VLC media player can play pretty much any video format a user throws at it. It's an essential application for Windows, Mac and Linux users. But RealNetworks keeps its RealVideo and RealAudio codecs locked down, and VLC won't handle them. Don't give up and install the invasive and irritating RealPlayer just for that one .rmv file. Check out these cross-platform RealMedia alternatives instead.
As the world witnesses the spectacle of the Pirate Bay trial enter its fifth day, a new and quietly growing music torrent indexing site adds albums, listens to user feedback, and provides new functionality. Coda.fm is the best little site for exploring music torrents we've seen since OiNK.cd was shut down in 2007. It's redefining what bittorrent can do for music sharing, and user registration is open.
"You were right, dude! I am a repressed homosexual. How cool is that?" If you received a message like this one from an unknown AOL Instant Messenger screen name, your decision to reply was probably comprised of equal parts reluctance, curiosity and confusion. But you probably did reply. And you're definitely not alone.
There's never been a better time to be a pirate sailing the open source seas. Songbird add-on Birdtorrent, currently in early development by programmer Anthony Hughes, will allow users to search for, find and download torrents directly into their music libraries, all from the Songbird media player. No doubt there are legal applications for the plugin, but those that help kill the music industry are so much more enticing. More on Birdtorrent and Songbird after the jump.
NeoOffice 3.0 beta was released Thursday to users who donate $25 or more to the open source project's coffers. The beta incorporates code from the popular OpenOffice.org office suite (currently in version 3.0.) into NeoOffice's long-established, stable and fast native Mac OS X code. While still in beta, this version offers many user experience improvements for Mac users.
Touted by Big Music as "the future of digital music consumption," Spotify lets users search for music on major and indie labels alike, and listen to full albums for free. All without the threat of the RIAA knocking on the door. How does it stack up against services like iTunes and Pandora? Read on to find out.
iTunes does an admirable job of simplifying media library management, but like many Apple solutions, it does so by sacrificing advanced features and user control. The open source, Mac-only application Max rips, transcodes and tags audio files in more than 20 formats, and gives users back control of their music library. Max is not a media player. It offers professional-level ripping and encoding tools, but does not catalog or play back media.
Computer users who want to protect their files from theft or discovery have many options for encryption. Probably the most secure and flexible of these is TrueCrypt, a cross-platform, open source application that provides on-the-fly encryption of part or all of a disk, and creates totally undetectable encrypted volumes. Get started quickly with this features guide.
Do you remember when you first fell in love with Firefox? How you got over your initial skepticism of an Internet Explorer alternative and quickly realized how much sweeter the HTML tasted, rendered by an open source browser? How you gawked at the thousands of add-ons you never knew you were missing? Prepare to fall in love again with Songbird, an open source media player that's set to revolutionize media and the web.