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Essential Pieces of Open Source Software for 2014


When it comes to file sharing, you might be wondering exactly what kind of software or files you could share online. Using a torrent application or file sharing application allows you to download files or software shared by other users (uust make sure you aren’t infringing on copyright) and one of the most commonly shared types of files is open source software. This is free software which can include games and a variety of programs, from word processors to video converters. With so many different types of open source software out there, we’ve come up with the definitive guide to some essential pieces of open source software you must download this year, so read on for the lowdown.

Essential Pieces of Open Source Software for 2014

Miro Video Converter

This open-source, cross-platform software allows conversions of videos to and from a number of formats including formats that are compatible with iOS and Android phones – brilliant! The software is simple and easy to use, and can be downloaded directly from or through a file sharing program such as Vuze.

Media Goblin

Media Goblin provides an alternative to sharing videos and images on sites such as YouTube and Flickr and is a platform for publishing media online. Compatible with Linux and Windows, you can share music, images and videos you have the rights to whilst avoiding the busy major sites. Written in Python and SQL, it’s free to download and simple to set up an account.


As anyone who has ever been self-employed knows, one of the biggest headaches is creating invoices. Many cloud-based invoicing programs charge a monthly fee to let you use their services, but with SimpleInvoices, you can quickly create professional looking invoices for free with minimal effort. Just download and install the open-source software, enter a few client details and create your invoice. You can choose from a variety of formats including PDF’s, so no more unhappy clients!


The chances are that most of us don’t use all the features of the all-singing, all-dancing new Microsoft Word. If you only use it to type up the occasional word document then there’s little point spending a fortune buying the program. Download Abiword from a file sharing site and you’ll have all the basic functionality of MS Word, without any of the bells and whistles you don’t need. The small size of the software enables speedy loading even on older machines and it’s easy to read and create MS Word docs, Docs, RTF docs and more. The service allows online document storage and sharing as well as a simple way to convert document formats.


If Adobe Photoshop is way above your budget (and let’s face it, it is pretty expensive, particularly if you’re a student), then GIMPShop is the next best thing. It does a good job of imitating Photoshop and if you’re already experienced using Photoshop then you’ll adapt to this open-source software quite quickly – most of the features you’re used to using are here. For those inexperienced with Photoshop there may be a bit of a learning curve, but it’s still better than spending hundreds on Photoshop itself!

VLC Media Player

If you’re looking for a replacement for Quicktime, Real Player or Windows Media Player, you’ll love VLC Media Player. You’ll find it runs almost every media type you’ll ever encounter and it comes with a whole host of features that are easy to use. It’s simple to navigate, does the job and best of all it’s free to download!


For something a bit more unusual, Handbrake is a nifty little program that instantly transfers the contents of any DVD stored to your hard drive in a format which can be read by most commonly used media players (if in doubt get VLC!) This is handy if you often travel with DVD’s or are taking home movies to a friend’s house to watch as you don’t need to take the physical DVD with you.

File sharing is a great way to download and share open-source software, but once you’ve finished downloading the programs of your choice, don’t forget to seed them so that other people can take advantage of them too! File sharing programs allow you to download a range of non-infringing free games and software and many alternatives to expensive programs are available, such as word processing programs and software designed specifically for small businesses. If you’re on a tight budget and looking for new software to make your life easier, then you can’t afford not to check out our list of open-source software.

Justin Sutton is a gadget geek from London. When he’s not reviewing the latest gadgets, games and software, he can be found on his PS4 or reading reviews of the best open-source software online.

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