Ten software trends that are (or should be) dying - gHacks Tech News

Ten software trends that are (or should be) dying

Let’s pretend that you’re a tech savvy individual who’s always been interested and followed software, and that you had gone into a coma about ten years ago and just woken up.

You’d probably be surprised by the way the tech scene has changed in the interim (e.g. the pervasiveness of smartphones, the ubiquitousness of social media, the explosion in wearable tech and the ‘internet of things’, ever cheaper 3D printing, the success of crowdfunding, dumb apps like Instagram and Snapchat valued at more than a billion dollars, etc).

But you’d also be surprised to find that many software genres that were there 10 years ago are dying away.

This is a list of ten such software trends. Most of them are still with us, but slowly (and sometimes imperceptibly) fading away and becoming irrelevant.

Dying Software Trends

1. CD and DVD rippers

cdex

Remember when movies and music was purchased on CDs and DVDs? To get your media off the disc and onto your hard drive, a host of CD and DVD rippers emerged at a time when it was more or less inconceivable that a day would come when most music and movies would not arrive via an optical disc.

That day is well and truly here, with the overwhelming majority of media being delivered via app stores such as iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon downloads, or via music or video sharing services such as Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, Vimeo, and others. A disproportionately large percentage of media, moreover, is currently consumed on tablets and smartphones that were never built to interact with discs, and most modern PC’s (especially the best, high end modern laptops) don’t even support a CD or DVD player anymore, casting it as useless dead weight from a bygone era.

Of course, these programs have not disappeared altogether, as there is still an occasional need for them, but they’re certainly less relevant with each passing day.

2. CD and DVD burners

The opposite of #1 above. Again, harkening to a time when sharing media and backing up data was the purvey of optical discs rather than cloud or network storage (or even USB and flash drives).

3. PC’s on a USB stick

There was a time when techies everywhere had the fantasy that PC’s would transform into dumb terminals, and that you could carry your data, your OS, and all the programs you needed on a USB stick, which you could conveniently plug into any PC at an internet café or your grandma’s or your workplace etc and be in business. At least I think this was the fantasy. In any case what actually happened was that everybody’s phone became a connected super duper computer with as much or more computing power as any PC or laptop. USB drives, meanwhile, are themselves slowly becoming arcane, much less the idea of a self contained computing environment in a flash drive conveniently attached to your keychain.

Worth mentioning is that self contained OS’s on USB drives did not die out entirely, but became relegated to the realm of troubleshooting environments that you could boot into to fix a faulty PC or one that was infested with malware etc.

4. Hard disk defragmenters

disk defragmenter defraggler

These esoteric utilities were once a techie’s secret weapon used to eke out that much more performance out of a system by conveniently re-arranging the data on the hard drive, leading to faster access times. These programs are being killed by the double whammy of (a) modern PC’s and laptops abandoning traditional hard drives (HDD) towards Solid State (SSD) drives which because of the way they store data on flash memory chips do not benefit from or require defragmentation at all; and (b) the fact that most modern OS’s, such as Windows 7/8/10 are incorporating the defrag function into their internal operations.

Still, defragmenting a hard drive might still be useful and/or necessary when performing operations such as hard disk partitioning or creating backup disk images.

5. Registry Cleaners

wise registry cleaner

Another much ballyhooed utility which was supposed to cure all the ills of a system and miraculously make it faster. The reality was that (a) any alleged speed increase resulting from a registry cleanup was negligible in 97%+ of cases, and (b) a registry cleanup was in many most cases more likely to harm rather than accelerate or optimize the system.

Still, I would say that there are a handful of utilities that have garnered a good reputation for performing a registry cleanup without causing harm (I stand behind the registry cleaning function of CCleaner). But even so I would wager that any performance benefits are mainly placebo effects in the mind of the user.

