Saturday, February 28, 2009


Pod to PC Transfers Music from Any iPod, iPhone Onto Your PC [Downloads]

Windows only: Pod to PC can grab the music and movies off nearly any Windows-formatted iPod for transferring to your PC, and avoids duplicates while doing so.

Install and fire up the software, and if your iPod is connected by a USB transfer cable, Pod to PC should find it and offer up basic stats:

Most notable is that, along with an iTunes-like read on space use, iPod name, and the like, Pod to PC shows how many of the tracks on a device are already loaded into iTunes on your computer. So that "Automatic Transfer" button smooshed into the lower-right corner (Pod to PC has a pretty rough graphical interface, in case you couldn't tell) does exactly that, grabbing uncopied tracks and placing them. Or you can tackle a transfer manually:

Advanced visual cues show you what's in your library already, what's protected or free, and what type of media each file is. Select the files you want, or use the upper-right search bar to narrow-as-you-type search. When you're done selecting, head to the File menu, hit "Initiate transfer," and you'll get a pop-up window giving you the report. Pod to PC can't place the files in iTunes itself, but it does create an "Import File," a simple text document, that iTunes can read to bring in multiple files at once.

The caveats: Pod to PC is not the most stable software we've tested—the inteface is a smooshy thing, and crashes and freeze-ups, especially when attempting to preview a file, aren't exactly rare. But it does work with an iPod touch or iPhone just as well as a first-generation white iPod, and does a nice job of sorting what you do and don't have already. For a full guide to reliable transfer software, check out our guide to copying music from your iPhone or iPod to your computer for free.

Pod to PC is a free download for Windows systems only.


Stream and Download Music with MP3 Search

MP3 Search is a web music finder with a simple interface. If you're in need of some quick tunes to listen to, or you're hunting down pieces of an obscure mix, take a peek.

Similar to previously reviewed Mix Turtle, MP3 Search sports a spartan, grab-it-and-go interface. Unlike Mix Turtle, though, you can download the tracks to your computer. The music you select loads in a small pop-up flash player for preview or quick listen, though you can't queue up multiple tracks as on Seeqpod.

For more methods to scour the web for musical bounty, make sure to check out our guide to finding free music. If you have a favorite site for streaming music or finding tunes, sound off in the comments below.

from Lifehacker

Computer Repair Kit Packs Dozens of Tools in One Portable Package

Windows only: Portable system-fixing bundle Computer Repair Utility Kit puts 57 recovery tools into a single package. That gives you easy access to important system utilities without the fuss of building your own toolkit.

The launcher can be run directly from the folder or copied to a flash drive for access from any system, with a system tray menu for quick access to the included tools—which can be tweaked to add your own favorite portable applications. Most of the included utilities are familiar to Lifehacker readers, with well-known utilities like reader favorites CCleaner, PC Decrapifier, and Process Explorer along with dozens of other utilities that perform tasks ranging from killing spyware to system tweaking—and a copy of Portable Firefox is even included for good measure. If you haven't taken the time to build your own flash drive toolkit, this download might be worth a look to get you started.

Computer Repair Utility Kit is a free download for Windows, though readers should be forewarned that some of the actual download links on the home page purposely take you to ad-ridden, pop-up crazy download sites—getting to the actual download is more than a little annoying.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Recovery from Freeware Home

DiskDigger can recover files from any type of media that your computer can read. This includes USB flash drives, memory cards (SD, CompactFlash, Memory Stick, etc.), and of course your hard drive. The types of files that it recovers includes photos, videos, music, documents, and other formats. DiskDigger works by thoroughly scanning each sector of your media for traces of files.

Productivity, Shopping from Lifehacker

CraigsList Reader Searches the Depths of Craigslist [Downloads]

Windows only: You can get amazing deals on Craigslist, but you won't save any cash if you can't find the bargains. CraigsList Reader lets you deep-search multiple Craigslist location to find the loot.

