Software Everyone Should Have

May 10, 2021

Over the years I have used lots of software. Lots of it has been bad, but the good software (which is hard to find these days) makes certain tasks much easier. If you're a Windows user, consider using cygwin or a similar program for the GNU/Linux-like coreutils. All of the programs listed below are open source and should be available in the repositories of any GNU/Linux distribution, as well as .exe files for Windows users.

youtube-dl

Youtube-dl is an amazing program. It does what the name suggests, downloads YouTube videos. However, it has support for many other sites, most of which aren't "supported". It is what powers those shady video downloader sites you often see. It is much better to use it directly, because of the incredible amount of options you can provide.

ffmpeg

FFmpeg is a file converter that supports countless file formats, as well as many options to modify media files. It supports both video and audio files. It powers more things than most realize, as it is used by youtube-dl, and by most major websites.

qbittorrent

QBittorrent is an amazing torrent client. It comes with a search feature, and is quite customizable.

mpv

Mpv is one of the greatest media players of all time. combined with the above mentioned youtube-dl, mpv can stream videos from various sites. The sheer amount of configurability is incredible. The man (manual) page for mpv is 12368 lines long. Obviously, the player doesn't need any tweaking to work, but you can customize it to work just the way you want.

vlc

VLC Media Player is another media player. VLC is very good for reading more obscure data, such as CDs and old video files. VLC is one of the only video players that still attempt to read video data if it detects corruption, a feature which has been said to have saved entire movie productions and massive projects.