Open Source Audio/Video Apps: 33 Replacements

Wednesday Nov 4th 2015 by Cynthia Harvey
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Open source apps for mixing and manipulating audio and video, spotlighting replacements for top commercial software.

As we highlighted in this list of open source audio/video replacements, the number of free software downloads to replace commercial programs keeps on growing. It’s remarkable, really.

Clearly, the exponential growth in media options – an expanding entertainment and communication universe – is fueling a corresponding growth in software to create multimedia. The following list travels from audio-video players to file sharing to file conversion (related question: why are there so many file formats? Will we ever get to a universal format? We're just hoping.)

As always, if you have top open source picks for audio/video software, please post them in the Comments section below. Happy downloading!

CD/DVD Burning

1. AVStoDVD

Replaces: Nero Burning ROM, Roxio Creator

As the name suggests, this tool converts AV video files to DVD-compatible formats and burns them onto playable DVDs. It includes a DVD menu editor and a video and audio editor. Operating System: Windows.

2. Burn

Replaces: Nero Burning ROM, Roxio Creator

Burn offers a simple interface and advanced options for burning CDs or DVDs with your Mac. It can create audio CDs, DVDs, DVD-audio discs, DivX discs, MP3 discs and more. Operating System: OS X.

3. InfraRecorder

Replaces: Nero Burning ROM, Roxio Creator

For Windows users only, InfraRecorder burns CDs and DVDs, and it can also blank rewritable discs, fixate discs and create copies. It integrates with Windows Explorer, which makes it very easy to use. Operating System: Windows.

4. DVDStyler

Replaces: Nero Burning ROM, Roxio Creator

This tool not only burns discs, it can also help you create interactive DVD menus or photo slideshows. It supports a wide variety of multimedia file formats. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

5. DVD Flick

Replaces: Nero Burning ROM, Roxio Creator

DVD Flick boasts support for more than 45 file formats, more than 60 video codecs and more than 40 audio codecs. It can burn DVDs, create menus and add subtitles. Operating System: Windows.

6. Cdrtools

Replaces: Nero Burning ROM, Roxio Creator

This suite of command-line tools includes the cdrecord CD/DVD/Blu-ray recording software, as well as tools for reading optical media, extracting audio, and more. It's a mature project that has been around for quite a few years. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

7. cdrtfe

Replaces: Nero Burning ROM, Roxio Creator

Cdrtfe serves as a front-end for cdrtools and some other command-line recording applications. It can burn audio CDs, data discs, bootable discs, DVD-Video discs, ISO images and other types of optical media. The latest version supports Windows 10. Operating System: Windows.

File Sharing

8. eMule

Replaces: BitTorrent

eMule claims to be one of the most popular peer-to-peer file-sharing clients available. It can download torrents and offers fast performance and search. Operating System: Windows, OS X.

9. Ares

Replaces: BitTorrent

Very recently updated, Ares is a BitTorrent client and chat program that allows users to share images, audio, video, software and documents. It includes a built-in player and a library organizer. Operating System: Windows.

10. Shareaza P2P

Replaces: BitTorrent

This Windows peer-to-peer client offers support for multiple networks including EDonkey2000, Gnutella, BitTorrent and Gnutella2. Key features include global searching, multiple results tabs, previews, user comments, ratings, skinnable interface, sophisticated file-hashing and block lists to enhance security. Operating System: Windows.

11. FrostWire

Replaces: BitTorrent

FrostWire is a combination BitTorrent client, YouTube downloader and media player. It also supports Android devices, so you can take your media files with you on the go. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android.

12. DC++

Replaces: BitTorrent

This Windows client for the Direct Connect/Advanced Direct Connect file-sharing network has been downloaded millions of times. The site includes a helpful tutorial and beginner's guide for those who aren't sure how P2P works. Operating System: Windows.

13. ANts P2P

Replaces: BitTorrent

Designed for security and privacy, ANts P2P encrypts everything you send or receive over the network and masks connections so that users are untraceable. It's Java-based, so it will run on most platforms. Operating System: OS Independent.

