Category Archives: Media Player Replacement

Download Miro HD Video Player – Sync Your Media To Multiple Devices And A Whole Lot More!

imageThere’s been much discussion lately, in Tech media circles, on the benefits of  getting rid of expensive Cable TV, where prices seem to be skyrocketing, and focusing instead on the multiple alternatives which the Internet now provides.

Given that your computer screen is, in reality, a high-definition display, you can easily enjoy Internet sourced videos in HD full screen. Pretty neat – especially if you have a wide screen LCD display.

Miro (last updated May 20th, 2011), is a free (open source), Internet TV platform and Video Player (and so much more), that can certainly even out your path in breaking your reliance on Cable TV – and, the costs that go with it. Miro, in fact, might well be the perfect tool to help with your transition.

Not only can Miro play virtually any video in HD, including, QuickTime, WMV, MPEG, AVI, and XVID, but on top of that this application, which sports major changes from previous editions, is effectively a media management center.  I must admit, I was more than a little surprised at how effective Miro is in this role.

For example, the application quickly, smoothly, and effectively, located my music files after prompting me to select a search path. Playback controls are typical and playlists are easily created.

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The core of the program however, is the well designed video features including built-in Torrent download capabilities.

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In the following example I downloaded a 1.4 GB movie using the Torrent client. The test torrent download  took full advantage of my Internet settings – 1.7 MB per second.

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Playback of the downloaded file was a bit of a treat really. Definitely HD; smooth; quality sound.

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Additional features include the ability to sync media to multiple devices –  including Android phones and tablets. Better yet, Miro will even convert video files to the right format to play on your phone.

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Getting the application just right to meet your specific needs, using the Settings menu is straightforward and uncomplicated.

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Fast facts:

Works with your current music library – It’s very easy to switch from iTunes to Miro– without any copying. Just point Miro to your music and video folders and those files will appear. If you don’t like Miro (impossible!), nothing’s changed.

Converts and syncs to Android – You’d have to be crazy to use a music player that doesn’t sync to your phone. Miro is simply the best music and video player for Android phones and tablets.

Download and play almost any video – Do you still use separate programs to download, play music, play videos, and sync to your phone? Miro plays almost any video or music format and downloads from YouTube, podcasts, Amazon, and bittorrent.

Convert any video – You can convert almost any video with Miro into mp4/h264, with presets for almost any device you can think of (including iPhones, iPods, iPads, Android phones, and more).

Share Your Media on your Network – When two Miro’s are on the same Wi-Fi network, they can stream and transfer music and videos to each other. It’s the easiest way to watch a video or play music upstairs if the file is downstairs.

Ultra-fast torrent downloading – Miro has some of the fastest bittorrent downloading in the world, built in. Try us head-to-head with any bittorrent application!

Open-source – don’t lock yourself in – Unlike some other media players, Miro is not trying to run your life. Not only is Miro 100% free and open-source, it’s made by a non-profit organization. You don’t need to be locked down by one corporation to have a great media experience.

Buy Music and Apps inside Miro – The Amazon MP3 store is built-in to Miro. Buy, download, and listen, seamlessly. Buy Android apps from the Amazon or Google app stores and they will sync to your device.

There are many more features in Miro that can be quickly covered in a short review. I haven’t, for example, covered the easy way to stream and share music and video on your local/home network, using Miro. Checkout the publisher’s features page.

This program continues to receive high praise from video geeks, and it’s worth considering as an addition to your entertainment applications.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, Mac, Linux. (I have not tested this application in 64 bit – but, I understand 64 bit support is available).

Download at: Miro

User Manual for Miro 4.0 available here.

A caveat: During the install process, pay particular attention so that you don’t install items you may not want (Yahoo Toolbar/homepage) .

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Filed under Connected Devices, Digital Media, downloads, Easy Computer Networking, File Sharing, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet TV, iPhone, Linux, Mac, Media Player Replacement, Media Players, Multimedia Tools, Release Candidate, Software, Ubuntu, Video Players, Video Tools, Windows Tips and Tools

Download Free GOM Media Player – 5.1 Channel Output and Advanced Playback Capabilities

image I’ve never really warmed up to Windows Media Player. It’s bloated size,and outrageous overhead requirements (in my view), have always left me feeling just a little bit put out.

