Soft32.com Program Reviews RSS Feed Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:14:45 +0000 https://www.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com <![CDATA[AOMEI Image Deploy Free version 1.0]]> Whether you're a tech savvy consumer or an IT tech looking to make your life easier, one of the biggest challenges I've ever seen faced is building and deploying a consistent PC image. What I mean is – have you ever taken the time to build your PC's Windows installation and gotten it JUST the way you want it, only to have viruses and bad software make it the worst PC you've ever seen? I have; and it's frustrating beyond words trying to get it back to the way it was before everything went sideways. That is... until now.
This is the biggest reason why I like AOMEI Image Deploy. It’s a Windows tool that allows you to quickly and very easily put a standardized image on any PC connected to your (home or corporate) network.
In a corporate or business IT setting, IT techs often deploy specific desktop and laptop hardware. They often take time to craft one installation on each of the hardware types they support and then take a snapshot or image of the drive. The idea here is to deploy the exact SAME Windows build and software installs to each and every like piece of hardware you support. Then, when you have a faulty drive or the need to recreate that install elsewhere, it's very easy to get that computer back to where it was. Troubleshooting takes minutes instead of hours.
If you opt to pay for AOMEI Image Deploy Technician, the app provides support for dissimilar hardware. This will allow you to deploy a single image to multiple clients, even if those computers are configured with different components. Having different drives, graphic boards, mother boards, etc. won't mater. You'll be able to ensure normal system startup on Dells, Lenovo's, etc. with the same image.
AOMEI Image Deploy is a free image deployment and network cloning app that supports deploying and restoring images to multiple computers over a network. It will not only offer a free deployment solution, but it will allow you to do it simultaneously.
App Pro’s: End to end Free deployment solution, Easy to use, can deploy a single image to a number of different PC's simultaneously
App Con’s: Free version doesn't support dissimilar hardware, Technician Edition is $200USD, Free version has low priority support
Conclusion: While I have never been a PC tech, I've gone down the image deployment route for my own PC restore needs. With the large number of shareware titles I've reviewed over the years, having an app like AOMEI Image Deploy would have made my life SOOOO much easier. All you need is a standard image and a network connection. The software will do the rest. Images deployed by AID are created in AOMEI Backuper. Thankfully, that app is ALSO free and available here on Soft32.com.
The images are easily created and stored. The deployment software is easy to use. Since both are free, this is probably one of the easiest decisions I've ever had to make.
Please note that AOMEI Image Deploy it works only in conjunction with the company's AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition backup software.]]>
Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:07:24 +0000 Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:07:24 +0000 https://aomei-image-deploy-free.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate version 2017]]> Download, Convert and burn your videos to DVD's with this easy to use cross-platform tool.
When you're a parent or grandparent, believe it or not, video is what you live for.  Thirty to forty years ago, it used to be pictures.  Grandparents would patiently wait for pictures of their grandchildren to come in the mail; or they'd be hand delivered to them.  Either way, what they got were physical stills, and that's about it.
Today, it’s a completely different story.
Today with smartphones and with the internet, parents (and grandparents alike) can take and share not only stills but video with nearly everyone, at any time. However, not everyone is as technology savvy as the next person.  Sometimes, you need a different, more traditional way to share video.  That's why I like Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate. It’s a cross platform (Windows and Mac) tool that allows you to share your story regardless of computer type.
Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is an all-in-one multimedia suite that enables you to extract audio from videos, convert videos to any popular format with zero quality loss and 30x faster conversion speed.  With it you can transform any home DVD movie to nearly any format you want, burn & copy home DVDs, provide one-click online video download, edit videos and more. The package is very compact and easy to use.
Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate supports native codecs like Apple Pores, Intermediate Codec, and DNxHD, so you can convert videos to one optimized format for iMovie, FCP etc., and then edit them for the best overall effect. The process is fast, over 30x faster than previous versions; and allows you to convert both audio and video to and from over 70 different formats.  The app also supports native codec support for professional apps like Final Cut Pro.
App Pro’s: Works on both Mac and Windows platforms, provides for conversion, downloading
App Con’s: Not all web browser extensions install correctly
Conclusion: Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is an easy to use multi-platform application that is fast and easy to use. You can use it not only to download non-copy protected videos from the internet; but you can use it to burn DVD's with cool menu systems as well.
