Home Nook RCDigits Miscellaneous


This page contains links to the web sites of some of my favorite software products, not just recorder and music related, but also concerning programming, web design, and image manipulation. I offer them as suggestions for people who have similar interests.

Most programs are shareware or freeware, although some are commercial products. All are relatively inexpensive.

There are also links to several non-software informational websites of interest to musicians.

Product Description
Recorder Home Page Website. Best source for all recorder-related info.
SearchMusicNetwork.Com Website. Very comprehensive music directory website, containing links to many other music-related websites, all neatly arranged in categories.
NoteWorthy Composer Great music notation software. For more info, use the link at left, and also see my Miscellaneous page.
Melody Assistant Another fine music notation program, with unique Midi to MP3 export capability. For more info, use the link at left, and also see my Miscellaneous page.
Wow! Bach Bach's Brandenburg Concertos played by a program which allows the user to manipulate the speed, instrumentation, etc. Great for making your own music-minus-one arrangements. For more info, use the link at left, and also see my Miscellaneous page.
MP3 Music File Processing
AudioGrabber Excellent freeware MP3-creation software. Can be used for ripping Wav and/or MP3 files from CDs. Also has recording functionality, making it possibe to create Wav and/or MP3s from records or tapes (via your sound card's Line-In jacks).
Mp3Gain Excellent freeware MP3 volume-level adjustment utility. Tired of having to adjust the volume up and down when playing your MP3s, because the level of each song is different? This utility completely solves this problem. It allows you to adjust the volume on your existing MP3 files, making them all match. Does not lower the fidelity of your files and is completely reversible. Works much better than standard "normalization."
Image Processing
Paint Shop Pro Very popular image editing software. Does most of what PhotoShop does at a fraction of the cost. More powerful than PhotoShop Elements. Paint Shop Pro used to have tremendous technical support - they actually answered emails, usually within a day. Not so sure now, because the company (Jasc) was recently purchased by Corel. Version 10, the first since the Corel takeover, looks very nice and stable.
Real-Draw Pro A unique image editor/drawing program which blends vector and raster (bitmap) editing as no other. Objects are created as vectors, but can be modified like bitmaps (e.g. gradients, textures, bevels,etc), but then continue to be manipulated like vectors (e.g. resized without losing sharpness, since they really are still vectors). This is not really possible with any other image editor, even ones like Paint Shop Pro and PhotoShop which have separate bitmap and vector layers. It is an excellent complement to regular image programs like Paint Shop Pro. Real-Draw Pro is very reasonably priced too!
Super BladePro Texture and bevel-producing plugin (works in Paint Shop Pro and other PhotoShop-compatible programs). Reasonably priced. Vendor has other interesting plugins.
Sketch Master Plugin that manipulates a photo to look like a drawing. Very flexible, with a ton of options and settings. Slick interface, with multiple undo (unusual in a plugin). Reasonably priced. Vendor has other nice plugins, including some freeware.
Topaz Adjust Plugin (works in Paint Shop Pro and other PhotoShop-compatible programs) that allows you to make easy and powerful adjustments to an image's exposure, detail, color and noise. It includes a large number of presets that you can preview and then use, or you can adjust the settings yourself to fit your needs (and create your own presets). It works very well, and can accomplish things that your image editor cannot do with its own built-in tools.

For example, its Shadow Adjustment preset does a better job than the Fill Flash tool in Paint Shop Pro or the similar tool in Photoshop Elements, and you can adjust the settings to make it work even better for the needs of a particular image.

Topaz also has a bunch of other very good plugins. I have their DeNoise, Detail, Clarity, and ReMask plugins and they are excellent.

ThumbNailer Powerful image "thumbnail" generating software. Handles batches of images. Can also be used for image format conversion, web page creation, etc.
IrfanView Very popular image viewing freeware. Handles an unbelievable number of image formats. Very good for generating web image galleries. Spectacular and free!
XnView Very good image viewer/organizer. Freeware. Its 3-pane interface (directory tree; image thumbnails; large image view) is very nice and customizable.
Ax-Icon Icon Editor Excellent icon editor.
Programming and Web Development
Vedit Super fast, powerful, text editing program. Very compact (fits on a floppy!). Has a strong C-like macro language, capable of just about any kind of text manipulation you can think of. Vedit is amazingly customizable (e.g. there are 5 options to handle how the cursor acts when you go beyond the end of a line). The product has existed since 1980 and the support is excellent.

Why does a programmer need a powerful text editor when an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is part of most development tools today? Well, if you need to do a lot of editing, the more power the better. Plus, there are always special editing tasks that require a really good editor (e.g. the .rbl files supplied with Recorder Digits, which required numerous specialized macros to get right).

UltraEdit Another nice text editor. Not as fast, powerful, or customizable as Vedit, but you may prefer its look and feel.
Notepad++ A very good freeware text editor. Freeware.
HelpScribble Very good Windows Help editor. Reasonably priced (all the competitors cost several hundred dollars).
Nullsoft Scriptable Install System A very nice freeware installation builder. Very flexible and easier to control than very expensive alternates like InstallShield. Not easy to use for non-programmers, however (you write program-like text scripts that get compiled into an executable installer). Very efficient in its compression - for example, notice how the full installer for Recorder Digits is actually smaller than the self-extractor built with WinZip and not much larger than the Zip file built with WinZip.

Nullsoft's most famous product is Winamp.

Other Cool Products
Mozilla Firefox Freeware browser. Dynamite! Best browser I've ever used. I was an Opera user for years, because I loved the tabbed interface. Firefox has a similar tabbed feature, but is better in other respects. For example, it is very compatible with sites designed for Internet Explorer (i.e. most sites) - pull-down menus, roll-overs, etc. work flawlessly in almost all cases, which is often not the case with other browsers.
WordWeb Pro Nice thesaurus and dictionary. Crossword puzzle fans will find it very useful. A freeware, cut-down version is also available here.
Total Commander I've tried numerous File Managers (Windows Explorer replacements). This is the best I've found. Very customizable and flexible. Shareware. Plus, all future updates are free (no upgrade fee).
ClipCache Dynamite clipboard manager.