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21 software releases and important updates from the first week of January

06 January 2012, Software Publisher

We might all be feeling slightly sluggish after overindulging throughout the holidays, but the software release schedule continues apace. Your thoughts may have already turned to Windows 8 and if you’re yet to try out the Developer Preview, PCmover Windows 8 Beta Assistant is here to make things easier for you. If you have been put off by the idea of having to set up a virtual a machine or updating your existing installation because of the prospect of transferring your files and installing all of your favorite software, this handy utility can help to automate the process.

Whether you’re upgrading Windows or not, everyone needs a backup tool, and EASEUS Todo Backup Free 4.0 fits the bill perfectly. You can backup individual files and folders or entire partitions, and you can create incremental backups to save space. If you’re sticking with your current version of Windows for the time being, SharpKeys 3.5 enables you to disable keys on your keyboard that you do not use or find that you press accidentally – a much easier option that editing the registry. You may well be more interested in customizing the look of your computer rather than customizing the way your hardware works, and this is something that Kuvva 1.1 can help with, making it possible to automatically change your desktop wallpaper on a schedule.

View and edit PDF documents using Foxit Reader

It has been a fairly busy week for web software and we have seen the release of Google Chrome 16.0.912.75 FINAL as well as Google Chrome 17.0.963.26 Beta which moved from the Developer to the Beta channel. Both versions of the app offer speed improvements over previous releases as Google’s web browser development shows no signs of slowing down. There is an interesting browser available in the form of CoolNovo which is an enhanced version of Chrome packed with extra features – although these can be added to Chrome with plugins. For those PDFs you invariably encounter online, Foxit Reader 5.1.4 can be used to not only view these portable files but also edit and annotate them.

When it comes to editing audio files, tools such as Audacity may spring to mind, but Wavosaur 1.0.6 is well worth a look. The app can be used to record, edit and process audio, while RarmaRadio 2.64.3 enables you to listen to a record internet radio stations, including the option of recording multiple stations simultaneously. If you’re interested in online radio, Clementine 1.0 is a cross-platform radio player that can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux complete with support for Spotify, Grooveshark and You may be more interested in television, and TVNations 1.0 can be used to watch hundreds of streaming TV channels from around the world. TV and radio have their place, but book are here to stay, and Adobe Digital Editions 1.7 enables you to read and manage your ebook collection on your computer.

Manage your media requirements using Free Studio

For many people, listening to music means working with an iPod. If you are one of the many people who are not keen on iTunes, look no further than Floola 2012 which can be used to manage your digital music collection. One of the problems with any form of media is that it often means battling with file formats. Free Studio 5.3.3 is a handy tool that can be used to convert video and audio files between formats, while Freemake Video Converter focuses on enabling you to work with video files including downloading from YouTube, converting between formats and burning to disc. The YouTube downloading component is available as a separate tool as Free YouTube Download 3.0.20, and Freemake Music Box 0.9.0 opens up a world of online music that you can listen to legally and free of charge.

It is important to take care of your computer if you want to gain the best possible performance from it. Your hard drive is something that needs particular attention. UltraDefrag Portable 5.0 (32-bit) is a replacement for the built in defrag tool found in windows, and 64-bit OS users can turn to UltraDefrag Portable 5.0 (64-bit). The final tool in this week’s roundup is IObit Advanced SystemCare 5.1 FINAL which includes a huge number of tools to help boost the performance, stability and security of your computer. AS new uninstaller component complements the existing registry and hard drive cleaners along with numerous other maintenance tools.

There are plenty of tools here to keep you busy over the week end – join us again next week for more top releases.

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