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Atmosphere Lite 7.0

Bring the relaxing sounds of nature to your PC

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal)
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 22 January 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 711
Developer: Vectormedia Software
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Atmosphere Lite 7.0
Bring the relaxing sounds of nature to your PC

Atmosphere Lite is an interesting tool for generating nature-based ambient sounds. In a click or two the program can take you to a forest stream, a woodland campfire, the ocean's edge and more, complete with any associated sounds: waves, wind, rain, birdsong and more.

The program isn't just replaying a single audio file. It works by using multiple sounds samples, blending them together, and launching them at random times and frequencies. The end result is that even something relatively simple - the "Night Stream" scenario, say, is mostly just gurgling water and a few owl noises - can play in the background for a very long time, without you getting bored or noticing any repetition.

If you don't find the built-in sound scenarios interesting, though, they can be reconfigured in various ways. New background sounds (rain, wind, stream, ocean) may be added with a click, there are plenty of random sounds to include (thunder, birds, even insects), and you can play around with volume - making background sounds a little quieter, say - to help produce the effect you need.

The end result is surprisingly effective, and can be genuinely relaxing. To help a little more, Atmosphere Lite is able to display a full-screen slideshow while you listen. And if you don't want to risk drifting off to sleep - or at least, not for long - there's an option to set an alarm.

As you'll probably guess from its name, Atmosphere Lite is the free version of a commercial program, and upgrading to the PLUS or DELUXE editions will get you many more sounds, scenarios and slideshows. These each support more variations - there's "dynamic weather" and "evolving soundscapes" - and you also have more options for fine-tuning the results, including the ability to tweak the volume of individual sounds. Prices start at $22.95 and you can find out more at the developer's site.

Verdict:

A clever tool which makes it easy to generate surprisingly realistic ambient soundscapes.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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