Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Free - and Actually Useful - Programs

So, all this MP3 research has led me to some interesting software. There's iTunes Agent, iTunes Export, and Music Bridge, that can be used in combos with iTunes and WMP to get your songs and playlists to your non iPod device in some kind of order. They've got their plusses and minuses of course, but they do give you options you don't get using just iTunes or WMP.

Then, I've been researching the AppleTV product and hacks to make it useful. The Mac hackers out there have really been doing a job on it, and once I learn some of what the terminal codes they're using do, I might be able to figure out whats going on. Apparently, it's doable to add a bigger hard drive, add Perian codec pack, add SSH to remotely control the device, and so on.

But what's really caught my attention were two new programs that really kick some ass in sheer usefulness. The first one I'd heard of before, but only recently downloaded it, and it's great. VLC MEDIA PLAYER is THE media player to have. It's playing just about everything I can throw at it (including Quicktime and Flash) without additional codecs to install. Not only that, it can reportedly play streaming video and maybe save it as well, though I haven't figured that out yet. But the Best feature is using it as DVD playing software. You can pick to either have it start right at the menu or go straight to the movie. NO MORE will I have to sit through PowerDVD's useless grayed out root menu, fast forward, and skip options while I try to get past the trailers, commercials, notices, and whatever else the dumbass DVD companies put at the front of their discs. Straight to the menu and into the movie from now on. I'm not even going to bother replacing my dead DVD player either - I'm going to hook a computer to my TV and use VLC. Sweet program - and it's FREE and cross platform!

The other one is a FREE transcoding program simply called SUPER. Again, just about every codec you can think of - video or audio - is included. A really easy interface lays out all your options and a couple clicks later you're transcoding video. Unlike some other software, it's not bloated with more than you need. Drag and drop your file, pick your container, video codec, audio codec, set your options, and start. Looks like it'll transcode just about anything. Only downsides - it's only for Windows and the website is a little hard to navigate through to find the download. So you can download it here.

Comments on "Free - and Actually Useful - Programs"


Anonymous originallru said ... (June 26, 2007 4:14 PM) : 

Thanks for the pointer to VLC. I'm pretty happy with mplayer on linux, but VLC is open source, and the more of that the better. :-) Glad to hear it is working for you.


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (June 27, 2007 12:52 AM) : 

Yeah, it was a quality find. Not a flashy or bloated piece of software, it just gets the job done.


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