Noteworthy Free Software from the Reader's Survey
I'm still finalizing the second half of the data collection from the reader's survey (read part one). Since this is a holiday week for those of us living in the USA, I'm waiting to post the second part of the survey until next week. In the meantime, here are a few apps from the survey that weren't the top pick in their category, but still deserve special attention.
DVD Cataloging Software: Libra received 5% of reader votes and gets my pick as the best free DVD cataloging app. In addition to DVDs, the software also neatly organizes books, music, and video game libraries, making it an excellent resource for cataloging all the media in your home. The feature that makes it a winner is the ability to add new items by scanning the barcode with a webcam. Data is looked up against the Amazon.com catalog of products using the barcode (as well as when doing a search lookup) making it a snap to add large collections of things quickly. The visual display of information (which appears inspired by Mac app Delicious Library) is both pleasing to the eye and an effective way of scanning your library. The search for content in your library is quick even if you have added hundreds or thousands of items.
Video Conversion: I'm still partial to WinFF for many of my video conversion needs, however, MediaCoder is worthy of some additional attention. It placed third with 9% of the vote from readers, offering a fairly complete solution. MediaCoder includes output options for portable devices and provides an excellent solution for converting most common file types, more closely resembling SUPER in features. Of the top three applications chosen by readers, this would likely be my top choice.
Video Editing: ZS4 is an actively developed video compositing and editing system that placed 4th in reader voting. I'm reasonably convinced that if more people tried this app it would place above two of the three apps selected by readers because the user experience is much better overall. 3.5% of readers voted for ZS4. If you're looking to add 3D compositing to your video editing toolkit, ZS4 is an excellent choice.