The app runs off of a subscription service, costing $40USD per year for a single computer license.  You can also purchase a single, lifetime license for $60USD.  A family license (2-5 computers) for $118USD for Macs and $100USD for Windows PC's.
I've really liked using this app. It's easy to use and offers a great many features that you would normally only find on a much more expensive, desktop app.  The only issue I've had with this app is the installation of its Chrome Extension. The process generates an HTTP404 error, clearly indicating that either the application is in error, or the extension location in the store has been moved.]]>
Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:30:03 +0000 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:30:03 +0000 https://wondershare-video-converter.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[Classic Shell version 4.2.5]]> Over the past few iterations of Windows, the UI has changed a great deal, between Window XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows 10, there's been only some very basic consistency in the user interface. Depending on where you work, the industry you work in and the size of your company, you may or may not have had to deal with any of those changes. Let's face it, many IT departments simply lock you into a version of Windows and run THAT until it can't any longer.
When changes come to the way Windows operates, looks and feels, user productivity can tank. In those cases, users spend more time trying to figure out HOW to do something than actually doing the task at hand. It's at times like those that I really appreciate tools like Classic Shell. It’s a UI – or shell – modification tool for Windows, and it works with Windows 7, 8.x and Windows 10.
Classic Shell is freeware that improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it. With it you can customize the Start Menu with multiple styles and skins; get quick access to recent, frequently-used, or pinned programs; as well as find programs, settings, files and documents. You can also customize the Start button in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
You can also customize Windows Explorer (formerly File Manager). In Windows Explorer, you can customize both a custom Toolbar and the Status Bar. You also get the ability to customize the Caption and Status bars in IE.
App Pro’s: Free (Donationware), Supports Windows 10 Anniversary Update
App Con’s: Becoming outdated, Trouble Running the App under Windows 10
Conclusion: I've been using Classic Shell on my work PC for about two and a half years now. It's an awesome application, and one that I would highly recommend to anyone running a "modern' version of Windows (anything from Windows 7 forward). The customizations if offers for both the Start Menu and Explorer make both of them a LOT easier to use, especially if you're using a version of Windows NEWER than Windows 7.
I personally think that the application is worthwhile simply based on the modifications it makes to Windows Explorer. While the application is free, it really adds value. In fact, it adds more value than some paid shell enhancements I've played with over the years.
There are a few down sides, however. As of this writing, the app hasn't been updated in over eight (8) months . Its last update came on 2016-07-30. Currently the app also supports the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but users of the Creator's Update may have compatibility issues. If you plan on updating to the Creator's Update – and all Windows 10 users will – then you should use the <a href="http://www.mediafire.com/download/3ukeryzw41qpfz8/ClassicShellUtility.exe">Classic Shell Utility</a> to remove the app prior to updating Windows 10. If you don't, you may have issues with both the app and your PC after the Creator's Update is installed. I am assuming the utility will be updated to support the Creator's Update, but I can't find any information to either confirm or deny that anywhere as of this writing.]]>
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:44:39 +0000 Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:44:39 +0000 https://classic-shell.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[Audials Music Rocket version 2017]]> I've been a singer/ songwriter and musician most of my life. To say that I have the music in me is a bit of an understatement. Thanks, in no small measure, to the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus in my life, I've got my entire digital music collection with me all the time, every day, out loud. And loud it is, as I love listening to tunes while driving. It's what I do...
Finding new music, however, can be difficult at times. Yes, there are streaming tools like Pandora and Spotify, you can get access to new streaming titles, but as I've <a href="http://www.soft32.com/blog/platforms/android-platforms/streaming-vs-on-device-music/">said before</a>, I like to own my music and not just lease (read: stream) it. That's probably the biggest reason why I'm such a fan of Audials Music Rocket for Windows. It gives you access to a huge music library that you can download for free; and its available for a PC near you.
Audials Music Rocket allows you to find and download new music, fast, legally and for free. With it, you can listen to internet radio stations, podcasts and music TV broadcasts. The application offers fast downloads and will even do video to audio conversion from well-known music portals on the fly. You can save music in MP3, WMA or AAC file formats, legally and free of charge.