Years ago, (in 2003), I replaced Windows Media Player with a much smaller application – GOM Media Player. Back then, virtually no one had heard of this small (6 MB), free application.

I must admit, I was not very successful, initially, in converting my friends to my view of GOM Media Player. Over the years though, GOM Media Player’s support for a diverse range of file formats, it’s built in Codecs, and its advanced playback capabilities, have made it one of the most downloaded of all Windows Media Player replacements. In fact, it’s the number one downloaded media player on CNET (download.com), with nearly 20 Million downloads to date.

gom player 2

This small application is surprisingly strong and can play most encoded video formats including AVI, DAT, FLV, MPEG, DivX, XviD, and more, with its own built-in Codec system.

For the impatient types among us, GOM Media Player can even play video files that are still in the process of being downloaded. As well, files that have been broken during the downloading process can still be played.

The right click menu is extremely comprehensive (yet very easy to understand), allowing an amazing degree of custom control over virtually every aspect of the application. I do mean – an amazing degree of control!

A built-in Screen Capture utility allows you to take screenshots of your video directly from GOM Media Player. Using the Burst Capture feature, you can take up to 999 shots continuous screenshots. I love this feature! (I just had to mention this).

gom-player new 1

Fast facts:

DVD-quality videos with 5.1 channel audio output.

Supports most Codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, FLI using an embedded Codec system

Plays incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames

Plays Locked Media Files while downloading or sharing

Supports HTTP Streaming ASF/OGG/MP3/AAC/MPEG PS/MPEG TS

Subtitle, Overlay Mixer features, Keys Remapping, Super speed/High Mode

Play Audio CD

Play Video CD/SVCD/XCD

Enhanced Filter Rendering

Drag-and-drop support

Editable skins

Real-time index rebuilding for AVI files

Unicode support

Advanced Features:

Customizable settings on the control panel

Adjust image brightness, hue, and saturation

Sharpen and add noise to your video

Audio equalizer

Fast forward/rewind using left/right keys

Repeat a section of your video using A-B Repeat feature

System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 (no indication that x64 is supported).

Download at: Download.com

This is my personal choice of media player; the application that I use primarily for playback of downloaded videos, and I have yet to be disappointed with its performance. I highly recommend this excellent free application.

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Media Player Replacement, Media Players, Software, Video, Video Players, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Watch Videos and Internet TV in HD Full Screen with Miro HD Video Player

There’s been lots of talk in the Blogosphere lately, on getting rid of expensive Cable TV, where prices seem to be skyrocketing, and focusing instead on the multiple alternatives which the Internet now provides.

From a personal perspective, I’m a long way from getting rid of Cable TV. But that’s more an issue surrounding the medieval government broadcast regulations consumers are forced to deal with here in Canada, which allow Geo-blocking technologies that prevent Canadians from accessing television programming on U.S. websites, than any commitment I have to the boob tube, which I rarely watch.

I suspect in many other countries, consumers would be taking to the streets demanding access to the increasing number of broadcast options available online. The Canadian government needs to get its head around a concept called, “freedom of choice”. OK, I’ll stop ranting now!

For those of you who don’t face this restriction, Miro (last updated December 05, 2009), is a free (open source), internet TV platform and video player that can play virtually any video including, QuickTime, WMV, MPEG, AVI, and XVID. After iTunes, Miro is the second most popular video RSS player in the world.

The real strength of this application lies in the ability you now have, with Miro installed, to subscribe to any video RSS feed, pod cast, or Video Site/Blog such as YouTube, Google Video, and Yahoo Video, through channels.

When a channel is created in Miro, the program checks for updates periodically and will retrieve content for you through a HTTP download, or the included BitTorrent client.

You could, for example, subscribe to Comodo’s Internet video series, Really Simple Security, published on a dedicated YouTube channel, and with Miro’s automatic update function always be in the loop for new content.

Given that your computer screen is, in reality, a high-definition display, you can watch these videos in HD full screen. Pretty neat – especially if you have a wide screen LCD display.

To make it easier for you to find content for viewing, the included channel guide service is comprised of more than 1,800+ channels which are searchable by category, keyword, popularity, or language.

