Saturday, July 25, 2009

Extracts video and audio from FLV without decompressing or recompressing

You downloaded the video clip from YouTube as not very popular, but widely used FLV format. But how can you easily extract components of this file, if you need just audio or video part of it?  FLV Extract can do that without decompressing or recompressing.


The video is saved as AVI (H.263/FLV1 and VP6/VP6F) or raw elementary stream (H.264/AVC). The audio is saved as MP3, AAC (with ADTS headers), Speex, or WAV (PCM).

In terms of the processing quality, the utility is one of the best FLV converters on the market. It does not have a fancy interface or tons of the features, you will ever hardly use. But it is incredibly precise, blazingly fast, doesn't decompress then re-compress again before producing the AVI, gives you the option for an additional separate mp3 file, and timecode file, which is essential for good editing. This program does exactly what it's supposed to (and more) without superfluous options. And... it's absolutely free.

NOTE: You cannot change the video/audio format that FLV Extract outputs. It depends on what is contained in the FLV file. If you need a different format, you'll have to use other software to convert it. Or, ffmpeg (command line) can extract from FLV and convert in one step.

NOTE: The AVIs will not play unless you have the right decoders. ffdshow-tryouts can decode FLV1 and VP6F; make sure they're enabled in its configuration dialog.

NOTE: H.264 elementary streams are not widely supported by players, but you can use DGAVCDec to load them with AviSynth for editing.


Developer Website: http://moitah.net/

Sunday, July 19, 2009

TinySpell Free Spell Checker Portable

TinySpell freeware utility points on the main feature in its name. This software is designed to check and correct any misspellings in the Windows text applications. While MS Word and some other applications (like email agent MS Outlook and Chrome browser) have the built-in spell checker, other simply do not have it, so user have to copy and paste the text to Word for spell proofing. The software is totally free - no adware/spyware/nagware/etc.


Main Features
* Checks spelling in any Windows application
* Checks spelling on-the-fly (alerts if the last typed word was misspelled)
* Checks spelling of text that is copied to the clipboard
* Allows you to specify applications for which tinySpell is disabled or enabled
* Optionally beeps on error (beep sound can be easily set to any wav file)
* Optionally displays a spelling tip
new in v1.8: Provides easy access to on-line web services (Search, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia) 
* Opens replacements list with a simple mouse click or a hot-key
* Optionally copies the selected replacement word to the clipboard
* Optionally inserts the selected replacement word into the document
* Allows you to add words to the dictionary
* Uses little system resources 
* Additional multi-language dictionaries are available: British, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian.


Authors Website: http://tinyspell.m6.net/

OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Latest Version: 1.8

Screenshot:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic




Portability
There is one more feature, which I am looking in any freeware – it is portability. The authors do not offer the portable software version on their website; however, there are at least two opportunities to convert it to the portable application:
  1. Install and Uninstall
    • Download the utility on your Hard Drive.
    • Install it regularly on your PC.
    • Copy the C:\Program Files\tinySpell folder to your USB device.
    • From the tinySpell folder, click tinyspell.exe to launch Tiny Spell.
    • Uninstall tiny spell from your PC and continue to use it portably.
  2. With JauntePE Launcher
JauntePE is a suite of tools that allows you to make non-portable applications portable by virtualizing access to the filesystem and registry. While not every program can be easily made portable this way, the portabilization of tinyspell has been successfully confirmed.
Download the JauntePE launcher from the following link: http://www.box.net/shared/4cx4i2k00r

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Applications Launchers - The Best Free Software of 2009 (PC Magazine version)

The article featuring the best freeware 2009, has been posted at the beginning of the year, January 13, 2209. This seven-months old listing will be still interesting for those, who, as I am, decided to completely replace the paid software and services (whenever possible) with the free alternatives.

As the story says, why pay? You've already shelled out money for a computer, there's no reason that what's running on that pricey PC should cost a darn thing. Not in this day and age of amazing freebie software and Web apps. Last year listing covered 157 free utilities and services, while this year coverage has extended to 173 utilities and services.

For convenience, I will split the listing as per categories, adding my comments whenever I have something to say...


Part 1


Applications Launchers


Application launcher is a simple utility that suppose to improve the ability for computer user to access any programs or files on the computer by simply typing the first few letters of the name or clicking the dock icons of graphic interface. Using suitable application launcher can reduce user time for searching favorite program shortcut that they most frequent use, since they are able to can cut down the step of searching for the application executable file again and again. Some of the utilities offer extended functionalities, widening the spec of the software applicability.

There are four items presented in the PC Magazine list.


