Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Couple of cool shareware apps

I’ve found a couple of Shareware apps that I thought were rather cool and that I’d like to share with you.
The first is BetterJPEG. It lets you do various lossless actions to JPEG images – that is, manipulate the image with little or no re-encoding. Every time you save a JPEG image its quality gets progressively worse, since it’s a lossy format (the same is true with MP3 and every other lossy audio and video format) – so this is welcome. Certain things, like rotating and resizing the image can be done losslessly, and apps like IrfanView already offer features like this. But what’s clever is that if you need to edit only part of an image, it will just re-encode that bit, rather than the whole image. While it’s not entirely lossless, you loose a lot less than you would otherwise. Its features include red-eye reduction, datestamping and captioning. It can also edit EXIF data, again, without needing to re-encode the image. It costs $20.
The second is iChatUSBCam, and is aimed at Mac users who want to be able to do video chat but don’t have much money (so Ken, this isn’t for you 😉 ). It lets you use any USB webcam with iChat, which means you need neither Apple’s expensive iSight camera nor a Mac with a firewire port, which older models lack. You can get new USB webcams for around $30, and the software only costs $10 to buy – an iSight camera will set you back $130. This was found via Engadget.
Since I don’t really need either (and don’t own a Mac), I haven’t actually tried either of them, but they sound cool.

Comments are closed.