The excelling freeware/donationware thread

vbimport

#1

I have licenses for a shitload of software,but I’m also a ‘freebie hunter’ for software which excels in a certain area…
Please post your findings,and the reason why that particular app is better than mediocre,or even better than similar, payed-for software…


#2

We’ve covered this is subject in a lot of threads over the years. Most have drifted into obscurity, and can only be found through searches. But I’ll play along.

My primary area of interest is in video tools, so I’ll contribute a few to consider, and why they should be highlighted.

[B]BD Rebuilder[/B]: The only free program that can compress unencrypted Blu-ray to smaller sizes and retain the original menus. It has no peers in this particular task. BD Rebuilder can handle both 2D and 3D Blu-ray. It also excels in conversion of Blu-ray to DVD-video.

[B]DVD Rebuilder[/B]: An easy to use GUI to compress DVD-video to smaller sizes. It too can retain original menus. The free version works well for most, and since it uses the HC encoder, its output annihilates any results from a program that uses a transcoder (like CloneDVD or DVDShrink).

[B]MakeMKV[/B]: The only free Blu-ray decryption program that is available world-wide (free while in beta, but has been in beta status for many years now). It can convert to mkv or keep the entire Blu-ray structure. Also handy for DVD-video decryption and conversion to mkv file format without re-encoding or compression.

[B]VidCoder[/B]: This tool is used to convert various types of video input to H264 mkv or mp4. Though based on Handbrake, it offers more options. VidCoder can produce excellent quality for any type of device you want to play movies on, from phones to tablets to big screen tv’s. It’s results make commercial converters [U]superfluous[/U].

[B]ImgBurn[/B]: The best burning program around. It can be used by advanced users or beginners. It will place the layer break correctly in DL DVD media when other burning programs might fail. And it is bulletproof for Blu-ray burns as well.

[B]AviDemux[/B]: For simple cuts and joins of video files, this is a very handy tool. Not my favorite for conversion, but it is able to adjust audio/video sync when you run into a troublesome video.

[B]AVStoDVD[/B]: This program is used for conversion to DVD-video from many different types of video. Though DVD-video has become less important over the past few years, it is still a viable format for many, and this program is easily the best of the free options for this particular conversion. It can make menus, which is handy for compilations of several videos into one DVD.


#3

THX for your input,Kerry!
I have the Pro version of DvdRebuilder,but never tried VidCoder nor AvstoDvd…the others I know,and it would be great to see a special donator’s version of IMGBurn…:wink:


#4

LibreOffice - Probably the best free Microsoft Office replacement package, which includes Word processor (Writer), Spreadsheet (calc) and Presentation (Impress) applications that are compatible with the Microsoft equivalents.

Thunderbird - Excellent Outlook / Windows Mail alternative for e-mail. It’s also very reliable - I’ve been using Thunderbird for several e-mail accounts (personal, work, CDFreaks and mailing lists) and don’t recall ever having a mailbox or folder go corrupt in the 10 years I’ve been using it. For those technical, it’s profile is easy to backup, move and configure, e.g. my PC’s dual-boot (Windows 7 & 8.1) both have Thunderbird working off the same profile path.

Word and Excel 2010 Starter - For those who prefer the look and feel of Word and Excel 2010 or have compatibility issues (e.g. Excel graphs in LibreOffice), these are free cut-down versions of Word and Excel. The main functionality left out include table of contents, tracking changes, password protection, etc. that are mainly only used in commercial use, so should have pretty much all the functionality any home user would use.