Audials Music Rocket will create a playlist of songs automatically once you tell it your favorite type of music, by identifying a "reference song." Its Top Songs feature then creates the playlist to match your taste in music. With its auto play mode, AMR will automatically play that music for you, too
With its Wish List feature, Audials Music Rocket can monitor thousands of radio stations and music sites automatically. Whether you're looking for singles, whole albums or an entire discography, AMR can find it and send you an alert when the station or site is updated. You can also use the app to update ID3 compatible song tags, album images and song lyrics, prior to adding them to your music collection. 
App Pro’s: iTunes integration, universal player 
App Con’s: Expensive in today's app market, non-standard Windows interface 
Conclusion: I really have to admit that I didn't want to like AMR. I'm very picky about my music apps and as such don't venture too far from the OS or device defaults. I don't even do a lot with Pandora, Spotify, Shazam, Last.fm or Lala. However, I was really, very pleasantly surprised by Audials Music Rocket. I really like this app; and you should, too.
The app provides a number of different ways to do new music discovery. It provides a wish list function that will also update you when new items matching your likes are found. You can download all the music to your PC and sync it to your device and update your iTunes music library as well. This... this was a very pleasant surprise, and now has me doing music discovery from my Windows machines.
While the app is a little on the expensive side for a modern desktop app, its easily offset by all of the new music you're going to get and find. If this isn't part of your default Windows setup, it should be. Stop what you're doing and <a href="http://audials-music-rocket.soft32.com/">download</a> the app now. You won't be disappointed.]]>
Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:40:53 +0000 Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:40:53 +0000 https://audials-music-rocket.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[Connectify version 2016.0.4.4]]> I can remember back in the 1990's when computing was just in its infancy. Back then, no one hardly ever got online. If you did, it was with a dialup connection, and then you likely had AOL, CompuServe, MSN or some other online service. Normally, what you did was dial up, get in, get what you needed and then IMMEDIATELY get off. If you didn't, you likely ended up using (nearly) all of your monthly connect time, and after that, it got really expensive.
Computing today is TOTALLY different. People are connected all the time. Quite honestly now-a-days, NOT getting online often seems to be a waste of time unless you have specific computing tasks to do – writing a report, tweaking a presentation you already have on your hard drive, or working on a spreadsheet. Most other modern computing activities require some kind of internet connectivity. It's simply a given.
When it comes to finding an available, trusted internet connection in today's malware ridden, maze of untrusted networks isn't easy. This is why apps like Connectify are so important. It’s a networking and hotspot tool for Windows.
With Connectify, you can easily create a Wi-Fi hotspot that will allow you to connect all of your wireless devices to the internet, while on the go. Connectify isn’t just the world’s most powerful hotspot app, it’s the easiest, to use. All you have to do is give your Hotspot a name and password. After that, you’re ready to go.
You can share any internet connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot. It doesn't matter if that’s an existing Wi-Fi connection, a wired Ethernet connection, or even a 4G LTE network. However, doing THAT will require you to upgrade to Connectify's Pro or Max version.
Some of the coolest parts of the app, however, don't have much to do with actually creating a network signal. Some of the cool stuff comes from some of the ancillary functionality that's included in the app. Connectify will monitory your network usage, by device. You can track down that friend who’s using all your bandwidth. Connectify's newest feature gives you real-time graphs of your data usage at a glance.
App Pro’s: Connectivity everywhere, Access files on all connected devices, network monitoring utilities
App Con’s: subscription based
Conclusion: Get access to the internet is a necessity for many people today. Much of what we use computers for today involves some kind of network functionality or connectivity from sharing files across devices to checking email, or sharing photos. Insuring you have the connectivity you need WHEN and WHERE you need it can sometimes be problematic, especially when you don't have a data plan for every device you own. With Connectify, those troubles are greatly lessened.
The app is a huge boon to those that need internet on devices that for some reason don't or won't connect to some Wi-Fi networks but will connect to others. Keeping track of how much bandwidth you've burned and who's the bandwidth hog on your network used to be mysteries, but now, with included utilities, you can easily figure out both of those things.
