We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

The 40 best free software applications

Everything you could ever want... for free

There's a wealth of free software and applications available so we've taken a look at the best ones that won’t crash your system.


With so many audio editors available, Audacity stands out among them because of its many cool features packed into a small frame. Audacity has been a worthy rival to Adobe Audition, offering almost all the features that the expensive app offers.

Audacity features a large selection of filters and effects. Each has its own setting options. A full complement of basic effects such as reverb, delay, and compression are included. Other effects such as bass boost, wah wah, and noise removal add more functionality. Audacity can also be expanded with the help of plug-ins which are available in plenty. Another handy feature is the Beat Analyzer, which helps you peg the beats per minute in a phrase. Audacity supports uncompressed audio standards such as WAV and AIFF in addition to OGG and MP3 files. It also has functions to import and export these files.

Download Audacity here.

MusicBrainz Picard

If you have thousands of MP3 files stored in your system then you could definitely use a good audio organiser. MusicBrainz Picard is a fabulous tool for doing that and it does the job without too much of a hassle. It's a great program that helps you find accurate information for all of your music.

MusicBrainz Picard is basically a MP3 file tagger that can identify track information by comparing an audio track's "unique digital thumbprint" to the information in the MusicBrainz database. It is based on a tagging concept that is organised around album or release information for groups of tracks (and will identify individual tracks within that framework).

MusicBrainz Picard creates a "unique digital thumbprint" for audio files that it processes and compares it to the MusicBrainz database in order to identify it. This database is completely user generated, maintained (you can get your own account and contribute information) and contains information of about 306,369 artists, 483,324 albums, and 5.7 million tracks. It can also work with various other formats like OGG Vorbis, FLAC, MP4, Windows Media Audio, etc.

Operating system

Open source choices

Almost all major paid software has "Free" alternatives which are almost as good as the paid versions. So what about the most important software of them all - the OS? Is there a free alternative to the MS Windows OS stable? Not exactly but if you are not afraid to jump completely to a new OS environment, using a Linux OS is the best answer which gives you everything you will find in a full-featured OS.

One of the advantages of Linux is its flexibility. For the novice user it is straightforward to use, and it gives more experienced users the kind of control over their computers which is not available in other operating systems. Also there is a huge variety of high quality, free software available for Linux. And using a package manager it is easy to choose among thousands of applications and install it in a matter of minutes.

Another significant advantage with Linux is that, unlike in Windows, there is no need to worry about security since viruses on Linux are very rare. A virus has yet to spread successfully on the platform. And with powerful desktops such as KDE and Gnome with stunning visual effects, it is able to look even better than Windows Vista and Mac OS X.

NEXT PAGE: We've looked at even more free software available on the web. Read on to find out what's available.

  1. Free security software
  2. More free security software and office applications
  3. Email tools
  4. Web browsers and internet tools
  5. Photo-sharing freebies
  6. Free photo editors
  7. Audio-editing tools
  8. Open-source operating systems and video tools
  9. Desktop software utilities
  10. System tools
  11. Social-networking solutions
  12. More video tools
  13. Home entertainment freebies
  14. Blogging fun
  15. For the best free software, visit PC Advisor Downloads

IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ release date, price and specs: The Xperia Z4 for the UK

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

10 amazing, creative uses of tech – and the brands behind them

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer