So after 10 years of using primarily Macs, I find myself once again using Windows (Windows 7, to be exact). Now, I'm completely out of the loop on what apps I need.
I need a good anti-virus/firewall program (preferably free or inexpensive), and any great apps that you guys can recommend.
I'm set on browsers, though; I'll continue using Safari.
Green Destiny on
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Note-taking: Tomboy or Evernote
Email: Thunderbird or Postbox
Video: VLC or Media Player Classic.
Text editing: Notepad++
Clipboard management: Ditto
File backup/sync: Dropbox
Disk usage: SpaceMonger
File copying: TerraCopy
File compression/decompression: 7-zip
(lightweight) PDF viewing: SumatraPDF
(lightweight) Word processing: AbiWord
General office documents: OpenOffice.org
Free games? My list
Got a flash drive? PortableApps
Other sweet apps? LifeHacker
Use chrome or Firefox.
Consider Picasa for photo library management, and Paint.net for casual picture editing. Picasa comes with some minor photo editing, too.
uTorrent, for torrents.
Remember to get drivers for your hardware. NVidia/ATI and so on, in particular.
ImgBurn to burn images. Virtual CloneDrive to mount them.
There's no need to grab everything immediately, unless you think you'll be out internet access for an extended period - with Windows the best software to do X keeps changing every now and then, so just grab it when you need it, if possible (especially with particular tools like ImgBurn and such).
Windows Live Mail is great email client, it's better than Thunderbird in my opinion.
For Video on Win7 WMP12 is actually really good and has full hardware accelration for H.264 video that VLC is lacking. It's the best HD video player you're going to find.
The best Anti-virus you're going to find is NOD32. You do have to pay for it but it's only $30 from newegg.
As for browsers, give IE8 a little time. It might surprise you how good it is for end users. I'm not that big a fan of Firefox or Chrome for various reasons but Opera is pretty good.
Great little app
"If you're going to play tiddly winks, play it with man hole covers."
- John McCallum
It's nothing illegal like full movies/TV shows. It's all art type stuff or weird remix videos or something.
Getting the *.flv from whatever video site may involve using any one of numerous online tools. Tedious, but it should be ok unless you're planning on burning a couple hundred videos or something.
The second part is indeed one word. My go-to youtube ripper. Works with tons of other shit too.
I would find the artist, and ask him for a better copy. the sound quality jump alone would be worth it.
Ventrilo. The best voice communication program you can ask for. This also falls under my Mac essential programs list. Servers are really cheap and most of my friends have given up on IM. Any IM I get is usually "Vent?!".
Steam | Live
Antiviral: ESET NOD32
Video Playback: Windows Media Player & Media Player Classic
Music: Winamp 5
File Compression: 7-Zip
Browser: Maxthon 2, Tho someday I may switch over to Chrome
Image Editing: GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
uTorrent for bittorrent client.
Synergy for using one keyboard and mouse across my two systems simultaneously without a KVM box.
Hamachi for private networking.
TrueCrypt for file encryption.
Samurize for system stats monitoring.
RivaTuner to tweak my Nvidia drivers & using it to see my vid card stats ingame via overlay.
Steam for buying games via digital distrobution & chat (even while ingame).
Ventrilo for VOIP.
Startup Delayer to keep some of these apps in line during system startup.
Badaboom for transcoding videos for my PSP/PS3.
DVD Shrink 3.2 for ripping DVDs I own.
Media Monkey for managing my music collection.
I rather like Trillian Astra for my messaging. It has a pretty good feel. Pidgin is also rather popular.
PSP or Paint.Net - basic image editing
Audacity - sound recording
Steam (DUH!!) - games
Firefox - browser
Pidgn - IM
iTunes - music
Virtual PC or Virtual Box or VM Ware - virtual machine (make a VM to browse so you don't screw up your real PC)
Skype - IM w/ voice, video
FileZilla - FTP
Notepad++ - text editing
Visual Studio 2008 - development
Office 2003 - I still don't like 2007! screw ribbons!
Windows 7 - also, screw Vista.
7Zip - file compression (or WinRAR)
True Crypt + GetDropBox.com - online backup (DropBox) with encryption (TrueCrypt)
Symantic AntiVirus - the corporate edition isn't so resource hungry, and it performs / detects better than freebies
Subversion + Tortoise - Source Control (for coders)
Bunting, Owls and Cushions! Feecloud Designs
ZoomPlayer is a rad video player. Doesn't have the slick built-in hardware accelerated video playing that WMP 12 does but the interface and options are tons better.
Notepad2 is so much better than Notepad++. Replace the built-in notepad app with this and it's happy times.
Google Chrome - hands down the fastest and most attractive web browser on Windows today
Steam - this is PC gaming
Windows Live Essentials - Mail, Messenger and Photo Gallery are must-haves
uTorrent - torrent program
Combined Community Codec Pack - everything you need for playing videos
MKVToolNix - for creating, unpacking, and modifying those pesky .mkv files
Foobar2000 - highly customizable music software, pretty much the only decent one on the Windows platform today
Exact Audio Copy - for ripping CDs
Free Lossless Audio Codec - lossless audio encoding & decoding
MP3Gain - makes all your MP3s the same volume
MP3Tag - batch tagger
Visual Studio Express Editions - for coding
Eclipse - Java coding
Avast! Home - the best free anti-virus client
Virtual CloneDrive - mount .iso files
Process Explorer - see what's running
Dropbox - for sharing files between your machines
Browsing: It's been mentioned before, but Firefox. Though IE8 is surprisingly good, but it feels a bit slower than Firefox.
