Since I’m made periodic posts lately about the stuff I’m working on in the Open Source world (as a consumer of applications, not a producer – my code-fu is too weak), I think it’s safe to add this list of 30 essential free and open source applications to the blahg. A number of the tools on this site I am already using or currently learning. However, there were a few new-to-me tools on the list that I’ll be working on getting a handle on in the near future.
11. VLC Media Player
Replaces Windows Media Player, Quicktime, RealPlayer, etc.
If you get tired of having tons of media players on your computer, get this package that runs pretty much every media type you’ll run across without breaking a sweat.
This is my personal media player now, as well. It’s not been too long ago that I thought VLC was weak in the interface, but that has been improved dramatically since then. Overall, it’s tremendously useful. Like many tools on that page, VLC also comes in a portable version which you can run from a USB key or any directory on your system without installing the application. So you remove it by just deleting the directory.
Unique but essential
Handbrake enables you to stick a DVD in your DVD drive and have the contents of that film stored to your hard drive in a form that can be read by pretty much any media player. I often use it to put a few movies on my laptop for travel purposes, so I don’t have to worry about keeping track of DVDs while on the road.
I’m not currently a Handbrake user, but I may use it this week to rip some DVDs to my laptop for the kids to watch on the road this week-end when we travel to grandma’s house. I’m familiar with the tool, but have never needed it before.
So there are 2 as a sample. Now head over and view the full list to see what legally free and redistributable software you should be using. And if the full list isn’t enough information for you, spend time in the comments area – there are more recommendations there that are worth checking out. IF you want to try any of these tools and are looking for a portable version, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to track that down if you can’t find it yourself.
[tags]Open source, Essential open source software, Essential Windows freeware[/tags]