For years I’ve stuck to the same software. Firefox for a browser, Thunderbird for email, iTunes for music, and Quicktime for movies. Recently I’ve gotten pretty tired of Thunderbird for it’s lack of other in-depth features. Then I ended up stumbling upon Postbox (Mac and PC). It’s built off of Thunderbird, but definitely has more bang for it. The biggest thing I liked was that when you loaded up an email in the bottom pane, it would have a sidebar of any media or links included in it that you can access right away without having to skim through the email to find. There’s a lot more features, but you know, I’m just a tad too lazy to blog about it.
After that I decided I wanted to try to find other replacements for some of my software. I’ve replaced iTunes with Songbird (Windows XP or Vista), although the main factor being that iTunes was not too fond of Vista 64bit. My favorite part is that it’s built around Firefox so I can download other add-ons to enhance my experience. It’s linked to my last.fm account (which is integrated already), and I’ve got a few others like coverflow, showing last.fm data about the artist playing, and a few others for skinning. It has no CD ripping or burning features yet, although that’s on their to-do list. That was another problem with 64bit and iTunes, the CD rip/burn was inoperable. 😐
My HD capture card came with proprietary encoding software from Arcsoft which was really lacking in any major functionality. The biggest problem was that encoding took longer than it should have. Armando, ended up finding an awesome free alternative to it, Super ©. It’s perfect because I needed to be able to encode to MOV with H264 video and AAC audio, and be able to chose the resolutions for it and fine tune a few other specs. Encoding is also about 75% quicker than what I experienced with Arcsoft’s prepacked bologna.
Majority of my interest in trying out new software has mainly developed after I joined Wakoopa.com. It tracks the software (and webapps) that you use, and charts them for you. They do have up a recommended section for you and while it’s in beta, it hasn’t given me some decent choices. Majority of those were based on popularity and I was already aware of, so from just randomly browsing other users’ profiles I was able to find some other software to look at.
Other than the few I’ve changed over I still haven’t (or won’t) find alternatives to my main programs like Photoshop, After Effects, Intype (well technically this replaced Notepad++), and Firefox. 😛