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Mobility, Developer, Enterprise, Multimedia, and Much More: 49 Hot Open Source Applications

Appliances, Audio Players, Browsers, Workflow, developer

  • November 3, 2009
  • By Cynthia Harvey

What's new in the open source world? We've put together a list of software that was first released (or first made open source) in the last couple of years. While many of these apps are still early in the development process, they're all usable, and in fact, have all acquired fairly substantial user bases in a short time.

What do they have in common? While the apps on our list cover a gamut of categories, we did uncover a few trends.

First, a number of the most successful new open source projects relate to mobility. Several can be used on a USB thumb drive (Appetizer, WinPenPack, UNetbootin), and several others were specifically developed for netbooks (Easy Peasy, eeebuntu, Moblin). Other applications make it easier to use mobile devices like iPods (SyncDocs, MP4 Creator, Streamy).

Second, quite a few of the applications on the list appeal primarily to enterprise users. For example, Turnkey Linux offers open source virtual appliances that are primarily of interest to large organizations. And ProcessMaker, AJAX Chat, and LogicalDOC, also focus on the enterprise market.

Third, multimedia continues to be a hot topic. Songbird, cPlay, Kaltura, Elltube, and others aim to help users do more with their audio and video files.

Finally - and we're not sure if this is significant or not - we found two applications designed to make users smarter: gBrainy and Brain Workshop. Could it be that the open source community is getting older and worrying about short-term memory loss (gasp!)?

Without further ado, here's our list of hot, new open source applications.

Appliances

1. Turnkey Linux

Turnkey offers a variety of virtual appliances pre-configured for tasks like Web development, content management, messaging, and database management. It makes it possible to deploy some of the best server-based open-source applications in just minutes. Available appliances include the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP), Joomla, Drupal, MediaWiki, Apache Tomcat, and many others. Operating System: Linux.

Audio Tools

2. Songbird

The open source answer to iTunes, Songbird is a music player, store, organizer, and more. One of its best features, mashTape, displays Flickr photos, YouTube videos, biographies, and news articles related to the artist currently playing. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

3. cPlay

This audio player offers outstanding sound quality with a minimalist interface. The Web site also includes extensive information on factors that affect audio playback. Operating System: Windows.

4. MP3 Diags

Have some of your MP3 files become corrupted? MP3 Diags lets you fix many of the most common problems and make other changes. Operating System: Windows.

5. Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard

Use your computer's keyboard or mouse to play a tune. Note that you will need some additional software and/or hardware in order to get the application to work. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Browser

6. Chrome

No doubt about it, the launch of Google's browser was one of the biggest open source releases of the last couple of years. And while it has a long way to go to match the user base of Explorer and Firefox, its speed and simplicity appeal to an ever-growing number of users. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Business Process Management

7. ProcessMaker

ProcessMaker helps enterprises simplify their workflows, eliminate paperwork, and become more efficient. In addition to the free, open-source version, it's also available with paid support or as a hosted application. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

Desktop Enhancements

8. Appetizer

Appetizer launches applications and opens folders from a Mac-like dock instead of the Windows Start menu. It can also be used with applications stored on USB thumb drives and even includes built-in support for Portable Apps.com. Operating System: Windows.

9. Circle Dock

Launch your programs from a circular dock with great background graphics. It's still in the early stages of development, but worth a look. Operating System: Windows.

Developer Tools

10. Evolutility

Build your own database-based Web applications without writing any code manually. It's easy to integrate into existing Web sites, offers a lightweight footprint, and supports all the major browsers. Operating System: Windows.

11. AJAX Chat

This Web chat software features multiple channels, private channels, private messaging, invitation system, controls for offensive users, custom emoticons, and more. It also integrates easily with popular forum software like phpBB, myBB, etc. Operating System: OS Independent.

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