Best free ways to manage photos and video

Freshen up digital photos with freebies like PhotoPerfect Express and Skitch. Also, find and manage video with free downloads and services like DVDFlick and Wowbrary.

Vital video helpers

In this group, you'll find nine innovative ways to discover, transfer, and organize video.

You can learn to cut down YouTube videos so your friends don't have to watch the full 6 minutes to see the monkey throw the cream pie; create embeddable playlists of favorite videos; make DVDs friendly to PCs and set-top devices; and interact with a great media hub and player.

BEST BET DVD Flick: Normally, burning video files to a DVD that you can run in your DVD player is notoriously difficult, unless you're ready to bust open your piggy bank. This no-cost download, however, burns virtually any video file to a playable DVD with ease.

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Embedr: This simple but smart service creates embeddable video playlists, allowing you to fashion the perfect combination of online video clips into one long-playing video.

HandBrake: This must-have download converts DVDs to computer- and mobile-friendly formats so you can get your Lost fix during your commute, on your iPod or other video-capable portable device.

KickYouTube: Ever wish you could download a YouTube video to carry with you on your cell phone, iPod, or PSP--or just to save on your PC? This service converts YouTube videos to virtually any device-friendly format, on the fly. All you have to do is add the word kick to the front of any YouTube URL.

RerunCheck: TV lovers often ask, "Is my favorite show a new episode or a rerun this week?" Jump onto this site for the answer, or sign up for weekly e-mail reminders so you never suffer the heartbreak of a warm bowl of popcorn and nothing to watch.

Splicd: Feel bad about making friends suffer through a 5-minute-long YouTube video just so they can appreciate the pratfall at 4:43? With this service, you can link straight to the good part when you share YouTube videos.

TV.com: Hulu's video service was big in 2008, but it now has some stiff competition from the CBS-owned TV.com. This service is part Hulu, part IMDb, and all television-streaming goodness.

Wowbrary: Looking to save some serious cash on entertainment in the midst of this financial apocalypse? This service (registration required) monitors your local library for new DVDs (along with books and CDs) so that you can be first in line to get your hands on a fresh release.

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XBMC: Originally developed to run on the original Microsoft Xbox (hence the name, XBox Media Center), this download is a robust media player and entertainment hub. It runs on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and Xbox.

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