Saturday, August 1, 2009

FEATURE Readers’ Choice Awards 2009

Favorite Audio Tool

Audacity (73%)

In this year’s competition, we decided it made sense to split up audio-related programs into two categories. The first is Favorite Audio Tool—that is, program for creating, manipulating and modifying audio streams. The second is Favorite Audio Player—that is, program for playing and organizing existing audio streams. The cross-platform Audacity sound recorder and editor is yet another—cross-platform rule holds—category crusher in the Favorite Audio Tool department, garnering top marks from 73% of you. Although the applications LMMS and Ardour each have a critical mass of adherents, each is the favorite audio tool of only 6% of you.

Favorite Media Player

VLC (34%)
Honorable Mention
MPlayer (33%)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new champion in the Favorite Media Player category. VLC, which last year landed in a close second place behind MPlayer, won the category in a photo finish by a single percentage point. Both players play pretty much any format you can throw at them, making usability a key factor in your decision. Thus, more of you are opting for the single-console approach of VLC rather than MPlayer. Other players that recorded respectable results were Totem (9%), Kaffeine (8%), SMPlayer (6%) and xine (5%).

Favorite Audio Player

Amarok (36%)
Honorable Mention
Rhythmbox (18%)
XMMS (12%)

Although alternatives have knocked Amarok back a few points from last year, its 36% share of the vote tally helped the renowned audio player for KDE remain undisputed champion in the Favorite Audio Player category. Many of you also are aficionados of the audio players Rhythmbox and XMMS, each of which received enough votes to warrant Honorable Mention. It’s interesting to see KDE flagging as your favorite desktop, yet the KDE audio player, admittedly more feature-packed, has double the support of the GNOME audio player, Rhythmbox.

Favorite Communications Tool

Pidgin (43%)
Honorable Mention
Skype (18%)

Nothing changed in the Favorite Communications Tool category. Once again, Pidgin Internet Messenger, the Swiss Army knifeesque messaging tool formerly known as Gaim, took top honors with a 43% share of your votes. Pidgin users appreciate the ability to monitor all of their messaging accounts in 15 different protocols. Competitor Kopete, which slipped from its Honorable Mention status from last year, does only 11 protocols.
Meanwhile, the closed-source Skype retained its Honorable Mention laurels by earning 18% of your votes. That may be its ceiling until its improbable open-source resurrection, as a sizable contingent of us will never fill the bubble of any closed-source application, regardless of how good it is.

Favorite Graphics/Design Tool

GIMP (76%)
Honorable Mention
Inkscape (11%)

The legendary GIMP remains your unrivaled choice for Favorite Graphics/Design Tool, once again with 76% of the votes. It appears though, that the vector-graphics application Inkscape is emerging from the pack of graphics applications as a new favorite. Inkscape left the single-digit votegetters to reach 11% of your votes, enough to win it Honorable Mention in the category. Are the impressive, mature programs like Blender too specialized to warrant your vote? Maybe the category is too broad. One write-in voter exclaimed, “You’re making me choose between GIMP and Blender?!”, and another explained, “Blender, GIMP and Inkscape are totally different tools for different purposes. They’re all my favorites in their respective categories”. Points well taken.

Source of Information : Linux Journal Issue 182 June.2009

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