Connectify comes in four different flavors – free/ 30 day trial version, Hotspot Pro, Hotspot Max and Hotspot Max Bundle. Each version is subscription based, however, and unless you buy the lifetime version, you're going to be renewing your license next year. If you like Connectify and feel that its bringing value to your online experience, do yourself a favor and buy the lifetime version of whatever flavor you're interested in. The lifetime license isn't all that much more expensive, and once you start your fourth year of use, you break even on the purchase.]]>
Fri, 16 Sep 2016 07:57:04 +0000 Fri, 16 Sep 2016 07:57:04 +0000 https://connectify.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[BullGuard Internet Security version 16.0.320.2]]> If there's one thing that I know and know WELL, it's that anyone and everyone can get a computer virus or piece of malware. It's becoming too easy not to pick up a bug, no matter how computer savvy or experienced you are. If you use a Windows PC, as nearly everyone in the universe does, it becomes even more difficult, as most of the viruses in the wild are targeted and attack Windows PC's specifically. This is the number one reason why I really like apps like BullGuard Internet Security. It’s a suite of security apps that can keep your Windows PC clean as well as protect it from a number of different threats.
BullGuard Internet Security is an all-in-one security suite that guards you, your kids and your PC against ever-evolving malware and cybercrime. The app protects you, your computer and your family from all online threats - identity theft, credit card fraud, hackers, viruses, spyware and much more - thanks to its broad range of features covering nearly every possibility. With BullGuard Internet Security and it's at-a-glance update system, you will never worry about your digital safety again.
BullGuard Internet Security provides the following, holistic, protection:
Total Protection – its real time scanner can stop intruding malware in its tracks, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses and adware so you can compute without worry. The latest enhancements include better protection against advanced rootkits that can steal control of your computer as well as from ransomware so you'll never have control of your life stolen from you.
Unwanted Apps – Adware sucks. BullGuard Internet Security stops adware cold in its tracks, protecting your data, your browser settings and search engine preferences.
Advanced Backup - BullGuard Internet Security includes 5GB of free online storage so you can keep all of your data, photos, music and home video off site and safe. You can backup data directly from folders with one click. If you want, you can view data on your computer or even your smartphone. If you have a Dropbox account, you can back up your data directly to it.
Firewall – stop unwanted intrusions from accessing your computer and other resources connected to it.
Spamfilter – stop unwanted junk email and email scams, phishing attempts, viruses and foreign language email from flooding your inbox.
App Pro’s: Complete internet security, Dropbox support, licenses for up to three (3) computers
App Con’s: subscription based licensing
Conclusion: Keeping your computer safe is important. Finding the right application or suite of applications to do it isn't always easy. To be very honest, there's a lot of crap out there. However, BullGuard Internet Security is one of the best security suites available on the internet today.
Other suites are often overpriced, bloated or difficult to work with. BullGuard Internet Security is fast, easy to use and provides protection for up to three computers in your home. It can protect your PC from adware, viruses, spam and malware. It can protect your PC from unwanted intrusions.
While its licensing is subscription based, that business model is the industry standard, and for three computers, that breaks down to just $20 per PC per year...and honestly, that's a small price to pay for peace of mind.]]>
Thu, 15 Sep 2016 08:32:14 +0000 Thu, 15 Sep 2016 08:32:14 +0000 https://bullguard-internet-security.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[Media Player Classic - BE version 1.7.13]]> I've got a huge digital movie and TV collection. I have over 500 movies and nearly 100 different TV shows, some with multiple seasons. I've got a LOT of video. Finding the best way to view it all, especially when all of it isn't in my current iTunes Library can be a challenge. This is why tools like MPC-HC or Media Player Classic - Home Cinema are a huge boon. MPC-HC is a Windows based media player than has a lot of options.
 MPC-HC is a light-weight, open source media player that supports nearly every common video and audio file format available. It is 100% spyware free, it isn't ad supported or full of toolbars. When you install it, you get just the app, and no extraneous junk that you weren't counting on.
MPC-HC is customizable. It has a wide array of options, and can be customized to fit almost any need. Its an all around player. If needed, it can also be used as DVB player. DVB is the broadcast standard for satellites in Europe and most of the world, with the exception (of course...) of the US. Its used to watch unencrypted broadcast signals, also known as FTA. Pay satellite services also use DVB but with encryption. Dish Network, for example, uses DVB with NagraVision as its encryption scheme; and its so light and easy on resources that you can run it on just about any PC, even one from the late 1990's.