#5

LibreOffice and ThunderBird are great!:iagree:
Both are installed on my daughter’s LinuxMint netbook…:slight_smile:
Since I have the MS Office 2010 Pro Plus myself,I’m in no need for those…::disagree:

A few favorites of mine:
Exact Audio Copy ,1 of the best cd-grabbers available…:iagree:
CueTools ,an excellent lossless audioformat tool…
Privazer ,a cleanup and privacy tool that sweeps the floor with CCleaner…:wink:
Asap Utilities ,a MS Excel addon,free for personal use,which makes you work like an Excel guru…:clap:
Meesoft Image Analyzer …I dare you to find a freeware program that magnifies pictures as well as Image Analyzer does…:wink:


#6

Some of my tools are probably not of much use to everyone, but I am very glad to have them

[ul]
[li]FileZilla - Must have for file transfers via FTP/SFTP
[/li][li]Keepass - With the constantly increasing amount of passwords that I need, this one seems to be the only way to keep track of these
[/li][li]Netbeans - For website development using HTML, Javascript and PHP. Really like this one
[/li][li]OpenVPN - Grants secure/encrypted access to my local network from everywhere
[/li][li]TortoiseSVN - When developing software / websites, this tool along with it’s counterpart on my server helps me to keep track of changes between different versions
[/li][li]UltraVNC - Allows me to remote control my Windows desktop - Only within my local network or via OpenVPN
[/li][li]Wireshark - Best tool for troubleshooting any networking issues
[/li][/ul]


#7

For music fans:

Yamb - For lossless separation of an audio track from video, great for converting music videos to sound files. It can also split and join MP4 files of the same encoding.

fre:ac - Open source audio converter, converts between MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Wave, AAC, WMA and so on.

Burrrn - Burns a wide range of audio formats to audio CD with CD Text. Ideal for CD car stereos that don’t have aux-in, bluetooth or MP3 support.

Audacity - Open source audio editor / recorder. Great for recording a turntable and to clean up the recording. Also useful for editing speeches, such as cutting out mistakes or excess gaps.


#8

This seems to be a good thread to post a link to Kerry56’s sticky thread .
Free video tools.

I recently got YAMB as posted by Seán . I’ve played around with it some & it seems like a useful tool.

I also have Meesoft Image Analyzer posted by roadworker but an older version that I haven’t updated for a long time. I may update it & try it again for some image work.

One I haven’t seen posted yet & I use regularly is :
Ifranview A versatile image tool .

7Zip unpacking tool try opening installer .EXEs with it. Sometimes a portable can be created this way.

MediaInfo self explanatory.

Freemake Video Downloader

CCCP codec pack Has good LAV codecs .

nLite slipstream tool

EasyBCD OS boot tool free for home use but you have to register this one.

I could post more but I will see if someone else posts them.
I didn’t add the links at first but they are there now.


#9

Here’s my short list, some of which are already posted.

  • at the end of program represents an install, the others are available as portable (no install).

Virtual CloneDrive*
SumatraPDFPortable
FastStone Image Viewer
FotografixPortable
PhotoFiltrePortable
RARExtractFrog*
7-ZipPortable
CDExPortable
hwmonitor
Gparted
Partition Wizard Bootable CD

For A/V:

Muxman
DVD Shrink*
DVD Decrypter*
SubtitleEdit337
MediaInfo
MPC-HC
Potplayer*
VLCPortable
smplayer-portable
PgcDemux
VOB2MPG*
VTV
DVDtoBD Express 2.0 Freeware
tsMuxeR
eac3to 3.27
HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Stream Extractor
TSSniper
mkvtoolnix
Audacity
AIMPPortable


#10

THX for your input,gang!Definitely some stuff to try!!!:bow:
@ Seán,Yamb seems to be an interesting proggy…I always used Pazera for those jobs…
@ Steve,there’s finally a final version of Cdex after all these years,recently CDEX 1.70 final was released…
and if you download the eac3to 3.24 package from eac3to 3.24 mirror download. and replace the eac3to 3.24 folder with the latest 3.27 version,you’ll have some different gui’s which defeat the purpose of only using HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Stream Extractor…
if you wanna use eac3to for easy jobs,without much configuration issues,check eac3to ugui:wink:


#11

This is the freeware I use most often. I’ve been using them for about a decade and have never found anything better.