6. Virtual desktops

A feature of Linux that at one time seemed to generate much excitement and was introduced onto Windows via many free and paid virtual desktop apps. The idea was that you would place your open windows within different desktops that you would flip to on demand, such that the your image manipulation tools would be open in one virtual desktop, for example, your browser(s) in another, etc. This was somehow deemed useful when in reality minimizing and maximizing your windows in a single desktop was good enough, and a lot simpler and more straightforward.

The concept seems to have failed to get traction with users. I really tried to use and get into virtual desktop programs, only to conclude years later that it is a dumb and useless concept. The only exception to this is the ability of Dexpot, the foremost free virtual desktop app on Windows, to arrange ICONS (as opposed to open windows) within virtual desktops, making it an excellent desktop organization app (imagine flipping through desktops and their icons in the same way you flip through pages of icons on an iPad or Android device).

7. Desktop Widgets

Were originally deemed to be convenient dashboard-style outlays of all manner of information right on the desktop (e.g. your stock movements, your RSS feeds, your email, breaking news, etc.) In reality it was information overload that taxed not just your brain and attention span, but your system as well.

Of course desktop widgets still survive in Windows 10, but are now buried in the Start Menu, which is an excellent place for them in my opinion. They are also a mainstay of the Android OS of course. I have yet to see a desktop-embedded widget that is more useful than it is mere clutter in the long term.

8. RSS aggregators

There was a time when RSS feeds were the coolest thing, having the potential to tame the internet and poised to take over the world. Voracious consumers of information such as myself loved RSS aggregators, but then Facebook and Twitter happened, hijacking the whole river-of-news concept (and crowd-sourcing it to your friends and acquaintances), and today RSS aggregators seem to be dying a slow death. Even Google pulled the plug on ‘Google Reader’ at a time when it was the leading RSS aggregator in the universe.

I still love my RSS feeds, and use both a local and web-based aggregator. But it seems that I am an outlier, as evidenced by the fact that most sites will vie a lot harder to get you to like their articles on Facebook and/or to subscribe to their email newsletter than they are to get you to subscribe via RSS.

9. Internet Radio Station Recorders

internet radio recorder

Yet another concept that got me really excited at the time, and which in hindsight did not turn out to be very useful. Simply put: if I wanted to get ahold of the mp3 of a song, there are many other simpler and more straightforward ways to get it (legally or otherwise) than to be recording it off of the streaming feed of an internet radio station.

Of course, it may be that a user would want to record the entire Jazzy or alternative music show for playback in it’s entirety, a case where these kind of programs are very well suited, but how often does that happen in the age of Pandora, Spotify and other music sharing services that provide customized streams on demand?

10. Screenshot uploaders

A very popular function that seemed to accompany every single screenshot taking program in existence. My question is: who are these people who are taking screenshots and uploading them to image sharing services? Aside from modding enthusiasts who want to show off their customized desktops, I really don’t know why anyone would be uploading screenshots.

If I wanted to upload images to image sharing services (which I frequently do), I would upload the original image files and not take screenshots of them from the desktop. This has the extra benefit of saving myself the labor of getting the edges of my screenshot exactly right, avoiding the trap of including unwanted crap from my desktop in the image, and guarding against uploading an image off the desktop that is likely to be of inferior resolution to the original.

Seriously, if this trend hasn’t died yet it’s about time it did.

Closing Words

I'm sure there are more but I have to stop somewhere. Can you think of other software trends that are (or should be) dying off? Please feel free to add any that I’ve missed in the comments section below.

Summary
Ten software trends that are (or should be) dying
Article Name
Ten software trends that are (or should be) dying
Description
Samer looks at ten software trends that are dying, or should be dying because they have outlived their usefulness or were never useful in the first place.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Johng said on March 11, 2016 at 7:41 am
    Reply

    I’m sadden by some on your list but I disagree about RSS. Though not as many people use, is still used by many. Honestly, I wouldn’t visit half the sites I do, including this one, if I didn’t use an RSS reader.

