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Graphics, Audio, Media, Freeware 
29th-Jun-2011 05:03 am

Penny Wise
Freeware To Enhance Your Life Online

What's This?

The intention of this post is to help those of you who are unfamiliar with the cyber world and all that it has to offer you. Hopefully, this free-ware will inspire you to comment, post and share your knowledge and expertise on fun_forums. This is a wonderful resource listing that will enable you to create and offer educational posts within the community.

Best of all, it falls into our new “Penny Wise” column. Because, it just makes "cents" to be “Penny Wise and not dollar foolish". Did I mention this list contains “free” program downloads? So go forth and explore the offers. Use these new programs to create informative videos, articles and photo galleries to share here @ fun_forums

Graphics/Photo Editing

Graphics/Photo Editing

Pixlr Editor (as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop)
Pixlr Editor is a free online photo editor with a professional touch. Fix, adjust and filter your images. Manage your images in your browser.

GIMP (as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop)
Also known as the GNU Image Manipulation Program, GIMP allows for easy image composition, retouching and photo authoring. It also works on all operating systems.

Mockingbird (as an alternative to Omnigraffle)
Like Omnigraffle, Mockingbird allows you to create and share mock-ups of a website or an application for colleagues and clients.

Paint.net (as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop)
Although it only runs on Windows, Paint.net is a solid piece of software for free image and photo editing.

Inkscape (as an alternative to Adobe Illustrator)
An open source graphics editor that is similar to Illustrator and CorelDraw. The program allows for the creation of standard Scalable Vector Graphics.

Google Sketchup (as an alternative to 3DMax)
Something different from the usual photo-editing software, Google Sketchup is a 3D modeling software that allows for the creation of online 3D designs for free.

Blender (as an alternative to 3DMax)
An open source 3D content creation suite that works on all major operating systems, Blender can be utilized for modeling, texturing and UV unwrapping.

Visual Dictionary

The Visual Dictionary is a collection of words in the real world. Photographs of signage, graffiti, advertising, tattoos, you name it, we're trying to catalogue it.

Media Programs

Boxee (Alternative to Cable TV)
Boxee is the best way to watch movies, TV shows and clips from the Internet on your TV. You can navigate Boxee from your couch, you can use an Apple Remote or one of several PC-remotes available (or even your iPhone).

YouTube Movies (Alternative to Netflix)
An internet phenomena that has grown to incorporate videos of every type, be they home videos, TV shows or full length movies. Ideal for saving money on movie rentals.

Reddit Documentaries (Alternative to Netflix)
Another money-saving tip if you want to watch online documentaries, Reddit’s Documentary subreddit is the place to go for crowd sourced recommendations and links to interesting online videos.

BBC iPlayer (Alternative to UK TV License)
If you wish to watch the best of BBC programming on TV, you will need a license unless you want to incur a hefty fine. However, iPlayer allows you to stream the latest shows online for a week after their release, giving you seven days of the latest must-see TV programs (and even movies).

Audio and Video

Play ANY Video With VLC

Having difficulty opening and watching a video you downloaded because Windows could not identify what program created the material and therefore could not play it? Down load VLC Media Player It will open and play EVERYTHING! Just make sure you don't list it as your default player. Unless you want it that way.

VLC (as an alternative to Quicktime Pro)
A player that is capable of playing almost every file and media codec, the VLC player means that you don’t have to open and close different programs to run DVDs, VCDs, CDs, web streams and other forms of media.

The KMPlayer (as an alternative to Quicktime Pro)
A media player that plays most types of media formats such as VCD, DVD, AVI, MKV, Ogg Theora, OGM, 3GP, MOV, WMV and RealMedia.

Winamp (as an alternative to Quicktime Pro)
A well-established media player, Winamp is beloved by many for its ability to play all sorts of video files and its compact size.

CinePaint (as an alternative to Adobe Premier Pro
First created as part of the GIMP project, CinePaint has grown to become an application used by the movie-making community. The application allows for professional graphical editing with support for up to 32-bit colours.

Avidemux (as an alternative to Adobe Premier Pro)
A free video editor that allows for simple cutting of footage and its encoding. The program supports multiple file types including AVI, DVD and MPEG files.

Cinelerra 4.0 (as an alternative to Adobe Premier Pro)
An advanced piece of technology that allows for in-depth video editing including compositing. Compatible with most forms of graphic cards, Cinelerra is one of the most professional open source video editing applications available.

Audacity (as an alternative to Code It Wave Editor)
Audacity allows for easy recording and editing of sound files, as well as the conversion of tapes and other media formats. Operating Systems: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows Vista

What can you do with Audacity? You can cut and paste sections of a recording, or delete entire sections. You can use fades and other effects, and mix an unlimited number of tracks. You'll even be able to create your own "soundscapes" by generating sounds and mixing them. Audacity is good enough for engineers, and for those who just want to play around with sound as well.