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Fast facts:

Built-in Channel Guide – explore hundreds of free Internet television channels.

Bit torrent download

Manageable Hard Drive folders

Resume playback

Channel surfing

Organizing video feeds by topic

Video sharing and hosting

Creating videos

This program continues to receive high praise from video geeks, and it’s worth adding to your entertainment applications.

Note: There is a learning curve associated with using Miro, but the developers video tutorial, takes the hassle out of it.

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System requirements: Windows 7, Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows NT, Windows XP (I’m not aware of any x64 support) – Mac, Linux.

Download at: Miro

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, High Definition Video Players, Interconnectivity, Internet TV, Media Player Replacement, Multimedia Tools, Software, Video, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Media Monkey – Media Control to the Max

Guest writer Glenn Taggart is a true music lover, and he has some definite ideas on the best free media player out there. Glenn gives you his views on his favorite music media player – Media Monkey.

In the world of web based music media players, there are many to choose from.  I know many of you are quite content with the pre-packaged media players that come with the Microsoft operating system.

However, if you want to listen to other file types such as OGG or FLAC, or, say you want to sync your iPod, iPhone, or other Mp3 players, Microsoft can be a real bummer.

Enter my favorite music media player – Media Monkey.

Media Monkey will play all music files and will also sync with your iPod. Other great features of Media Monkey include the ability to retag your music collection in case you have music that is tagged improperly. Media Monkey will also rip CDs, and will convert your audio files between the various music formats.

The user interface is intuitive and is easy to set up. Whether you want to have your music collection in file format or playlist format, Media Monkey has you covered.

Did I mention system resource use? As a former XP user on an older machine, CPU and RAM resources were thin. Media Monkey solves this equation and operates on very low system resources.

Of all the music players out there, and I have tried them all, only Media Monkey has all of the bells and whistles and ease of use for the casual and power user.

Media Monkey is compatible with XP, Vista, and Win7


Fast facts:

Organize music and edit tags in your audio library with a powerful, intuitive interface.

Automatically lookup and tag Album Art and other metadata.

Manage 50,000+ files in your music collection without bogging down.

Manage all genres of audio: Rock, Classical, Audiobooks, Comedy, Podcasts, etc.

Play MP3s and other audio formats, and never again worry about varying volume.

Record CDs and convert MP3s, M4A, OGG, FLAC and WMA files etc. into other formats.

Create playlists and let Auto-DJ & Party Mode take care of your party.

Sync iPhones, iPods, & MP3 players, converting & leveling tracks on-the-fly.

Plus much more…

If you have been thinking about downloading a FREE 3rd party music player, give Media Monkey a try!

System requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7

Download at: Download.com

Guest Writer: This is a guest post by Glenn Taggart of The Crazy World of G, who brings a background as a high level super user, to the Blogging world.

Drop by Glenn’s freeware page.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Audio Applications, Audio Software, Digital Media, downloads, Freeware, Media Player Replacement, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

What’s Hot in the Download World? – Checkout the Top 20

image There must be a gazillion sites on the Internet that offer application downloads, of one type or another – OK, that’s a slight exaggeration.

My favorite download site though, by a substantial margin, is CNET’s Download.com – although it is not the only download site I use.

I trust the programs I download from this site to be free from adware, spyware, and the multitude of other malware that floats freely on the Internet. Because of CNET’s adherence to a strict policy of offering untainted downloads, regular readers of Tech Thoughts are aware, that when I review an application, if the program is available for download at Download.com, I direct interested readers there.

If you have ever wondered what applications make it to the top of CNET’s vast repository of software, then take a look at the top 20 downloads for the week ending May 10, 2009.

Here’s a look at what’s hot:

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus

Advanced SystemCare Free

Avast Home Edition

Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition

Orbit Downloader

LimeWire

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

WinRAR

YouTube Downloader

Camfrog Video Chat

Download Accelerator Plus

VersionTracker Pro

FrostWire

GOM Media Player

IrfanView

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter

PhotoScape

FLV Player

Virtual DJ Software

If you don’t find anything in this list that interests you, check out CNET’s main site.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Audio Software, Digital Media, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Graphic Software, High Definition Video Players, Image Editors, Interconnectivity, Media Player Replacement, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

I Can’t HEAR You – Audio Codec Conflict.

