Software Reviews by mikesantana

The reviews and opinions below are posted by SnapFiles visitors. They do not necessarily reflect our opinion, and they are solely based upon the experience of individual users.

MP3Gain MP3Gain

Still the best after all these years... 5 stars
First used this when I was on Win ME, now on Win 10! Works ONLY on MP3s, because what it actually does is change media playback settings in the MP3 file headers. It does NOT touch the actual music content at all. So it can always return to the initial default with no harm done. Its main use (and what I want) is to make any motley collection of music tracks all sound about the same loudness to the human ear. Once it has analyzed the tracks, it records the current (default) settings in the file headers, and lists them - this never needs to be done again. It tells you whether that level "clips" the sound peaks (happens a lot on old recordings), and whether the target normalized level will "clip". So you can choose a target level which will preserve the sound quality of all tracks (no clipping), let some clip (will cause odd distortion), or set it to keep peaky tracks below clip level - I choose this usually, choosing a target level so that few if any tracks will be affected. All this is easy to discover from the display, with a little trial-and-error. So my car's MP3 player collection currently includes music from Free, Queen, B.B. King, Everly's, Motorhead, Abba, Cream, Buddy Holly, Santana, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis and Mozart - among others! All very listenable... Much easier to use than it sounds - try it! Price: Free
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Classic Shell Classic Shell

All desktop users must have this! 5 stars
Started using this with Win7, via Win88.1 now Win 10. Lets you choose menu styles from Classic (I still prefer this), 2 column and Win 7 styles. Also allows selection of what is on the menu (and in what order), submenus, links, jump-lists, hot-keys, etc, etc, etc. Everything I always wanted! Can auto-bypass the horrible "new style" Windows Start page, but you can still get to it easily enough when(if?) you need to. Since the menu can include the "apps" list if you choose, who needs the Start page! Transparency and "glass" effects are available for menus, taskbar, etc (I use glass for the taskbar). Can customize the Explorer and IE look and feel - I like this. NOTE: most of the more detailed options are not displayed unless you click the "show all settings" box - well worth a look. FINALLY: can't live without it, don't know how anyone else manages to! Price: Free
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VLC Media Player VLC Media Player

The only one i use - music and video 5 stars
Haven't experienced any problems with saving settings myself. This software plays everything I've thrown at it, and it's worth spending a little time setting up the look & feel to your liking. By default it works fine. Very technical options are available if you are geeky enough, so it's a lot more than just a player. If you don't need these, you don't need to bother - it just "does what you want". Price: Free
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OpenOffice OpenOffice

Don't waste time and money - this is it! 5 stars
Other reviewers have pretty much covered the advantages of this very complete office package. I was using an old version of the MS equivalent, which got more and more creaky with Windows version upgrades. This is so much better and more complete - haven't tried the current MS product, but I don't know what it could offer me that is better. And it's FREE! Price: Free
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Mp3Tag Mp3Tag

First class, and free 5 stars
I was putting together a set of old favourites for my car player, when I realised just how variable the tagging was on different albums, if it existed at all! Playing these randomly in the car drove me crazy with many displays making no sense. Finding favourite albums and tracks was a nightmare, ex-CD tracks a special problem. This tool made the problem about as simple as it could be, allowing labeling multiple tracks with the same album andor artist etc. Powerful methods to extract info from file names, individual track editing easy too. Also has methods to sort out the filenames - very useful. I was surprised how quickly I sorted out almost two thousand old tracks into some kind of consistent sense. THANKS very much! Price: Free
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PerfectDisk Pro PerfectDisk Pro

Actually worth paying for! 5 stars
Having used many defrags over the years, including some excellent free ones, I finally decided to pay for this one, after trying the 30-day trial, which is absolutely full-featured. Main reason for looking afresh at defrags is that I am now using some SSD drives. Having read scare stories about defragging SSDs, I took the trouble to do some thorough technical research. Almost all defraggers have some sort of SSD option, including Windows 7,8,10 built-in one, but differ a lot in what they actually do. In the end, a safe bet is to NOT defrag SSDs at all, but some data reorganisation (not simple defragmenting) is beneficial to performance and life-time if done intelligently (and not too often). So I ended up comparing the established well-known products. Diskeeper offers good solutions for both HD and SSD drives, as does PerfectDisk (and O&O among others) but these two both additionally have intelligent algorithms which avoid much fragmentation before the data is actually written. This is a VERY good idea whatever kind of drive! Having free-trialed both, I am satisfied that both do this very effectively. Both are set-and-forget, and default to sensible options too. Factors which led me to prefer PD over DK are: 1. PD can operate on USB-connected devices; 2. PD offers more optimisation options, especially for non-SSDs; 3. I believe the PD option for SSD is optimal; 4. PD costs quite a lot less! Price: Free Trial ($29.99)
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MiniTool Partition Wizard Free MiniTool Partition Wizard Free

Great free tool, especially for ssd drives 5 stars
There are many fine free partition tools out there, and I have used several. One thing I noticed about this one is that the free version has a fully functional "align" feature, which will correctly optimize partition alignment for maximum performance. Worth doing, especially on SSD drives, because Windows installers and Disk Management don't take care of this. Helps with performance, space usage and life-time on SSDs. This tool does many operations much quicker that some others, it doesn't insist on moving data about unless essential, and can do most changes without re-booting - EaseUS and many others take a brute-force attitude to almost everything. About the only handy feature the free version lacks is partition merge. I can live with that! Price: Free
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AutoHotkey AutoHotkey