1. Circle Dock
OS: Windows


Presentation: Who says a dock has to actually... dock? To the side of the screen, that is. Circle Dock brings up a spiraling launcher interface with all the icons you want to click. Rotate it with the wheel on your mouse and change the skin to suit your desktop.


Overview (My Pick):
Windows application launcher arranges Windows application shortcuts, which you use most often, in circular fashion. The Circle Dock launcher icons arrangement can add or be arrange by dragging them from your desktop or quick launch bar and customize to your heart’s content. Beside that, you can either display your icons in concentric circles, or as a spiral.

What Circle Dock Allows You to Do:
* Launch your programs from a circular dock.
* Drag and drop your files, folders, and shortcuts onto a circular dock that you can resize.
* Rotate the dock with either your mouse wheel or the keyboard arrow keys.
* Change the image shown for the icons and change the skins (compatible with icons and skins for Rocket Dock, Object Dock, etc.)
* The dock appears where your mouse is by pressing a hotkey (default is F1) or your middle mouse button.
* Tested on computers with multiple monitors, Windows XP/Vista, 32-bit & 64-bit, and requires only .Net Framework 2.0.
* Automatically works on all Windows Vista computers and most Windows XP computers.
* A new settings panel that allows you to customize many options. It updates your dock as you make changes. See it change in real time! No need to press an OK button.
* Multi-language capable. Just translate the English.ini file to the language of your choice.
* Change the image used for the dock icons with the easiest method out there: Just set the program to "Icon Replacement Mode" in the right-click menu of the centre icon and you can change all the icon images by just dragging and dropping new PNG images onto them!
* Huge time saver when you are customizing your dock!
* You can now toggle the visibility of the dock by moving your mouse to any edge of your screen. By default, the left and right edges are used for toggling. No need to press a button!
* Reorder the dock items by dragging and dropping them over each other.
* Organize the dock items using dock folders.
* By default, clicking on the centre button does not open the start menu. You can enable this in the settings panel.

Video Presentation:


2. ObjectDock
OS: Windows


Presentation: Replace the Windows Taskbar and Quick Launch toolbar with this Mac-like animated toolbar of icons for all your programs. It comes with a few "docklets" for displaying info like the time, weather, and a Web search form.


Overview: ObjectDock enables you to have more control over how you organize your desktop. Rather than having a bunch of icons on the desktop, these icons can be put into docks. ObjectDock can also be used to replace the Start bar entirely freeing up valuable screen real-estate. With various interaction modes available, you can get the dock availability that's right for how you work.

Fully customizable, super smoothness in zooming, entertaining alternate mouseover effects, libraries full of high-quality images available for use with the program at WinCustomize.com.

Instead of having a cluttered start bar, you have a nice little picture of all your running applications. Shuffling between applications is much quicker, and you can launch the applications you need without wasting time on the start menu.


Screenshot:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


3. Launchy


Website: http://www.launchy.net/
OS: Windows, Linux.


Presentation: "Keystroke launcher" is a fancy way of saying "command line," but if you like to type rather than click for control—a practice that goes well beyond app launching—Launchy is your best choice.


Overview:
Launchy is a free windows and Linux utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager. Launchy indexes the programs in your start menu and can launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes!
Once Launchy has been started, it hides in the background. You bring it forward by holding the alt key and tapping the space key. You then type in a few keys of the program you are searching for and hit enter once it has been found. You can also make Launchy disappear again by hitting escape or alt+space.


Screenshot:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

4. Quicksilver

Website: http://www.blacktree.com/
OS: Mac OS
Presentation: Quicksilver does more from the keyboard than just launch programs. It can act on any item you can find or drag on your Mac. Quicksilver plug-ins add even more functions.
Overview: A unified, extensible interface for working with applications, contacts, music, and other data. When opened, it will create a catalog of applications and some frequently used folders and documents. Activate it, and you can search for and open anything in its catalog instantly. The search is adaptive, so Quicksilver will recognize which items you are searching for based on previous experience. It also supports abbreviations, so you can type entire words, or just fragments of each. When not in use, Quicksilver vanishes, waiting for the next time you summon it.
Quicksilver's greatest strength, however, is not search. Any item you are able to find, drag, or otherwise pull into its universe is endowed with many potential uses. Hitting takes you to the action field, where you can use the same adaptive search to select what you would like to do. Among other things, files can be emailed, copied, compressed. Text can be modified, transmitted between programs, or searched for on the web. Some actions even support an indirect object, so you can send an item to a person, move files to another folder, or open files with a specific application.
Quicksilver can be given the ability to understand the data inside of files, allowing you to work with data in new, faster ways. Plug-ins add both new items and new actions, allowing you to run scripts, send instant messages, dial phone numbers, look up words in a dictionary, queue up songs in iTunes party shuffle, and much, much more.
Frequently used commands can be bound to triggers, giving you the ability to execute them immediately by hitting a hot key or using the mouse on a corner or edge of the screen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vuze: All-In-One Video Downloader and Converter to All Portable Formats

