The Download Blog

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.

First Look video: Free MP3 WMA Converter

It's not uncommon for music converters to swap around a handful of formats, but in this case, Free MP3 WMA Converter has been given short shrift. In addition to supporting the two titular formats, this straightforward application also converts for OGG, AAC, WAV, and APE files. The speedy converter sports a three-part user interface and lets more advanced audiophiles specify the frequency, bit rate, and compression for a given tune.

Featured Freeware: WorldWide Telescope

Possibly the best piece of software that Microsoft has published in ages, WorldWide Telescope lets users explore the universe with impressive content from the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, and other famed ground- and space-based telescopes. Colorful nebulae, distant galaxies, black holes, and radiation clouds are all accessible from your desktop with a few clicks.

You can move around the sky by clicking with your left mouse and dragging the screen. Seven tabs help you navigate: Explore, Guided Tours, Search, Community, Telescope, View, and Settings. There are multiple mouse and keyboard commands … Read more

Featured Freeware: XnView

XnView is a robust program, an image browser and viewer as well as a converter that can handle more than 400 formats from Camera RAW, JPG, GIF, TIFF, and other still images all the way through AVI, MOV, MPEG, and a multitude of movie formats. Metadata EXIF and IPTC formats are also supported, ensuring that you don't lose any location or shooting data. There are also tools for taking screenshots.

In addition, you'll find tools for capturing screenshots and creating basic slide shows, as well as a simple audio player. The utility for generating Web galleries has been … Read more