215 software tools. No fees. No expiration dates. No problems. Sometimes even no downloads. No kidding.
They are divided into different categories
Linux This is professional video-editing software for the Linux crowd.
Web Upload your clips, mix via drag-and-drop, and share your finished videos in one spot.
Windows | MacOS | Linux Convert your DVDs to MPEG-4 video (or just the audio) for backup purposes.
Windows | MacOSx Jing shares what's showing on your monitor with others online, or records it for future viewing.
Web This online app provides Flash-powered video editing.
Windows | MacOS | Linux Miro combines BitTorrent downloads with video playback to become the next best thing to your DVR.
Linux Use your Linux box as a homespun digital video recorder (DVR).
Windows | MacOS | Linux The open-source answer to iTunes (from the makers of WinAmp) plays your music and videos.
Windows Turn your computer into a server to stream video and audio to just about any device on your network.
Web Our reviews call this the absolute easiest way to broadcast live video from your webcam across the Internet.
Windows Convert nearly any video you can find online (or on DVD) for use on any video-capable iPod or iPhone.
VLC media player
Windows | MacOS | Linux Forget Windows Media Player. VideoLAN's open-source VLC can replace it, and nearly every other player, too. VLC supports almost every audio format and video codec imaginable and doubles as a server for streaming your music and video to other PCs. Change its skin to make it look like the player you wanteven WMP.
Windows | MacOS If you've got a lot of YouTube videos ready to go online, upload them to the site all at once with the Uploader.
This app backs up part or all of a commercial DVD by running your Nero burning software automatically to copy the DVD directly to a new one in compressed form. Or, if you don't have Nero installed, you can save the compressed files to your hard drive, then manually burn them to a DVD using your own burning software. For legal reasons, the site has no download link, but it helps you find DVD Shrink on other sites. To the best of our knowledge, using the software isn't illegal, as long as you're backing up your own legally bought files.
If you manage a Web sitebe it a personal or community site, either on your own server or a hosted serviceGallery 2 is a great tool for organizing photos and integrating them into the site. Create and manage albums, upload photos, set permissions, and much more. (See our interview with Gallery's creator, below.)
With GB-PVR you can schedule and play back recordings from almost any current video capture card or external video capture sources, but it works best with Hauppauge's popular hardware. It also records radio or Net radio and plays back DVDs. An elegant default skin and a set of default plug-ins give quick access to standard broadcast schedules, and a growing plug-in library lets you add weather and other special-interest sources.
This 3D modeling tool matches what its developers call the "pencil" stage of designingwhen you make quick, slightly rough-edged drawings of solid objects, complete with shadows but without the photorealism of commercial packages. This is the least intuitive of Google's software offerings, but it's easier to use than any rival 3D programs.
QuickTime Alternative and Real Alternative
These apps let you play QuickTime or Real videos without Apple or Real's bloated, in-your-face proprietary players. While you're at the download site, get the up-to-date, extensive codec package and check the FAQs for advice on MPEG decoders and demuxers.
Windows IrfanView previews images (or even audio and video) and then converts or optimizes them without opening a separate editor.
Windows This program is probably the closest thing to Photoshop you can get free, courtesy of a student project.
Windows | Linux Google's photo manager makes it easy to get pictures off a digital camera, organize them, and even edit and share them.
Web | Flash Instantly edit pictures in this Web site. Upload images from your computer, Flickr, Picasa, or elsewhere.
Web Another online pic editor, pikifx.com emphasizes special effects such as added text and borders.
Web | Flash With one of the best Web interfaces yetall in Flashrsizr.com incorporates smart resizing to avoid distortion.
Web | Flash Another beauty with a Flash interface, Splashup sets itself apart with multi-image editing and a full-screen mode.
Windows Live Photo Gallery
Windows Windows Live Photo Gallery gives Picasa (above) a run for its money, with many of the same photo-enhancing and sharing featuresred-eye reduction, exposure adjustment, cropping, color, sharpen, and auto-adjust. What's more, Microsoft serves up histogram adjustment, panorama creation, and photo-CD burning.
Windows | MacOS | Linux Another browser based on Mozilla, Flock emphasizes interaction with social networks and services. It also accepts many add-ons from the Firefox browser.
Windows Replace IE or Firefox (but still use their rendering engines) with this highly customizable, multilanguage, tabbed beauty.
Windows | MacOS | Linux | Mobile Possibly the nimblest and most usable of all the browsers available, Opera did tabs first and still does them best. Added usability features like Speed Dial and Tab Preview keep popping up in new versions.
Windows | MacOS | Linux Prism is a site-specific browser, meaning you simply load a Web app (Gmail, for instance) and let it run like any other application on the desktop.
Windows | MacOS | Linux You don't have to download one item at a time from a Web page anymore. DownThemAll manages batch downloads, splitting files into pieces so they arrive faster.
Windows | MacOS | Linux Foxmarks can synchronize your Firefox bookmarks across multiple PCs, even multiple operating systems.
Windows | MacOS | Linux In Firefox, Googlepedia loads the most relevant Wikipedia entry it finds alongside your Google search results.
Windows | MacOS | Linux The toolbar brings Google's search and other functionality directly to IE or Firefox. It offers extras like auto fill, spell-checking, and one-click RSS feed subscriptions.
Windows | MacOS | Linux Add this extension to Firefox and then extend it again with thousands of scripts that change the appearance and functions of almost any Web site.
Windows Adds a load of extras to IE7, including control over tabs, spell-checking, ad blockingeven Greasemonkey-esque scripts (see above).
Windows Do you prefer Firefox but still need to look at some sites in IE? IE Tab will load a site in a Firefox tab using the IE rendering engine.
