Linux replacements for your favorite Windows apps

For many users, getting started with Linux is surprisingly easy

Audio/Video Playback and Authoring

If you're into iTunes or Windows Media Player, give Amarok or VLC a spin. Your Linux distribution probably comes with a choice of music players, but the one that most closely matches the features of the leading Windows players is Amarok. As in iTunes (or Windows Media Player or Winamp), you can build a library of music, play CDs, create playlists, copy songs to your portable MP3 player, and stream online stations, including Last.fm.

Ripping CDs to your Amarok library requires a bit of Konquerer drag-and-drop sleight of hand, or you can simply use the excellent Sound Juicer or Grip rippers included with your Linux distribution. Amarok even incorporates an online music store, albeit one devoid of major-label artists.

Amarok doesn't do video, unfortunately. Another excellent free player, VLC, offers a compact, uncluttered interface and plays just about any video or audio file type you throw at it, including streaming video and audio, DVDs, and CDs.

Instead of Nero, use K3B. Nero 8 Ultra Edition does it all--ripping, burning, authoring, backing up, and more, to both CDs and DVDs. K3B nearly matches Nero's prowess, allowing you to rip or copy CDs and DVDs, format and erase rewritable DVDs and CDs, burn CD and DVD .iso image files to disc, and create audio CDs, video DVDs, and data discs in both formats.

Replace Windows Media Center with MythTV. Wish you could build your own Linux-based digital video recorder like the one in Windows Media Center? MythTV does the job, supporting a number of popular video-capture cards (including HDTV versions) and remote controls.

Installing and configuring MythTV is not for Linux newbies, however. You can sidestep much of the process by downloading and installing Mythbuntu, a Ubuntu Linux variant that comes with MythTV preinstalled.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scott Spanbauer

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?