMS, HDF, HDZ, IMG, PP and PPM. So for users needing to handle Amiga files this is very useful

    Security

    AVG Antivirus from Grisoft - Updated several times a week and completely free. Protects your computer to the limit.

    Outpost Firewall - http://www.agnitum.com/products/outpostfree/index.php - I've been using the Pro version of Outpost for a long time now and consider it the best software firewall you can buy (unless you start paying for enterprise level software). For general home use Agnitum also offer a Free version that works perfectly for general computer uses.

    Video

    D.I.K.O - http://www.vmesquita.com/en/index.htm - A great DivX/XviD to DVD converter.

    This package takes a lot of different freeware software and combines it into an easy to use frontend to convert video files into DVD ISOs ready for burning. It does a very nice job and can even add subtitle .sit files into a DVD too. It also supports menus and multiple movies on a single disc if they will fit.

    DVD Decrypter - ftp - A great program to rip commercial DVDs. It's also got it's own DVD burning engine and tends to burn DVD ISO images more accurately than both Alcohol and Nero.

    It's name is due to its ability to remove all region encoding and copy protection as it rips the disc. Sadly it's development was stopped by the movie industry because of this ability and most, if not all of it's download locations were removed. The good news is I have it on the ftp if you need it

    For certain newer DVDs with tougher copy protection, DVD Decrypter does not work, so you can instead use DVD Fab Decrypter. It works very much the same as DVD Decrypter in that it rips the files of the DVD straight to the hard drive and removes the copy protection and region coding. Its also free.

    DVD Shrink - http://www.dvdshrink.org/ - A great utility to copy a large DVD onto a normal 4.7GB DVD-R.

    It works by taking an image of the DVD stored on your HD and letting you go through it's contents and recompress it's video into a lower quality to reduce it's file size. You can also delete unwanted language soundtracks and DVD extras to fit the main movie onto the disc easier without losing too much quality.

    I tend to use DVD shrink in combination with DVD Decrypter. I first rip the DVD to the HD with Decrypter, then use DVD Shrink to reduce its size to fit a blank DVD, then burn the smaller ISO to a disc using DVD Decrypter again.

    DVD Identifier - http://dvd.identifier.cdfreaks.com/ - This is a piece of software i have found very useful over the last couple of years. Especially with DVD writing. It offers a reliable method of accurately identifying the disc's real manufacturer.

    DVD discs are manufacturers but a small number of dye companies around the world (Ritek, Prodisc... etc). These discs are then bought by the actual disc sellers and branded with their own disc labelling and packaging. The quality of a disc is purely down to which dye the disc is using, not the branding on the discs label. DVD Identifier will tell you who manufactured the actual disc's dye.

    Why do you need to know this? New discs released might be using a new dye type from a certain manufacturer. Your DVD writer might be using a firmware version which doesn't know this new dye so will not let the disc be burnt at it's full speed. Once you know the dye make and version you can then look for newer firmware for your DVD writer to allow the disc to write at full speed.

    Another reason is reliability. If I am using a brand of blank disc and it works really well with hardly any coasters then I take note of it's dye. That way when i go to buy more discs it won't matter which brand I buy if it has the same dye make. Using this method you can save money as you don't necessarily have to purchase the same brand disc again.

    Equally if you find a pack of discs are not writing well and keep failing or producing read errors when you use them after burning, then you can look up the dye make and avoid it next time.

    VirtualDub - http://www.virtualdub.org/ - This is a free video editing application. It's not on par with commercial offerings but is still good enough for basic capture and editing of video files.

    VirtualDubMod - http://virtualdubmod.sourceforge.net/ - Based on VirtualDub, this takes the program and adds additional support for extra file formats, as well as multiple audio stream support. It also works with another free package called AviSynth for extra file support.

    MPEG Streamclip - http://www.squared5.com/ - This is a converter for QuickTime files, MPEG-1/2/4 files and transport streams (.ts and .m2t). It provides high-quality conversion of movies and MPEGs into several useful formats. It is compatible with most editing applications and DVD authoring tools.

    You can use this to Play, Edit, Convert, and Export video between formats.

    And the beta adds support for PVR, TPo, VDR and more types of MOV files.

