Deciding to recommend the cross-platform Songbird as a Featured Freeware required a bit of an internal struggle. On the one hand, it's the lovechild of a boozy Firefox-and-iTunes hookup, from the music jukebox interface to the browsing behavior. What's not to love about that mashup? However close it hops to the edge of its nest, though, the app is still in beta and buggier than an Alaskan summer. When considering that not-significant drawback against the music-management, music-discovery, and Web-browsing features that take wing along with broad MP3 player support, it's hard to deny that Songbird injects some … Read more
"Size matters not," right? Audio-editor WavePad is a prime example of a small program that's got a lot of force.
Available for both Windows and Mac, the app furnishes plenty of tools for recording and editing sound. WavePad's interface is fairly well-organized, and the Command Bar feature provides quick access to the most frequently used functions. WavePad supports a variety of popular audio formats, including MP3, OGG, WAV, and WMA, and it includes a ripping function.
Once you open a file or begin recording via your sound card, you'll see a large rendering of the … Read more
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released an open-source, cross-platform program designed to track your packets and determine if your ISP is throttling your connection to torrents, VoIP, and other legal, high-bandwidth consuming communications. Called "Switzerland" and licensed under the GPL, it's very much in an alpha state and is only a command-line tool at the moment. Also, you're going to have to compile it yourself--that's not the most challenging task, but this isn't a simple self-extracting app.
According to the EFF, Switzerland works by spotting IP packets that have been forged or modified between … Read more
The fun browser add-on PicLens has incorporated YouTube and Amazon.com into the short but hopefully soon-to-grow list of supported Web sites. Compatible with Firefox on Windows and Mac, Internet Explorer, and Safari, PicLens recreates your surfing experience with a futuristic graphical display.
As Rafe talked about in February, PicLens highlights the image content of a site and allows you to whip back and forth using mouse gestures instead of conventional static browsing. If you're familiar with how it works with an image site like Flickr, the YouTube interface is identical. The PicLens plug-in will install a grid button … Read more
Mac OS X looks great and runs smoothly right out of the box. But if you wanted to make minor tweaks to the interface or automate specific maintenance tasks, in the past you had to know how to use the command line. Fortunately, some savvy developers have made it possible to perform once-difficult tasks through the use of an easy-to-understand interface. We have a couple of freshly-reviewed programs this week that make tweaks and useful maintenance tasks in Mac OS X much easier for the regular user.
Correcting a long-standing oversight by Apple, AppCleaner completely removes unwanted programs from your Mac OS. Dragging applications to the Trash just isn't enough because almost every app installs various support files in several different places all over your computer.
AppCleaner is one of the best utilities around to help you track down and delete these files. It provides a slick, 3D interface and two options for deletion: you can either drag and drop applications onto AppCleaner's main window, or you can have AppCleaner list potential applications--and even widgets, plugins, and screensavers--to uninstall. The program will then show you … Read more
Not mere freeware, but open-source alternatives are well-known for nearly every major category of software. Firefox and Linux are probably the most famous, but OpenOffice, GIMP, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Miro, and others have made themselves known in practically every genre. Heck, there's even an open-source firmware for your portable MP3 player--Rockbox.
One area that's been notably lacking some open-source love has been music jukeboxes. Competing with iTunes takes serious chops, even for programs that haven't opened their code like Winamp and MediaMonkey. However, there are a growing number of iTunes competitors that are gloriously open. Two that … Read more
Mozilla has released an update for its open-source e-mail client, Thunderbird. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, none of the changes in version 188.8.131.52 are flagged as critical or high, but it's still a good idea to update. They address remote code execution, spoofed peer certifications, and crashes because of memory corruption.
There's been no new information on when Thunderbird 3 will be released, but if you want to try a buggy alpha version, Shredder is the Thunderbird 3 alpha release and is available.
As a software reviewer, I download a lot of programs to test them out. Some are great programs deserving of a space on my hard drive while others just are not up to snuff. With all the available software here at CNET Download.com, you've probably found a few gems worth keeping, but you've inevitably also downloaded a few programs that just didn't work out. We understand.
On a Windows machine, you can go to the control panel and choose the Add/Remove programs tool to find and uninstall software you don't want. But on a … Read more
Social-networking savant Flock has announced a re-branded version of its browser aimed at fashionistas. At the very least, it's aimed at people who like the color pink and lipstick marks on their advertising. Called Gloss, it's a pink-and-purple themed edition of Flock 1.2 that comes with fashion-related feeds and bookmarks pre-loaded.
The list of baked-in feeds for the Windows-only Gloss includes Cosmopolitan, TMZ, Glam.com, PopSugar, and These Boots Are Made for Stalking.
Gloss is getting pimped as a "fun" version of Flock, although I could've sworn that Flock received the same PR campaign … Read more