Computers work well enough on their own, and a new version of Windows has everything the user needs to play most types of media. But there are better alternatives out there; all of them free, and they offer a substantial quality-of-life upgrade to a person’s computing experience.
Music – MusicBee
Whatever the size of your music library, MusicBee can handle it with a tiny RAM footprint that makes this beautiful skinnable player / manager ideal even for the lowest laptop. For surround up scaling, ASIO and WASAPI support, as well as a 15-band equalizer, you can change your sounds and even use those old WinAmp plugins if you need more choice.
Video Downloader – Freemake Video Downloader
The multi-threaded app from Freemake is super-simple, super-fast, and can download YouTube vids as well as content from Vimeo, Twitter, and more. It’s easy to use, and even has options to convert the videos that are downloaded, meaning the user can download their favourite music video and convert it into an MP3, whether it’s music video, or a playthrough of the latest in slots NZ games.
Audio Editor – Audacity
Effective development means that a lot of new features have recently been added to this audio software, and there’s more are on the way. Not that it really needed a lot of change: considering a very, let’s say, rough interface, the ability of Audacity to manipulate multitrack audio in the free bracket is unbeatable, and it’s also an incredibly reliable way to record from a microphone. Of course, you’re going to be too busy looping canyon.mid to get any fresh recording done now that it can handle MIDI files natively.
Video Player – VLC Media Player
VLC is free software that is extremely easy to use and covers just about every format imaginable. Although tens of millions of dollars were offered to its developers to slather the software in advertisements, they refused— it’s open source, and they’re proud of it, mostly due to its strong compatibility with just about any media format. It can even handle multiple protocol channels, and it can be fully extended. That said, all the important things are on board from the beginning— no codec packs required.
Gaming Platform – Steam
Frequent discounts, a huge developer library, and an early access system that lets you into early access games before it’s officially released define Valve’s store — but it’s the little bonuses like the vibrant community, the Steam game overlay, and the mod software Steam Lab that really make it worth checking out. Steam has changed what the PC really is about gaming. Keep an eye on the store to find popular games on regular free weekends, which will give you unlimited access for a limited time.
System Cleaning – CCleaner
Windows 10 can do a lot of things right, and although the developers promise that it’s able to keep itself clean, the truth is that the OS tends to build up a lot of unusable and junk data as time wears on. One way to avoid this is by using CCleaner, multi-platform cleaning software that can get rid of just about anything that isn’t necessary to run the system well. It’s completely free for all users, and the paid version comes packed with even more cleaning and maintenance options.