I talk about a lot of different software on
the channel, and I use way more. Every once in a while I’ll mention a program
that I’ve used for years – some for more than a decade and just assume I’ve given
the proper context for it, but haven’t. So this video is a different take on the “What’s
on my desktop?” concept where instead I’ll focus on 7 programs
that are a MUST have for any PC I use. These programs I’ve used for years – most
back to the Windows XP and early Ubuntu days – and are still around and serving me quite
well, for various functions on my machine. So let’s take a look, shall we? [intro] Also as a quick disclaimer, none of the programs
in this video are sponsoring me. I don’t have affiliate links for them, I’ve
never had contact with anyone working on the programs aside from a bug report that I don’t
remember submitting but may have – nothing like that. These are purely programs I’ve over time
and want to share. The actual ad for this video, is… [ad]
Plex is the media streaming app that beautifully organizes your media collections and lets
you securely access them on all your screens. Now with live TV viewing and DVR. Click the link in the video description to
learn more. [end ad] So we’ll be talking about 7 different programs,
with an alternate to one, in this video. They’re listed in no particular order. About half of these are open source, and a
couple do work on Linux – but these are primarily Windows-focused, since that’s what I’ve
used the longest and what I primarily use day-to-day. I will have similar videos in the works for
Linux, as well. First up, we have the almighty 7-zip. I got into this program back in late middle
school or early high school – the very early 2000s. In fact, I never understood how the “WinRAR
Trial” thing became such a meme-y phenomenon given that 7-zip has basically always been
a great free option. I wasn’t introduced to it for this reason
– my best friend had told me about this crazy “7z” format that could compress even the
biggest video files to really tiny compressed files. I was on DSL back then, and compression was
a huge deal at the time. Turns out the 7-zip format wasn’t quite
as much of a magical Silicon Valley middle-out level of compression as suggested, BUT it’s
still a great program. 7-Zip is a free, open-source program to create,
edit, and uncompress compressed files in a wide variety of formats. It supports all the common formats such as
.7z, ZIP, RAR, GZip, Tar, and can even open ISOs, some EXEs and Mac installers, and even
image files if you’ve used steganography to hide files within them. And the .7z file format can compress better
than .zip if you really feel like waiting on it to do its job. Next up is a program that I frequently forget
to install on a new PC until I need it, but do rely on it in specific situations. That program is WinDirStat. WinDirStat analyzes your computer’s storage
to help you figuring out what’s taking up space. Usage can go a lot deeper than that, but I
primarily use it on my SSDs – these tiny little drives always end up getting full by random
caches or pagefiles, and WinDirStat makes it super easy to track down what’s eating
up precious solid state space. With a nice little Pac Man-like animation,
too. Next up may seem like a weird choice for some,
but I can’t seem to live without it. Notepad++ is a tabbed, syntax-friendly text
editor. It has a ton of useful features for coding
and scripting, but is also great for someone like myself that just needs a quick Notepad,
but with tabs and auto-saving. I can type up quick video description bits,
longer messages to people, or quick voiceover scripts in a new tab, close the program, reboot
my computer – and it saves all that text in the appropriate tabs without me needing to
save the files! Obviously if I expect permanent storage of
the data I would need to save them, which I do – but that auto-save feature alone has
saved my butt so many times. The tabs combined with syntax highlighting
for certain script formats – though not perfect integration with AutoHotKey, sadly – just
makes it super comfortable to use. I’m really sad that there isn’t a native
Linux build available. It runs well enough through Wine, but the
scaling and interface rendering looks a little funky and breaks the experience for me. On Windows this is one of my most-used programs,
next to Chrome of course. Winamp is a music player from the really old
days. But it still maintains quite the following
due to it’s insane skin-ability and wide skins available, if you can safely navigate
the malware-ridden sites of yore, and support for basically any music format. I have had trouble using it with my music
stored on a network share, but I’m sure I’m just doing something wrong. I have 100% separated from iTunes and only
use Winamp for my music files now. Imgburn is a wonderful program for managing
physical discs. Yes, there are still people who use them. It can be good for burning files to discs,
burning ISOs to discs, making an ISO file from a disc – which is super important for
me archiving all of my physical media, and so on. I use it quite frequently both for ripping
and burning. I even use it to burn files to BluRay for
cold storage! Video on that coming soon. Next up is TeraCopy. This program was a huge lifesaver back in
the earlier Windows days when you could expect frequent freezes or crashes of Windows Explorer
when copying a ton of files or really big files. TeraCopy was the first time I experienced
full, multi-threaded file copying. It’s blazing fast, and as I covered in my
video about its latest update, now performs even better with lots of tiny files. You can pause transfers, queue up a bunch
of transfers to go in a row, verify data hashes, and lots more. Lastly, we get a two-for-one. When it comes to general media playing, outside
of my music library, I lean heavily on VLC and MPC-HC or Media Player Classic. These programs are fantastic for playing media
files. They play just about ANYTHING and support
lots of awesome features, such as screenshotting, multiple audio, video, and subtitle tracks,
custom filters or effects, and so on. VLC also acts as a full video converter, super
basic ripper for non-DRM encrypted discs, internet radio streamer, RTMP video stream
player, and more. Media Player Classic has announced the end
of their development after 11 years, which I covered in a recent video, but I’ll still
be using it for a long time. And that’s it! 7, or 8 I guess, programs that I use almost
daily and have done so for going on a decade or more. These are the reliable “tried and true”
programs I use and install on just about any computer I use. Hopefully this provides a bit more context
for my videos and was helpful to you. Hit the like button if you enjoyed, and I’ll
see you next time.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. If you like WinDirStat, give WizTree a shot. It's basically the same program, but far faster than wds (scanned a 4tb drive in under 30 seconds vs 10 minutes with wds)

  2. I left Winamp for foobar2000. Have you tried it?

    For a quick easy to run image viewer, I highly recommend FastStone Image Viewer. It's free, but you can donate. I used ACDSee for a long time, but it became very bloated, and then I found FastStone Image Viewer. Highly recommended.
    – https://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm

    For screenshots I use ShareX which has many amazing functions. Like auto upload, cropping exactly what you want, copy URL to memory after upload, or just leave the image in memory etc.. Also highly recommended.
    – https://getsharex.com/

  3. no joke.. i use all of these 10 programs , when i re-install my system.. these are a few of my go-to software programs 🙂

  4. Winamp? Puh.

    I think the only standalone music player i have these days is xmplay. It's largely compatible with WinAmp plugins if you need a weird format, including all manner of game console and classic computer synthesizer formats, and many WinAmp skins have been ported to it. The player comes from Ian Luck of BASS library fame, has best possible support for Amiga-style modules (.mod, .xm, .s3m etc) and has a great SoundFont synth engine. The technical legacy of xmplay is closer to Kjofol and early versions of WinAmp rather than the bloated and slow later ones.

    For a while, i used foobar2000. Not sure why, something about its sound processing path and Windows XP and Soundblaster Live sampling rate.

    By the way, you probably should be running CoolSoft's VirtualMidiSynth for MIDI in DOSBox and other software. It's based on BASS MIDI engine mentioned above. A classic 12MB Chaos SF2 from late 90s is easily found and serves as a great starting point, and soundfonts made from just about any synthesizer imaginable are available. Even WinGroove got an emulated Soundfont now! (Do you remember WinGroove?)

  5. I use most of these myself but instead of WinDirStat I can recommend SpaceSniffer. It visualizes the space way neater and you can even scan SMB shares that way.

  6. I found a neat program that allows you to copy almost any text on a webpage (that doesn't allow copying) called textify *(EDIT). It's a handy little utility for those frustrating pages.

    Oh, and I still use winamp. It really kicks the lamma's ass.