We've shown you ways to go beyond the basic Craigslist search, including searching all of Craigslist at one time. CraigsList Reader (their unnecessary capitalization, not ours) is, by far, the most thorough Craigslist tool for searching we've ever reviewed. You can search every listing in every city, fine-tuned by region, state, and city. You can drill down to search just for jobs, jobs by type, items for sale, items with pictures, price ranges—in other words, your OCD tendencies are amply rewarded. You can set up desktop notifications based on specific search variables. So if you're looking for freelance graphic design jobs or aquariums for sale in your region, here's the place to save time on doing so.

A bit of advice for searching: be specific and make sure to narrow your categories and location if applicable. CraigsList Reader is a very thorough program, and if you search for a generic term with the filter wide open, it'll take a chunk of time to return all 94,294 results for "garage sale".

CraigsList Reader is freeware, Windows only and requires the Microsoft .NET Framework. For strategies on getting the upper hand using this app, or just the website, check our in-depth guide to taking advantage of Craigslist during a recession.

Fun From Lifehacker

Obamicon.Me Turns Snapshots Into Stylized Obama Posters [Fun]

The Obamicon.Me webapp turns your uploaded images into stylized pictures, modeled after the the distinct four-color campaign posters used by President Obama.

You can upload a picture or grab an instant capture from your webcam for the base of your HOPE-ish pictorial. Once it's loaded into Obamicon.Me, you can adjust the saturation of each of the four colors, zoom, and rotate the image. Then you select from several preset slogans, or insert your own. If you like the results, you can right-click and save them or keep them on the site for linking—and if it turns out good/funny/evil, you'd better share it in the comments! For more random picture fun, make sure to check out MorphThing and blend your face with a (non-elected) celebrity's.

From Lifehacker

DiskDigger Recovers Deleted Files [Downloads]

Windows only: If you've just deleted some important media files, DiskDigger is a straightforward file recovery tool geared specifically toward recovering multimedia and document files.

As we noted earlier this month in our feature on properly erasing your physical media, just because Windows says a file is gone doesn't mean it's lost forever. DiskDigger is a standalone application that scans the sectors of your physical media looking for complete or partial media files. Unlike other file recovery tools that look for any files, DiskDigger is focused on the ones that people most commonly accidentally delete and need to recover. In the options menu you can specify what kinds of files you want it to search for, including: images (JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF and GIF), documents (DOC and PDF), and multimedia files (MPG, MP3, WMV, MOV and more). DiskDigger has active preview, allowing you to view files as they are discovered in the recovery process. The preview feature is especially helpful when scanning large drives, which can be a lengthy and intensive process. It took nearly two hours to deeply scan a 120GB SATA drive, although for smaller media recovery the process is markedly quicker; it took just 10 minutes to scan and recover files from a 2GB SD card.

One of the more interesting things about the deep scan of a primary drive is the number of images that aren't written over yet, despite their advanced age. In the screenshot above, you can see a photograph of Marilyn Monroe from when my wife and I redecorated a guest room with a 1950s/Marilyn Monroe theme over a year ago. Despite heavy drive activity, the photograph occupied a sector that remained untouched in all that time and was completely recoverable—yet more reinforcement to practice safe data handling and make sure to securely overwrite critical files. If you need to go beyond DiskDigger's media resurrection, make sure to check out our feature on recovering deleted files with free software for a huge assortment of tips and tools for getting your files back. DiskDigger is freeware, Windows only.

From Lifehacker

100dof Wallpaper Rotator Switches Backgrounds at Boot-Up

Windows only: If you like mixing up your desktop wallpaper, but not enough to keep a dedicated application running and chewing up system resources, 100dof Wallpaper Rotator will shuffle your wallpaper at boot time.

You pick the directory of images to shuffle through and tweak the settings. You decide whether or not the image should be stretched and otherwise maniuplated, and every time you boot into Windows, 100dof Wallpaper Rotator will load a new image from that directory as your new desktop background. After it performs this function, it shuts itself down—much like previously reviewed Fleace, which grabs images from Flickr. You can use BMP, ICO, JPG, or PNG files as your source images. 100dof Wallpaper Rotator is freeware, Windows only.