Words of Wisdom

In life, we have to choose between the jeans and the cookie jar. Liz Hurley chose the jeans and I chose the cookie jar

~ Nigella Lawson....(on women's body image and her own voluptuous body)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My most essential Free Softwares off the Internet

Being in the financially challenged bracket, I’m all for free license softwares I can download from the Internet. Here are the ones I’m most enthusiastic about:

Irfanview – A basic photo editing software for simple retouching for a novice Joe user. Brightness, contrast, saturation and the Green, Magenta, Cyan adjustments are there. Rectangular cropping of a photo is by click and drag selection. Resizing is highly useful for your online photos. My camera is 6.1 MP and I certainly do not need that size for online uploading. I normally reduce sizes to 640x320 and reduce the quality a bit to save on memory. Converting from one format to another is a breeze and the major formats you can convert your pictures to are namely JPG, BMP, TIF and PDF. No, it doesn’t convert to multi-page PDF the last time I tried.

Jodix Free WMA to MP3 Converter by Jodix Technologies Ltd – With MP3 being the universal format for digital playing nowadays, the Jodix Converter is a blessing for me to help converting some WMA files I have to MP3s to play in my car. For songs from my own existing CDs collection, WIndows Media Player is enough to rip songs to MP3s.

You can’t bring CDs in you car nowadays as I’ve seen people’s window screens getting smashed by thieves to just steal the CDs. Not to mention the car stereo.

Free FLV Converter by Koyote Soft– This is a breeze when converting back and forth between AVI and FLV. AVI conversion uses XviD Video codec and Audio in MP3. You can change the screen size of video before converting and I always take the highest bitrate. The Audio bitrate I normally choose ranges from 128kbps to 192kbps depending on the sound quality of the original videos. I used this to convert FLV videos mainly from You Tube.

It has a function to download directly from You Tube but limited to only 40 videos on each search. Better to go direct to the site and download from there. Easier now that we have RealPlayer Download and other online downloaders. More of that later.

Prism Video Converter by NCH Softwares – This is the one I used to convert mainly WMVs to AVI. The free version converts to only AVI from WMV, MPG, MPEG. You can upgrade the software to a multi-format converter but you have to pay for it. Needless to say, I never even bother to find out the cost.

I used this to convert my first You Tube video from WMV to AVI to be converted to FLV. The result can be seen here :

AVG Free Edition – It may not be as powerful as a full-packaged paid anti-virus but for an average home user, it is pretty decent. It scans my email configured on Outlook Express. Updates are done regularly when you are connected to the Internet.

Image 2 Icon Converter 1.5 by EIPC - An ultra simple freeware to convert you JPG to ICO files. So simple it has 7 buttons only. Choose an image. Select location in the "browse" menu. Convert. Voila!

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