App Pro’s: Works with Win XP thru Win 8.x, fast and easy to use, 32bit and 64bit support, supports DVB (digital video broadcast)
App Con’s: Does not work on WinRT/Metro
Conclusion: MPC-HC is a decent video player. It offers you a great deal of options without creating a number of resource issues that other players may. Its nearly universally installable on very version of Windows on the market today, except Windows RT. Windows RT can't run a standard desktop app, and unfortunately, MPC-HC doesn't come – and won't according to the app's publisher – in a ModernUI, or Metro, version. However, it will run on Surface Pro or Surface 2 Pro tablets, if that's your desired Windows PC of choice.
Clean, fast and easy to use, Media Player Classic - Home Cinema is a great video player and tool. The app is donationware, so if you don't want to pay, you don't have to, but I'd encourage you to give the publisher something if you like it, otherwise, they may not be able to continue development.]]>
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 11:30:59 +0000 Wed, 31 Aug 2016 11:30:59 +0000 https://media-player-classic-home-cinema.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[Driver Booster version 4.4.0.512]]>  Keep your Windows drivers current with this must have utility.
If there's one thing that I know, its Windows PC's.  The life blood of a Windows PC is its hardware drivers. When they don't work right, are out dated, or conflict with other drivers, then your whole PC can tank.  Its performance can go right down the proverbial tubes.

When you have a notebook computer, you're likely confined to a specific set of drivers, as much of the equipment is not upgradable or interchangeable.  You aren't going to be able to change out your graphics card or your drive controller on a notebook, for example, while doing this on a desktop computer is fairly common. Its here where apps like Driver Booster really shine.

Driver Booster is an easy-to-use hardware driver updater.  It analyzes your installed drivers for outdated ones and then automatically installs the right update with just one click. It has a newly adopted online database insuring that your drivers are always the latest version. Moreover, it`s specially designed to tune drivers for peak gaming performance.

Drive Booster protects PCs from hardware failures, conflicts, and system crashes. Outdated drivers heavily affect your PC's performance and lead to system crashes. Driver Booster, designed with IOBit's most advanced driver update technology, scans and identifies outdated drivers automatically. When it finds an update, it downloads and installs it for you with just one click, saving you time and a lot of headaches.

Drive Booster is specially designed to tweak drivers for better gaming performance.  It insures better PC performance by enhancing security with Restore, Uninstall & Rollback features. It protects your PC from hidden security vulnerabilities, hardware failures, conflicts, and system crashes.
App Pro’s: Updates all Windows drivers, protects your PC from driver conflicts
 
App Con’s: Free version has only basic features, non-standard interface
Conclusion: IOBit Driver Booster is part of Advanced System Care. The two apps kinda come bundled together; and while some may like that, I'm not a huge fan of program bundles.  When I install something I only want what I've tried to install and not a bunch of other stuff that happens to come with what ever I'm trying to install. In many cases, the bundled apps are junk.  While this is clearly NOT the case with any of IOBit's products, I still don’t like getting stuff I didn't expect when it comes to app installs.

Driver Booster in and of itself is a decent app. It does what it does very well; and can in many cases, save your bacon if your having driver issues. As of this writing, the app is also on sale.  IOBit has it for 70% off, for a license that gets you a one year subscription for up to three PC's.

 ]]>
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:15:06 +0000 Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:15:06 +0000 https://driver-booster.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[Advanced Password Manager version 1.0]]> In an age where nearly EVERYONE is getting hacked, it's important to keep all of your sensitive information, private. This is increasingly difficult, as most nearly every privacy utility out on the market concentrates on nearly the same things – web browsing history, passwords, advertisement blocking and cookie management. However, nearly none of them cover PII or personally identifying information. That is, until Advanced Password Manager. It’s a must have utility for your Windows PC.
There's a reason why you have data on your PC. You need it for work, shop, surf, etc. However, a lot – or most of it – is at risk for loss. Advanced Password Manager identifies, saves and deletes traces of your identity from your computer system after saving them to an encrypted vault secured by one master password. After your information is saved, Advanced Password Manager enables you to fill web forms, including personal and financial information, automatically using your saved credentials.