Pencil (as an alternative to Pixar Renderman)
If you’re a budding animator, this application is for you. Allowing for the easy creation of four types of layers including graphics, bitmap, camera and sound. Each can be manipulated and removed easily to make silky smooth animations.

Camstudio (as an alternative to AllCapture)
Able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer, CamStudio is an excellent tool to create video files in order to show program or application demonstrations.

Plex (as an alternative to Xbox Media Centre)
If you wish to play your media content on your home theater system as opposed to your Mac, Plex allows you to do so immediately, playing audio, video and photo formats


Spotify (as an alternative to iTunes)
Rapidly becoming one of the world’s most popular music services, Spotify allows you to access millions of songs for free, but at the price of the occasional advert.

Last.fm (as an alternative to iTunes)
Dubbed “the world’s largest online music catalogue’, Last.FM provides music videos, radio stations and anything else you could possibly want to listen to.

Grooveshark (as an alternative to iTunes)
Available all over the world, Grooveshark is a free music streaming service that allows users to create playlists and search through millions of songs.

MuseScore 0.9.5 (as an alternative to Sibelius 6)
A fully integrated music score writer and editor for Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac that boasts an unlimited number of staves, up to four voices per staff and easy note entry with mouse, keyboard or MIDI.

Online Storage

Flickr (as an alternative to PhotoShelter)
Used by companies all over the world to showcase their infographics and images, Flickr is also used my amateur photographers to display their work. Can also be used to source imagery, provided that the author gives the relevant permissions.

Picassa (as an alternative to Photoshelter)
Google’s photo sharing application, Picassa allows users to easily share photos with family and friends.

ScrapBook, LiveJournal's photo hosting feature, is available to the Plus and Paid account levels. Although, I prefer to use Photo Bucket to host any images I share on line. It's a free and reliable service.

Photobucket is an image hosting, video hosting, slideshow creation and photo sharing website. Photobucket is usually used for personal photographic albums, remote storage of avatars displayed on internet forums, and storage of videos. Photobucket's image hosting is often used for eBay, MySpace, Bebo, Neopets, and Facebook accounts, LiveJournals, Open Diarys, or other blogs, and message boards. Users may keep their albums private, allow password-protected guest access, or open them to the public.

Other photo sharing sites you might find helpful.
ImageShack No registration required except to get a direct link to an image when uploading. ImageShack is a free image hosting website. ImageShack has a subscription service but the majority of its revenue is produced from advertising related to its free image hosting.

TinyPic free image hosting, no registration required. TinyPic is a photo and video sharing service, that allows users to upload, link and share, images and videos on the Internet. The idea is similar to URL shortening in which each uploaded image is given a relatively short internet address. An account is not required to use TinyPic.

Keeping Your Computer Virus & Spyware Free


Avast! (as an alternative to Norton Antivirus)
This free anti-virus and anti-spyware software is constantly updating itself with new protocols to ensure your computer is safe from the latest threats.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition (as an alternative to Norton Antivirus)
A popular download, AVG Free enables users to download a basic form of anti-virus and anti-spyware protection on their computers, including a LinkScanner for online malware.

TOR (as an alternative to Norton Antivirus)
If you are wary of network threats, then TOR is for you. A free software program that defends computers against hacks after confidential and private details.

Spybot Search and Destroy (as an alternative to Norton Antivirus)
If you think your system has spyware on it, instead of buying expensive software, Spybot searches the whole of your computer, or just a specific section, to identify, quarantine and delete it.

Malwarebytes Malwarebytes Anti-Malware helps you defeat Malware once and for all. *I use this program. It picked up things AVG, Avira & Norton didn't.

Microsoft Security Essentials (as an alternative to Norton Antivirus)
Provided free by Microsoft, Security Essentials gives your computer real-time protection against malicious software such as viruses and spyware.

Windows Live OneCare safety scanner

Get a free PC safety scan
Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is a free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC.
* Check for and remove viruses
* Get rid of junk on your hard disk
* Improve your PC's performance
OneCare Live

Virus Total

Virus total is a service that analyzes suspicious files and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, Trojans, and all kinds of malware detected by antivirus engines. BEFORE YOU DOWNLOAD THE FILE! Virus Total Analysis Site


Foxit Reader (as an alternative to Nitro PDF) Foxit is a free PDF document reader that is an alternative to more expensive PDF readers. Easy to use and fast, Foxit is an essential Windows file reader.

Defraggler (as an alternative to Windows System Tools) Like Window’s Defragging Tool, Defraggler allows you to compress your hard-drive, however it also allows you to defrag the files you want, as opposed to your whole drive.

Recuva (as an alternative to RecoverMyFiles.com)
Ever deleted a file by accident? If so then Recuva could be the solution to your problem. The program is designed to ‘undelete’ and ‘unerase’ any file that might have been accidentally removed.

Imgburn (as an alternative to Nero)
An application that allows users to burn information to any CD/DVD/Blu Ray and HD DVD easily and efficiently. Not only does it burn information, it reads and verifies it as well.

CDBurnerXP (as an alternative to Nero)
A free application that allows you to burn any CDs or DVDs you wish, as well as the creation of ISOs.

CCleaner (as an alternative to Windows Cleanup)
Like ScanDisc on Windows, CCleaner is a system optimization and cleaning program that removes unused files on a system, clearing up hard disk space. It can also erase your Internet browsing history. CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!

Hot Spot Shield

HOTSPOT SHIELD > Get behind the SHIELD! 100% FREE! Hot Spot Shield

* Secure your web session, data, online shopping, and personal information online with HTTPS encryption.
* Protect yourself from identity theft online.
* Hide your IP address for your privacy online.
* Access all content privately without censorship; bypass firewalls.
* Protect yourself from snoopers at WiFi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices.

Works on wireless and wired connections alike. Provides Unlimited Bandwidth.
Works on the PC and the MAC, including new operating systems (Windows 7 and Snow Leopard)

Hotspot Shield protects your entire web surfing session; securing your connection at both your home Internet network & Public Internet networks (both wired and wireless). Hotspot Shield protects your identity by ensuring that all web transactions (shopping, filling out forms, downloads) are secured through HTTPS. Hotspot Shield also makes you private online making your identity invisible to third party websites and ISPs. Unless you choose to sign into a certain site, you will be anonymous for your entire web session with Hotspot Shield. We love the web because of the freedom that it creates to explore, organize, and communicate. Hotspot Shield enables access to all information online, providing freedom to access all web content freely and securely. Secure your entire web session and ensure your privacy online; your passwords, credit card numbers, and all of your data is secured with Hotspot Shield. Standard antivirus software protects your computer, but not your web activities.

That's why AnchorFree is pleased to offer Hotspot Shield. Our application keeps your Internet connection secure, private, and anonymous.

Find A Better Browser

Find a better Browser:

DOWNLOAD Mozilla Fire Fox
Mozilla Firefox project (formerly Firebird, which was formerly Phoenix) is a redesign of Mozilla's browser component, written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform.

Mozilla Firefox is a small, fast and very easy to use browser that offers many advantages over other web browsers, such as the ability to block pop-up windows and the tabbed browsing.

Note If you use Mozilla download the AdBlock Plug In. It Is AWESOME
Adblock Plus 1.0.2 (Mozilla Plug In)
Categories Privacy & Security: Ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page? Install Adblock Plus now and get rid of them. For a quick overview watch This You Tube Clip

Size: 5.36 MB License: Freeware Requires: Win All
The most full-featured Internet power tool on the market, Opera includes tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, integrated searches and advanced functions like Opera's groundbreaking e-mail program, RSS Newsfeeds and IRC chat. And because we know that our users have different needs, you can customize the look and content of your Opera browser with a few clicks of the mouse

Download Maxthon
Maxthon is a multi-tabbed browser based on the IE core (IE5.x or above required). It can open multiple web pages within one browser window, and uses little system resources. Maxthon has a greatly integrated & customizable interface which supports Skins, Plug-Ins, IE Extensions, & specific toolbars (example: GOOGLE
Toolbar). Maxthon also incorporates 2 POPUP blockers (Auto POPUP blocker & a POPUP blocker list filter) and a Content Filter. The Content filter can be used to filter offensive pictures on a web page, if desired.

DOWNLOAD Avant Browser
Avant Browser is a fast, stable, user-friendly, versatile web browser. Avant Browser is a multi-window browser which features many functions such as Pop-up Stopper, Built-in Google Searching, Safe Recovery, Integrated Cleaner and Advanced Browsing Options. Pop-up Stopper: Eliminate unwanted pop-up pages automatically.

Browsing Options: Avant Browser provides options to block download of pictures, videos, sounds and ActiveX components. With these options users can efficiently use their bandwidth and speed up page loading.

Zipping Files


1.Right click the file or folder you wish to zip
2.Choose Send to > Compressed Folder
3.That will zip the files into a .ZIP file, which you may upload.

1.Right click or Control+Click the file you wish to zip
2.Choose Create Archive of "filenamehere"
3.This will zip files into a .ZIP file which you may upload and specify to downloaders that they must unzip the files.

Unzipping Files

7 Zip

Size: 917 KB License: Freeware Requires: Win All
7-Zip is a file archiver with high compression ratio The main features of 7-Zip: High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression 7-Zip is free software distributed under the GNU LGPL Supported formats: 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, Z, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB For ZIP and GZIP formats 7-Zip provides compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
7-Zip (free alternate to winRAR and winzip, makes a .7z file) (freeware) - Also works with WINRAR (above)

Extract Now

DOWNLOAD Extract Now
License: Freeware Requires: Win All ExtractNow lets you extract multiple archives with the ease of a singular button. Supports ZIP, RAR, ACE, & JAR file formats.

Main Features:
- Supports ZIP, RAR, ISO, BIN, IMG, IMA, IMZ, 7Z, ACE, JAR, GZ, LZH, LHA, SIT archive formats
- Drag and drop files or folders from Windows Explorer to extract them
- Simple user interface and sleek design in a small package
- Recursively search through folders for archives (Just drag and drop them)
- Delete files or close program after extraction options
- Windows explorer file associations for all supported archive types
- Extract files into current directory, named folder, or favorite folder of choice
- System tray icon on Minimize and Always on top features
- Integrates with Windows Explorer via special context menu items

7-zip (as an alternative to WinZip)
Like WinZip, 7-zip allows for the compressing of files, but unlike WinZip 7-zip can unpack 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR files.

(as an alternative to WinZip)
A powerful compressing tool that allows for easy backup and file storage.

HJ Split

RECOMMENDED for Windows users - The split files are compatible with both Windows and Macs.

HJSplit is a popular set of freeware file-splitting programs created by Freebyte.com in collaboration with various programmers. HJSplit supports many platforms (Windows 3.x/95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP, DOS, Amiga, Java, etc.). All versions are compatible with each other and allow you to exchange files between these different platforms. E.g. a file split on the Amiga can be joined on Windows 2000 and vice-versa. Of course HJSplit can join these split parts back together again, so that the original file is restored. Alternatively, you can use HJJoin for this, which is a tiny and specialized program for joining files.

HJSplit is very reliable, simple, small and easy to use. It does not need any installation or complicated DLLs, it just consists of one '.exe' file. This means that you can also run it directly from a floppy or CD-Rom.

The HJSplit manual can be found Here

File Hosting Sites

Personal file storage services are aimed at private individuals, offering a sort of "network storage" for personal backup, file access, or file distribution. Users can upload their files and share them publicly or keep them password-protected. Prior to the advent of personal file storage services, off-site backup services were not typically affordable for individual and small office computer users.

Authors of Shareware, Freeware and Open Source/Free software often use file hosting services to serve their software as well.

I use Send Space to upload and share large photo files and videos with friends and family.

Other File Hosting Sites
Deposit Files
Media Fire
MEGASHARES Unlimited download & file life if accessed every 25 days for files up to 1.5GB in size.
Send big files the easy way with sendspace
YOUSENDIT File life of 14 days or 25 downloads
Comparison of file hosting services


Size: 17.8 MB License: Freeware Requires: Win XP/2K

Skype is free and simple software that will enable you to make free calls anywhere in the world in minutes. Skype, created by the people who brought you KaZaA, uses innovative P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you with other Skype users. If you are tired of paying outrageous fees for telephony, Skype is for you!

Skype is quick and easy to install. Just download it, register, and within minutes you can plug in your PC headset and call your friends on Skype. Skype calls have excellent sound quality and are highly secure with end-to-end encryption. Best of all, Skype does not require you to reconfigure your firewall or router it just works!

Call Phones from Skype

Call phones from Skype. Save money when you call landlines and cell phones around the world at low, per-minute rates. Or, buy a subscription for unlimited calls.*
Download Skype to get started

Now Get Out There And SHARE!

Hopefully this list of "freeware" will help you feel more comfortable and productive on line. I look forward to seeing your offering on fun_forums soon.

Opinions Anyone?

A Note From Your Moderators

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Utilize Tags

Make "tags" your friend. Do you want to search for something by topic? Click Tags to view various topics. Once on the tags page, click the subject that interests you. All posts related to that topic will appear for your reference. There is also a Directory link list on our Welcome Page for your easy reference. Everything you wanted to know is right at your fingertips. It is really just that easy. :)

The tags link is located on our user profile page. Every offering on fun_forums is tagged to make finding articles on a particular topic easier later.

Other helpful hints for posting in this community can be found in the following threads:
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F.U.N. Forums Directory
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Mark Your Calendars

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59th Annual FUN Convention: January 9-12, 2014
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60th Annual FUN Convention: January 8-11, 2015
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9th Annual Summer FUN Convention: July 9-11, 2015
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