The Download Blog

Featured Freeware: Media Jukebox

The J. River Media Jukebox is a stripped-down but free version of the popular J. River Media Center. Popular in its own right, Media Jukebox uses the same interface as its big brother to deliver a feature set that's anything but little, but strictly limited to music support. Those in search of video and image compatibility will need to download the Media Center.

The program mimics the iTunes interface in a way that could benefit from more inspiration, but it doesn't stop the extras from shining through. You'll be able to burn and rip CDs, sync with … Read more

MiGhtyDocs puts offline Google Docs on your iPhone

If you're not satisfied with Google's cute but data-sucking incarnation of Google Docs through mobile Safari, you might want to download MiGhtyDocs. This free application on the app store will pull down all of your documents and spreadsheets from the service, making them available to read and access even when away from a data connection.

All you have to do to get any document cached for offline viewing is open it once. If there are any changes since the last time you accessed it, they'll be download the next time it syncs back up with Google's … Read more

Featured Freeware: ooVoo

ooVoo is an iChat-like video conferencing and chat tool for Windows, loaded with useful, powerful tools that make it a viable alternative for small work groups using conference calls and screen-sharing applications. A recording feature lets users tape video chats with other participants. Since the video and audio are being recorded to the hard drive, the only time limit is how much free space the computer's hard drive has. In testing, a nearly 15-minute, four-way video conversation only took up 95MB, which ooVoo can convert into a workable FLV file.

A conference calling tool gives host and participants a … Read more

Featured Freeware: IZArc

I haven't touched WinZip or WinRAR in more than a year thanks to the lightweight archiving utility 7-Zip, and IZArc looks to be another excellent archiving alternative. It modestly bills itself as the ultimate archiving utility--I'm not so sure about that ''ultimate'' bit. Nevertheless, IZArc is definitely one of the best archivers out there. Compatible with a huge number of archive formats, all the major are represented, as well as 7-Zip's 7z, ISO, BH (Black Hole), and TAR, among others. It can create archives for many of the formats it can read, too, including 7z and TAR. … Read more

Essential back-to-school software

You might be enjoying the dog days of summer now, but look out! The school year is just around the corner, and teachers, books, classes, and winter will be here before you know it. Get a jump on the upcoming school year with a collection of downloadable software for communicating with classmates, managing your homework, learning new study skills, or harnessing the reference power of the Internet. You can even find software to let you call your parents free from college. (Seriously, your mom wants a call.)


Facebook profiles, instant-messaging networks, various Web mail accounts...who can track them … Read more

Featured Freeware: PicLens

Cross-platform, cross-browser, and proud of it, browser plug-in PicLens is to Web surfing as an IMAX screen is to a 13-inch laptop monitor. In theory, it takes the images it finds on a Web site, expands them to super-extra-large size, and then lets you surf through them in a classy scaling interface that we think we last saw in Iron Man. Or maybe it was The Dark Knight.

Installing it places a button on the Toolbar. When you're on a PicLens-enabled Web site, click the PicLens button to activate the PicLens interface. Your screen will go black, and all … Read more

Featured Freeware: Gizmo5

Cross-platform and instantly familiar-looking, Gizmo5--also known as the Gizmo Project--is trying to make in-roads against the domination of other VoIP and telephony programs.

Gizmo5's interface is compact and rectangular, with tabs on the top just below the Menu bar and a series of ancillary commands like Chat and Add Contact available at the bottom. There are very few differences between Gizmo's design and its biggest competitor's. A little originality could've gone a long way here.

Also similar to Skype, Gizmo provides free VoIP for computer-to-computer voice chatting as well as text chatting. It also allows … Read more

Looking for a silver lining for iPhone 3G's dismal battery life

I've had my iPhone 3G for a few weeks now and I love it. I can log onto all of my e-mail accounts easily, enter appointments into my calendar without hassle, and the long awaited GPS works almost perfectly. I've spent more time than I care to admit browsing and downloading applications from the iPhone App Store. (By the way, the Phonesaber is even better now.) But for all the things I love about the iPhone 3G, the battery life is so bad that it almost makes it not worth the trouble. Almost.

I'm typing this rant … Read more

Digg launches Firefox toolbar with live notifications

Digg has just released a new extension for Firefox 3 that integrates whatever page you're on with the popular social news site. Included are handy things like a real-time pop-up window that notifies you when friends have dugg something, or when new stories hit the front pages of various sections. There's also a toolbar that can be toggled on the top of your browser which shows you if a page you're on has been submitted to Digg along with options to submit it yourself or read the user comments.

The extension only works in Firefox 3 but … Read more