The Download Blog

VSO Image Resizer: No-nonsense photo-scaling

When all you want to do is shrink or expand an image to a specific size, launching an image-editing application like Adobe Photoshop Elements, or even GIMP, FastStone, or Paint.NET is overkill. The program has to load. Then you have to browse for the image. That's precisely when a specialized application like VSO Image Resizer becomes the instrument you reach for.

Unburdened by all those powerful effects engines, this fairly bare-bones resizer loads quickly and does you the favor of popping open an image-selection browser for choosing one or more files from a given folder. Bam! That's … Read more

Customize the history settings in Firefox and Internet Explorer

Someday, browsers will make it easy to retrace our Web steps by providing total recall of every page we've opened. Until then, we get the imperfect history features in Internet Explorer and Firefox.

They're imperfect because they seem to remember every page I've visited except the only one I actually need to return to. At least Firefox gives you a few more options for changing how it records your surfing history. With Internet Explorer, the only two options you get are to 1) change the number of days your history is stored and to 2) clear your … Read more

Featured Freeware: FeedDemon and NetNewsWire

These well-crafted, standalone newsreaders makes an ideal choice for both novices who've never heard of an RSS feed and advanced users looking to put some oomph and flexibility into their reading habits. As the desktop clients for the online NewsGator, FeedDemon for Windows and NetNewsWire for Macs both can synchronize bi-directionally with their Web-based counterpart, making it easy to get your feeds wherever and whenever you need them.

Other useful features include a built-in Web browser that's built on Internet Explorer--sorry Firefox and Opera fans, tabbed browsing for when you need to open multiple feeds' Web pages, Watch … Read more

First Look video: ?Torrent

Hard to pronounce but easy to use, ?Torrent is a renowned torrent client. Factor in its robust feature set and that it can run on an old USB key, and you've got yourself a must-have program. And now, with Morrent, ?Torrent can be monitored from within Facebook.

Still not convinced? Watch this First Look video to learn more.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.5.3

Apple has released the latest version of Mac OS X Leopard, just weeks before its annual developers' conference.

Mac OS X 10.5.3 is now available for downloading from Apple's site or through the Software Update process. Dozens of bugs are fixed with the new release for products like iCal, Mail, Time Machine, and others.

Apple is getting set to host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco the week of June 9, where we might learn more about the yet-unnamed Mac OS X 10.6, assuming they aren't skipping ahead to Mac OS XI, or … Read more

JuiceCaster geotags your shared media moments

Updated at 2:30 p.m. PDT to include more details about how location information is displayed and gathered in JuiceCaster, and more specific information about the feature's launch.

First came mobile social networks, then came geotagging. Since location-based features take advantage of your ever-portable mobile phone to pin your activities to a place, we weren't surprised to learn that on Wednesday JuiceCaster (reviewed) added automatic geo-anchors to its multimedia sharing service.

Soon JuiceCaster photos and videos that are auto-posted to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, and other sites will share the individual's street name and city. … Read more

Adobe offers sneak peek of CS4 apps

Adobe Systems is offering two-day trials of three beta applications from its next Creative Suite package.

The previews of Dreamweaver for Web design, Fireworks for image editing, and Soundbooth for audio editing became available Monday.

Trials expire after 48 hours for most people, but registered CS3 users get to keep using the CS4 betas until the final applications replace them.

Adobe hasn't publicly confirmed its planned shipping date or the name for the next Creative Suite, which we're nicknaming CS4. Adobe Creative Suite 3 was released in March 2007.

We took a quick test drive of the Dreamweaver … Read more

Google brings all of Earth to your browser

SAN FRANCISCO--This morning at the Google IO conference here, the company announced a new browser plug-in that enables users to get the same high-flying experience they've been getting in the standalone geography software application Google Earth (download for Mac and Windows).

The diminutive plug-in, which weighs in at just 300k turns Firefox 2 (3 RC1 is not currently supported) or IE6 and 7 into 3D-capable mapping solutions. The technology ties into the Google Earth API, and the current example found here (download from CNET Download.com) lets you zoom around all of earth, complete with 3D topography. The controls … Read more

Featured Freeware: Rockbox

If you can't stand the native operating system on your portable MP3 player, you can make it rock out with Rockbox. Open-source Rockbox is firmware that represents the first step for audiophiles regaining control over how they interact with their portable devices.

Compatible with more than two dozen MP3 players, including most iPods, iRivers, and Archoses, Rockbox comes with a detailed and lengthy installation and usage guide. The last time I tried out the auto-installer I found it easier to install Rockbox by hand. Reading the manual thoroughly is a must, given the complexity and potential risk to your … Read more

First Look video: SmartFTP

Do you maintain a Web site or blog? If so, you've probably experimented with several FTP clients to keep your site up to date. While there are a lot of good File Transfer Protocol apps available, SmartFTP continues to stay high on our Most Popular list for good reason: It has the features you need and it's incredibly easy to use.

Whether you're a pro Web designer or are looking to start your own site, check out this First Look at SmartFTP, the affordable shareware FTP client with pro-level features.