Vuze, the popular BitTorrent client formerly known as Azureus, has received a major update which allows users to automatically convert and play downloaded videos on the iPhone, iPod, Xbox 360 and the PS3. “Now playing, on all your screens” is Vuze’s new tagline.


In other words, it starts from the BitTorrent core basis and creates a vast network for video discovery and user-created video publishing all connected through social networking.


With the latest version, Vuze adds a new split-window MyTorrents view offering support for categories and advanced downloading / seeding / queuing rules for effective and automated torrent management, a user interface that will resonate right from the start with iTunes users and which offers many customization options, seeding from read-only media, and considerable cutbacks on resource consumption.

In offering a general indication of your torrents and media playback controls, the new layout highlights user-initiated searches.

The multiplatform that Vuze client has become is wide-ranging offering lots of features and options: manages multiple downloads simultaneously from a single GUI window, detailed real-time download status and info with export to XML, advanced download and seeding management rules, extended configuration settings and torrent creation wizards, embedded tracker that allows easy and automated hosting of your files, a proxy, for both tracker and peer communications, PeerGuardian IP address filtering, web browser and console UIs, multiple languages function (27), a powerful plug-in interface, and a lot more.

Vuze currently supports Apple devices including the iPhone and the iPod. The PS3 and Xbox 360 are the two gaming consoles that integrate with Vuze as well. More devices may be added in the future but no decisions have yet been made on which ones, TorrentFreak was told. In a recent poll, most Vuze users indicated that iPhone/iPod support was most wanted.

Once device support is turned on in Vuze, users can drag and drop downloaded video onto their device of choice. Vuze will then convert the video into the appropriate format and add it to the device’s library.
For iTunes, Vuze will import the video into your iTunes library so it can be transferred to your iPhone, iPod or Apple TV. For the PS3 and Xbox 360, Vuze will stream the videos from your PC or Mac directly to your game console.

The device support is a great feature for users who want to have an easy all-in-one solution that not only downloads video, but also makes it ready to play on other devices. Although Vuze has been focusing mainly on video lately, the client can still download other content as well.

System Requirement:
PC
  • Windows XP or Vista
  • 2 Gigahertz processor, 1 GB of RAM and DirectX 9.0 compliant video and sound
  • Internet Explorer or Firefox
Mac
  • Mac OS 10.4.8+ (Intel-based) Intel Core Duo 1.83-gigahertz or higher processor with 1GB of RAM
  • Safari or Firefox 

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Kurt Computer Recorder

Krut Computer Recorder is a free open-source screencast tool, written in Java, to record audio and video from your computer screen into .mov-files and .wav-files. It can be used to multiple educational, commercial, and sharing with friends purposes, e.g. making video tutorials or recording games. It could also be used to record streaming video and audio directly from your computer.

In addition to a movie file, the program also records separate files for audio (wav) and video (mov), to allow re-encoding to any movie format using an external encoding program.

Additional Features:

- Timer-controlled recording
- Moveable recording areas during recording
- Preview of ongoing recording
- Optional mouse pointer recording
- Record/Playback at 2 different frame rates
- Highly accurate audio-video synchronization


Running Krut on Windows

Here are some quick instructions on how to run the program on the newer versions of Windows. You need to have Java installed, but there is a good chance that you already do. To run the program, it is usually sufficient to just double click on "KRUT.jar" or "krut.bat", after you have extracted the zip-archive into a folder of your choice. If you double click "KRUT.jar", and the program doesn't start, but you get a list of programs to choose from instead, you should choose the one that says "Java (something)". If double clicking does not work at all, try right clicking and see if there are any "Open With"-alternatives. If there is an "Open With -> Java (something)" alternative, that should do it.

If there is no "Open With" alternative when you right click, try to hold down a Shift-button while you right click, and see if there is an "Open With" alternative now.

If none of this works, there is probably some problem with your Java-installation. Go to a Java download site (at the time of writing http://www.java.com/getjava), and download and reinstall your Java.


Authors

The program has been written by Jonas Ă–stby, with contributions by Kristoffer Berggren.


Screenshot:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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