Advanced Password Manager securely locks your personal and financial information with a master key. You generally have to remember multiple passwords for your accounts and unfortunately, using the same password for all your accounts is unsecure and unsafe. If someone obtains that one password, all your accounts will likely be hacked without your notice. The best way to remain safe, is to have a different, secure password for each online resource you use.
The application allows you to do all of the following:

Protect all your passwords,
Auto-fill login credentials using Advanced Password Manager's add-on,
Securely save your online accounts,
Sync passwords, credit card details and more, over browsers and
Generate strong passwords.

Advanced Password Manager lets you remember only one password to unlock all your accounts.
Advanced Password Manager can scan your PC for PII and then can clean it in three (3) steps

Scan: Scan your PC for existing identity traces that can be stolen from your PC. 
Vault: Save these scanned traces to your vault and lock it using your master key. 
Clean: Remove scanned identity traces from your PC to stay safe & secure. 

App Pro’s: Scans for PII, finds things you didn't think were there, comprehensive security
App Con’s: Odd help-related fly out won't stay put
Conclusion: Advanced Password Manager is a fine addition to any PC owner's utility box. This app should be part of everyone's security arsenal, along with a top rated antivirus app and a good ad blocker. While the app pulls all of your PII off your machine, it secures all of your data on its own secure web servers. Your best bet here is to insure that your master password contains not only upper and lower case letters, but numbers and special characters as well.
The app stays resident on your PC and installs plug-ins to the most popular browsers – IE, Chrome and Firefox – so that it can prefill credential fields and manage other secure data while you surf the internet.
I like the app a great deal, if only because it scans for and removes data that no other privacy app that I've ever come across does. Aside from an odd help-related fly out that won't stop flying out no matter how many times you put it away, this app is a great addition to your security toolbox.]]>
Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:56:32 +0000 Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:56:32 +0000 https://advanced-password-manager.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[CyberLink PowerDVD version 16]]> I love watching movies.  In fact, I watch movies more than I watch regular, network TV here in the States. I have a real issue with mainstream television. I am not fond of the writing, I don’t like many of the plot lines, and most of it isn’t appropriate for family viewing. I have cable TV and most of the movie channels because I REALLY don’t like network TV. However, when I can’t watch my movie channels due to travel, business commute or other issues, I really like to take my video on the go and its important to have a really good Windows DVD app like CyberLink’s PowerDVD Ultra at times like those. Its one of my favorites.PowerDVD Ultra supports all media types including video, audio and photographic content.  Its your all-purpose entertainment station. With it, you can enjoy media on your PC, mobile devices, home networks, from the cloud, and even via social networks. PowerDVD Ultra’s enhanced audio-visual quality, extended file format support, improved functionality, refinements to the user interface, and has an enhanced, wide range of digital media experiences.PowerDVD takes your movie experience to new places with playback enhancements and format support additions you won’t find in any other player.  The app intelligently analyzes video footage and optimizes hues and vibrancy, creating a true-to-life viewing experience. TrueTheater Color recognizes skin tones in footage and applies only subtle adjustments to these areas in order to achieve improvements while retaining authentic coloring.PowerDVD's intelligent media buffering engine means that you no longer have to deal with stop and start playback, especially when you're streaming video from a NAS device. This is a huge advancement, as streaming video on your home network just got more reliable.  Advanced preloading techniques let PowerDVD analyze and retrieve additional playback data so that your media playback is not interrupted, even if the connection to your storage device is degraded.App Pro’s: 20GB free cloud storage, 4K Video support, play from ISO'sApp Con’s: Expensive, non-standard interfaceConclusion: PowerDVD Ultra is one of the better DVD players on the market. Its easy to use, has advanced playback and streaming controls and, it also supports 4K video... if you can find video files that actually support the new color and resolution format. When PowerDVD detects a 4K video file and a 4K monitor, Overlay Mode is automatically engaged to optimize the rendering pipeline and reduce the graphic resource load, delivering smooth, lag-free playback. The app is also simply gorgeous to look at. However, non-standard UI's are always an issue with Windows.  