Make the Most of Your Media with These Free Tools

by Sam Dean - Sep. 15, 2011Comments (2)

 Remember the days when dealing with music and media on computers and digital devices meant interminable wait times and guaranteed headaches. Only a few years ago, the web was teeming with sites and applications that claimed to provide streamlined video and audio experiences when the experiences were in fact filled with hiccups. That has changed in a big way, though, and now your digital devices are probably the primary gatekeepers to your daily interaction with music and media. In this post, you'll find many of our favorite applications and tools for making the most of your media.  

The Audacity of Open Source Audio. In this post, Kristin discusses the great open source audio application Audacity, which is used for many podcasts and professional audio offerings. Also on the audio front, check out our collection of eight free digital music tools--many of them surprises.

We covered Rockbox a little while ago, and it's improved since then. Rockbox is an open source firmware replacement for the standard-issue firmware found on music players ranging from the iPod to players from iRiver and others. Check out the many players that it works with here. Many people swear by Rockbox, and it can breathe life into old MP3 players. It's essentially like having a more robust operating system on your digital player.

8 Free, Open Source Tools for Video Playback and Encoding. Video has truly arrived online, where it was once kludgey and unworkable. There are many media players, editing tools and encoding tools worth knowing about from the open source world. Visit the link above for eight great examples.



Amarok is a very popular player and media manager for Linux, and there are ports for Windows and the Mac. It makes use of core components from KDE but is released separately from it. It plays music from many popular formats, and you can manage podcasts, free audiobooks from Librivox, and streaming radio with it. Check out Kristin's thoughts on Banshee and Amarok here.

MediaPortal is an open source application for turning your PC/TV into an advanced media center. It juggles music, radio, videos and DVDs. It also works like a DVR and lets you record live TV.


 You can find many more good, unsung open source projects in OStatic's collection of open source resources.


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Great article, I use all these programs. Audacity is still my favorite audio editor in the world.

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I still prefer VLC.

From my perspective, tools like Amarok, Banshee &Co overloaded with features. Too easy to loose what you actually wanted.

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