    1. Latz said on March 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm
      Reply

      “No feed no read” – that’s still my mantra.

      1. Giron said on March 11, 2016 at 6:46 pm
        Reply

        I agree.
        RSS is my way of reading what interest me.

    2. insanelyapple said on March 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm
      Reply

      I’m using build-in Firefox reader along with feedly – I can’t use other browser without livemarks/live bookmarks feature.

    3. Tim said on March 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm
      Reply

      I agree with the above posters, RSS feeds are one of the truly useful technologies to hit the internet.

      Companies like Google and Twitter may be trying to kill off RSS feeds, but Facebook and Twitter are not a replacement for RSS feeds. There is no replacement for RSS feeds.

    4. Tom Hawack said on March 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm
      Reply

      I agree, as well with those who agree on the pertinence of RSS, a great tool, fast panorama of latest sites’ articles, quick summary, invitation to read more. I prefer to discover latest headlines via the RSS feeds than by the means of Google News, which also has an ersatz of RSS, terribly lousy by the way, which is understandable as resuming a resume is.

    5. BA said on March 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm
      Reply

      While I agree that RSS feeds are still awesome, I have seen a major decrease in their usage since GReader went away. To me, an RSS reader must support mobile and web access with syncing between them which is what made GReader so great.It took me a while to warm up to Feedly but I don’t miss GReader anymore. It’s not uncommon to have no RSS feed icon on many sites these days though I’ve found I can usually search for them in Feedly and it will still pull a feed. Along with the wealth of quality free podcasts, RSS feeds are an important part of my life.

    6. trek100 said on March 11, 2016 at 9:52 pm
      Reply

      RSS feeds (not Facebook),
      is my TOP way
      of quickly getting the latest news
      from my Blogs of interest.

      And that includes Ghacks posts, Martin…

      I use INOreader – the free online version,
      for the last 4 years,
      (since Google Reader went “kaput”).

      It’s really excellent:
      http://www.inoreader.com/

      Check it out…
      (I have no relation to its authors).

    7. Zeus said on March 12, 2016 at 12:08 am
      Reply

      > I’m sadden by some on your list but I disagree about RSS. Though not as many people use, is still used by many.

      I think his point is that while people like us (regular Ghacks readers) appreciate RSS feeds, they ultimately failed to catch on with the general public.

      Ten years have passed since Oprah tried to get her readers to understand RSS with a cute info-graphic. Today, the average laptop or tablet user probably tracks updates through Facebook or Twitter rather than RSS.

    8. All Things Firefox said on March 12, 2016 at 12:08 am
      Reply

      RSS feeds are incredibly useful. If a site doesn’t have an RSS feed, it needs to be pretty special for me to visit it regularly.
      I use FeedDemon, no longer developed but still great.

  2. Ross Presser said on March 11, 2016 at 7:57 am
    Reply

    Screenshot uploading — I use Jing, which uploads to screencast.com — is a fabulous tool for physically dispersed *teams* of people debugging websites in common. They are also really useful for customers who need to submit a support request for a malfunctioning website. I could not do my job half as efficiently without Jing.

    I have heard that there are up and coming platforms, like Slack, that integrate chat, whiteboards, screenshots, task lists, etc. for teams. I’m interested but I doubt it will replace screenshot sharing for getting data from customers.

  3. GL1zdA said on March 11, 2016 at 8:00 am
    Reply
  4. Harkness said on March 11, 2016 at 8:11 am
    Reply

    I am calling Bull$h!t on this article.

    1. Corky said on March 11, 2016 at 11:13 am
      Reply

      You’re calling Bull$h!t on someones opinion?
      While you may not agree with someones opinion that’s no reason to be so insolent, go away and learn some manners.

      1. Harkness said on March 11, 2016 at 11:45 am
        Reply

        I merely exercised my freedom of speech by giving my own opinion, and yes respect is meaningless to me. However I do acknowledge the condescending tone in your opinion.