They're more often than not, "coats of paint," or masks, over the standard Windows UI and take resources away from the PC, generating performance issues. I didn't see that here with PowerDVD, and I tested it on an older, Windows 7 based PC.If you’ve ripped your DVD’s to ISO’s, PowerDVD 15 now offers convenient direct playback of Blu-ray and DVD ISO files, either directly from the PC or via a network-connected drive. No additional mounting tools are required; and if your playback is interrupted, you don’t have to worry about trying to remember where you were in the movie.  PowerDVD can pick it up right where you left off.This is a really cool application, and since Microsoft has done a huge amount of work to deemphasize Windows Media Player (and I'm not entirely certain why), a more modern app with support for newer HD formats and technology is clearly needed. PowerDVD is filling a huge hole, and it does a GREAT job at it, too.]]> Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:52:05 +0000 Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:52:05 +0000 https://powerdvd-cyber.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com <![CDATA[PuTTY version 0.70]]> Fri, 01 Apr 2016 12:49:13 +0000 Fri, 01 Apr 2016 12:49:13 +0000 https://putty.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com <![CDATA[CCleaner version 5.32.6129]]> Wed, 16 Mar 2016 13:03:04 +0000 Wed, 16 Mar 2016 13:03:04 +0000 https://ccleaner.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com <![CDATA[Voila version 3.9.2]]> I've been a freelance writer for over 20 years. I'm also a software QA guy. I've always had a need for a screen capturing tool. I either want to take screen shots of the programs I'm reviewing or of the errors in the software that I'm testing. I'm actually a bit of a screen shot-aholic. Most everything that I do either for my writing gig here at Soft32 or during the day for my software testing job requires me to take screen shots of something. This is why I really like Voila Screen Capture for Mac. It's a really cool utility for your Mac.
Voila is an 'all-in-one' screen capture solution that can capture, edit and share anything on your computer's screen. Users can also video record the screens of their iOS device, like an iPhone or iPad in full resolution. After a screenshot is captured or recorded, the user can then share them on popular websites, send via e-mail or print using the buttons located on the UI. A complete set of tools including different capture methods, full webpage recording as well as easy sharing options make for a comprehensive and complete application that saves time and is easy to use.
Voila captures video with audio in high quality. You can capture the whole screen, or simply a user defined section. You can also capture video on your connected iDevice as well.
Voila captures full and partial screen stills as well. Voila has a flexible capture option that allows you to grab full or user defined areas of your screen. If needed, you can also capture entire web pages along with important metadata like page title, menus and other page elements.
Once you get your screen grabs, you can also annotate them using different fonts, shapes, blur options and speech bubbles, or callouts. Once you have everything set, Voila can also help you manage your screen shot collections. You can group similar images and videos together using custom labels. You can add titles, tags and descriptions so you can catalog and search for just the media object you need.
App Pro's: Easy to Use, User definable Hot Keys, Captures stills and video, Web Cam support, Still screen capture annotations
App Con's: Hot Key activation doesn't always work
Conclusion: Voila Screen Capture for Mac is a decent application. It starts when you start your Mac and sits in the Menu Bar until its needed. You're supposed to be able to activate it via a set of user-definable hot keys, but these didn't work consistently for me. More often than not, pressing the hot key combinations didn't do anything at all on my El Capitan powered 15" MacBook Pro.]]>
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 07:53:54 +0000 Wed, 24 Feb 2016 07:53:54 +0000 https://voila.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[Boom 2 version 1.4]]> I've been using computers for a very long time. I do just about everything that I enjoy on them. In fact, most everything that I do all week long is on a computer. Mostly... I write, as I'm certain that many of you who follow this blog know and understand.
While I write, I often either watch movies or listen to music. The biggest problem with doing this on a laptop is, of course, audio.  Laptop speakers are just so-so, no matter what brand of computer you have.  Computer speakers are a dime a dozen; and honestly, Apple doesn't make any. They may include them inside all of their computers, but I don't think they're that great. I think they can use all the help they can get.  That's why I really like Boom 2. Its THE app to have if you want to improve the quality of the sound coming out of either your Mac's internal speakers or from your third party, desktop speakers... and its really cool.
Boom is a system wide volume booster and equalizer that make everything sound louder, clearer and better.  Built from the ground up, Book takes advantage of the latest audio technology in OS X.  The latest version several features that offer users a variety of professional audio options that allow them to take complete control of their computer's audio.
