The Download Blog

Featured Freeware: Auslogics Registry Defragger

The Auslogics Registry Defragger looks good, but it's hard to tell if this or any Registry defragger or cleaner works. What's the challenge? Simple: It's not easy to gauge if these programs are effective because you'd need to benchmark your CPU against a range of programs before and after the Registry cleaning to properly test for any improvement, and that's an extremely time-intensive process.

Still, Auslogics is known for making effective Windows utilities, so perhaps we should give them the benefit of the doubt until more conclusive evidence is in. In any event, when you … Read more

Avidemux cuts out video editing stress

Making simple edits to videos of all formats shouldn't be tricky business, but most tools out there either do way too much or are so belabored with ads that who knows what evil lurks within their code.

Originally written by a French programmer known as Mean, and gloriously open-source on the GNU license, Avidemux is a breath of fresh air and available for both Windows and Mac. Cropping a video is as simple as selecting the section you want to remove and then hitting the Delete key. Re-encoding a video is equally painless: Merely select the output format from … Read more

First Look video: JetAudio Basic

iTunes and Windows Media Player rule the roost when it comes to media players, but they're certainly not the only show in town. In addition to media playback, JetAudio Basic features CD burning, audio recording, and conversion to other audio file formats. Special features include effects such as reverb, smooth transitions between songs, and the skinnable interface lets you personalize your player just the way you like it.

Still not convinced? Then check out this First Look video for JetAudio Basic from CNET's Jason Parker.

Docstoc launches simple e-mail attachment replacement

File host Docstoc is releasing a solution on Wednesday for sending large attachments to friends, family, and co-workers. Called OneClick (download), the small application must be installed on your machine to enable right-click contextual menus that let you simply click any file on your hard drive and send it either publicly or securely to others.

Once the file's been transferred, you'll get a link to the Docstoc-hosted document inserted into a new e-mail message that your recipient can open and read without needing to install anything.

Like Scribd's solution, which launched last week, OneClick has been designed to entice business and casual users to start simply uploading their documents instead of e-mailing them for the sake of compatibility and size.

Not everyone has Gmail or Office 2007, which offer popular file compatibility. Nor have all users implemented the small software tweak on older versions of Office that will let you read those .Docx files with ease. Instead, solutions like Scribd and Docstoc are taking office software out of the equation entirely.

It's also a pretty simple way to get users uploading more of their documents from a local machine. Instead of having to go through Docstoc's Web uploader (which is simple and easy to use), you can get them uploaded with just two clicks whenever you come across something you'd like to upload.

The small application is PC-only for now, but I'm told a Mac version will be on its way soon. To see a video of the tool in action, click the link below.

Read more

Firefox 3 'awesome bar' not awesome for all

There's no better way to incur user wrath than to change one of the fundamental features of a product. Apple's been doing it for years with each revision, usually prompting a positive cheer from most while alienating a certain margin of its fervent user base that vows to never buy or use the product again. Browser maker Mozilla is not without its own minority that appears to be up in arms about the updated address bar.

The Smart Location Bar, dubbed the "awesome bar" by the company, drops in a mix of your bookmarks and browser … Read more

Firefox 3 gets a third release candidate

Updated at 12:30 p.m. PDT on Wednesday with links to the newly debuted release candidate.

If you were planning to host a Firefox 3 launch party this week, keep that bubbly on ice a bit longer.

Mozilla on Wednesday released Firefox 3 Release Candidate 3. Windows and Linux users won't likely feel a thing; the new browser is considered stable on those platforms.

The extra release candidate addresses some lingering issues on the Mac OS X operating system. The changes are internal.

The previous test version, Firefox 3 Release Candidate 2, can also be downloaded for Windows, … Read more

Featured Freeware: AM-DeadLink

AM-DeadLink tames your unruly bookmarks with a set of tools designed to keep your bookmark list svelte, healthy, and in fighting form. Its interface is packed with options, but tool tips and a logical layout make it easy to follow. The length of the verification process depends on the size of your Favorites list, but the wait wasn't bad in our tests. You can sort results by any of the columns, which include name, status, URL, and folder categories. You also can delete entries one at a time or by the group.

The Backup option is a welcome safeguard … Read more

Twitter/FriendFeed client Twhirl updated

Seesmic, which recently acquired the AIR Twitter client Twhirl (download), has shipped a new version of the software. There are minor improvements in Twitter functionality, mostly designed to keep it from requesting too many updates from the Twitter API, which produces the dreaded "limit exceeded" message if you use the app too enthusiastically. The Twitter service, which used to allow clients like Twhirl to fetch updates 60 times an hour, dropped its limit to 20/hour during the Steve Jobs keynote; it's only back at 30/hour as of this writing. Twhirl can now adjust its update … Read more

Paltalk adds Express to its Scene

Popular video chat host and program publisher Paltalk on Tuesday introduces a beta of a complementary program to PaltalkScene. The new application, Paltalk Express, transfers the entire video chat apparatus to the Web and bolsters it with the kind of Web 2.0 bells and whistles that should make its appeal instantly obvious.

Based in Flash, Paltalk Express supports a decent range of features, even in the beta stage. Once logged in, the interface has the look and feel of a standard program, with a menu bar on the top left, your user status below that, and tabbed chat room … Read more

Business travelers: Find a printer easily

Have you ever been on the road for work and gone through the hassle of trying to use a local printer? Don't worry, you're not alone. When traveling on business, people often need a printout for the latest version of a project to have in the big meeting. The last thing we want to go through with 10 minutes until showtime is the struggle of installing new drivers, trying to locate a usable printer, and everything else associated with getting a hard copy of our work.

Fortunately Xerox came out with a universal access printer driver which solves … Read more