"It does all the recording and editing I need, and is much simpler and faster to use than a lot of pay products. It easily applies noise profiles and saves in multiple compressed formats."
What's it for? - Excellent free products like Audacity give a professional touch to your recordings. For example, podcasting enthusiasts use them to record, edit, mix, and save sound on their PCs. They may even make entire downloadable shows that sound almost as good as a professional production.
"With Freemake, you can convert most any format of video or audio with this handy piece of freeware, along with DVD's, photos, and even web embedded media from sites like YouTube, Google, and Vimeo. There are lots of presets and quite a few options, giving the software best-in-class capabilities.
The visual cues are easy to follow, pretty much guiding you from start to finish on any conversion task and providing a more user-friendly experience than most other software."
What's it for? - Converters make many different audio and video formats compatible for use with common devices or programs. Most devices will only take a few specific formats; for example, a DVD movie will not play on an iPod without being converted into an MP4 file.
"Most powerful burning application with advanced features, support for every modern optical disc from CD to Blu-Ray, more than 10 image formats, authoring rewritable discs, etc."
What's it for? - Whether backing up data, preparing an audio mix CD, or creating a bootable Linux disc, finding the right burning software is essential.
"Support up to 26 virtual drives, create ISO image, burn ISO files or folders to recordable disks, complete with Gizmo Manager and Image Wizard to perform tasks."
What's it for? - Emulation software allows users to run a CD/DVD image directly from a hard disk after mounting the image to a virtual disk drive. This works the same as or even better than the traditional way of running a CD/DVD from a disk drive.
"Fairstars CD Ripper is an excellent utility to rip audio from a music CD in a variety of formats including WMA, MP3, FLAC, OGG, APE, WAV and the not so common VQF"
"Copy the audio and video content of a DVD to a file in MP4, MPEG, or other video formats. Edit, backup, share, or playback without the need to load a DVD."
"Highly intuitive and usable features for listening to music, viewing photo albums, or watching digital videos. Organizes your media files intelligently (handling some that Windows Media Center does not), and downloads online information about them. Specially designed for better image and sound quality on big screens or while 'sofa surfing'."
"A refined version of the KMPlayer with faster startup, less resource consumption, more versatility and stability, and regular updates. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and provides awesome video and audio quality.
PotPlayer has a wide variety of configuration options and settings. Supports most every audio/video format, GPU acceleration, seamless media playback, and autoresume."
High Quality Media Player Alternatives:
VLC Media Player: "The Swiss Army knife of media playback software that marvels you with compatibilities and capabilities. Available on multiple platforms (including Mac and Linux)."
The KMPlayer: "Special mention -- feature wise it outwits every other media player."
What's it for? - Capable of playing most types of media files, including various digital audio and video formats, CDs, and DVDs.
"Supports basic and extended tags, complete with Music Renamer and Tag Processor. It allows you to preview tag information and cover art from online databases like freedb or Amazon.
Related: If you prefer a more normal user interface then Mp3tag is a good alternative."
What's it for? - Useful for when you need to playback audio files with their tag information shown correctly or to organize a large music collection based on tag information.
"Full featured, versatile, and well supported standalone music creator. It lets you choose from many built-in instruments and effects. And it has many forums, wiki style user guides, and tutorials to help you figure out the program features."
What's it for? - Make music with these composer and sequencer programs.
"Jaangle has an impressive auto continue (or "auto DJ") mode that chooses songs based on many tag categories (artist, genre, all music, etc.). It comes with excellent organizing and download capabilities that enhance the music experience (get artist and album photos, reviews, bios, etc.)
Music players like it achieve a good balance between lightness, resource efficiency, and feature support for music lovers.
If you need more music managing features all in one program, try MusicBee."
What's it for? - Music players like Jaangle and MusicBee serve as MP3 players and play most popular audio formats. As music centric programs, they may inspire you to rip or download music, organize your music collection, or learn more about your favorite artists or songs.
"A simple, but effective TV streams viewer without much overhead. User ratings help you choose good streams. Get Podcasts, video on demand, reruns of past shows, independent and international networks, and live video streams. Requires Windows Media Player, Real Player, or VLC."
"Comes with an eye-catching interface, and outperforms the competition in the quality of its recorded stream. Allows you to manually select a recording area on your screen, capture images, play videos, save to vendor servers, and create links for public viewing."
What's it for? - If a free web service (such as ZamZar, SplanDoo and YouConvertIt) fails, you can use a recorder like Jing to record streaming media and add it to your media collection.
"In the world of video editing VirtualDub has always been there. It's a very reliable program that with the right amount of knowledge can accomplish just about any task. VirtualDub is licensed under the GNU General Public License , meaning you can use it for free. No risk involved, and the whole source code is available if you want it."
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