When the app starts for the first time, it auto calibrates itself according to the type of Mac that you have.  It has power system wide volume boosting capabilities, and provides advanced, precision equalizer controls, that give you control over every aspect of your Mac's audio. It was designed for Macs running Yosemite and higher, taking full advantage of both the hardware and the OS' 64-bit architecture.
The app effects all audio coming from your Mac. It makes the audio coming from your speakers sound louder, richer and fuller.  It has advanced controls allowing you to put a professional spin on the sound coming out of your Mac, regardless of whether or not you know anything about sound mixing. Boom guarantees you finer audio control.
To help make your Mac's audio the best it can be, Boom comes with new audio effects – Ambience, Fidelity, Spatial, Night Mode, and Pitch.  These are all effects that can be used to bring out the best in the sound coming out of your Mac.

Ambiance helps you feel the music around you. With it active, you can hear notes from every corner of the room, making it feel like a live performance.
Fidelity makes the music come alive with crisp, sharp tones.
Spatial puts you in the center of your audio, immersing your in realistic sound
Night Mode nominalizes the audio to produce sounds that aren't too loud or too faint.  This is the perfect setting for action movies.
Pitch allows you to change the actual pitch of the audio that is playing. You can listen to things a full note higher or lower than its actually recorded.

Boom has a cool remote app, too, called Boom 2 Remote, downloadable from the iTunes App Store, and it works with both iPad and iPhone. With the app, you can control the audio on your Mac.  You can also manage play of VLC, Spotify, QuickTime and iTunes on your Mac, from across the room.
I've got Boom 2 installed on my MacBook Pro, and I have to tell you, I'm really impressed. The audio coming out of my Mac is fuller, deeper and so much more alive that it was before. Its really hard to believe that a desktop app can make the sound coming out of my computer sound so much better, but it has.  For the price, this is probably one of the better "upgrades" you can give your non-upgradable Mac.
From my perspective, there's no reason why any Mac owner shouldn't be running this.  Its one of the best apps I've installed in a very long time.]]>
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 07:30:11 +0000 Tue, 09 Feb 2016 07:30:11 +0000 https://boom-2.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com
<![CDATA[AOMEI Backupper Standard version 2.8]]> Over the past couple of years, I've learned a very hard lesson – back up your data. The lesson, however, is not only back up your data; but back up your back ups. Its very easy for hard drives to fail; and sometimes, even your back up drives can go bad. Its important to have more than one back up of your important files, in multiple places. This is why applications like AOMEI's Backupper Standard are so important, and why I highly recommend this app.
AOMEI Backupper Standard is an easy to use backup app for Windows 10/8.x/7/Vista/XP. It supports system, disk, partition, file, and folder backups. It also restores and clones as well as provides file sync, schedule, incremental and differential backups. It will back up data to NAS and shared network folders, dynamic disk volumes, and GPT disk backups. It will also, back up and restore a system drive based on UEFI boot, creating Windows PE & Linux bootable CDs. It will manually add additional, needed drivers when creating Windows PE Bootable CDs, and will align drive partitions to optimize SSDs during restore and clone operation.
When needed, it will send email notifications, and will back up or restore files from one network to another. It contains utilities that will allow you to create backup tasks, as well as edit the task name. You can change the backup image directory, view and manage your backup logs and export or import all backup tasks. If needed you can also boot client computers on your LAN through the PXE network for system maintenance and other important tasks. 
App Pro’s: Free, easy to use, universal restore 
App Con’s: non-standard graphical interface 
Conclusion: The unique function of this software is universal restore, which enables you to recover or migrate a system to physical or virtual machines with dissimilar/different hardware. Another highlight is VSS or Visual Source Safe, a technology from Microsoft that insures that system and data backup processes won't be interrupted by running applications.
AOMEI makes some very good software and the fact that this app integrates with AOMEI PXE Boot Free is an added bonus, especially if you're administering an SMB or SOHO network. The fact that Backupper Standard is free, just makes this a no brainer.]]>
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:05:43 +0000 Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:05:43 +0000 https://aomei-backupper-for-win7.soft32.com Soft32 https://www.soft32.com