Free applications, one click.
December 14, 2009 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Ninite is an incredibly nifty website/service that packages and lets you choose and install the correct versions of 59 of the best free Windows software packages in one click. It joins its mass-installing brethren: the venerable Google Pack (10 applications) and the Lifehacker Pack (22 applications), as well as a variety of specialized packages for Installpad, including those specializing in PC rescue or media.
posted by blahblahblah (31 comments total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
Pepsi Blue Screen of Death?
posted by floam at 8:18 PM on December 14, 2009

Huh, coulda sworn Volery had been posted before, but I guess not.

I get it, but I don't get it.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:18 PM on December 14, 2009

One notable omission is Sumatra but otherwise, this is really great. Maybe I will reformat my laptop tonight afterall!
posted by battlebison at 8:19 PM on December 14, 2009

Oh, how cute, looks like it wants to be apt when it grows up.
posted by idiopath at 8:38 PM on December 14, 2009 [14 favorites]

Another notable omission is foobar2000. Best music player out there.
posted by RGD at 8:41 PM on December 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Do you use anything for rating in foobar2000, RGD? I stopped using iTunes and am missing the ratings and the ability to make smart playlists from ratings, times played, last listen and other data.

I looked into foobar2000 a bit, but it's pretty complex.
posted by ODiV at 8:52 PM on December 14, 2009

I was about to poop on how there's no way anyone would need 59 apps for their Windows box, but then when I checked it out I was pleasantly surprised in the organization and the fact that it doesn't ram 59 apps down your through. Nice resource!
posted by furtive at 9:03 PM on December 14, 2009

Oooh, do I get to be the first one to whine about how there's not much here for Macs?

But actually, there's some slick stuff here. I'm a new Mac convert, and I miss Foobar2000, dammit! Curse the tyranny of iTunes.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 9:10 PM on December 14, 2009

Schlimmbesserung: "Oooh, do I get to be the first one to whine about how there's not much here for Macs?"

Let the Windows folk have their shiny collections of rounded dropshadowed icons, with a Mac you have access to an actual package manager, and like a good package manager should, it has more categories of apps than these other guys have apps. You can think of a package manager like a less shiny itunes app store, except all the (many hundreds of) apps are free.
posted by idiopath at 9:18 PM on December 14, 2009 [3 favorites]

I've been interested in foobar2000 for a while, but the UI looks just godawful, as if it was just cooked up in a day in Visual Basic or something. And I'm talking layout, not skinning or whatever.
That's what I'm thankful for on Macs- the UI layout is usually pretty good. Let's not get into Linux.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:32 PM on December 14, 2009

Umm. dunkadunc have you even seen or used Rhythmbox or Amarok on Linux? Not saying they're perfect, but they're pretty solid. I like their interface just as much as winamp. I, personally, am not very keen on iTunes.

That said, ninite sure is a nice shiny site, and there looks to be some good software on there. BUT! I don't know what all these apps do. Sure, I've heard of or used about 90% of them, but what if I never heard of it before? How do I know what I should install?

At least there should be clickable links to descriptions at either the software's home page, or a short description on this site.

But I do feel a little... "pepsi-blue"ish vibe from it, I admit.
posted by symbioid at 9:49 PM on December 14, 2009

I found and lost this URL a while back, and couldn't remember it, courtesy of idiotic-made-up-domain-name-itis. Thanks for reminding me.

There are a few of these kind of sites now. AllMyApps is another, uglier one. They are a kind of bridge transition to netbook/device complements like Jolicloud and the Google OS, sort of like the (now generally virus-propagating) serialz websites of a decade ago were a bridge to the full-on peer-to-peer app pirating of today. But you know, hopefully not as dodgy.

dunkadunc, foobar2000 is kind of the ultimate toy for aspergers sufferers. The default UI is literally unworkable without hours of tweaking, and it can be very cool once you do so (or find prepackaged customizations to install). Me, I just don't have the time or energy or drugs.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:51 PM on December 14, 2009

^ Sounds like Linux! (and why I keep uninstalling it.)
posted by dunkadunc at 9:59 PM on December 14, 2009

For all those pepsi-blue mutterers, I can assure you that the only connection I have to the software is using it for the first time today on my new PC after finding it on Lifehacker. I think my 5+ year posting history should be enough persuasion that a) I post about lots of stuff and b) I'd be unlikely to throw away such a long association with MeFi to promote a site that seems to have no business model capable of paying the required massive bribe. Until then, I am no one's viral shill!
posted by blahblahblah at 10:04 PM on December 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sorry, ODiV, I've never really used ratings/smart playlists. I found this HOWTO for ratings though, perhaps it will help?
posted by RGD at 10:06 PM on December 14, 2009

And there's this playback statistics component as well.
posted by RGD at 10:08 PM on December 14, 2009

Ninite is seriously useful. Came in handy when I installed Windows 7 a couple months back.
posted by andrewcilento at 10:13 PM on December 14, 2009

Those who are thinking they might be feeling deja-vu may have remembered this question on the green.
posted by deezil at 10:33 PM on December 14, 2009

