The Download Blog

Digsby invite codes

If you would like to try out the multisystem instant-messaging and social-networking client Digsby before it's released to the general public, we can help you out. Go ahead and download the application here. Once you do, use the code CNET to unlock it. There are several thousand invitations reserved.

See previous review: Digsby links all IMs with e-mail, Facebook, MySpace.

Zimbra's new Desktop: Look ma, no browser!

I fell in love with Zimbra's Ajax-style interface the first time I saw it.

Slick, powerful, and much more extensible than Microsoft Outlook ever dreamed of being. There was just one thing I hated about the Zimbra experience: the browser artifacts around the application that made me feel like I was stuck in a Web site, rather than living in an application that just happened to leverage the power of the Web.

No more. For the past few weeks I've been using Zimbra's new Prism-based Desktop. Verdict? It rocks. Take a look at the UI below:… Read more

Killer Download: The Big Three free security applications

As users of the Internet we face security threats every day. Nefarious hackers (not all hackers), viruses, and spyware are rampant when online, and not taking precautions can mean lost data or even worse, identity theft. Frankly, if your computer is unprotected, you are rolling the dice every time you go online. Certainly many users already know this and are already using trusted software, or have other security measures in place to ensure safe surfing. This Killer Download is for those who don't or anyone who has questions regarding their safety online.

Whenever I get a new system or … Read more

Rename files with ease

Batch File Renamer could've been called Easy File Renamer, because although it's cursed with a bland layout, that belies the effortless renaming of massive quantities of files.

The features combined with the tiny size make this one of the best freeware file renamers around. You can set entire directories to rename, and select all files, or filter out the ones you don't want to change by their extension. A handful of presets let you convert filenames to upper or lowercase instantly, as well as replace characters in the filenames, add a number sequence to the name, and for advanced users you can even run your own command line on source directory files.

Read more

First Look: Videora iPod Converter

The very popular Videora iPod Converter is one case in which an app shouldn't be too hastily judged by its name. This video-converting freebie transforms files for the range of Apple's ilk--three types of iPods and the iPhone to boot. Videora iPod Converter can grab and convert YouTube videos through an in-app browser (this is good for owners of the classic iPods), and will also work over files stored on your desktop (this is good for everyone).

However, Videora iPod Converter isn't the only free converter in town, and it has some notable drawbacks. Decide if it'… Read more

PDFescape comes close to replacing Adobe's Acrobat

Hot on the heels of my writeup of PDFMeNot yesterday, reader Bonexaw tipped us off about PDFescape, another Web based Adobe Acrobat replacement. This time around, PDFescape pulls double duty not only as a free PDF reader, but also as an editing tool and Web host for PDF files.

PDFescape lets users fill out forms--one of the most commonly used features (besides reading). Additionally, the authoring tools let users create their own forms and send them out to others to fill out and send back. The best part is that the entire system is set up to avoid recipients having … Read more

Mozilla releases third Firefox 3 beta

Mozilla has released a third beta version of Firefox 3, bringing about 1,300 changes to the widely used open-source Web browser.

Firefox 3 Beta 3 should be more stable, perform faster, use memory more efficiently, and fit in better on various operating systems than its predecessors, Mozilla said.

Having tried the new version out for a while this morning, my top impression hasn't changed since beta 2: the best thing about the new version is faster performance. Pages load faster.

Other improvements, according to the Firefox 3 release notes, include a better tool for seeing who owns a … Read more

Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins: Free MP3 of the Day

During a break from her duties as frontwoman for Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis indulges in a mix of vintage country and soul on her '06 solo offering. With the crystal-clear vocals of the Watson Twins backing her, Lewis shines as a bewitching, modern-day chanteuse.

Watch DVDs on your iPod, iPhone, PSP, etc. with HandBrake

So you just bought an iPod touch or iPhone and want to stock it with movies from your DVD library. There are countless commercial utilities that promise to rip DVDs, but I recommend trying HandBrake. This open-source (read: free) utility for Windows (download), Mac (download), and Linux converts your DVDs for viewing on iPods, iPhones, Sony PSPs, and other portable media players. It's by no means new, but I just had to share my newfound appreciation for it.

I recently picked up the hilarious Flight of the Conchords on DVD. I also just acquired an iPod touch (quite simply … Read more