Thursday, May 4, 2017

MusicBee - the best free music player

When I see that somebody is claiming that there is something the best, I usually “flip” the page over. No desire to fall into trap of the modern advertising.

However, MusicBee is listed on top of the free players’ ratings by several well-respected web sites. Still, not the best, but surely “one of the best”.

MusicBee is a free music player created for serious music lovers and includes everything you need to manage and enjoy your collection, no matter how large (it's reportedly handled a library of over 500,000 tracks without a hiccup).

Switching to MusicBee is easy. The first time it runs, the app scans your PC for music and lets you import your files from Windows Media Player or iTunes. Tracks are catalogued, but aren't moved unless you've checked that option under Library Preferences so there'll be no surprises.

Once your songs are imported, tagging them is a piece of cake; hit Shift+Enter to open the tag editor and go to work. MusicBee's automatic tagging is superb, or you can update metadata yourself using industry-standard tags for each file format.

As in Windows Media Player, adding artwork is as simple as copying and pasting, and it isn't limited to the album cover – you can also add pictures of the artist, lead singer, band logo, and photos from live performances. These additional pictures are used throughout the player as navigation aids, and as visualizations while tracks are playing. MusicBee also searches for song lyrics to display as each track plays.

This free music player is designed to make the most of your PC's hardware, including top-end soundcards and surround-sound setups, with upmixing for stereo sound. Continuous playback eliminates silences between tracks (ideal for Pink Floyd fans), and you can choose to add silences or fades, normalize volume, and experiment with the equalizer.

MusicBee is also great for streaming from internet radio stations and listening to podcasts, and supports both SoundCloud and You can even link it to VLC Media Player to stream video podcasts.

The free music player supports almost every audio format around and converting files is simplicity itself, with presets for different playback devices (though for MP3 encoding you'll need to download the LAME codec).

If all of that isn't enough, there's even an Android app for controlling MusicBee remotely, and support for WinAmp plugins. You won't find a more comprehensive free music player, and although it's not open source, it's completely free to use and tinker with for personal use.

Installer and portable:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Avidemux - free and open-source video editor

First time, I posted the note on Avidemux almost 10 years ago. Many software titles become non-existing, and even more non-supported anymore. Avidemux is however, is up, and still supported by active development.

In many cases, when you need a simple video clip editing capability, like cutting, that is the software you need.

Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license. The program was written from scratch by Mean, but code from other people and projects has been used as well. Patches, translations and even bug reports are always welcome.

The portable version

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