You’ll want to hear this advice from guest writer Glenn Taggart.

Enjoy_the_Silence_by_WickedNox This weekend found me working on two clients laptops.  The first had a problem that happens frequently to those who want to add popular video/audio programs to their computer.

What happens is – if you already have a program that you have been using, say, Windows Media Player for instance, and you decide to then add, say, Media Player Classic along with K-lite codec pack, and then maybe later you decide, hmmm, I think I’ll add Foobar and Gom player.

You head out on the road with your kids with your laptop. The idea is the kids will be too busy watching movies to distract you while you are driving. But no. The DVD plays but you can’t hear the sound.

What just happened? In layman’s terms, you are having a serious case of codec conflict. Codec’s are the various .dll files that your audio/video programs need to decode the binary into a language that your player can understand, thus producing picture and sound.

In the case of laptop #1, it had a case of too many audio/video programs loaded and had a severe case of codec conflict.

The cure was to remove all of the 3rd party programs (which also removed the program’s codec’s) and installed an all in one program (in this case VLC media player) which had bundled with it it’s own codec’s.

When I am visiting various audio/video tech sites, it is a common occurrence to see posts requesting help because they can’t hear or see their audio/video. If you come across this post, removing programs and installing a bundled package 3rd party program may be your best bet. In my own testing, I have found that K-Lite codec pack also causes codec conflict so I don’t recommend using it.

vlc-win32

Free 3rd party programs that work for me:

Gom Video Player
Foobar Audio Player
VLC Video and Audio Player

Guest Writer: This is a guest post by Glenn Taggart of The Crazy World of G, who brings a background as a high level super user, to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Glenn’s site at The Crazy World of G.

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Filed under Audio Applications, Audio Software, Freeware, Media Player Replacement, Multimedia Tools, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

GOM Media Player – 5 Star Rated and Free!

Free 5.1 Channel Output. Advanced Playback Capabilities.

Tired of Windows Media Player’s weaknesses? Fed up with its 24.5 MB bloated size? Are you unhappy with its outrageous overhead requirements? Then GOM Media Player, (the unusual name stands for Gretech Online Movie Player), may well be the tool you’ve been looking for.

GOM Media Player’s support for a diverse range of file formats, it’s built in Codecs, and its advanced playback capabilities, have made it one of the most downloaded of all Windows Media Player replacements. It is the number one downloaded media player on CNET (download.com), with nearly 12,000,000 downloads to date.

gom player 2

GOM Media Player is a relatively small (4.66MB) application that can play most encoded video formats including AVI, DAT, FLV, MPEG, DivX, XviD, and more, with its own built-in Codec system.

If you’re the impatient type, GOM Media Player can even play video files that are still in the process of being downloaded. As well, files that have been broken during the downloading process can still be played.

For audio/video files that GOM Media Player can not play due to a missing Codec, (I haven’t found one yet), GOM Media Player will attempt to find one using GUID; if you are interested in seeing how GUID works then go to GUID.org. http://www.guid.org/ Once it finds a match, you will be redirected to a download site from which you can download and install the required Codec/s.

A built-in Screen Capture utility allows you to take screenshots of your video directly from GOM Media Player. Using the Burst Capture feature, you can take up to 999 shots continuous screenshots. I love this feature!

This is my personal choice of media player, and I have yet to be disappointed with its performance. I highly recommend this really excellent free application.

Quick facts:

  • DVD-quality videos with 5.1 channel audio output.
  • Supports most Codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, FLI using an embedded Codec system
  • Plays incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames
  • Plays Locked Media Files while downloading or sharing
  • Supports HTTP Streaming ASF/OGG/MP3/AAC/MPEG PS/MPEG TS
  • Subtitle, Overlay Mixer features, Keys Remapping, Super speed/High Mode
  • Play Audio CD
  • Play Video CD/SVCD/XCD
  • Enhanced Filter Rendering
  • Drag-and-drop support
  • Editable skins
  • Real-time index rebuilding for AVI files
  • Unicode support

Advanced Features:

  • Customizable settings on the control panel
  • Adjust image brightness, hue, and saturation
  • Sharpen and add noise to your video
  • Audio equalizer
  • Fast forward/rewind using left/right keys
  • Repeat a section of your video using A-B Repeat feature

System Requirements: Windows Me/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista

Note: I’m currently running this application on Windows 7 Beta with no problems what-so-ever.