  7. Cool info! Never used Teracopy, I'll check it out! As for ImgBurn, I ended up getting annoyed with it and have since switched to CDBurnerXP. It might not be able to do as many functions, but it's a more streamlined burning experience overall. 🙂

    Also, check out ninite if you haven't already. It's a single website that automates the installation of most of the programs you mentioned, plus several more. Takes almost all of the pain out of re-imaging my computer.

  8. Probably prempting your linux video, windirstat was a clone of kdirstat the disc useage analyer for KDE, BUT kdirstat has since been abandoned and is replaced with qdirstat, but there is also the other kde project filelight that has a nice gui too

  9. Hi Epos, I'm kind of tinker myself so I appreciate when someone presents programs which he has deep experience with. Aside from WinDirStat. Have you ever tried SpaceSniffer? In my opinion it's way better than WDS. I just can't seem to force myself to like it. SpaceSniffer just shows everything so beautifully, no tree-like structure, … On the other note, I myself use nearly everything you mentioned. For my year using, I would recommend:
    – AltDrag
    – FastStoneCapture
    – NetSpeedMonitor (widget into taskbar)
    – Volumouse
    – Ditto
    – StrokesPlus
    These I use just EVERY single day. GIve them a look. Years of experience, I don't know how to live without these 🙂

  10. Wow! WinAMP! That took me back 15y! I also loved a "linux version of it", the XMMS! BTW, ElementaryCode would be your best alternative to notepad++ in Linux.

  11. for music try aimp3,a nifty little player with dsp,fsviewer and topaz studio for your pictures,dvd shrink for your dvd's,assorted programs from freemake,revo unistaller,mkv toolnix,mp3tag,handbrake,antrenamer,and synkron,all these programs are free

  12. It's important to note, WinRAR's nagging message works for commercial/business use. I believe LTT uses WinRAR on a business license because, well, they're a business.

  13. Plex is legit. I have a 64TB media server that runs with plex, and I love it. I can share remotely (my parents can stream 4k movies from my server, 5 states away) and I can sync media to devices for times that I'm not online (flights, mainly). If you're a media hoarder, I can't recommend it enough.

  14. Videos like this are extremely important. When I need these kinds of utilities, I can never trust search engines (or the "completely objective tech sites" to which they link… but between the vid and the comments, these user testimonials help guide me towards reputable solutions. Many thanks.

  15. Used everyone of them except winamp and that image disk thing.
    I recommend using:
    1) XnView MP image viewer. It works great when setup properly.
    2) Handbrake for video transcoding (you got Adobe Media Encoder I guess..)
    3) Internet Download Manager. Can download a bunch of files automatically from a site (like video frames from open source film projects). It's not free though.

    4) And.. SysInternals Suite. This might pull you out from a lot of trouble if you dive in them.
    I really like Process Explorer of this suite

  16. I use all these utilities, and love them all. I've replaced WinAmp with foobar though. Also, I turn off the treemap for windirstat as I've personally never found it useful and used to bog down older machines with limited resources. Great list!

  17. Have ran into most of these. I recently been using Atom instead of notepad++, been trying to install a plugin to get back the vertical selection feature that's in notepad++ it's so useful. Plex is also great too 😉

  18. I use an old File Explorer alternate called ExplorerXP for its amazingly flexible batch renaming function. There’s probably something newer out there, but I’m sticking with what I’m used to.

    And at 5:30, “queue” is pronounced the same as “cue”.

  19. Wiztree is the same as windirstat just way faster. It uses the HDD partition table instead of creating its own list going through the whole drive by itself.

  20. Always was wondering when using ninite if I should've tryed out WinDirStrat, or TeraCopy but I never really cared that much. Gonna give WinDirStrat defintly a chance as I've started running low on space on my SSD.

  21. What about Total Commander, XnView, Search Everything, Avidemux, dbPoweramp, MusicBee, qBittorrent, Winaero Tweaker?

  22. If only 7-Zip could do open here in the first right click menu… the reason i use Winrar. I used to be winamp fan, but foobar2000 for me its simpler and cleaner.

