Applications such as Windows Media Player and iTunes are great for playing music, but not for changing it to suit your needs.
Fortunately, there are free applications that can let you convert, trim, and otherwise modify audio files.
A hard drive is like an attic. No matter how big it is, it fills up fast — and mostly with junk.
Much of that junk may be unneeded and difficult-to-find duplicate files, and the best way to locate and eradicate them is with software dedicated to the task.
It’s no exaggeration to say we keep our lives on our PCs — that career-making report, those plans for Fiji, a thousand kid photos — and you can lose it all in the blink of a hard-drive crash.
Windows comes with apps for backing up that data, but there’s free, third-party software that’s more flexible and easier to use.
Not so long ago, computers were for work and television was for entertainment — not so anymore.
Microsoft’s Windows Media Center transforms the PC into an easy-to-use, remote control–friendly entertainment center; a few tricks can make the experience even better.
The most daunting task for digital photographers of all types, from snapshooter to pro, is organizing the hundreds or thousands of images they’ve captured.
You can put your images into simple folders, but free or inexpensive photo organizers are a better way to wring order from chaos.
I’m wrapping up my series on freeware with one of my favorite topics: the best in free imaging applications.
The most-impressive products I’ve encountered this year, they should be on the PC of everyone who makes screen captures, manages huge image libraries, or builds digital panoramas.
Anyone who’s read my column more than once or twice knows I’m a long-time advocate of free software, which is why only eight of the 40 programs on my laptop are commercial products.
Those eight are applications that simply work better than any of their free competitors — I’m going to tell you about five of them, and why I still use them.
Yes, the Internet can be a dangerous place. But use smart computing practices and the right security products, and you can reduce your risk to very low levels.
What may surprise you is that safe Web browsing needn’t require very many computer security products, and you can put together an effective defense without spending a cent.
Critics have rightly questioned whether Google’s Chrome browser transmits too much data about user browsing habits to the company’s databases.
Although most of the reports of Chrome’s privacy issues are more alarmist than factual, problems do exist — but they can be effectively controlled by changing a few Chrome settings.
You’re probably familiar with Web-based apps such as Google Calendar and Flickr, but there are dozens of useful, though less-known, Internet apps available for free.
Some of these superb apps offer an excellent alternative to installing expensive, specialized utilities on your PC.