Download at: Download.com

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Filed under Digital Media, Freeware, High Definition Video Players, Media Player Replacement, Multimedia Tools, Open Source, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Free Software For Tough Economic Times

hard times 1 Times are tough, the economy is in the tank, and if anything, times will get much tougher long before they get better.

We are all now faced with the task of trimming expenses this year, and software applications that cost hundreds of dollars are not going to be number one on our list of must haves.

Luckily, they don’t need to be.

There’s a wealth of tried and tested free software out in the wild blue of the Internet that will meet virtually every need you’re likely to have this year. Take a look at the following recommended free downloads that will help you communicate, get needed work done, have some fun, and manage and protect your system while you’re surfing the Internet.

To download the application/s of your choice, simply click on the application name.

Process those words:

OpenOffice:

OpenOffice 2 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages including Microsoft Word.

AbiWord:

AbiWord is a free light weight word processing program similar to Microsoft Word. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks.

WordWeb:

WordWeb is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows that can look up words in almost any program. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Manipulate and correct your pics – put them online:

FastStone Image Viewer:

This is one of my favorite photo applications, with good reason. It’s not just a viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. You’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use. This program is loaded with features including, renaming, cropping, color adjustments, lossless JPEG transformation, drop shadow effects, image frames, scanner support, histogram and much more.

IrfanView:

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista. Strange name – terrific application.

Google Picasa:

A free software that helps you locate and organize all the photos on your computer, edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks and share your photos with others through email, prints and on the web.

Play those tunes:

Audacity:

Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Definitely the best of breed.

iTunes:

According to Apple this is the world’s best digital music jukebox. Download music, TV shows, movies, and more.

Winamp:

A multimedia player that supports numerous audio and video formats. It also plays streamed video and audio content, live and recorded, authored worldwide.

Watch your fav videos:

Miro:

Miro is a free application for channels of internet video (also known as ‘video podcasts and video rss). Miro is designed to be easy to use and to give you an elegant full screen viewing experience.

VLC:

A highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

Free FLV Converter:

This free software let you search YouTube and dailyMotion videos without opening your browser and you can even watch the videos using the built-in video player.

Free Video To iPhone Converter:

Convert video files to Apple iPhone MP4 video format. Convert the whole movie or select a partition from the movie to convert (trim video).

iPod Video Converter:

Free iPod Video Converter provides an easy and completed way to convert all popular video formats to iPod video.

Better browsing:

FireFox:

FireFox includes tons of useful features such as tabbed browsing, built-in and customizable search bars, a built-in RSS reader and a huge library of extensions developed by thousand of developers.

Opera:

Opera introduces Speed Dial which vastly improves navigation to your favorite sites. In addition, there’s Fraud protection, anti-phishing detection keeps browsing safe and secure.

Web of Trust (WOT):

WOT is a free Internet Browser add-on (my personal favorite), that has established an impressive 4.5/5.0 star user rating on CNET. WOT tests web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

Protect your system:

Spyware Doctor Starter Edition:

This free version of the award winning program, with its easy to use interface, is used by millions of people worldwide to protect their computers; it’s reported there are a million+ additional downloads every week.

AVG Anti-Virus:

AVG Anti-Virus Free now incorporates protection against spyware through a new combined anti-virus and anti-spyware engine as well as a “safe-searching component” which has been incorporated into the new AVG Internet Security Toolbar. This program scans files on access, on demand, and on schedule and scans email incoming and outgoing. For those on Vista, you’re in luck, it’s Vista-ready

Comodo Firewall Pro:

The definitive free firewall, Comodo Firewall protects your system by defeating hackers and restricting unauthorized programs from accessing the Internet. I have been using this application for 10 months and I continue to feel very secure. It resists being forcibly terminated and it works as well, or better, than any firewall I’ve paid for. This is one I highly recommend. Amazing that it’s free!

Staying in touch:

Windows Live messenger:

The next generation MSN Messenger. It comes with everything that were already available in Messenger, and a new i’m Initiative that makes helping your favorite charity as easy as sending an instant message.