      2. Corky said on March 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm
        Reply

        @Harkness, As Paranam Kid pointed out freedom of speech doesn’t mean you have the right to disrespect other people, the freedom of speech is not the freedom to knowingly be rude or impolite.

    2. Paranam Kid said on March 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm
      Reply

      Like many people with little basic education, you conveniently assume freedom of speech includes lacking respect to others, believing it equates to freedom to insult. In addition, you denigrate others’ opinions, which merely confirms your lack of basic emotional intelligence. Before you decide to insult others, think at least twice (in your case maybe more) about what you want to say & the words you want to use. I can assure you, you will end feeling better about yourself.

      1. Harkness said on March 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm
        Reply

        This part – “…you denigrate others’ opinions, which merely confirms your lack of basic emotional intelligence..” is true. I will take your words under consideration.

    3. Tom Hawack said on March 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm
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      @Harkness, terrible if respect has to be considered as a duty, an obligation and, if considered as such, indeed faces the argument of liberty.
      Perhaps liberty doesn’t fulfill one’s relational universe : there’s more, including respect, empathy and, sometimes, love, be it brotherhood, you know, just a smile at least, cool.
      Take a walk on the wild side, and sing, man, rather than shoot, see what I mean, bro’ :)

    4. Mike S. said on March 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm
      Reply

      “…freedom of speech doesn’t mean you have the right to disrespect other people, the freedom of speech is not the freedom to knowingly be rude or impolite.”

      It absolutely means you have that right, at least as long as one is a U.S. citizen – can’t speak for the rest of the world, only for our Constitution’s protections.

      As for Harkness’s ‘rudeness’:

      “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it – Evelyn Beatrice Hall”

      :)

      1. Rocky said on March 12, 2016 at 12:04 am
        Reply

        @Mike S. “….it absolutely means you have that right…” It may be true that he has that right but it doesn’t make it right.

      2. Corky said on March 12, 2016 at 8:22 am
        Reply

        @Mike S., Sorry but you’re wrong the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the freedom of speech is not absolute.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_States
        There are exceptions to these general protections, including the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, speech that incites imminent lawless action, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising. Within these limited areas, other limitations on free speech balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as rights for authors over their works (copyright), protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons, and restrictions on the use of untruths to harm others (slander).

        In reference to Harkness’s original comment it would be considered slander.

      3. Mike S. said on March 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm
        Reply

        “I am calling Bull$h!t on this article.”

        Corky, you’re saying an article can be slandered? Printed words can be slandered by other printed words?

        That’s a new one for the law profession to look at.

      4. Corky said on March 12, 2016 at 6:58 pm
        Reply

        @Mike S., It really doesn’t matter what I’m saying, what matter is that you claimed the freedom of speech absolutely means someone has a right to disrespect other people and to be knowingly rude or impolite, when that’s just not true.

        How you, me, or the legal system wants to interpret someone calling an opinion of an author Bull$h!t doesn’t really matter, what does is that people like yourself think the freedom of speech means you can say whatever you want, when people think that’s what the freedom of speech means it cheapens and corrupts it.

    5. Mike S. said on March 12, 2016 at 8:44 pm
      Reply

      “…freedom of speech absolutely means someone has a right to disrespect other people and to be knowingly rude or impolite, when that’s just not true.”

      It’s not true in your own head which is fine – that’s your personal value system, but cite me actual law that says being disrespectful, rude, or impolite is punishable.

      If those actions were actually slanderous or libelous in courts of law, our American society wouldn’t function – we’d all be in jail or fined into poverty.

      The comments section on Youtube alone would be a goldmine for lawyers. :)

      1. Corky said on March 13, 2016 at 11:07 am
        Reply

        You seem to be conflating legal rights and natural rights, while breaking legal rights may find you in the courts natural rights won’t but are no less egregious, speech is free, the consequences aren’t.