Multimedia File Conversion

14. DVDx

Replaces: Movavi Video Converter

With DVDx, users can copy most DVDs and Blu-ray discs to their hard drives. It can also transcode movies from one format to another, reformat video with an incorrect aspect ratio, add or remove subtitles, extract audio and remove letterbox black borders from movies. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

15. HandBrake

Replaces: Movavi Video Converter

HandBrake is a free tool for converting video files using a wide variety of codecs. It promises fast, simple, easy operation. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

16. Media Converter

Replaces: Movavi Video Converter

This conversion tool supports AVI, WMV, MKV, RM, MOV and other formats. It includes helpful presets that will meet the needs of most users, or you can tinker with the advanced settings. Operating System: OS X.

17. TEncoder

Replaces: Movavi Video Converter

This app provides an interface to three other popular open source video tools: FFMPEG, MEncoder and Mplayer. It can convert video files, rip unprotected DVDs, add subtitles, download from YouTube, extract audio or video and more. Operating System: Windows.

18. xVideoServiceThief

Replaces: Movavi Video Converter

This tool allows you to download clips from more than 93 different websites, including YouTube, Yahoo Video, Vimeo, Boing Boing and others. It can also convert clips among popular formats. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Multimedia and Video Players

19. VLC Media Player

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

This incredibly popular app can play multimedia files, DVDs, audio CDs, VCDs, streams and more. It can also do file conversion, and it runs on most platforms. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android.

20. JuceVLC

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

A fork of the VLC Media Player, JuceVLC provides a full-screen interface that makes the system seem more like a media center. It's lightweight and provides an interface that is meant to be used with a wireless mouse while you're sitting on your couch. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.

21. Miro

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime, iTunes

Calling itself "The beautiful, open-source music and video player that lets you break free," Miro promises amazing performance. It plays your music files like iTunes, syncs with your Android devices, downloads and plays audio and video files, connects with BitTorrent, and allows you to buy music or apps. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS.

22. UMPlayer

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

With more than 270 built-in codecs, UMPlayer plays nearly everything, including audio CDs, DVDs, VCDs, TV cards, YouTube, streams and more. It can even provide playback of some incomplete or damaged files. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

23. FFmpeg

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

FFmpeg humbly describes itself as "the leading multimedia framework, able to decode, encode, transcode, mux, demux, stream, filter and play pretty much anything that humans and machines have created." It's a command-line tool that has been integrated into many other open source projects. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

24. Banshee

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime, iTunes

Similar to iTunes, Banshee allows users to browse, buy, download, organize and play audio and video files. It can sync with iOS and Android devices, and it includes features like queuing, smart shuffle, cover art, smart search, playlists and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS.

25. Bino

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

The feature that sets Bino apart is its support for stereoscopic 3D video and multi-display video. It can even handle some types of virtual reality display. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

26. MPlayer

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

Based in part on FFmpeg, MPlayer plays a wide range of video file formats. Note that the GUI is optional. It installs as a command-line tool by default, and alternative GUIs are also available. Operating system: Windows, Linux, OS X.

27. SMPlayer

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

SMPlayer is one of those alternative GUIs for MPlayer. One key feature: it remembers the settings of all files you play, so you can pause and later resume movies or music right where you left off. Operating system: Windows, Linux.

28. ExMPlayer

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

And this is another MPlayer GUI. It offers thumbnail seeking, and the latest version has a new Movie Animator tool that allows users to turn clips into animated GIFs. Operating system: Windows, Linux.

29. Kodi

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

Formerly known as XBMC, Kodi is an award-winning open source tool that turns your system into a media center. It plays music, movies and TV; records live TV like a DVR; organizes all your media files (including photos); and allows you to use a smartphone or tablet like a remote control. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS.

30. MediaPortal

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

Very similar to Kodi, MediaPortal is another option for turning a PC into a home media center. It can play TV, DVDs, music, streaming services, pictures and more, and it can also schedule and record live TV. Operating System: Windows.

31. Videos

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

For Linux only, this app plays video files on the GNOME 3 desktop. Several plug-ins are available to extend its functionality. Operating System: Linux.

32. Media Player Classic Home Cinema

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

Extremely lightweight, MPC-HC is a great option for playing video on older or underpowered Windows systems. The look and feel are similar to the classic Windows Media Player. Operating System: Windows.

33. xine

Replaces: Windows Media Player, Windows Movies & TV, QuickTime

Xine is a fast multimedia playback engine that can play CDs, DVDs or VCDs as well as files and streaming services. It can handle many different audio and video file format types. Operating System: OS X, Linux, Windows (partial support only).

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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