Pidgin:

A multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once. Pidgin can work with: AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo!, MySpaceIM and many more.

Trillian:

A fully featured, stand-alone, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC.

System Tools:

CCleaner:

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a second to run.

Glary Utilities:

Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 8 months has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system. With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

Revo Uninstaller:

Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Audio Applications, Browser add-ons, Don't Get Hacked, Email, Firefox, Free Security Programs, Free Word Processors, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Media Player Replacement, MS Word Alternatives, Multimedia Tools, Online Photo Editing, Photo Tools, Productivity Software, Registry Cleaners, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools, Writing Aids

Get Miro High Definition Video Player and Internet TV Platform Free

miro-1-logo Miro is a free and open source internet TV platform and video player that can play virtually any video including, QuickTime, WMV, MPEG, AVI, and XVID.

The real strength of this application however, is the ability you now have, with Miro installed, to subscribe to any video RSS feed, pod cast, or Video Site/Blog such as YouTube, Google Video, and Yahoo Video, through channels.

When a channel is created in Miro, the program checks for updates periodically and will retrieve content for you through a HTTP download, or the included BitTorrent client.

Given that your computer screen is, in reality, a high-definition display, you can watch these videos in HD full screen. Pretty neat.

To make it easier for you to find content for viewing, the included channel guide service is comprised of more than 1,800 channels which are searchable by category, keyword, popularity, or language.

miro

(Click pic for larger)

Some of Miro’s great features include:

Built-in Channel Guide – explore hundreds of free Internet television channels.

Bit torrent download

Manageable Hard Drive folders

Resume playback

Channel surfing

Organizing video feeds by topic

Video sharing and hosting

Creating videos

This program continues to receive high praise from video geeks, and it’s worth adding to your entertainment applications.

System requirements: Mac, Windows, Linux

Download at: Miro

6 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Media Player Replacement, Open Source, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

The 35 Best Free Applications – Tried, Tested and Reliable!

There’s a wealth of tried and tested free software out in the wild blue of the Internet that will meet virtually every need you’re likely to have. Take a look at the following recommended free downloads that will help you communicate, improve your photos, have some fun, and manage and protect your system.

All of these applications have been well tested over the years for reliability and functionality, and all have developed a strong, loyal following.

Process those words:

OpenOffice

OpenOffice 2 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages including Microsoft Word.

AbiWord

AbiWord is a free light weight word processing program similar to Microsoft Word. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks.

WordWeb

WordWeb is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows that can look up words in almost any program. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Manipulate and correct your pics – put them online:

FastStone Image Viewer

This is one of my favorite photo applications, with good reason. It’s not just a viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. You’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use. This program is loaded with features including, renaming, cropping, color adjustments, lossless JPEG transformation, drop shadow effects, image frames, scanner support, histogram and much more.

IrfanView

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista. Strange name – terrific application.

Google Picasa

Free software that helps you locate and organize all the photos on your computer, edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks and share your photos with others through email, prints and on the web.

Play those tunes:

Audacity

Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Definitely the best of breed.

iTunes

According to Apple this is the world’s best digital music jukebox. Download music, TV shows, movies, and more.

Winamp

A multimedia player that supports numerous audio and video formats. It also plays streamed video and audio content, live and recorded, authored worldwide.

Watch your fav videos:

Miro

Miro is a free application for channels of internet video (also known as ‘video podcasts and video rss). Miro is designed to be easy to use and to give you an elegant full screen viewing experience.

VLC

A highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

Free FLV Converter

This free software let you search YouTube and dailyMotion videos without opening your browser and you can even watch the videos using the built-in video player.

Free Video to iPhone Converter

Convert video files to Apple iPhone MP4 video format. Convert the whole movie or select a partition from the movie to convert (trim video).

iPod Video Converter

Free iPod Video Converter provides an easy and completed way to convert all popular video formats to iPod video.

Better browsing:

FireFox

FireFox includes tons of useful features such as tabbed browsing, built-in and customizable search bars, a built-in RSS reader and a huge library of extensions developed by thousand of developers.

Opera

Opera introduces Speed Dial which vastly improves navigation to your favorite sites. In addition, there’s Fraud protection, anti-phishing detection keeps browsing safe and secure.

