Useful Free Software

I’ve recently come across a couple of very useful software programs (for Windows). The first is VideoSpin by Pinnacle. It’s basically a dumbed down version of their commercial Pinnacle Software. The good thing about this program is that it’s freeware. It does all of the basic timeline editing that I need and it handles titles very well. I was looking for a program that could edit mp4 files and this does it. The downside to the program is that to keep using mp4 (or maybe just to export to it) I’ll have to upgrade to the “advanced codecs” for $15. Other than that, I’ve found it to be decent and meet all my basic video editing needs, which I’ll be doing more of when the baby comes. Read Download Squad’s review of VideoSpin here.

videospin screenshot

The other program that I just started using is called DVD Flick. It’s another freeware program that allows you to create basic DVDs that you can either burn to DVD or save as an image file (ISO). It’s very simple to use. All you have to do is drag and drop the video files you want to be on the DVD (maybe that you’ve edited using VideoSpin) and then click “Create DVD.” Check your “Project Settings” first, though, because I think the program was written in Europe, so it defaults to PAL format that won’t work in the USA. Change this to NTSC and you’ll be good to go.

The program separates the video files into separate titles on the disc, which will allow you to skip through the DVD if you have multiple files. One thing it doesn’t have is any way to create DVD menus, which would make it a perfect program if it had this feature. However, if you’re just looking for a quick and easy way to make DVDs to play in a DVD player, this program may be what you’ve been looking for.

dvdflick screenshot

A last piece of software that I’ve found is the Reverse Order Comments plugin for WordPress blogs (like my blog). After uploading and activating the plugin, a simple edit of your theme makes the comments that people make on your posts to appear at the top of the comments section. This is the order order I wanted comments to appear on my blog because I have a couple of posts that have quite a few comments and this makes sure people see the freshest comments first.

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