Alternative Freeware Applications That Work in Windows 7
By Miguel Leiva-Gomez *)
Why buy a piece of software when other developers make similar software for free? We’re living in a world where altruistic developers make software for the sake of progressing technology, and we should learn to support these people who attempt to help us save some cash while using a program that can easily cater to our needs. Instead of shelling out cash or resorting to pirating, you can download free alternatives to every application you use, some of which are even open source. Let’s look at the list!
1. ImgBurn – For Burning CDs and DVDs
Instead of purchasing Nero – which uses a ton of resources – or Alcohol 120%, have a look at ImgBurn, a piece of freeware that allows you to burn CDs and DVDs in a jiffy.
Unlike its name suggests, ImgBurn is a more comprehensive burning application that allows you to write any data onto a disc. You probably won’t need data writing in Windows 7, but it’s a decent feature if you’re using an older computer at any point. Windows 7 comes with native CD burning capabilities, but no image burning. Windows 8 will add native image burning capabilities to this, rendering this program useless in the new operating system. For now, until you decide to upgrade, you can use ImgBurn for all your burning necessities. Download it here.
2. SongBird – Good Alternative to iTunes and Zune Marketplace
This application “scours the web” for information on songs you already have, including videos, pictures, and other content that would help you get more detail into your library. The smart engine, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also purchase songs with their marketplace, allowing you to have full rights to listen to the song on your computer. Download this program here.
3. Monitor Your Network With Softperfect Networx
While Microsoft currently offers network monitoring utilities, they’re not as user-friendly as some home users would hope for. This is where Softperfect Networks comes in. Let’s have a look at the interface:
So far, we’ve seen very poor examples of possible interaction with the music industry. Unfortunately, companies like Apple and Microsoft have a strong grasp on the music we purchase nowadays, and we’re forced to renounce to song libraries we’ve invested lots of money into whenever they have an issue on their end.
You can actually monitor your network comprehensively and diagnose it. Give it a try by clicking this link.
4. Impress Your Friends Via Webcam With ManyCam
When your webcam conversations aren’t as light-hearted as you’d like them to be, you can always use a utility that makes the conversation more interesting. In this day and age, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a webcam conversation on Skype while hanging upside down from your ceiling. Of course, there are tools out there that make the process easier for you, so you don’t have to stick your chair to the light fixture.
ManyCam not only helps you edit your webcam presence by flipping your cam around. You can also add funny effects like this:
Now, enter the world of SongBird, an application that runs on Android phones, Mac computers, and PCs with Windows.
The software detects your face’s features and puts objects onto them by your preference. If you have a slow computer, this might not work so well, but with a little bit of extra processing power, you’d end up having one of the most enjoyable and funny cam conversations ever! Download the software here. There’s a free version, but you’ll have to pay 50 Euros for the version with extra features. The free version adds effects live, without letting you preview them. It’s not a big deal if you’re just having a conversation with some friends.
*) Miguel is an eccentric techie who loves to open up any subject to do with computers in the appropriate conversation. With more than a decade of experience, Miguel still doesn’t grow tired of computers and their components. Think of a subject, and he’ll have the know-how on it, even when you’re talking about whether to declare a “char” pointer or “string” in C++. He now runs his own blog called The Tech Guy where he just blurts about computers in his own free time.