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New PC - Must-have software?

Chris The Rock

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As I've mentioned in another thread, I'm building a new PC.


Anyone have opinions on what are the "must-have" pieces of software for a XP-Pro based machine? Besides that, are there any apps that I should definitely NOT install/use?


In particular, what are your favorite apps for:

DVD playing

DVD ripping (mods...delete if you want)

Video playback

Music playback

Music ripping (if I get an X-Fi sound card, is the included software any good?)

Photo Editing

I may already have some of what might be suggested, but I'd appreciate any thoughts from the experience of the fine folks on this board.


(Now that I've just typed all this, there may already be a thread like this. Time to go look...:hmm)


Man.....I really need to learn about BitTorrents, too. Any n00b-friendly resources?

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DVD playing - I Like Power DVD, although it's not working for me lately so I've just been using WMP, which is servicable, but not good.

DVD ripping - DVD Shrink is what I've used, but only a few times. Know a few people that use it quite a bit though.

Video playback - I just use WMP for videos usually.

Music playback - Winamp and Itunes

Music ripping - Exact Audio Copy with LAME. CDEX is good too, but I had some troubles with popping when I used to use it (quite awhile ago though)

Photo Editing - Photoshop


(Now that I've just typed all this, there may already be a thread like this. Time to go look...)


There is a thread somewhere about apps people use and recommend from awhile back.

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Let me add Dvd Shrink as a needed partner to DVD Decryptor. I'm a big fan of Media Player classic for playing jsut about everything except dvd's. I use RealAlternative and QuickTime Alternative ao I can play back those formats in Media Player rather than pollute my pc with their software. Add another vote for Exact Audio Copy and LAME for ripping.


If you looking at using bittorrent might I also suggest you look into using the Newsgroups. The site Robot Monkey linked to has a great tutorial on getting up and running with newsgroups and there is much fun to be had there. I'm a fan of Agent for newsgroup use, jsut make sure whatevwer reader you get is yEnc capable (outlook express isn't).

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in general yes


usenets big advantage is speed, i can get things many times faster over usenet than via torrent. it's big disadvantage is that it's a bit more chaotic and you may have to check multiple groups to find something you ar elooking for, if it's availalbe at all. but i like the randomness of it so i continue to use it...

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