Top 10 Downloads For Media/Journalism Teachers

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.

6. Java or JRE: Java Runtime Environment from Sun Microsystems is another powerful online tool for animation and graphics. Macs need to go to the Apple Java site.

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.

Mr. C

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2 Comments

  1. Sorry, i might not getting something… but this info is useless. What do standart players and codec, which get installed with corresponding OS(linux,mac,win) do here? Sorry.

    BTW:
    1. Kino, Open Movie Editor. Open Source.
    2. Seamonkey is ok. But KompoZer is better. Open Source.
    3. Gstreamer. KLiteMega for win. Thats all actually. Open Source.
    4. FX is good.
    5. Flash plugin is available for linux aswell. Gstreamer plays everything else.
    7. Gstreamer?)
    8. Totem with gstreamer link)
    9. Totem!) Or audacious, or XMMS, or Banshee.
    10. Gstreamer?=))

    Costs->0$.
    Licenses->Free.
    100% opensource.

  2. I only posted the above comment because “vvv” does have one thing right – KompoZer is better than SeaMonkey. KompoZer is an updated NVU app. It is way better than SeaMonkey, but I’m pretty sure at the time I wrote this post more than one year ago, KompoZer did not exist and NVU was still very buggy.

    “standart” I’m guessing is “standard” – don’t write to a teacher if you can’t spell correctly – it really crushes your credibility. We also capitalize our “i”s in the grown up world.

    Kino, like Gimp, may or may not be a great application. This blog is for teachers. First, we don’t always get to pick our platform. Second, time is money and building and debugging a linux app on a mac is time consuming and often frustrating. I need an app that will just run out of the box and be invisible. I don’t have time to waste being IT. My time is valuable to my students. Tech problems already take up too much of my day.

    I’m not going to waste my time looking into all the other apps on your list. They are guaranteed to be linux builds. I doubt many teachers in my field have time to play around with the often buggy open source apps out there. I have nothing against ones that are plug and play, with good community support and a robust group of testers. But I don’t have time to be a beta tester.

    Some open source is better than others. And you really do get what you pay for. Sometimes free just means “doesn’t work.”


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