  23. Used WinAmp for years it was great!
    Recently I found Foobar 2000 & it has some awesome plugins.
    You can play YT songs directly to it and then even stream that to another computer.
    I was recently even reading that you can stream your collection from foobar directly to your phone.
    I think that's the next thing I'm going to try.

  24. I use WizTree on Windows instead of (Win/Q/K)DirStat. It reads the MFT directly and scans NTFS partitions in seconds.

  25. a very good alternativ to windirstat is treeviewsize. i use it regulary on customer systems for a little manual cleanup

  26. Good choice! I use all of them too! I also would recommend IrfanView, an image viewer/converter and Greenshot a screen capture annotation utility

  27. Thanks for reminding me that Teracopy exists. I had some problem with it back in the early days of Windows 10 and never reinstalled it. Gonna try out the new update though!

  28. i used pkzip and arj.. years before I got my hands on rar.. and then eventually winrar.. which I just.. well still use.. fastcopy i also used before teracopy but.. teracopy is just so nice.. but.. how man.. how.. can you live without XNView? heh

  29. I’ve found that Notepad++ chokes when it comes to editing large XML files especially exported iTunes library files if I am doing a large find and replace. It’s great for working with smaller files. Larger file editing I use EditPad Lite which also has a tabbed interface and saves your work in progress.

  30. Great selection of software. I use almost all of those. But I have to say the best part of the video is the Network drive name at around 4:46 the one below Cache SSD

  31. Quick question to all the people in this comment section: I use Foobar2000 for the longest time now for music due to claims by audiophiles that the sound with WASPAPI is better than any other player on a Windows PC. Does anybody know the biggest differences between Foobar2000 and Winamp?

  32. I’m going to forgive “me me” and “que-y” because there’s a couple here i’ve never heard of, and they seem super interesting and helpful. Also because of your entire OBS footage i’ve watched for hundreds of hours 😂


  33. Dude, start using Total Commander and you can ditch 7z, WinDirStat, Teracopy and prolly more and get additional features you'll learn to admire. It's gonna boost your efficiency a lot. Have fun. Oh and btw. Winamp rly whips the llamas ass! 🙂

  34. Great selection of programs, many I use, but a few I would suggest is Foobar2000 intead of Winamp, and InfraRecorder (instead of IMGburn). I would also suggest XnView as a image viewer that I use daily to convert image formats that Photoshop doesn't read to ones that it does. It also great for telling you what the image is if it has been file extension incorrectly (you will find PNG files that are labeled JPG and other extensions)

  35. Hi, You should really look into Total Commander from https://www.ghisler.com/. It was probably the first shareware program I ever purchased back in the 90s and it has been in almost daily use ever since. It can also integrate with many of the programs you mention here (Notepad++, 7zip etc.). Trust me, learn to use it and you will never use Windows Explorer again.

  36. if you want a music player with great "skin-ability" and love tinkering, MusicBee is by far the best, no debate. it gives you the ability to customize just about anything (skins/panels/panes/sizing/fonts/tab layout/customizable hotkeys for every action imaginable). it has plugin support, proxy server support, cd ripping, podcast subscriptions, an in depth file tag editor, and even its own built in audio converter/encoders for mp3, aac, flac, ogg, opus and more. it plays any audio file i have ever come across and makes itunes and winamp look and feel decades older. 11/10 would recommend!

  37. Check out https://ninite.com they have some of these tools and make it easy to install or stay updated. They won't install malware or other non essentials.

  38. My list:

    1) Total Commander or Q-dir a free alternative (if I'm installing it for a friend)
    2) PotPlayer
    3) qBittorrent
    4) Notepad++
    5) WinRAR
    6) FireFox
    7) Foobar2000

  39. Uhh… I hate to tell you this, trust me, I don't believe it either, but a decade ago was just 2009. Some of these programs are pushing 20 years almost

  40. I feel stupid watching this video. Was expecting to see something along the lines of steam, gimp, Spotify, etc… But wtf is this, I dun understand anything :/

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