Weed's recommended Windows Software[this is a new page - more programmes to be added]
1-4a Rename - free
An efficient mass file renamer. Lots of features including inserting, replacing, swapping, case change, renumbering together with file type filtering, subdirectory recursing, preview and undo.
Cool Edit Pro - no longer commercially available
Originally from Syntrillium, now re-released by Adobe as Audition (which I've not tried). Record & mix up to 128 high quality stereo tracks. Excellent for editing wav files and for cleaning up sound files taken from tape and vinyl recordings.
CounterSpy - 15 days free trial
No single program will remove all malware (viruses, spyware, trojans, worms). CounterSpy is good for trojans. Best used in combination with other programs such as Lavasoft's Ad-Aware, Grisoft's AVG (antivirus & anti-spyware) and Trend Micro's online virus scanner Housecall.
eMule - free
An excellently written file sharing program which allows people to exchange music, videos, articles, programs etc. Tips: use Kad as the search facility, and ensure you have a "high ID" for faster downloads. Beware of clones and optimisers. Beware of small files offering cracks and hacks. Check "details" of downloading files to make sure the filename correctly identifies the file. Default settings should work ok. However new files often appear first on the Bit Torrent network, which needs a client program such as Azureus from Vuze.
Foobar2000 - free
I'm continually trying out new audio players, and this is the latest. Favourite features for me are ease of installation, ad-free minimalist interface, default playing order by filename, high-quality audio output, and it doesn't try and take over my machine. Downloadable add-ons ("additional components") extend its features, including the ability to play .APE files.
Media Player Classic - free
For those of us who shun flashy all-singing all-dancing hype-infested multi-media players, this is a refreshing change. It looks like the old Windows Media Player 6.4 that came bundled with Win95, but has a host of current features (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AAC and DirectShow decoding, VCD, SVCD, DVD etc).
Medieval Cue Splitter - free
Enfis The Paladin / Medieval
This takes a cue file and splits its associated audio file into separate tracks. It works with most common audio file formats including MP3, APE, FLAC, OGG, WAV, WMA. Simple to use.
Pazera FLV to AVI Converter - free
Converts Flash Video files (FLV, SWF) to AVI or MPEG files which can be played with any video player. Very easy to install; very easy to use.
Simple ID3-Tag Editor - free
Philip Lukashev - available from C|Net / Download.com
I've used several MP3 tag editors and prefer this one. It contains all the features I need and is easy to use. There is no bulk copy facility, but tag info can be copied between ID3v1 and ID3v2, and between one file and the next. The instructions are in Russian but a few minutes of trial and error is sufficient to learn how to use it. Installation is very basic - make your own shortcuts.
Subtitle Processor - free
Jan Klír - available from SourceForge.net
Creates, edits, repairs and translates subtitles for movies. (It also claims to be able to add text lyrics to mp3 files.) It should handle all formats that are supported by DirectShow, but has only been fully tested for AVI files. The huge number of options means that it's a bit confusing at first. There's no integrated help file, tho this can be downloaded separately. It can also be used to edit and resync subtitles when they are in a separate SRT file, doing a global correction for the subtitles appearing too early or too late when your media player opens a non-subtitled film together with its appropriate subtitle file (eg solaris.avi & solaris.srt)
Unlocker - free
Sometimes Windows locks a file or folder so it can't be moved, renamed or deleted. Typical error messages are -
Cannot delete folder: It is being used by another person or program.
Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.
Cannot delete file: Access is denied.
There has been a sharing violation.
The source or destination file may be in use.
The file is in use by another program or user.
Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.
It is not always obvious why the file or folder is locked, especially on home networks. (Some multimedia programs "hold on" to the last file they played (especially .avi files) even after the program has been closed down. In which case Using the same program on another file should clear the original file.) Unlocker automatically pops up and gives you simple options for dealing with the locked file or folder. Easy to use, and often succeeds in unlocking the file.
VLC Media Player - free
Widely recommended player for downloaded movies. It works on many platforms, supports most formats (without needing additional codecs), has a transcoding facility, and can be used as a streaming server. If your films won't play properly or you have problems with the sound, try opening them using VLC. Because it is packet based it can even play incomplete or damaged videos. Simple clean interface, but supports various popular skin formats.
Xenu - free
Checks a web page (or site) for broken links.