Open source programs are free, but that doesn’t mean these apps aren’t powerful. Created by geeks or companies who welcome help and improvements to their work from others. Many of these programs are superior to packaged software and sometimes provide greater functionality than the paid ones !!
The sophistication and power of these open source programs will surprise you. In the below mentioned list you’ll find everything from a universal instant messaging program to powerful multimedia and graphics tools, security software, and beyond. These programs prove that Open Source adherents aren’t wild-eyed zealots –they produce plenty of great software too !!!
1. Gimpshop :
Open Source software has never been known for its photo processing prowess. Until now, Gimpshop is an exceedingly powerful Photoshop lookalike that has far more features than you, or most people you know, will ever use.
If you’re looking to do something as simple as touch up photos, or something far more sophisticated, like work in multiple layers, it has the tools you need. There are also numerous effects and filters, the ability to easily create color gradients, and plenty more. In fact, if all you want to do is basic photo-retouching, it’s probably overkill. But if you want to indulge your inner artist, there’s plenty. The program is based on a long-time Open Source favorite, GIMP, but has more fit and polish, and a Photoshop-like identity.
2. Inkscape :
If you’re looking for a graphics program that lets you create illustrations and graphics, much like Freehand or Illustrator, then give Inkscape a whirl. It includes a surprisingly powerful set of tools for creating graphics from scratch, or for editing existing graphics or photographs. You’ll find numerous drawing tools, the ability to create layers and combine them, and more. The program supports the standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format, as well as many others. It imports files from many formats, including .jpg, .png, .tif and others, and exports to numerous vector-based formats and .png.
3. Miro :
Is there some kind of oddball video format that your current media player can’t handle ? Then try Miro, which will play every video format you’ve ever heard of, and many you’ve never heard of as well. That may be the least of its features, though. Where this player really shines is in its capability to find and play videos. You’ll be able to subscribe to video RSS feeds, podcasts, and video blogs, download and save videos from YouTube, find TV shows, and play high definition, full screen videos. You can even download BitTorrent files from directly within it.
4. MediaCoder :
If you need to convert media files between formats, shrink files with little quality loss, extract audio from video files, or manage multimedia in other ways, this is the program for you. It’ll convert file formats, giving you a great deal of control over the output.
So, for example, if you have a file that you’d like to convert so it can be played on a portable media player, MediaCoder will do the trick. It can also save you plenty of hard disk space by shrinking media files. There are also lots of extensions you can download that expand the programa??s capabilities, such as make it easy to transcode files for specific media players.
5. Audacity :
Here’s the program to get if you need to record or edit audio. If all you need to do is record, using the program is a breeze, but if you’re going to do audio editing, you’ll need to devote a bit of time to it. You’ll be able to combine tracks, cut audio out of tracks, import audio from multiple formats, create audio mixes, add all kinds of very cool special effects, edit ID3 tags, and more. You’ll also be able to generate specific tones, and even create background white noise on command.
The 20 open source programs will be covered in a total of 4 posts, this is Part 1 of the 4 part series……
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