I’ve mentioned some of these before and will continue to update the Cool Downloads tab, so here they are. Most are free, but some do have a price tag attached.
1. Apple iMovie: This workhorse application, along with some well thought out plug in purchases, can be the mainstay of an in-house TV studio. Of course you need at least one miniDV video camera and a Mac running OSX. But it beats Windows Movie Maker hands down and is much more affordable than any of the mid-level or pro applications that start at $200 and go up from there very fast. OK, this one is NOT a download – but it is a great application.
2. SeaMonkey: If you teach web design or would just like a web site for your publication or class without having to learn HTML or buy an expensive product like Dreamweaver or GoLive, then SeaMonkey is for you. It is not much harder than using a word processor, the price is right and it is available for Mac and Windows. What’s not to like? (maybe the dumb name)
3. Quicktime Pro: If you teach video and especially if you use iMovie or download video from iTunes (like free podcasts), then you need to go pro. Quicktime Pro is cheap, only $29.99 and it allows you to record video, edit video and do a lot more without having to import it into iMovie. Great for doing something quick – like the name. And it too is available for Mac and Windows!
4. Firefox: How can you work on the web without the best web browser available today? Internet Explorer and Safari are just not good enough. IE is riddled with security issues and Safari is slow. Firefox is also free! It also can be customized with plugins that are available at the mozilla.org site. It works on Mac, Windows and Linux. Fast, free, secure. What are you waiting for?
5. Adobe Flash Player: Formerly Macromedia Flash until Adobe bought them out, this is still the web standard for Flash based graphics. It is a powerful tool when added to your web browser, there are a ton of great web graphics and tutorials out there that utilize flash. Every video and web teacher should have it installed. Mac and Windows.
7 . Flip 4 Mac: Obviously a Mac only tool to “flip” Windows Media files over to Quicktime. This allows you play any WMV or audio file in Quicktime. The free version is limited, but does allow you to watch or listen to Windows Media files.
8. Apple iTunes: iTunes is the new Media Player across platforms. It plays video and audio equally well. It works on Windows and of course on a Mac. If you only want one media player – this one is it. But if you teach multimedia – you need more than one tool, but this one is the best tool. And of course it works with iPods.
9. Windows Media Player: Of course if you have a Windows based PC, then it came pre-installed, but keep it up to date. If you haven’t downloaded or updated this utility in a while, then you need to do so. If you have a Mac, don’t sweat it – download WMP for the Mac or Flip 4 Mac’s Windows Media Components for Quicktime. I highly recommend the WMC for Quicktime in addition to Flip 4 Mac, this adds browser compatibility for Windows Media Files streamed or embedded into web pages.
10. Real Player: Yet another media player for the web. Just like Pokemon, you gotta catch ‘em all or you will run across a cool video file you just have to show in class, but it is in a format you can’t play. The hyperlink is for the Mac version, because I couldn’t get Real to let me see the windows version. I’m guessing it has an autodetect system and will redirect windows users.