A great way to make your own utilities 5 stars
I have done some programming, but I agree with a previous reviewer that, with patience, "you can do it". I had found a number of utilities on Snapfiles that "almost" did what I want, so I made up a few simple AHK scripts to control them. Problems solved! So by combining the (very easy) hotkey features with the ability to run and stop programs, check their state, control windows, etc, it can do an amazing number of things. The help includes quite a few helpful examples, and there are links to many user-contributed scripts to do all sorts of things. You might find one that does exactly what you need, or near enough that you can crib from it! I also looked at AutoIt (also on Snapfiles), which is another powerful tool, and you might find that more to your liking - a matter of personal preference. This is my choice. Price: Free
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Comodo Internet Security Comodo Internet Security

Most complete protection out there - and free 5 stars
Been using this for many years, and the latest version is very complete, and now very easy to use. Very few people will need to vary from the default settings, and the "help" is good if you really want to know. Comodo runs a very active forum, and it is clear that they do respond to it, and have taken on board the comments in the version improvements. On an old slow PC, it will impact performance at times, but (unless very old) shouldn't discourage you from giving it a try. You can certainly live without the paid upgrade features (mentioned by another reviewer) but this year I chose to do it because it's not a lot of cash, and I felt I owed Comodo! Actually did use the interactive "Geek Buddy" help that comes with that, and it certainly saved some time - upgrading to Win10 had left a few problems lying around - not just with Comodo though... Price: Free
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MonPwr MonPwr

Simple, does what it says, works on win 8.1 5 stars
Lets me turn off my laptop monitor when I want to leave something long-running. No distracting screen waiting for power-saver to kick in, so I can watch my tv better! Easy to configure, so one key to power off, one to get it back instantly. If minimised to tray, will start up there next time, and can be set to autostart. That's how I use it. Can do other things too, such as shutdown, standby etc and can schedule. but I dont need those. Author doesn't say so, but I'm using it on Win 8.1 with no probs. Price: Free
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Hexagora Performance Monitor Hexagora Performance Monitor

Perfect view for CPU, memory, disk ... 5 stars
What's so good about this is that you can have a detailed view of any of the activity types on-screen, or (like me) choose just the "tray" mini-graphs. Now and then I might want the full view, but mostly I just want to know how busy things are at a glance. I did find it worth playing with the default tray colours, to stand out better on my chosen Win8 theme. Easy to configure, try it! Price: Free
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Puran Defrag Puran Defrag

Set and forget? oh yes! 5 stars
Excellent features for a free defrag. Don't know what else you might want that it doesn't do. For most users, an occaisional boot-time defrag (it recommends this first time), otherwise the automatic defrag will keep things very tidy without noticeable interference with your activities. No real need to mess with the default settings unless you are a bit of a geek! I'm using it with XP and Win8. I did take the time to turn off the Win8 built-in auto-scheduled defrag (not essential, but Puran does it better...). Price: Free
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EaseUS Todo Backup Free EaseUS Todo Backup Free

Best free backup I've found. Supports Win8 5 stars
The ONLY problem I have found is that the "help" page covers the "paid" version too, not always clear which features are not in the freebee (all the important ones are). It supports every kind of backup I have ever wanted, from selected files via partition image to exact disk physical sector clone. It is easy to do incremental updates too - a big time and space saver. Recovery is also pretty straight-forward, especially from a file backup. It's as quick as anything else I have tried, and will backup to a USB drive (use the "browse" button to select it) - good for me as I have a ClickFree USB backup device, which I like but doesn't support Win8. So my new laptop uses free space on this with EaseUS. Definitely worth a try - I have the EaseUS Partition Manager too (also free) which is as good as anything else I have seen. Price: Free
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PeerBlock PeerBlock

If you like p2p you must have it 5 stars
Installs easily, updates automatically from information provided by a dedicated well-informed P2P community. Helps you avoid deliberately "faked" files, and "spy" sites which might try to exploit you. Works whatever P2P network you use, and doesn't seem to affect download performance or use much resource. Price: Free
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Eraser Eraser

Complete, proven, fast, free 5 stars
Best of the lot. Not only can you erase a file directly from right-click, you can erase the recycle bin the same way if you "forgot". Best of all, you can wipe all free space (including the unused bits of re-allocated clusters) if you think you might have left some confidential files un-erased. Tried this app because of other comments, thanks guys, no regrets! Price: Free
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Shutter Lite Shutter Lite

Worth having if you're `green` 5 stars
Lets me leave stuff running and go to bed, knowing it will close down reliably. Saves power and money. Price: Free
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Attachment Enabler for Outlook Attachment Enabler for Outlook

Thanks for this great free tool 5 stars
Solves a Microsoft problem, gives you the choice which attachments you allow. Change your mind as often as you like. Great when a trusted friend wants to mail you a program, you can permit EXE attachments, extract the one you want, then disable again. Take care not to leave dangerous types enabled unless you really know what you are doing. Price: Free
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Magic Boss Key Magic Boss Key

Simple, free and does what it says. 4 stars
Title says it all. Price: Free
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Sandboxie Sandboxie

Be safe - get this now! 5 stars
Complete browsing safety for FREE, register for some extra features you can live without. After closing, all temp files, downloads, cookies, plugins, ActiveX controls, toolbar changes, spyware and even viruses are totally gone, all registry changes are also removed. This is as safe as you can get! You can manually choose downloads and favorites etc you really want to keep. Recent versions are completely stable on XP and 2003 for me. Does check on startup for new versions. Don't leave "home" without it! Price: Free
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