Best (windows) media player? AIMP2.
posted by milnak at 10:39 PM on December 14, 2009

This thread details using ratings with foobar. However, iTunes stores its ratings in the actual iTunes song DB, and so as far as I know there is no way to transfer them over. Foobar, on the hand, stores the ratings in the song tag so they are portable once created (although probably not back to iTunes...). Luckily for me, I have way too much music to ever mess with ratings anyway. For smartplaylists, they use the term "autoplaylists" but much of more interesting smartplaylist functionality was missing last time I checked. So, while I still use iTunes to sync with my iPhone, I have switched to foobar exclusively for actually listening to music on my Windows box. Most of this is due to the speed and flexibility. While the default UI is constantly getting better and plugin functionality is being improved, it still took me a few months to get it set up to the point that I was happy with.
posted by sophist at 10:50 PM on December 14, 2009

This seriously could not have been more timely for me; I just finished installing Windows 7 mere minutes ago. First thing I did was install AVG, then Chrome, then I... checked Metafilter. Thanks for reading my mind!
posted by andeles at 11:39 PM on December 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

sophist: I am interested in your experience with foobar as I tried really, really hard to set it up to a point where I was happy with it, but gave up after three weeks. One reason was the lack (to me anyway) of sophisticated play-list management, so your comments echo my experience. I just didn't have your perseverance. It just got too hard to get foobar to a point where I could actually enjoy using it. Back to iTunes I'm afraid.
posted by vac2003 at 11:52 PM on December 14, 2009

have been putting off reformatting my laptop mainly for this reason - good stuff; thanks.
posted by hypersloth at 12:04 AM on December 15, 2009

I am surprised that so many applications I always install right off the bat are here. Of the 59 programs here, 31 are ones that I would ordinarily install anyway. (Holy crap, do I really install that many things?)
posted by JHarris at 2:45 AM on December 15, 2009

I started using foobar2000 back when it was new and put a lot of time and energy into it and it was great. Then I had a 3 year break from having a PC at home, and coming back to it was really disappointing because although there were plenty of improvements, it was such a huge pain in the ass to set it up. You have to hunt through 100-page threads on the message board to find broken links to components that are outdated anyway. That said, the out-of-the-box feature list is already great, and you can download some theme packs that look pretty swell without too much trouble. I have it set up now so that it has the functionality I want (that I'm not sure any other player could give me), but it looks kind of ugly.

milnak: why do you like AIMP2?

Also a side note: I really liked Play for Mac (it's kind of outdated but it looks like it might be getting updated again) and gmusicbrowser for Linux.
posted by ropeladder at 5:39 AM on December 15, 2009

I use Liberkey. They offer suites of 25, 100, 150 or 250 portable applications and utilities. All these apps are updated together which saves lots of time. The apps can be associated with their respective filetypes.
I place the Liberkey installation in my Dropbox folder. This 2GB (or 2.3GB) folder is synchronized en backupped automatically across different systems.
On a new system I only need to install dropbox (or use Dropbox portable) to get the last version of all applications and utilities with my preferences.

Ninite is still useful for installing applications like AVG, Google Earth, Picasa or .. Dropbox which have no portable alternative or work better when installed.

There is some doubt that Liberkey is fully compliant with all licensing, permission, and trademark requirements..
posted by Akeem at 5:53 AM on December 15, 2009

This is pretty cool.

But shouldn't the names / icons link to descriptions or home pages of the apps?
posted by Perplexity at 7:10 AM on December 15, 2009

Let the Windows folk have their shiny collections of rounded dropshadowed icons, with a Mac you have access to an actual package manager, and like a good package manager should, it has more categories of apps than these other guys have apps. You can think of a package manager like a less shiny itunes app store, except all the (many hundreds of) apps are free.

Apps? This is the first "app" in the list you linked. All that cutting edge design that Apple is known for is on full display in "a52dec".

Programs are not apps.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:15 AM on December 15, 2009

A package manager manages libraries and utilities as well as apps, yes. The first actual app on that page is ardour2 (a multi track gui daw), followed by cdparanoia (command line CD ripper), csound (sound synthesis programming language), drumsxx (programming language for drum patterns), hydrogen (gui drum machine / sequencer), etc. etc.
posted by idiopath at 8:26 AM on December 15, 2009

I used it on a fresh install of Windows 7, and it worked just fine.
posted by amanzi at 8:28 AM on December 15, 2009

Looks like I'll be the first to say this site has some drawbacks.

When you install the apps, the ninite installer does it all for you, skipping any and all dialog boxes. At first I thought this way great, then I realized that for many apps those dialogs are very important.

Dropbox didn't have account info to associate, which it only does during install, so I had to uninstall it and reinstall it.

I had some issue with Foxit Reader associating with pdfs. I'd tell windows to remember the association, and as soon as I closed Foxit, the association would disappear. A clean install fixed that too.

I had problem with a few other programs also.

It's very convenient and super smart in theory, but it's got some issues.
posted by toekneebullard at 10:41 AM on December 15, 2009

« Older Not Afraid of Americans   |   787 First Flight Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments