It's been well over a year since I posted anything new on this blog site, since October 2011 to be more precise, that's almost two years. So what have I been up to you may ask.
Briefly I have been concentrating more on my 'Trail Trekking' blog site, and writing a couple of books, then I got myself a job which effectively took up most of my time and left me with just the weekends and the occasional evening to do my own thing. For this reason I was forced to focus on my main goal - 'Trail Trekking'. However I'm back now, but for how long I cannot say, it depends on what the near-future has in store for me.
Fortunately I have got loads of new stuff to tell you about, which I will split over the next few posts, so please read on.
Firstly, 'Trail Trekking' involves taking lots of photographs but as my main camera was a 9 megapixel model the resulting images were pretty large and it wasn't uncommon to end up with images that were a few megabytes in size so I went on the lookout for something that would reduce their size without sacrificing too much quality. I eventually found what I was after in 'PhotoScape'.
|PhotoScape in action|
This is a totally free (of course) basic photo editor that I use all the time. It allows me to do everything I need to do to my photographs; such as downsizing them, adding text, darkening, lightening, and the usual expected features such as cropping, adding frames, and red-eye removal to name a few. The interface is extremely easy to deal with and the basic functions can soon be picked up to allow you to do whatever you need to do to your images quickly and efficiently.
If you are looking for a program to get a fast overview of you photos and images with simple ways to optimize them? Than PhotoScape is for you! The tool offers the beginner everything they need to organize and edit their digital images. Other than the viewer, PhotoScape has functions to clone, crop, sharpen and decolour as well as settings for contrast, levels, vignetting and many other image parameters. Several templates allow to easily arrange photos on a page which can then be saved as a final image or be printed on paper. Photoscape also includes capabilities for red-eye removal, batch editing (file names and image settings), converting camera RAW files, taking screenshots and generating GIFs, where several individual images can be combined to an animated GIF.
Developed by MOOII Tech, Korea. The basic concept of PhotoScape is 'easy and fun', so that allows users to easily edit photographs taken from their digital cameras or even mobile phones. PhotoScape provides a simple user interface to perform common photo enhancements including color adjustment, cutting, resizing, printing and GIF animation. However PhotoScape operates only in Microsoft Windows systems and is not available in Mac or Linux systems. Its default languages are English and Korean, with additional language packages available for download.
Version 3.6 is the current stable release. However, older versions are still available for the sake of Windows 98 and Me users. It is distributed free of charge for all users including commercial bodies.
PhotoScape can be downloaded totally free from a number of locations but to save you time I've included a link here.
Secondly, for the Audio-heads out there here's a good one for you.
|Audacity doing its thing|
Another freebie that I wouldn't be without. Audacity allows me to record voice-overs for my 'Trail Trekking' slideshow videos, it also allows real-time recording from any audio source whether internal or external (imagine the possibilities when listening to streamed music or videos), then it gives me many options to allow me to enhance the recorded audio; such as amplify it, de-click it, delete sections (such as when I mess up with my voice-over recordings - washing machine spinning in the background for example) so I don't have to start all over again, I can just remove the bit or bits that are wrong. It has almost all the functions you can expect from a quality audio editor, and of course it's free.
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. The interface is translated into many languages. You can use Audacity to:
- Record live audio.
- Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
- Edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound files.
- Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
- Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
- And more! See the complete list of features.
Free software is not just free of cost (like "free beer"). It is free as in freedom (like "free speech"). Free software gives you the freedom to use a program, study how it works, improve it and share it with others. For more information, visit the Free Software Foundation.
Programs like Audacity are also called open source software, because their source code is available for anyone to study or use. There are thousands of other free and open source programs, including the Firefox web browser, the OpenOffice.org
Download 'Audacity' here.
Other free stuff I've learned about include:
Any Video Converter
Speedbit Video Downloader
K-lite Codec Pack
I'll tell you about a couple of them in my next post.