The Download Blog

TuneUp Companion intros Mac beta

TuneUp Companion has been getting a lot of attention for their iTunes plug-in for Windows, and now they're trying to drum up interest in the Mac version.

Basically, the plug-in powers up cover art discovery while cleaning up metatags, automatically discovering contextually-related Web content, and sniffs out upcoming concert information. I haven't yet had a chance to check out the Mac version yet, but keep in mind that it's a beta and there is likely some serious debugging needed.

In fact, the bugs aren't likely--they definitely exist. In the words TuneUp's media relations guru Andrew … Read more

Tweaker alert: Greasemonkey coming to Chrome

Greasemonkey, a Firefox customization tool popular among high-powered Web surfers, is coming to Google Chrome browser.

Aaron Boodman, a Greasemonkey author and a Google programmer who's active in the Gears project, contributed Greasemonkey support to Chrome, and the Google Operating System blog picked up on the change.

At this stage, enabling Greasemonkey requires people to use a cutting-edge developer version of the open-source browser and to launch it with a "--enable-greasemonkey" option set.

Greasemonkey lets people run scripts that modify Web page appearance. For example, back when Google's Gmail service lacked a "delete" button, … Read more

Opera Mobile's second beta supports widgets, Symbian UIQ

Updated on 10/20/08 at 4:10 PM PT with a few more details.

There's been a lot of activity this week in the world of mobile browsers. On Friday, Mozilla introduced an alpha build for Fennec, the very-much-in-development mobile browser that will grow up to become Firefox for Mobile. Monday's news brings Opera Software's release of its most recent beta for the Opera Mobile browser. It's the second beta for Windows Mobile phones, and the first beta compatible with the Symbian UIQ platform. (At this point, the build only supports touchscreen models.)

We hear … Read more

Featured Freeware: Cerberus Security Guard

You can quickly toggle important security settings with this efficient tool, but broken English throughout Cerberus Security Guard may hamper your comprehension. The basic interface of text, tabs, and radio buttons won't win any design awards, so advanced users will quickly figure out all settings. Novices will appreciate that the program's settings are explained in mouse-over dialog boxes. However, some of the dialog boxes read as though a poor English translation program was used.

While many of the settings can be altered through your operating system controls, Cerberus Security Guard gathers the controls into one location. Simple tabs … Read more

Featured Freeware: Print2PDF

Turn almost any savable file into a PDF using Print2PDF. Like similar programs, this useful utility installs as a print driver, allowing the user to specify settings such as fonts and image-compression quality inside the print dialog of the other applications.

Users can encrypt, watermark, or sign a document, and can configure user permissions to print, copy, or change the file. During tests, the output quality and conversion speed both proved quite satisfactory. If you're looking to convert documents into the PDF format, this tool will likely have all the options you need.

Newer features include support for prepress … Read more

ToneThis still makes ringtones, wallpaper ridiculously easy

Not long ago, CNET Editor Brian Tong gave an instructive Insiders Secret video on creating your own iPhone ringtones using only iTunes 8. Although he only used one program as promised, there was quite a bit of cobbling involved to turn that song into a phone tune. Truth is, I'm a little lazier than that. I'm looking for one application to make me a decent-sounding ringtone I can get on my phone with the least amount of hassle possible.

ToneThis is a good fit for this endeavor. I've reviewed this freeware application in the past--it was the … Read more

Featured Freeware: AltMove Manager

It adds new functionality to your mouse, there's little to learn, and it's free. AltMove Manager is a mouse and desktop enhancement manager that can move and resize windows that are locked, grab a screenshot, and magnify a window under the mouse. You can easily add a few others through the Actions menu.

As an executable, the app doesn't need to be installed--just run the executable for the shortcuts to be in place. The regular settings include some standard program options for running the executable at start-up and keeping it on top. Advanced settings let you move … Read more

Vuze gets another makeover

Never let it be said that software publishers ignore the demands of their users, at least in the case of BitTorrent client Vuze.

Back in June, the popular BitTorrent client Azureus underwent some serious reconstructive surgery. The familiar layout of top buttons and a spreadsheet interface was wrapped up in a Web 2.0 package, tied off with a bow of peer ratings and reviews and an emphasis on video content. The old UI was kept but de-emphasized, and the application was renamed Vuze 3.1.

Although it kept Azureus' blue frog logo, fans were not amused. Vuze 4.0 … Read more

iPhone apps of the week

Last week I asked readers if they had the same iPhone app update problem I have, and it's good to hear I'm not the only one. I found one method in the comments that seems to work, but it forces you to make a tough decision. Of course, you should only try this if all other update attempts through the usual methods have been unsuccessful.

To get rid of a stubborn program's update notification, you need to delete the app from your iPhone and download it again using the app store on your iPhone or from the … Read more

Firefox for Mobile: What you need to know

Updated on 10/19/08 to clarify the role of the search bar.

How would you like to be among the first to get touchy-feely with the next mobile browser everyone's talking about? Mozilla's release of the Firefox for Mobile alpha code, codenamed Fennec, grants that wish to users of the Nokia N810 and N800 Internet tablet (installation details here).

For the rest of us, the anxiety-filled wait continues.

Even though most of us can't play with Firefox Mobile firsthand, here's what we can expect when the release does become more broadly available on other platforms: … Read more