10 Open Source Apps You Can't Live Without: Page 2

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6. Songbird

Said to potentially become the next “Firefox” for music players, Songbird is a powerful application that has been gaining attention. Designed to make music management a more pleasant experience, Songbird allows the end user to play any audio file they like – headache free; OGG, MP3, FLAC, WMA, in addition to some fantastic music discovery features.

Songbird will do practically anything iTunes can do, and then some. Sync your iPod, connect to a stand alone music device like the Squeezebox, or perhaps discover new, unsigned bands using Songbird’s unique music browsing capabilities. Songbird is the only music player out there that allows you to “browser music” as you surf a webpage, linking to an audio file for a particular band. It's pretty powerful stuff.

Unlike iTunes, Windows Media Player or amaroK, Songbird works on all three major platforms. And because it is based on Firefox technology, the user can add any number of extensions to further the functionality of this already powerful music player.

Compatibility: Windows, Linux and OS X

7. Evolution

Anyone out there utilizing a PocketPC, an MS Exchange server at work and a contact list with all of your co-workers listed understands the need for a rock solid personal information manager (PIM). Evolution, considered by many to be the closest competition for Microsoft Outlook, is most definitely on my “must have” list.

Tasks, your calendar, contacts and even the ability to sync with your mobile devices thanks to MS Exchange support, Evolution helps the busy individual needing a dual-platform PIM.

Evolution brings junk mail filtering, email encryption, easy to manage mail filters and full support for Exchange 2000/2003 and Novell's GroupWise. If you work off of a tight schedule, Evolution is the mother of all PIMs.

Compatibility: Windows and Linux

8. Filezilla

Frankly, Filezilla the single best FTP client I have ever used (and I’ve used plenty). The FTP client allows for simple changes to meet with the needs of your server. Everything from Active to Passive modes, easy entry for custom server commands, an intuitive site manager for multiple websites, and point and click simplicity when working with a large queue of files.

Control, logical interface and a simplified way to manage multiple websites are what make Filezilla a must have FTP client.

Compatibility: Windows, Linux and OS X

9. GIMPShop

This free professional graphics and picture is powerful, stable and extendible thanks in part to various plug-ins. Tie this in with logical pallet layout and you have a fantastic graphic editing program.

GIMPShop provides the power of GIMP while maintaining most of the common sense functionality of Photoshop. The end result offers a more logical interface, while also providing an economical alternative to the expensive Adobe program.

Compatibility: Windows, Linux and OS X

10. Audacity

Without a doubt, this one of the most commonly used, most proven audio editing applications on the Internet today. Relatively simple to use, Audacity allows the typical user to record, splice, mix, add effects, analyze and convert any sound file you can think of. Actually, the only challenge people generally run into is where to download and install the LAME MP3 encoder.

I have seen professional audio engineers marvel at Audacity's simplicity and power. In the end, this application is a must have when working with any kind of audio editing project. Whether it be for a video, podcast or even a personalized soundtrack – you'll need this application.

Compatibility: Windows, Linux and OS X


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