Free Software | Audio Software | Other Tools/Programs
Useful Free Software
Mac users have it a bit easier (though not necessarily better...) as iMovie, iDVD, and iPhoto are already built into OS X, along with the fact that many UNIX-based X11 programs can be compiled to run on OS X if you install Apple's X11 server (It isn't installed by default, but is on the DVD/3rd CD). See http://www.darwinports.org/ for lots more things for OS X...you may want to look at installing FINK if you are to go down this route.
There is some interesting bits at MacPorts too (Install the latest version of XCode tools first though)
Many of these tools are multi-platform - i.e. have Linux/Mac/UNIX/Windows/PocketPC/Other OS versions as well. This list mainly concentrates on PC software, but where other platforms are supported, the qualifier (MP) will be added to the program's name line.
Since the intoduction of the Intel-based Macs, it is quite possible to have Windows running on Mac hardware via Apple's Boot Camp, (Leopard has this built in already) so you could have the best of both worlds. Performance and driver support isn't quite there yet, though for Windows applications, so best to stick to the PC for PC applications. This has promise, though, so keep it in mind if looking at buying a new computer.
You can run Windows on an Intel-based Mac in several ways if you want to (but please take care to read the Microsoft licencing conditions first - you might well require a second licence) via Virtual machines.
If you have a PPC based Mac VirtualPC for Mac 7 may also be used. Intel-based Macs have a much wider range of Virtual machines: VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop are the (very good) commercial possibilities, VirtualBox is also now available for Intel Mac (v1.6 for all platforms).
PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDFs easily from nearly any application. With the PDFCreator printer driver you turn any program into a PDF file. Above link goes to latest version with GhostScript included (needed by PDFCreator). See HERE for other versions, language files and source code. Support for Windows Vista is not complete yet.
Current Release : 0.95
Vista users should try CutePDF instead (Current release v2.7)
Mac OS X users have PDF creation built in to the Operating System. To quote: 'Mac OS X now offers this ability via a built-in tool called "Preview," a small utility and a new option available when you print.'
The free Mac utility PDFlab ( http://www.iconus.ch/fabien/pdflab/ ) can apparently let you split/join files and insert pages if needed.
OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites inc Microsoft Office. Iit can also output PDF files (NB: make sure you've got Java installed first - Java current version is v 6 Update 5)
Current Release : 2.4.0
VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) . It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video. It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters . VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and also handle sets of BMP images.
The current version of VirtualDub can use plugins to support MPEG-2, WMV, MOV and FLV (YouTube) files, although be warned that the import plugins are all under development and may not be 100% stable.
Current Release : 1.7.8
SUPER (Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer)
A GUI to ffmpeg, mencoder, mplayer, x264, mppenc, ffmpeg2theora & the theora/vorbis RealProducer plugin.
If you need a simple, yet very efficient tool to convert (encode) or play any Multimedia file, without reading manuals or spending long hours training, then SUPER is all you need. It is a Multimedia Encoder and a Multimedia Player, easy-to-use with 1 simple click.
Current Release : v2008.build 30 (March 2008)
A small and easy to use Windows application for capturing videos from DV device (camcorder) into AVI-files and for recording AVI-files into DV device via FireWire (IEEE 1394) interface.
Current Release : 1.2.3
ffdshow is a DirectShow filter and VFW codec for many audio and video formats, such as DivX, Xvid and H.264. Windows Vista is now supported. Binaries available Here
Current Release: beta4a_rev1723_20071224 (stable)
Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Beta v1.3.5 is quite stable, but the documentation etc is not yet there.
Current Release : 1.2.6
Free Audio/Video Media Player for Windows.
Current Release : 5.531
A utility for viewing, malipulating and converting multimedia files. XNView also works under WINE
Current Release : 1.92.6 (UNIX & Mac versions are 1.70)
A freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
GAP, the GIMP Animation Package is also available
Windows Binaries available HERE.
Current Release : GIMP 2.4.5
Grisoft AVG Free Edition
For the cheapskates, AVG Free for Windows is a free anti-virus protection tool developed by Grisoft.
(Note: For home use only - UCL staff can use F-Secure or Sophos)
Current Release : AVG Free 8.0.1
Helps prevent the installation of spyware and other potentially unwanted software.
Current Release : 4.0
Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove spyware of different kinds from your computer
Current Release : 1.52
Language Sciences Software
VideoLab started life at Dhcs UCL in response to the needs of the Conversational Analysis Group (CARG)
led by Prof. Bill Wells ( now at Sheffield). The idea was to digitise video tape to CD and create software
which would remove the business of stop / start button pressing on VCRs and allow software driven
manipulation of loops and timing. It was to work in conjunction with Word for windows so that data could
be recorded and positions within the video could be marked, saved, and used to access specific points in the
video from the text transcript.
ELAN (EUDICO Linguistic Annotator) is an annotation tool that allows you to create, edit, visualize and search annotations for video and audio data.
A program for speech analysis and synthesis - 'phonetics by computer'
Part of the CHILDES project, conversation analysis program
(MP - Java runtimes
A mind mapper, and at the same time an easy-to-operate hierarchical editor with strong emphasis on folding. These two are not really two different things, just two different descriptions of a single application. Often used for knowledge and content mgmt.
If you have any suggestions for other tools to be listed (Free, please!), please e-mail Steve with your suggestions.
Several of these programs can be donated to to help with their continued development: you are encouraged to do so!