Web of Trust (WOT)

WOT is a free Internet Browser add-on (my personal favorite), that has established an impressive 4.5/5.0 star user rating on CNET. WOT tests web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

Protect your system:

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0.1

AVG Anti-Virus Free 8.0 now incorporates protection against spyware through a new combined anti-virus and anti-spyware engine as well as a “safe-searching component” which has been incorporated into the new AVG Internet Security Toolbar. This program scans files on access, on demand, and on schedule and scans email incoming and outgoing. For those on Vista, you’re in luck, it’s Vista-ready

Spyware Doctor Starter Edition

Spyware Doctor Starter Edition from PC Tools is an excellent choice, as a secondary line of defense. This free version of the award winning program, with its easy to use interface, is used by millions of people worldwide to protect their computers; it’s reported there are a million+ additional downloads every week. Be aware however, there is no real-time protection offered with this version and this is the reason I recommend this application as a secondary scanner only.

Spyware Terminator

Having tested virtually all of the major anti-spyware applications over the past year or more, I’ve settled, for now, on Spyware Terminator primarily due to its strong real-time protection against spyware, adware, Trojans, key-loggers, home page hijackers and other malware threats. Spyware Terminator excels in strong active protection against know and unknown threats. If anything, I find it perhaps a little overly aggressive. On the other hand, better this than the alternative.

Comodo Firewall Pro

The definitive free firewall, Comodo Firewall protects your system by defeating hackers and restricting unauthorized programs from accessing the Internet. I have been using this application for 10 months and I continue to feel very secure. It resists being forcibly terminated and it works as well, or better, than any firewall I’ve paid for. This is one I highly recommend. Amazing that it’s free!

HiJackFree

If you are an experienced/advanced computer user and you’re looking for a program to strengthen your anti-malware resources, then HiJackFree is one that’s worth taking a look at. This free application, from EMSI Software, offers a potent layer of additional protection to add to your major anti-malware programs. The program operates as a detailed system analysis tool that can help you in the detection and removal of Hijackers, Spyware, Adware, Trojans, Worms, and other malware. It doesn’t offer live protection but instead, it examines your system, determines if it’s been infected, and then allows you to eradicate the malware.

Ad-Aware 2008

In my view, Ad-Aware 2008 Free is the best free spyware and adware remover available. It does a good job of protecting against known data-mining, Trojans, dialers, malware, browser hijackers and tracking components. The only downside with the free version; real-time protection is not included.

ThreatFire 3

ThreatFire 3 blocks mal-ware, including zero-day threats, by analyzing program behavior and it does a stellar job. Again, this is one of the security applications that forms part of my front line defenses. I have found it to have high success rate at blocking mal-ware based on analysis of behavior. Highly recommend this one!

Web of Trust (WOT)

WOT is a free Internet Browser add-on (my personal favorite), that has established an impressive 4.5/5.0 star user rating on CNET. WOT tests web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

SnoopFree Privacy Shield

SnoopFree Privacy Shield is a powerful application that guards your keyboard, screen and open windows from all spy software. I have been using this application for quite some time, and I have been amazed at the number of programs that have requested access to my keyboard and screen. In particular, programs that I am in the process of installing. If you’re serious about privacy, this is a must have addition to your security toolbox.

Staying in touch:

Windows Live messenger

The next generation MSN Messenger. It comes with everything that were already available in Messenger, and a new i’m Initiative that makes helping your favorite charity as easy as sending an instant message.

Pidgin

A multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once. Pidgin can work with: AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo!, MySpaceIM and many more.

Trillian

A fully featured, stand-alone, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC.

System Tools:

CCleaner

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a second to run.

Glary Utilities

Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 8 months has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system. With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

WinPatrol

Do you want to get a better understanding of what programs are being added to your computer? Then WinPatrol is the program for you. With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs. You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

Autoruns

This free utility has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, in my view, and shows you what programs are configured to run during system boot up or login, and the order Windows processes them. These programs will include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show additional locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and more. Autoruns goes considerably beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows.

Regseeker

The longer you use Windows, the more cluttered your registry can become, especially if you regularly install and uninstall software. Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves; causing problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them.

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