Friday, May 7, 2010

Ubuntu alternatives to Windows Softwares

Lucid Lynx 10.04 has attracted a lot of attention. And frankly, a large number of new users are now part of the Ubuntu fraternity. A hearty welcome to all of the new converts.

This particular post is especially for the new users who might struggle to find the Ubuntu counterparts of Windows softwares. The list is only indicative and not in any way all inclusive, since in the open source field, its virtually impossible to keep a tab on development of every single project out of the billions being currently worked on.

1. Media Player - Totem (installed by default) is pretty awesome and plays nearly all formats especially once the Ubuntu Restricted Extras package has been installed (do go through this post: to find out more about how to install this essential package). Of course, if you need to play around a bit more, VLC Media Player, available in the Ubuntu Software Center is a safe bet.

2. Music Application - A dedicated music application is always better than an all inclusive media player. Rhythmbox (installed by default) is definitely my favourite. However if you're on the adventurous side, you might want to try out Amarok, Banshee and Kaffeine.

3. Burning Software - Although Brasero installed by default does a pretty good job and is very easy to use, its a fact that it lacks a lot of features (verification of discs being one of them). My personal recommendation would be K3b (available in the Ubuntu Software Center) which works like magic. It might not be that user-friendly but once you get the hang of it, you will find it very difficult to switch to another burning tool. Another application which is quite good is GNOME-Baker (available in the Ubuntu Software Center).

4. Video Converter - For this there are many options, I prefer to use DeVeDe (available in the Ubuntu Software Center). Other options include Avidemux, Handbrake, WinFF (all available in the Ubuntu Software Center). However when it comes to video conversion I would recommend a trial and error approach.

Do give these softwares a try and let me know what you like best.


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