10 top rated open source applications

We have to admit that the open source community brings a big contribution to the software market through its useful and original projects. Many free applications have been strong opponents to similar paid-for products for years, forcing the competitor companies to rise the quality of their products. So I’m bound to present to you a couple of these products that are still remarkable and can make the difference in their category. In randomly order:

CDex

A CD-Ripper, which can extract digital audio data from an Audio CD. Started as a project in 2001, CDex became a very reliable and simple to use CD-ripper with its latest stable version released in 2003. Since then, many are still using this old version, although the project has been restarted in 2006 and several new beta versions have been released. The application supports many Audio encoders, like MPEG (MP2,MP3), VQF, AAC encoders. CDex is supported by all 32-bit MS Windows operating systems.

 

 

Audacity

A very powerful multi-track audio editor and recorder for Linux, BSD, Mac OS, and Windows. Supports WAV, AIFF, Ogg, and MP3 formats. Features include envelope editing, mixing, built-in effects and plug-ins, all with unlimited undo. The only drawback is that many opened tracks will force your PC to the limits making Audacity a real mastodon when it comes to hardware requirements. Of course, you will need to download the lame encoder first, if you want to export your work in mp3 format.

 

 

VirtualDub

VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows platforms. It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video.  It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters.  VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and also handle sets of BMP images.

 

PDFCreator
PDFCreator easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer in Word, OpenOffice or any other Windows application that supports a printer. Every pdf file that you create with PDFCreator can be encrypted and digitally signed. You can even merge multiple files into one PDF. Besides its main objective of converting any photo or document file into pdf format, PDFCreator can also convert files into PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS, EPS formats.

 

FreeMind

FreeMind is a free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has  turned it into high productivity tool. It is said that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click “fold / unfold” and “follow link” operations. Do you want to prioritize, know where you are, where you’ve been and where you are heading, then use FreeMind.

 

 

 

BitTorrent

A very popular upload/download manager among that allows you to publish or share your data with the P2P community. It’s easy to install and set-up on your home network because it uses standard UPnP and NAT-PMP networking technologies to prepare your router for torrent access. It can auto-adjusts bandwidth usage based upon your network and the Internet, so that you can play games, stream videos and use instant messaging services without having downtime moments.

 

 

FileZilla

FileZilla is a cross-platform graphical FTP, FTPS and SFTP client a lot of features, supporting Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and more. It features an intuitive interface in order to ease the send/receive data operations. Supports resume and transfer of large files over 4GB, features drag & drop support, configurable transfer speed limits, synchronized directory browsing, and remote file search.

 

 

 

NotePad++

A source code editor and MS Windows Notepad replacement. It comes with an optimized code that results in reducing CPU usage while running. It also supports external plugins which can perform several text editing tasks such as XHTML, XML, and brace auto close, the text to HEX converter, the C++ code re-indent, the trailing space trimmer, FTP support and the case converter. You can set the colors which are used for code highlighting and even record key-presses in order to play them back later.

 

 

KeePass Password Safe

KeePass Password Safe is a free, open source, portable and easy-to-use password manager for Windows. You can store your passwords in a highly-encrypted database, which is locked with one master password or key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

 

 

 

Eraser

Eraser is a secure data removal tool for Windows. It completely removes sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. It’s important to know that Eraser works with any drive that works with Windows. There is no need to customize the application because all the important secure drive erasure methods are supported out of the box. In order to obtain a definitive deletion, the application not only erases files and folders but also their previously deleted counterparts.

