There is fantastic free software available for non-commercial use, but it can be hard sorting through the clutter to find the right application. Google searches often lead to trail ware with crippling restrictions or strange sites with popups and .ru domains. Download clearinghouses like cnet’s download.com are more helpful but they can provide too many choices. Fortunately, the eConsulatants have built a compendium of 300 common computer tasks and their freeware solutions.
I just discovered the list today, and I am impressed by its recommendations. It includes excellent software I have already reviewed: Skype, Picasa, Yahoo! Widgets, and VLC Media Player. Also listed are utilities that I use but haven’t had an opportunity to mention, like:
Foobar2000 – an excellent multi-format audio file player. I also use WinAmp
MediaMonkey – a very powerful music library organizer. I also use iTunes
Exact Audio Copy – the most accurate way to rip a CD
mpTrim and mp3DirectCut – edit mp3 files without recompressing
7-Zip – zip archive compression and expansion. Also unpacks tar, gzip, rar, etc
Lupas Rename – bulk file renaming
MWSnap - a versatile screen capture program
Pixie by NattyWare – HTML, RGB and Hex color values for any pixel
Google Earth – detailed satellite imagery for the US and beyond
ISO Recorder – a handy powertoy for ISO creation
SpeedFan – an essential monitor for hard disk and CPU temperatures
There are some omissions. I’m not sure why AdAware isn’t included in the spyware section and TrueCrypt is absent from the encryption section. Similarly, I’ve found MP3 Tag Studio to be the best tag manipulation program, and Bloglines is certainly a popular RSS reader. However, the list is filled with great programs that I can’t wait to try. I have found it helpful and I think that you will too.
I want a Freeware Utility to ... 300+ common problems solved.