[B]XnView[/B]: A very good image viewer & batch processor. The killer feature is being able to easily join together multiple images. I use it every time I scan to combine the main CD-DVD Speed or PlexTools graph with the summary for easy storage. Also has a screenshot feature which is very handy for PlexTools & later versions of CD-DVD Speed which lack a screenshot button on the summary window.

[B]MP3Tag[/B]: The best audio tagging software for my needs. Very good file format support (but not WAV). It can lookup tags from online databases, but what sets it apart from the competition is its powerful scripting. I’ve developed several scripts to tag my audiobooks automatically (depending on the original source - cassette, CD or radio), taking the information from the master directory name and reformatting the tags, file & sub-directory names to my requirements. What used to take me a dozen steps can now be done in one.

[B]Ant Renamer[/B]: A very powerful file renamer. I don’t use it as often these days, MP3Tag has long since taken over sorting out my audiobook filenames. But it is still indispensible for other renaming tasks. The preview & undo buttons are very handy.


#12

[QUOTE=Ibex;2732948][B]MP3Tag[/B]: The best audio tagging software for my needs. Very good file format support (but not WAV). It can lookup tags from online databases, but what sets it apart from the competition is its powerful scripting. I’ve developed several scripts to tag my audiobooks automatically (depending on the original source - cassette, CD or radio), taking the information from the master directory name and reformatting the tags, file & sub-directory names to my requirements. What used to take me a dozen steps can now be done in one.[/QUOTE]

Bad news…it’s in German…and you only see there is other language when you go to download…wheww…now just when someone download it they will have to be able to read German to find the setting to change language unless it is part of the option install to change otherwise it might be hard to find the settings.


#13

It’s the MP3 tagger I use & I’ve been satisfied with it.
I’ve been using it so long I didn’t remember the site was in German.
Maybe it wasn’t several years ago.

Also I have used CryptoPrevent since I first read about it.
Sometimes the “Undo” has to be used for installing some software.
Then “Applied” again after the install. Minor PITA.


#14

[QUOTE=coolcolors;2733039]Bad news…it’s in German…and you only see there is other language when you go to download…wheww…now just when someone download it they will have to be able to read German to find the setting to change language unless it is part of the option install to change otherwise it might be hard to find the settings.[/QUOTE]

I spy with my little eye…

Just click on the word “English” in the top-right corner of the main page and see what happens. :wink:


#15

NbuExplorer

A small program to extract Nokia phone backup files…don’t forget to install the Dbshell add-on for extra functionality…:bigsmile:

Note:do NOT download the installer,as it’s bundled with crapware…download the portable zip instead,that 1 is OK…


#16

Free? How about a totally free installer/updater?

Go to www.ninite.com. You can tick programs and make your own installer that will automatically download and install the desired products. All crap/malware is also removed.

Some products that are not on the ninite list (yet) and/or very useful:

UltraDefrag. Maybe not the best defragger, but one of the most versatile. You can defrag everything and once, automatically shutdown or reboot systems as well. Defrag while booting is also possible. Perfect for an automatic maintenance round for systems.

SnapPea. One of the best Android Smartphone managers.

OpenVPN. Make your own VPN access server, either from a computer, a virtual machine or a cloud machine. Every version is licensed for 2 simultaneous connections for ever.

VmWare Esxi 5. Transform a 64bit system with plenty of cpu and memory into a VmWare server. A 64bit cpu capable of virtualization (BIOS/Setup setting) is in theory the only requirement. It already works with Sata disks, one network card and 2gb of memory. Register and get a free perpetual license. Now you can create lots of virtual systems on one real system! Make an Ubuntu server, make an OpenVPN server, Windows XP client (license required of course), whatever. Go nuts. As long as your system has the required resources, you can run it. All for free!

Don’t want to sacrifice a system for it? Get the VMware Player. Also free for personal use. Still better than VirtualBox.