Windows | MacOS | Linux This Firefox add-on sets up an interface for instant blogging on just about any blog system.
Tab Mix Plus
Windows | MacOS | Linux Take total control of how tabs work in Firefox. Adjust how they look, revive those you closed by accident, send tabs to new browser windows-essentially any tab action you can imagine.
Windows | MacOS | Linux Zotero makes it easy to keep track of all your research on the Web, including how to cite it in future reports.
This extension blocks even the most persistent advertising from any Web page, and a toolbar icon lets you fine-tune pages if it blocks something you want to see. If you still use the old Adblock, replace it with Adblock Plus.
Try this to upload and download your bookmarks to any FTP server or WebDAV site you can access, including sites protected by Secure FTP. Keep your home and office bookmarks synchronized, or synchronize your home machine with bookmarks added on the road. Firefox 2.x users need the version found in the French-language site listed here; choose Installer Bookmark Synchronizer 1.03 or later.
FireFTP turns your browser into an FTP client, with a two-pane file manager for uploading and downloading. It doesn't yet support the increasingly common Secure FTP protocol, but it's useful for working with public FTP sites.
Replacing Flash animations with a tiny arrow icon, FlashBlock removes those distractions so you can enjoy fast, unmolested browsing. If you find a Flash animation that you want to see, click on the icon or use options to whitelist animations on sites where you want them.
This weather station for your Firefox status bar shows anything from the temperature to a multipanel display of current and forecasted weather. A click takes you to Accuweather.com, and an option lets you create profiles for multiple cities and for displaying tooltips, labels, and alerts.
FoxyTunes installs a miniature media-player control panel on the Firefox status bar. Click on a button to see what's playing in iTunes, Windows Media Player, or any standard music program. Besides the usual player controls, you can hide and display the music software or launch a floating FoxyTunes toolbar that stays open when you close the browser.
Use your Gmail account as storage by uploading and downloading files through a browser-based interface. An optional status bar button brings up a miniature file manager that lets you drag files into or out of your storage space. A toolbar item brings up a full-featured file manager.
MR Tech Local Install
This should be the first extension you install, because it saves extensions and themes to your hard drive so you can find them without a Web search. It enables dozens of tweaks to Firefox's menus and tabs and lets you install officially unsupported extensions.
Refresh your current pageor all open tabsat any interval you choose. This is an ideal option for news pages or sites where you're waiting for tickets to become available. It would be even better if it could remember settings between sessions.
This lightweight editor creates and modifies RSS feeds, though it's not powerful enough for podcasting. It's faster, simpler, and easier than most standalone RSS editors, and it's neatly integrated into Firefox.
This extension saves the layout and addresses of all your tabs when you shut down Firefox, and it also lets you reopen the session later. If Firefox crashes, just restart the browser and Session Manager restores the session.
Web | Flash It's not a single game but a series that involves choosing "growing" items that are added to an online environment.
Web | Flash Share your genealogy with everyone in the family. They can contribute more individual profiles until your family tree is complete.
Windows | MacOS | Linux Fly over familiar terrain or foreign lands with Google Earth, a searchable database of satellite images and geographical dataeven images of the heavens. You can go a step further with all sorts of downloadable, gee-whiz applications from scientists, media outlets, and other third-party developers to trick out your Earth-moving experience.
Web | Mobile This interactive mapping tool goes beyond driving directions. View destinations in Street View, Satellite, or Terrain modes; check traffic updates; or look up info on nearby businesses.
Web | Mobile Only 2,598 free games (as of this writing) to keep you busy online? Bring 'em on.
Windows | MacOS This 3D virtual world has hundreds of thousands of denizens. Access is free, but you'll pay a bit if you want to get some real estate, or even fancy clothes for your avatar.
Banshee Screamer Alarm
It's everything you'd want in an alarm clock. Banshee Screamer Alarm lets you set multiple alarms, and when each goes off, you have a choice of playing music from a playlist, running a program (though this didn't always work), playing a CD, or shutting down your PC.
This multiplayer 3D tank battle is one of the most popular open-source game projects, with more than a million downloads. It's available for Irix, Linux, BSD, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, and more. Drive your tank around and destroy your opponents, or pick up an opponent's flag and bring it back to your base.
Cartes du Ciel
With Cartes du Ciel (Sky Maps), it's easy to find out what constellations and planets are visible tonight. It displays the night sky for any location on Earth, at any date and time. For basic star charts, Cartes du Ciel outclasses many commercial astronomy programs.
This efficient utility lets you create and edit icons and cursors. You can draw the entire image using simple tools such as a pen, spray, and fill. You can also import an image (or part of it), edit it, and save it as an icon.
In this turn-based multiplayer strategy game for Linux, Mac, and Microsoft Windows, you can become the leader of your own civilization and strive to attain greatness. Win by either conquering all opposing civilizations or by using scientific knowledge to build a spaceship to send to Alpha Centauri before your rivals can do so.
This 3D first-person shooter, available for Linux, Mac, and Microsoft Windows, is entirely GPL and is continuously tweaked and modded. The multiplayer death match, which has minimal hardware requirements, will keep you on your toes. Choose from 15 different player models and kill, kill, kill!
In Tux Racer, you play as Tux the Linux Penguin (though it's for Microsoft Windows and Mac as well as Linux). You must steer through the flags on a slalom course while picking up Tux's beloved herring. Realistic physics means you'll notice a difference between fluffy snow and slick ice. Change the weather and lighting to add to the challenge.
The ZSNES open-source Super Nintendo emulator, available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and DOS, beats other emulators with its superior compatibility, stability, graphics, audio, and usability. The best feature: two-player gaming over the Net. ZSNES can use hardware-accelerated graphics cards, so some games actually look better than they did on the original console.
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