 

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Top 10 free apps to install after a fresh OS installation or on a new PC

A clean install of Windows 7 (or any other) is often the best way to install your Operating System. However, clean install means losing all your apps but hey, that’s not necessarily a problem because a few days ago, when I finally decided to make a clean install of my OS, I made a list of the essential free apps you may get in case you’re not sure what you should actually install after a clean OS installation or when you get a new PC. Each app has a download link so you won’t have to search for every single app. So, what did I install over my clean new Windows? Check this list…

avast! Free Antivirus is my top pick for the best free security option around and just a matter of fact, it has the same antivirus and anti-spyware scanning engine used in the paid products and it will definitely reduce the risk of your computer being attacked or infected by a virus – Download Avast! Free Antivirus

Mozilla Firefox is what I used exclusively for a long time, but I am beginning to grow into Google Chrome, as Firefox seems to be quite slower. However, Firefox remains my primary browser but you can consider getting Google Chrome as well, for speed and simplicity – Download Firefox | Download Chrome

Open Office is a free office-productivity suite that includes applications such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and drawing program, with a user interface and feature set similar to Microsoft Office. Compatibility? No worries,  Open Office can open and save MS Office documents with a high degree of fidelity – Download Open Office

Notepad++ is a great source code editor, but it also performs great as a Windows Notepad replacement. The application supports several programming languages and its features make it my favorite editor – Download Notepad++

Mozilla Thunderbird is a fully-featured, free and secure mail client, which can also act as a RSS reader. It’s easy to set up (no need to know your IMAP, SMTP, and SSL/TLS settings, just your your name, email address, and password) and customize – and it’s loaded with great features – Download Mozilla Thunderbird

Gom Player is a a clean looking video player that I’m using and recommend to everyone. It’s lightweight and I love fact that it has embedded codec system so you won’t have to search for codecs every time you cannot play a video format. However, if it happens that you need an extra codec to play a multimedia file that the player didn’t come with, the software will automatically identify what you need and it will lead you to the download page – Download Gom Player

WinAmp is my true favorite for playing music files and I believe that almost everybody using a PC knows anything about Winamp so I guess it doesn’t need introduction. Well, just for the record, Winamp has a lot of cool features which make it an extremely valuable and versatile media. You can synchronize your Media Library with your portable media player and much more – Download WinAmp

PicPick is one of the best screen capturing software that is simple enough to be used by everyone. You can capture multiple sources such as: active windows, selected areas or window, entire desktop, irregular screen regions or any other on-screen activities with just a click of a button or keyboard shortcut. Moreover, the software includes a simple image editor – Download PicPick

CCleaner is a system excellent system cleaning utility designed to help you get rid of all unwanted, residual files and registry entries such as  Internet Explorer’s temporary files, cookies, history and so much more – Download CCleaner

IZArc is a great freeware archive utility that support a huge list of archive formats, as well as access to many powerful features and tools. Moreover, it allows you to drag and drop files from and to Windows Explorer, create and extract archives directly in Windows Explorer – Download IZArc

I still have quite a few more in the pipeline but I’ll include those in a future article so check back later please.

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Find subtitles with Sublight

Sublight is a freeware application ready to find the missing subtitle for your beloved movie. You just have to choose the video file from your hard-drive, activate the search function, and the application will connect to the database from where it will extract the right subtitle for your movie version.

Simple as that, the process of finding the right subtitle is now a manner of 2 clicks with the help of this application. But as fast it may be, the search process is not always successful. That’s because the Sublight database relies on the community activity, which at the moment is not enough to cover all movie files that are released worldwide. Plus, a lot of junk files will obstruction your search success.

In this case, when Sublight might return too many results, you can search for the subtitle manually by typing the title of the movie. If the number of results is still humongous, you can use filters based on language, rate, publisher and even number of discs for your video version.

For the best match, pay attention to the highlighted entries, as these subtitles are marked by members of the Sublight community as suitable for your video version. In general this means that the subtitle file is properly synced to your video file. You can also mark subtitles as properly synced by right clicking their entry and choosing the Link label. Same action goes for creating reports for false match-ups: right-click the entry and choose Invalid link.

Being a freeware product, Sublight requires .NET Framework 2.0-3.5 to be installed on your machine. At the moment this useful application runs only on PC’s running Windows OS.

download Sublight

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Quick’n’easy PDF reading using Cool PDF Reader 3

We all know that when it comes to PDF files, the Adobe products come immediately to our mind. Well, this is true but it’s also true that Adobe products are quite large in size and use serious computer resources while running. As opposed to that, I found Cool PDF Reader.

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