Free Software

Throughout this course, we will attempt to use, where possible, Free and Open Source software.  Free or Open Source (the terms are often used interchangeably) software is software that is distributed under a specific license that allows others to examine, modify, and distribute without having to ask additional permission of the original author.  This keeps any one company from controlling the software, and allows huge communities of participants to work together, adding important features that make the software useful for themselves and others.  Because this software is open to the community, it is also almost always distributed without monetary cost.  All the free software used in this course can be freely downloaded from various websites. 

That said, this course is primarily about the multimedia aspects, not the software aspects.  As such, we will also be covering the use of non-free (proprietary) tools.  The general method used in this course is to learn the basics of each topic using the open source tools, then once a basic understanding of the topic is had, the course will briefly spend time learning how to apply those concepts in the proprietary tools for that topic.

Open Source tools we'll be using.  Hover over the Icon to read a short description, click the icon to go to the tool's website.

GIMPInkscape AudacityVLCHandbrake Avidemux Video Editor KdenliveFirefoxKompozerBluefish

In addition, for some of this class, we will be running computers that use the Ubuntu Operating System, instead of Microsoft Windows.  Ubuntu is an open source replacement for Microsoft Windows.  However, it also does much more than Windows, as it comes by default with much more software, such as many of the tools above, and almost all Free/Open Source software can be installed in it simply by searching in the "Software Center" and clicking install.


Other interesting open source tools:


More can be found online about free/open source software:
Open Source Initiative -
Free Software Foundation -
Wikipedia Free Software -
Wikipedia Open Source -