    As well as all of the utilities I posted in the original thread, thanks has to also go to JT, PG, and LowercaseE for their suggests which are included above. Please add more if you have any.

    Misc

    ReadPlease - ReadPlease is a neat utility not unlike the Amiga "Say" program. Its got male and female voices as well as different nationalities and accents. Some sound more realistic than others but most all of them sound more "real" than the Say program. Its fun to copy crazy song lyrics (like Cannibal Corpse or something) into the program and then play them back using a female accent. Not really a useful utility, but it does provide some good entertainment.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
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    Inkscape - http://www.inkscape.org/ - Vector graphics software similar (though a little less polished and advanced) to Adobe Illustrator. Supports .SVG natively and .AI format through an extention both of which can be opened and edited by Illustrator.

  3. #3
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    CD/DVD writing

    IMGBurn - http://www.imgburn.com/ - From the creator of DVD decrypter, this free disc image utility can create and write a wide range of image file formats and is very useful to have to hand.

    CDCheck - http://www.kvipu.com/CDCheck/ - CDCheck is a great disc verification utility and I highly recommend everyone uses it. It is very fast and checking through and CD/DVD media and will report any errors on the disc. If you are writing backups, your music collection or home movies to disc then you want to make sure they burnt correctly and can be used later. After burning a disc just run it thorugh CDCheck for any errors.

    SizeMe - http://lars.werner.no/wordpress/?page_id=2 - Have you ever had a directory of files that are too big to fit on a single blank CD or DVD? If so then SizeMe is a free utility that will solve this problem. Using Sizeme you navigate to a directory on your Harddrive and it will automatically work out how to fit all of the files from that directory onto blank media to use the most space on each disc. Once it has done this you can drag and drop these disc layouts directly from SizeMe into Nero or any other burning application to instantly setup each disc to burn.

    Other useful utilities

    Disk Size Manager - http://www.programurl.com/disk-size-manager.htm - Have you ever wondered what is taking up all the space on your harddrive, but can't easily work it out? Than you need this utility. It gives you a quick run down of the contents of your harddrive so you can see how much space everything is using.

    ViceVersa Pro 2 - http://www.tgrmn.com/ - This one isn't actually a free utility but a 30 day free trial is available (and there are ways around it ). If you make backups of large directories of files on your system regularly, for example you backup your MP3 collection or MAME rom set to an external HD) then this application is very useful. It will compare the differences between the two sources and tell you the difference between them, it can also perform backups to the second source and replicate folders or synchronise files. It takes away the need to manually check through files.

    Total Commander - http://www.ghisler.com/ - This file manager has been around for a long time and is starting to show its age. It does however have some very useful features such as plugins for direct support of many Amiga file formats, as well as ADF, ADZ, HDF and HDZ formats. But you can also use these plugins with the archive utility ZipZag which I would recommend instead of using this application.

    Directory Opus 9
    - http://www.gpsoft.com.au/ - The latest Windows version of this famous file manager that started out on the Amiga. Again this isn't free but you can download a free 30 day trial to try it out, and I can guarantee that once you have been using this for a couple of weeks you won't want to go back to just using Windows Explorer to manage and access your files. Don't try to bypass the copy protection and crack this though as they have done a good job on the registration and activation system and any cracks/serial codes you might find online will stop working days after you find them. This is worth buying.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #4
    Utils
    Duplicate Cleaner - http://digitalvolcano.co.uk/dupe.html - finds duplicate files, and has handy options to auto-select which set to delete
    TextCrawler - http://digitalvolcano.co.uk/textcrawler.html - find and replace across multiple files/folders, including a RegEx engine
    Unlocker - http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/ - remove a system lock on any file
    Comodo free suite - http://www.comodo.com/products/free_products.html - free anti-virus, firewall, anti-spam, anti-malware, and a backup/synchroniser
    TrueCrypt - http://www.truecrypt.org/ - creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk, with a 512-bit key

  5. #5
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    Foxit Reader - http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php - An exclusive small and fast PDF Reader!

  6. #6
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    For a whole plethora of links to free stuff try here. Most the stuff already listed is there and a lot more.

    Super Anti Spyware http://www.superantispyware.com/ for a free anti spyware programme.
    Last edited by Buleste; 7th May 2008 at 15:50. Reason: Double posting - posts have been automerged
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