Software Recommendations

I am looking for a free image viewer as the default one that comes with windows no longer cuts it for me. I asked a friend to recommend a good image viewer and he told me ACDSee but that you have to buy it.

Right now I do not have the disposable income to really purchase such a software. Any ideas? Also are there any free alternatives to use for Word or even Excel? Right now on this machine I am using Wordpad.

So far I’ve been using free alternatives like Foxit instead of Acrobat reader and I find it nice as well as using VLC Player instead of media player. Seems there are some decent free programs out there but I don’t know of anymore :frowning:

Also I was wondering if there are any free programs that can reduce the size of images without actually having too much impact on the image quality. Traditionally I just use MsPaint and just reduce the resolution and normally the storage size seems to be reduced as well but I don’t want to make my images smaller.

Most people I ask say I should buy Adobe Photoshop but as far as I know it’s a top notch program and well it would be a waste of my money because I’m not even going utilize 99.9% of it.

I was told by another friend an alternative method would be to group all my image files in one directory and then strip them of something called metadatas. He says sometimes some photos are filled with metadata that removing them should reduce the storage size significantly. But, the catch? He says as far as he knows only ACDSee can do that and again I am not willing to pay for it.

So far though I notice most people recommend ACDSee and if there are no alternatives I guess I’ll just go buy it.

Oh yeah, before I forget are there any free softwares that I can use to listen to music besides VLC Player?

I use AIMP, but block all internet access to and from it as it has a tendency to call home on what appears to be once each month, even in the portable version and with any remote option of auto updates (and resets it to the standard version 88)). Aside from that, it’s the best audio player to me due to best quality, tabbed playlists, and so on.

I will try that one. Thanks for that one.

There’s several to choose from

I would go for Faststone Viewer for basic needs: light, but effective.

XnView if more elaborate needs, the best freeware is said to be The Gimp, but of course more complex.

Open Office has all of the Microsoft Office potentialities, but it is even more heavy then Krosoft, quite slow, and does not handle some “elaborate” Microsoft Office functions (conversion of macros, correctly reading new docx format…)

Sumatra is even lighter then Foxit, and is portable (if you move with usb sticks)

In the same spirit, Foxmail is a very good portable mail client.

Sumatra is definitely one of the top (if not) lightest one, but quality sucks. As much as I hate bloatware, I can’t stand the fact that Adobe Reader still maintains the best quality after all these years. Comparing the same PDF file with it, everything else looks fugly.

Anyway, I check this site every day for the best freeware:

Image viewer: Irfanview (get the plugins too)
IrfanView - Official Homepage - one of the most popular viewers …

Media player: Depends what you want:
Music only: foobar2000 or XMPlay
Music and video: VLC media player - Open Source Multimedia Framework and Player or MPlayer - The Movie Player or Media Player Classic - Home Cinema - Video Player

PDF viewer: PDF-XChange Viewer - Download

Image editing: (irfanview has a lot of image manipulation options) Paint . NET or GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program or ImageMagick: Convert, Edit, and Compose Images

Corrections: XMPlay has even better audio quality than AIMP (only because its reverb is simply amazing), otherwise they sound the same due to the same BASS engine. I reverted to XMPlay about a month ago, but I couldn’t figure out why audio files couldn’t be launched by double-clicking on them externally like via my desktop. I’ve tweaked all the options without success. It’s been so long that I forgot what kind of trick I did to make it work. That and no tabbed playlists are the only two main issues I had :(.

but I couldn't figure out why audio files couldn't be launched by double-clicking on them externally like via my desktop.

Right click on XMplay, select Options/Integration. You can choose what you want from there.

Failed :(.

If you’re using Winsows 7 (maybe vista too, I’ve never used it) you can set you file associations through Control Panel/Default Programs/Associate a file type of protocol with a program. Or in XP use folder Options/ile Type.

Failing that, right click on your audio file and select ‘Open With’ the browse to XMplay as the default.

If none of the above work you may have a problem with your installation. You could always do it manually by editing the association in HKCRoot

I also already tried that :(. IIRC, XMPlay does launch, but the file won’t play. Anyway, I won’t be using it again unless they add tabbed playlist. Unfortunately, development is slow compared to years ago.

I’ve noticed a lot of good things being said about GIMP. I may just give it a try as it seems to come highly recommended.

Edit: Checked out the websites for both GIMP and Irfanview and it appears that Irfanview is what I am going to choose since it seems to be a combination of both ACDSee and Photoshop. But on the Irfanview I see the following features:

Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Fullscreen etc.
Batch conversion (with image processing)
Scan (batch scan) support
Multipage TIF editing
IPTC editing

Can someone give me a dumb-down explanation of what those features are?

Most of those features (TIFF/EXIF/IPTC) are for metadata handling and editing. The batch conversion options simply mean you have multifile, one step processing and conversion.

Try kmplayer

Now using Irfanview as a viewer and it is very nice. I like it. Thanks for recommending it. I like how you can batch rename photos. While on that, does anyone know of any other simple program out there that you can batch rename files with? Also, I was trying to see if Irfanview could batch remove metadatas but I could not find any options like that on it so, yet again, is there a simple program out there that can batch rename images, sort of like you open the program, then a folder and click one button and all is well?

I like this one. It trumps the obligatory VLC player. I very much like how fast and souple it responds to moving the slider…

In my opinion the best free utility for this purpose is ‘Bulk Rename Utility’ Bulk Rename Utility - Free File Renaming Software

Also, I was trying to see if Irfanview could batch remove metadatas but I could not find any options like that on it so, yet again, is there a simple program out there that can batch rename images, sort of like you open the program, then a folder and click one button and all is well?

You can do this in Irfanview. Make sure you download and install the plugins, also found on their site. Off hand I can’t remember which plugin you need, but you’ll be able to find it quite quickly.

I think you’ll find kmplayer has been sold to Pandora and is no longer in development by the original developers.