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Graphics, Video and Sound Editing Software on the Desktop

Graphics Programs

My primary one is Paint Shop Pro, the latest version (X4) but it costs $80.  There is 30 day free trial offer.  It is a lot cheaper than Adobe Photo Shop and somewhat cheaper than Adobe Photo Shop Elements.

For more casual users I recommend Picasa (from Google) or Paint.NET.   Both are free.  I definitely prefer Paint.NET.

GIMP 2 logoGIMP 2  http://www.gimp.org/   Free
Very good at converting between various graphics formats including from .PDF to .JPG
It is not as strait forward as it might be.
To load the file into GIMP  use FILE>OPEN
You then are presented with a "Import from PDF" window where you define the sixe of the image you want to map the PDF file onto.  This controls the resolution.
I typically put in 2000 to 5000 for the width leaving the height and Resolution alone. The Resolution setting is only used if you choose to print the image out in its "original" size. Then click on IMPORT.

If the image does not have a lot of dental than 2000 is adequate and results in a much smaller file, in one example it cut the file size from 2.3 Mb to 0.8 MB with an almost imperceptible loss of quality.
To save the image as a JPG file, FILE>EXPORT then give the file a name ending in .JPG
Then click EXPORT.  A dialog window will open asking what quality you want.  This is basically how much you want the file compressed.  I typically use 80.

Another trap with GIMP is if you want to go back and try reading the image with a different resolution, you have to close the original image out or it will just read it with the old resoltion.

PDFill PDF Tools 9.0 is also a good program to convert PDF files to JPG files as well as other tricks with PDF files.  This is also free.


Tux Paint, A paint program designed for Children 3 and up. 
http://www.download.com/Tux-Paint/3000-2132_4-10328696.html?hhTest&tag=lst-1&cdlPid=10816165  I have looked at it but not tried it with kids.

Sound Editing

Audacity (An audio file manipulation program) I have not tried it yet but it looks good.
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/  It does not currently (10/1/08) support .WMA(Windows Media Player) files.

Video Editing

Windows Live Movie Maker,  or Windows Live Movie Maker, you probably already have it.  Type movie in the search box or START > PROGRAMS  >  WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER in Windows XP. If not, it free from Microsoft. One problem with it is that it will only output files as .WMV files.  WMV which is a Microsoft developed format and Apple computers an phones can not read.  The big advantage of this program is that you can rotate the image so you can rotate a landscape image to portrait or invert a video that you inadvertently recorded upside down. You can input files in a wide variety of formats. I am so used to doing this with pictures that I get caught when I take a movie and if it fits better in Portrait, I just shoot it that way then have trouble displaying it.  When you go to save the file  (the icon one in from the right side) use the drop down menu to pick the size of the image, it defaults to a huge size.  640 by 480 ("For my Computer) is usually adequate and is a lot bigger than Facebook displays.  You can load bigger files to Facebook, they will automatically cut it down to size.

VLC Media Player, free  Can edit video files  more promising than Windows Media Player, Will also work with DVD movies,  PC Magazine April 2010
I used it to convert .WMV files to .MP4 files so iTunes and my iPhone could read it.  The one trick is that when you specify your desired output file name you must include the extension such as .MP4 so select a compatible file format.
To convert a file format you do not have to load the file first.  Just click on MEDIA > CONVERT/SAVE > ADD > CONVERT/SAVE (in the lower right corner) > BROWSE (to choose where the file will go, give it a name and an extension (from the approved list below such as MP4)  It will not output .MOV files and does not have the capability to rotate the image.

Handbreak  Back up DVD to your hard drive PC Magazine 2010 recommendation. http://handbrake.fr/

Edit digital Videos with Avidemux, http://www.download.com/Avidemux/3000-13631_4-10829933.html?hhTest&tag=lst-1&cdlPid=10857009 Have not tried.


Picture organizing software
I believe in sorting out my pictures my self. 
I sort my pictures by year then by major category like FAMILY, HIKES etc. then by specific hike etc.
File manager can display the picture in various sizes, try VIEW   >   LARGE ICONS  etc.
My first sort is just clicking on the picture which should bring up Windows Photo Viewer unless some other program has hijacked .JPG files.
Photo Viewer has the ability to rotate the picture or delete it.  This is your first functions to use anyway.
 
Once you get the pictures you want to save, I can lead you through the steps to burn a CD or DVD.
I use Costco to print.  The pictures are typically ready to pick up in an hour or 2.
 

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Rev 12/27/12 fixed