Windows software of the day [March 22, 2012]

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for March 22, 2012

Audials Light

Listening to the radio, podcasts, or music videos on your computer can be almost painful at times. First you need to spend ten minutes Googling your local station’s name, then when you want to listen to your favorite podcasts you need to open up iTunes and wait for it to slowly sync. Audials Light attempts to solve this problem by combining all these features under one software roof, and does a fairly good job.

While it doesn’t look as beautiful as some programs, it’s still quite functional and allows you to download and record radio and podcast broadcasts. It also offers more advanced features like an Android app and a personal cloud for your computers.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v9.1.11700.0

Supported OS: Windows XP SP2/Vista/7

Download size: 75.6MB

Malware scan: N/A – filesize too big for VirusTotal

Audials Light homepage


Have you heard about Adobe PDF Reader? Of course you have. It has a, erm, reputation.

Now meet SumatraPDF. It’s the antithesis of Adobe Reader: it’s lightweight, fast, and not crashy. It even integrates into your browser through an optional plugin! And, although it’s mainly a PDF reader, it can also read “XPS, DjVu, CHM, Comic Book (CBZ and CBR)” files. It also supports a vast array of keyboard shortcuts, making it the perfect reader for power users.

Note however that as of the most recent version editing forms and adding comments are not yet implemented.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.9

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7

Download size: 4.5MB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 1/43

SumatraPDF homepage

Windows xKill

Firefox is frozen. Windows will now fruitlessly attempt to recover nothing of value.

Instead of waiting a while to just be told Windows can’t do anything about your frozen apps, put them out of their misery in seconds. Like the *nix xkill program, Windows xKill will kill any open window you click on. And that’s it! It’s extremely simple, extremely quick, and extremely lightweight.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: not listed

Supported OS: Windows (unknown)

Download size: 17.9KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results: 0/43

Windows xKill homepage

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

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  • meldasue

    @Ashraf: It’s like MS Office – it depends on what you use it for. I use Sumatra at home and love it because it’s so quick and un-crashy. (It also doesn’t periodically re-add itself to my start-ups.)

    We got the full version of Acrobat at work about three years ago and it saves me an enormous amount of time. My work requires me to edit, create and convert, so I don’t mind waiting a bit longer for a document to open.

    All this open-source snobbery is silly – it’s like handing someone a flathead screwdriver and saying, ‘this is all you need’.

  • IndoMK

    I’ve used Sumatra for years, and my favorite thing about it is that it saves where you were in the pdf. So, if I’m reading a full book in pdf format, and have to quit halfway through, the next time I open it up, Sumatra remembers where I was, without any input from me. :)

  • Robert

    I first found out about Sumatra from long ago, and I really love it since it is a small program and loads very fast. I have used doPDF to create PDFs at home when I want to print things electronically. I have to use Adobe Acrobat at work since that’s really something that we need every day.

  • jayesstee

    Foxit is better than Acrobat.
    Sumatra is better than Foxit and portable.
    But Nitro is just the best!

  • naveed

    @smaragdus: STDU viewer looks good and is smaller than Sumatra. I’ve used Sumatra in the past – version 1 or so, but it seemed clunky back then, but was way lighter as well. I’m going to try STDU Viewer out, thanks for the recommendation.

  • smaragdus

    Sumatra is nice, tiny and portable, but it has problems dealing with very large files, that’s why I prefer STDU Viewer, which also has a portable version and supports a huge number of formats. All I miss is EPUB support but the developer assured me that they plan to implement it. The developer (who is Russian) told me that FB2 support was implemented first because it was more popular than EPUB in Russia.

  • PapyLuc

    Audials Light…

    Installing this software is quite heavy but this is very interesting.
    The handling is difficult… but the software (light version) is working properly.
    ANVIR (maximum – Resources usage – quiet) : CPU-0 (1)%, Memory-64 MB, Pagefile-265 MB, Disk-5 K/s

    PS : see OPTIONS !!!

    BYE (from BELGIUM – XP).

  • Hal

    There are many out there I myself like PDF-Xchange viewer by Tracker , sure others do but allows you to edit PDF files even if not yours…( i use the free verision)

    I will take a look at this Sumatra, can not hurt, and that XKill looks like a good deal also…
    Thanks for them all

    PS…I agree foxit is very bulky

  • Paul

    @.mau.: Absolutely.

    A combination of Sumatra and Nitro is the way to go. Forget Foxit. It’s as big and clunky as Acrobat Reader.

  • I am using Sumatra PDF since last month. It’s really useful to have it as default PDF reader, so that the odd page you have to read is opened quickly. This said, keep also another reader if you want to perform actions more complicated.

  • @Ashraf:

    I’d lose faith in you!
    I’m even worried a bit now – I thought all smart Netizens used Nitro!

  • Ashraf

    @Locutus: Charles, noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • @Ashraf: Only since I’ve outlined a perfectly good alternative above ;-)

    (unless you need comments and form filling)

  • Ashraf

    Will I be laughed at and ridiculed if I say I use Adobe Acrobat?