6 audio/video players to ease the sorrow of losing Winamp

Jon L. Jacobi Freelance Writer, PCWorld

Alas, poor Winamp! We knew it well. One of our favorite audio and video player/streamers, we loved that it kept on kicking the Llama’s butt year after year. Time and the competition caught up with it. Support and development have ceased. Sigh.

Of course, no support doesn’t mean that a pretty darn good program doesn’t work anymore. You can still use it. However, in light of the news, that’s too painful to bear. Here are five ways to move on, plus one other historical-footnote player. Sorry if they’re mostly corporate creations that may have hastened Winamp’s demise. Life goes on.

AIMP 3

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Not Another PDF Scanner 2 review: Free NAPS2 makes documents scans easier

Erez Zukerman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Endlessly tweaking his workflow for comfort and efficiency, Erez is a freelance writer on a mission to discover the simplest, coolest, and most effective software and websites to make tomorrow happen today.
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Windows has built-in support for scanning documents. In fact, it not only supports scanning but positively embraces the endeavor, forcing you to save your scanned documents where it thinks they should go, and perform several extraneous steps every time you want to scan a page. If you find that annoying, you should check out NAPS2, which stands for Not Another PDF Scanner 2.

The NAPS2 interface is as simple as could be.

This free, open-source utility doesn't smother you with guidance. Its bare-bones interface lets you set up multiple scanning profiles, each with its own name, resolution, document size, scan source, and so on. When the time comes to scan, you just pick a profile and scan. The images scanned are imported directly into NAPS2, and you can then save them out as images or as PDFs.

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Review: RescueTime helps you figure out where your week went

Erez Zukerman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Endlessly tweaking his workflow for comfort and efficiency, Erez is a freelance writer on a mission to discover the simplest, coolest, and most effective software and websites to make tomorrow happen today.
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It’s Monday morning; you sit down in front of the computer to get some work done... and suddenly, it’s lunchtime. Where did all the time go? RescueTime is a Web-based service that answers this question. It not only tells you what you did with your time (as in, which apps or sites you used), but helps you figure out whether or not it was time well-spent. In other words, it makes it obvious just how badly you procrastinate.

”Where were you?” asks RescueTime’s desktop client.

To use RescueTime, you install a small client on your computer, which sits on your system tray and basically snoops on everything you do. Every window, every website, everything gets recorded. It then uploads it all to the Web, where all the heavy lifting happens. The client is nearly unnoticeable, save for its annoying tendency to pop up on your screen and inquire where you’ve been, when all you were doing was just grabbing a cup of coffee. Thankfully, that can be disabled using the Web interface, though you may have to dig around for the right setting to change.

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Opera 18 review: This browser's seen radical changes… perhaps too radical

Ian Harac , PCWorld

Opera has always been the Avis or RC Cola of Web browsers—just behind the leading two, even as the identity of the leaders shifted over time. Opera 12, reviewed some time ago, was the last of one development path. Since then, the rendering engine has shifted (to the Chromium platform) and so has the design direction. A series of rapid-fire releases began with Opera 15, and Opera 18 is the latest release build, with Opera 19 in the testing stage.

Opera 18 screenshot To get bookmarks, download an extension
The Quick Access Bar might as well be hidden behind a locked door in a disused lavatory with a sign reading “Beware Of The Leopard.”

Opera 18 takes an extremely minimalist approach to browser design, perhaps because there is now a focus on phone, tablet, and desktop interoperability. It’s so minimalist, bookmarks are no longer considered an essential part of the browser experience.

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LICEcap review: Make animated screenshots, prove GIFs aren't just for memes

Erez Zukerman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Endlessly tweaking his workflow for comfort and efficiency, Erez is a freelance writer on a mission to discover the simplest, coolest, and most effective software and websites to make tomorrow happen today.
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No matter how you pronounce the word, GIFs are hot. The humble image format born in 1987 just won't die, mainly thanks to its support of animations, which has been used for anything from fine art to cat memes. As it turns out, though, GIFs can also be used for work: Free desktop utility LICEcap lets you create animated screenshots in a snap. I tried out the PC edition.

Picking an area to record is as easy as drag-and-drop.

LICEcap is named for the developer's image composition library, Lightweight Image Composition Engine. [Ed: We didn't call the name a "head-scratcher." Aren't you proud?]

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TeamViewer 9 review: Remote control software adds several very handy new features

Jon L. Jacobi Freelance Writer, PCWorld

TeamViewer has saved my family and friends a lot of grief, and saved me a lot of gasoline. I just tell them to download and run (or install it), give me the code and password and voilà! Their desktop pops up in a window on mine so I can fix what ails it.

TeamViewer screenshot 3
The TeamViewer console (shown with a remote session in the background) is largely the same, but has adopted with Windows 8 2D look.

TeamViewer 9 offers some very welcome improvements. My personal favorite is the ability to cut-and-paste or drag-and-drop files from the host desktop (the computer doing the controlling) to the client (the computer being controlled) and cut-and-paste from the client. It's much handier than opening the file transfer dialog as was required formerly, though that function still exists for working with older TeamViewer clients.

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Launch8 review: Add a dock to the Windows Start screen

Erez Zukerman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Endlessly tweaking his workflow for comfort and efficiency, Erez is a freelance writer on a mission to discover the simplest, coolest, and most effective software and websites to make tomorrow happen today.
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If you can't beat 'em, join 'em—or at least, customize them. Stardock's latest product, Launch8, adds a static row of icons at the bottom or top of the Windows 8 Start Screen. As you scroll the dynamic start screen left and right (and up and down, in Windows 8.1), the dock stays put, so you always know right where your favorite apps are.

The new dock stays at the bottom of the screen, no matter where you scroll.

Stardock previously made a splash with Start8, which brings the Start menu back to Windows 8. Unlike the free Classic Shell, Start8 costs $5—as does Launch8. Stardock tries to tie the two together in various ways: By default, the installer makes you install Start8, forcing you to opt out explicitly; then, too, every app on the dock features an item that says "Pin to Start Menu," even if you don't have Launch8 installed.

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