If you're setting up a new PC, or you simply feel like a major download-fest, then www.ninite.com could save you a lot of time. The home page contains a list of around 80 of the best-known free applications for Windows, including web browsers, messaging apps like Skype, media players like Spotify and Songbird, image viewers, security tools, and more. Just tick the boxes for as many apps as you want, then download the custom installer that will be prepared for you.
The installer, which is typically less than 0.5 MB, will then do all the hard work for you. Just start it running, sit back, and it'll automatically download and install all of your chosen programs so that they're ready to run. A real time-saver indeed, and it's completely free. You don't even need to register.
The installer runs on Windows XP and above, and will automatically take care of ensuring that it downloads the correct version of each app, such as whether you need 32- or 64-bit.