Coding: Visual Studio. Express is good for hobbyists. If you are a college student check with you're school as you can probably get the full version for free.
Media: VLC Will play almost anything.
IM: Trillian IM client for AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, and IRC. A bit old now, but still my favorite.
Traffic: Traffic Gadget It's so helpful having the traffic for all the major highways near me right on my desktop. It uses bing maps and overlays colors onto the roads to show the speed of traffic.
I'd recommend many of the others listed here as well.
"Read twice, post once. It's almost like 'measure twice, cut once' only with reading." - MetaverseNomad
Lots of other good suggestions flying around, but this one seems like it could get lost in the shuffle. Fantastic app that allows you to see (graphically) where all your hard drive space is going (including color coding by file type and geometric organization by tree structure).
It's usually that giant square in the middle representing your porn collection.
You may be familiar with either the OSX or Linux versions (which use the same underlying concept), this be the Windows hotness.
Exact Audio Copy: This is more or less your only choice for ripping audio CDs.
foobar2000: Don't even consider any other audio player. Very customizable, lots of features, support of third party components for even more features and very lightweight. If you find foobar2000 confusing in some way, ask for help. If that fails musikCube is a nice and less complicated media player.
Mp3tag: Simple MP3 tagger for adding album art to id3, foobar2000 can do most other tagging and renaming.
HandBrake: Very user friendly video encoding program, you'll need to decrypt DVDs first with some other program. Soft subtitle support and DTS support is supposed to be coming in the next version.
Media Player Classic Homecinema: Biggest advantage over the more feature rich and user friendly VLC is the customizable mouse shortcuts. I also recommend you get ffdshow tryouts and Haali Media Splitter, but they're optional. CoreAVC might be worth it if you have lot of really high quality x264 files. Don't bother with codec packs, they're not needed.
MKVToolnix: Pretty much essential for modifying MKV files. Adding/removing subtitles, chapters, audio streams and video streams.
Opera: Web browser with lots of features and a very good default interface. To less experienced computer users I would always recommend this over Firefox. If you know what you're doing I would recommend installing both and seeing which you like better, they both have features the other can't offer.
Miranda IM: Very customizable IM/IRC client, not so good default settings and a very confusing options window though. Your only choice if you want a really pretty or really minimalistic IM client. If you don't care about that Pidgin is a good choice.
uTorrent: The best BitTorrent client available, but it has awful queue management
Irfanview: Lightweight image viewer, somewhat customizable, allows you to do simple image editing (filters, cropping, resizing, canvas resizing).
Sumatra PDF viewer: Pretty much the best PDF viewer.
WinRAR: For decompressing and compressing files, somewhat expensive but worth it (unless you actually use 7z for compression in which case go with 7-Zip).
Pitaschio: Lots of weird, but nice features. I use it to customize what right clicking and middle clicking window title bars does (so nice closing and minimizing windows that way without trying to hit those small buttons), make windows snap together and send scroll wheel input to the window under the mouse without giving it focus. That's just the features I find useful, it can do lots of other stuff.
ShellExView: Gives you a list of all shell extensions and allows you to disable the ones you don't want. Useful if you find your context menus are getting very large for no good reason.
SuperCopier: TeraCopy is mostly recommended but I prefer SuperCopier's interface and it integrates better into explorer (it replaces the default move and copy context menu commands rather than adding new ones). I also think it has some queue management the free version of TeraCopy doesn't have.
Taskbar Shuffle: Allows you to middleclick taskbar items to close them, like you middleclick tabs in your browser. It also allows you to rearrange taskbar and system tray icons, which seems pretty useless to me.
Tclock2: Taskbar customization program, lots of interesting features. I use it to make the clock text bigger and show seconds, as well as making left clicking it open a calendar. If all you want is to show the date in a single line taskbar and get a single click calendar, WinCalendarTime is very nice.
Tweak UI: Let's you modify some hidden Windows settings.
Hmm that post became a bit long and confusing, but those are my recommendations for Windows XP, what doesn't work in Vista and Windows 7 should be somewhat obvious. Anyone have recommendations for image viewers, torrent clients, subtitle editors or dvd decrypters?
Oh please. I've tried it and I like MediaMonkey better. I'm sure foobar has features that you like but it is not hands down the best like you're claiming.
Eh, Notepad2 lacks tabs.
I think the people who make addons for Miranda must hate users or something.
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Viewing the forums through rose colored glasses... or Suriko's Ye Old Style and The PostCount/TimeStamp Restoral Device
Out of box sync to portable MP3 players, ability to rate songs, smart playlists, an album art panel that shows embedded art for the currently playing song (and ignores file-based art), ability to apply a skin with the drop of a single file, ability to delete MP3s from the player, easy access to currently playing song in shuffle mode. Last time I tried to get foobar to do all that it was like going through hell and I never got it the way I wanted it.
I'm trying it again and am not to impressed. The UI has taken a step forward, but it's still rather confused. MediaMonkey has a left folder-structure that shows all playlists, and the ability to search by artist/album/mood/rating/whatever, then a main "results" area that shows the items in each selected node in the tree view, or results for a search. In foobar, everything is its own panel, nothing really works together or re-uses space intelligently. The one thing I like better about foobar is the "Add to Playback Queue" option.
I wonder if there's a music player that doesn't have all that useless shit, it just plays music.