A while back I wrote about 6 essential free programs for Windows XP, I still use most of those on a daily basis. The exception would be Yahoo Widget Engine, as I have since switched to iGoogle for my Firefox homepage giving me basically everything I need in one place. More on that later. Everything listed below is free and some are cross-platform.
- AVG Free antivirus. Daily scans before I wake up keeps my computer running smooth.
- Pidgin Instant Messenger. Lets me use my MSN, Yahoo, and Gtalk instant messanger accounts (and more) with one program, as well as new mail notifications.
- iGoogle. Not a program but a customizable homepage from Google, giving you quick access to whatever you need. Reader, Notebook, Gmail, To Do List, Weather, Google Docs, Google Calender, and Oblique Strategies all in one place. It’s really awesome.
- FlacDrop WAV to FLAC converter. Very simple drag and drop conversion from WAV to FLAC and back.
- RazorLame WAV to MP3 converter. As you may or may not know, LAME is an open source MP3 encoder which requires a ‘front end’ such as RazorLame. It’s an excellent, easy to use mp3 converter. Please for the love of god stop using iTunes to convert! Actually stop using iTunes entirely!
- Picasa 2 Photo organizer. Another awesome Google product, Picasa is the best (IMO) photo organizing program. Tagging, editing, uploading and loads of other neat extras. Maybe iPhoto is better, but hey, it’s not free either.
- OpenOffice Suite. Who needs Microsoft anyway! I mostly use the word processor (writer) and spreadsheet (Calc) programs. Open office Calc is great for making budgets, or any sort of chart. To bring this to the recording world: Tracking expenses during recording, charting the progress of the recording or editing and how about your gear wishlist.
Once again, these are all FREE!
Got any favorites that make your life easier?