        While we could argue what someone has a right to say or not what it boils down to is that by thinking the freedom of speech allows you to knowingly be disrespectful, rude, or impolite to other people just shows your lack of civility, speech is free, the consequences aren’t.

    6. Mike S. said on March 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm
      Reply

      Corky, there is no such thing as “natural rights”. It’s a pretty concept but freedom comes out of the barrel of a gun, to paraphrase Mao, not as a gift from a sentient God or impersonal nature. Best example for U.S. citizens is our own Revolutionary War, not to mention all the wars since, as well as the protections of the 2nd Amendment.

      I never said freedom of speech is absolute; obviously all our Constitutional rights have limitations and restrictions even with the “Congress shall make no law…” opening of the First Amendment. Congress has made numerous such restrictive laws over the decades and the Supreme Court has upheld them.

      One example would be limitations on speech in one’s workplace; you can’t say just anything you want on your company’s time.

      Another would be thinking you can say anything in another person’s home. Nope, you don’t have that protected speech right and you risk being asked to leave if the owner finds you obnoxious.

      Since ghacks is Martin’s ‘home’, Harkness, you, me and everybody else post with his implicit approval, which he can revoke at any time, for any reason.

      1. Corky said on March 13, 2016 at 6:52 pm
        Reply

        Maybe you should research a little more before claiming that something doesn’t exist.
        http://www.dictionary.com/browse/natural–rights
        http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/history/natural-rights.html

        Re: your comment about freedom comes out of the barrel of a gun that’s exactly the sort of thing i would expect a backward thinking American to say, i assume you’re American as you seem to refer to it a great deal. If you think things can freedoms can only be obtained through violence then i suggest you go away and educate yourself a little before you make yourself look more foolish than you already have.

        You also need to try remembering what you said, let me paraphrase, you claimed the freedom of speech absolutely means people have the right to knowingly disrespect other people, to knowingly be rude, and impolite to other, although going on your comment about freedom coming at the end of a gun i suppose such thinking is to be expected.

    7. Mike S. said on March 13, 2016 at 7:32 pm
      Reply

      “…before you make yourself look more foolish than you already have.”

      Disrespect, insult, rude, impolite…

      Yep, you ticked all the boxes you say you deplore.

      But you have that natural right…

      :)

      1. Corky said on March 13, 2016 at 7:48 pm
        Reply

        Monkey see monkey do, i thought a taste of your own medicine was an appropriate way of making the point, it seems to have worked.

    8. Mike S. said on March 13, 2016 at 8:35 pm
      Reply

      I’ll conclude my part in this somewhat-less-than-enlightening conversation by repeating the iconic quote from earlier:

      “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it – Evelyn Beatrice Hall”

      Well, maybe not to the death – not for strangers posting insignificant words on a internet forum – but my intentions are good: maximum freedom for all God’s children!

      :D

      1. Corky said on March 14, 2016 at 8:25 am
        Reply

        It seems your enlightenment only stretches as far as having to resort to quoting what people have said in the past, how about thinking for yourself and how about not depending on some imaginary deity to tell you what direction your moral compass should be pointing.

    9. Mike S. said on March 14, 2016 at 4:05 pm
      Reply

      I’ll leave you with the last word, since your ego seems to require it.

      :)

      1. Corky said on March 14, 2016 at 6:32 pm
        Reply

        Says the person that just replied with nothing constructive or intelligent to add the the conversation other than the internet equivalent of a prepubescent your mum joke, you know what they call that don’t you? Psychological projection is defending yourself against your own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others, and that’s what you’ve just done.

    10. Hark!TheMoronHasSpoken said on June 21, 2016 at 11:03 pm
      Reply

      Harkness, the lord of all things worthy of his golden touch, has spoken!

  5. sev said on March 11, 2016 at 8:19 am
    Reply

    I can’t believe RSS on this list. My almost dropped to the ground.

    RSS is unquestionably one of the most powerful influences in my daily workflow. It’s because of RSS that I am able to read this site.

    And just because google reader died, feedly and inoreader took its place

    1. abhi said on March 11, 2016 at 10:37 am
      Reply

      Same here, use feedly and inoreader, Can`t imagine how would I work without them, Definitely disagree with RSS downfall, In fact most of my work goes smoothly with the help of RSS.

    2. pd said on April 3, 2016 at 8:32 am
      Reply

      Couldn’t agree more. RSS is critical. Modern life is one of constant pollution stimuli. I need RSS to minimize the shite yet still give me an easy way to stay in touch. The moment RSS dies, I give up on the innernets. Shitter is no replacement. I hate social media but I tried Shitter and all I got was an endless flood of incomprehensible junk. Friendface is a privacy disaster, not interested.

      <blockquote>
      Harold Finch: Hester’s living off the grid – no photos online and nothing on the social networking sites.
      John Reese: I never understood why people put all their information on those sites. Used to make our job a lot easier at the CIA.
      Harold Finch: Of course. That’s why I created them.
      John Reese: You’re telling me you invented online social networking, Finch?
      Harold Finch: The Machine needed more information. People’s social graph, their associations. The government had been trying to figure it out for years. Turns out most people were happy to volunteer it. Business wound up being quite profitable, too.
      </blockquote>

  6. Gabe said on March 11, 2016 at 8:19 am
    Reply

    This comment is written on my phone, out of News+ with Tinytiny RSS Plugin. Which is running on my Webspace. I would say RSS aint dead, as i don’t see socialcrap as FB as an alternative to feed me news in a clean and lean way. Altho i agree that RSS might be more popular if Google wouldn’t had killed of Google Reader. Does anyone use G+ to get his news?

    1. Giron said on March 11, 2016 at 6:52 pm
      Reply

      I can’t answer for others, but I have always used a standalone, desktop reader.
      And in general, as little of Google as I can.

  7. Fena said on March 11, 2016 at 8:20 am
    Reply

    Many items for communicating just change format I have a telex of my grandfather’s death (before we had a phone) (1959) then phone, fax, ham radio, cb radio, cellphone, computer, email ‘net communication now smart cellphones.

    Records/movies to cd, dvd, vhs,videodisc now download.

    The memory stick is most useful replaces floppy discs, cd, dvd and is cheap plus it can hold a complete operating system. Some trust the cloud, I do not.

    Except for the virtual systems in over 35 years of computers I have never used the others.

  8. Ron Price said on March 11, 2016 at 8:21 am
    Reply

    I love Ghacks, and I agree with most of the stuff on this list, but frankly I am OFFENDED RSS is on here.

    Facebook, twitter and instagram suck so bad. Which idiot gets their news from there?? RSS has saved my life!

  9. vux777 said on March 11, 2016 at 8:23 am
    Reply

    I’m using screenshots to explain ppl what/where/how on daily basis
    I think you missed with number 10 :P

  10. getow said on March 11, 2016 at 8:25 am
    Reply

    RSS is used every day and read the news on many sites including the ghacks.net

  11. Joe Sze said on March 11, 2016 at 8:30 am
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    sad but true, i’ve got 8000+ new feeds everyday and still tidy as fxxk coz of rss mechanism, it is a true powerful tool for OCD like me.

    i am using Newsblur paid version.

  12. yoav said on March 11, 2016 at 8:30 am
    Reply

    Nice history lesson, Martin.
    I still use RSS and I have no idea how to work without it. Facebook is no replacement for RSS because it doesn’t deliver all the items, not to mention that it uses a constantly moving stream. How can anyone keep track of a hundred feeds (and more) this way is beyond me. RSS is still useful, as witnessed by companies like Netvibes that still seem to be thriving.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 11, 2016 at 8:36 am
      Reply

      Not my article ;)

  13. RossN said on March 11, 2016 at 8:36 am
    Reply

    Who hacked into ghacks.net and wrote this blasphemous article?
    I still use numbers 1, 5, 8 (theoldreader.com), and 9.

  14. Finnen said on March 11, 2016 at 9:35 am
    Reply

    Wow, just wow. I knew there was something wrong with this article and then I noticed it – it’s not written by Martin but by someone else. Explains a lot, no offence. It seems as it was written by someone who’s focuses only on cloud, smartphones and easy access services.

    What did you mean by saying that USB drives are becoming “arcane”? English is not my first language but last I checked arcane meant “magical, mysterious”. I hope by saying “arcane” you didn’t mean obsolete because that would be hilarious ;) PCs on a USB stick are also not fantasy, they are pretty much real – not only there are projects like Remix OS right now but you also have similiar technologies with HDMI sticks (little computers with Windows 10, ready to be plugged in right into monitor or TV). If anything, this technology is actually evolving right now, not dying.

    CD and DVD rippers. Again, not true. They are still pretty much needed, except not as much as it used to, but still pretty much relevant. A lot of people buy original albums in traditional shops (or order them online) because they want to have physical copy and something real. But they also want to listen to the music on their smartphones or PCs so they use CDEx or similiar software to rip the music. Not everyone uses iTunes or other music software with built-in option to rip music to MP3s. Especially in an era of your beloved Pandora and Spotify ;)

    Internet Station Recorders are also useful because – no joking! – you can hear much more on the radio than on any streaming website. You know, like people talking, presenting very rare music that is not available on things like Spotify and stuff. It’s worth recording for personal use ’cause you might not even hear this stuff again.

    Honestly, I could go on and on about almost every point of this article. It really looks as if it was written by someone obsessed with the cloud, smartphones, online services and so on. Let’s use everything “new” and forget the “old”. Sorry, I very rarely reply to any articles, yet hate on them, but this is just bizzare to me.

    1. mikef90000 said on March 12, 2016 at 1:28 am
      Reply

      Agree wholeheartedly about optical disk rippers and burners.
      In the US mainly under-35 affluent hipsters get all their media over a expensive cellphone or CableCo streaming connection. I’m on a budget and prefer to have a ‘hard copy’ that does not require multiple DRM infested software players and o/s.
      Many older video titles cannot be found on the likes of Netflix, or suddenly disappear or are expensive P-P-V (looking at you Hudu).
      Rip all of my terabytes of media onto a HTPC – can you say ‘management nightmare’? Paper sleeves and collection software have saved me a lot of time.

      And, good grief, why the dislike of virtual desktops? Sounds like another cellphone obsessed hipster who likes Hidden Swipey Schtuff. I mostly use XFCE but agree that Dexpot is the best option for Windows. I usually have two browsers, file manager, terminal window and Virtualbox open on their own desktops; easy to switch with mouse or keyboard.

  15. Jeff said on March 11, 2016 at 10:02 am
    Reply

    RSS is not dying and I will fight anyone trying to kill it and anyone not having an RSS feed. It is incredibly useful to have an RSS feed.

    Screenshot uploaders have become image uploaders. Have you heard about imgur and viral images? People upload content they create or modify all the time and not all of it is done or hosted directly via social networks. Forums, blogs and websites are still popular for any images and/or screenshots.

    I still use desktop widgets from Windows 7 on Windows 8.1. Mine are battery meter, search indexer control, drive space indicator and desktop slideshow.

  16. Graham said on March 11, 2016 at 10:06 am
    Reply

    I don’t think USB drives are being phased out. It’s nice to carry around your files and copy them to other devices without losing them. Likewise, USBs are especially great for hardware connections. My sound card, keyboard, and wireless adapter are all connected to my computer via USB.

  17. Rocky said on March 11, 2016 at 11:06 am
    Reply

    To those who disagree about RSS. RSS is indeed very useful – I too use it every day to get site news. However remember we here are “techies” – I wager that the average user never even heard of RSS .

    Agree about Facebook and even worse Twitter, the single stream is unusable – way too much disjointed information. G+ is better (for me anyway) -seems to me it attracts a more techie orientated crowd.

    Regarding 3. and the super/duper phone computer. It may well have exceptional processing power but it is very poor substitute for a proper desktop computer with a proper keyboard and monitor. Even the iPad is beginning to frustrate me .

    1. BA said on March 11, 2016 at 4:56 pm
      Reply

      Agreed. I have tried many times to get non-techies into RSS feeds and there is zero interest.

  18. Henk van Setten said on March 11, 2016 at 11:10 am
    Reply

    By and large, I agree with Samer’s post. Also, I found it really funny to see how in the comments RSS diehards are scrambling to defend their feed addiction.

    1. Nebulus said on March 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm
      Reply

      I think you are mistaking usefulness for addiction. By the same line of reasoning, you are addicted to forks, knives and plates because you find them useful and you use them every day :)

  19. John said on March 11, 2016 at 11:19 am
    Reply

    Screenshot uploaders, I know the admins on steamrep.com are using that a lot. Most I agree with, but there will always be people who want to upload screenshots/crop shots directly to their online storage so they can link it directly, without the obligatory site around it with all of its advertisements etc.

  20. Tom said on March 11, 2016 at 11:21 am
    Reply

    This is such a bad click-baity article.
    I know you want to drive traffic to the site and get people to post angry replies to those silly claims (and you got me posting too), but it’s not doing any good for the reputation of the site.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 11, 2016 at 2:14 pm
      Reply

      “It seems to me that” … [comment].
      Why express such an ego confirmed by a comment’s rhetoric implicitily aiming universal truth?

      Meanwhile I don’t agree with your analysis. I find interesting to consider where we’re at, where we’re going, making the point seems worthy to me, moreover as users’ experiences are expressed and let us all compare our thoughts.

      Really don’t understand your grief, Tom.

      As for driving traffic, no one is not only entitled but able to know what in the mind of an author comes first, interest for the topic/story or for an audience. It’s impossible to know consequently accusations are not justified, not even intellectually.

    2. seeprime said on March 11, 2016 at 4:49 pm
      Reply

      I completely disagree about defragmenters, specifically Defraggler. The quick defrag does a nice job of speeding up hard drives that have used for months and have file fragments scattered all over the place. The quick optimize function trims SSD’s which restores lost performance by cleaning blocks of data no longer in use. This eliminates the need to first delete a cell’s contents before writing fresh to it. Windows 10 built in dfrgui.exe program does a nice job of trimming SSD’s, which MS also calls optimization.

      1. lencc said on March 11, 2016 at 8:11 pm
        Reply

        Exactly. The prices of SSDs are falling, but it doesn’t mean that HDDs are going to retire anytime soon. The efficiency of many third-party defragmenters for HDDs is still way better than the built-in disk optimizer.

        However, according to the following test it seems that the development of defragmenters doesn’t really improve disk performance anymore:
        http://www.hofmannc.de/en/windows-7-defragmenter-test/benchmarks.html

        I have tested a few defragmenters (latest versions), but nothing seems to optimize the system speed and responsiveness better than MyDefrag. The latest release is already 6 years old, but it’s still (among) the best. From this perspective, the author is right.

    3. Don said on March 11, 2016 at 9:25 pm
      Reply

      It’s not a typical GH article; but I liked it. I think this article is intended to provoke conversation, maybe some friendly debate, and reminiscing the past and imagining the future. It worked!

  21. Latz said on March 11, 2016 at 12:04 pm
    Reply

    I tried to use Virtual desktops for several times since I have a lot of open windows at the end of the day. Didn’t work because I was always searching on which desktop a certain window was. I know I could have been a bit more organized by labelling the desktops.

    The solution was to buy a second physical monitor. It’s a much better working experience.

    1. Kostas said on March 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm
      Reply

      I have been happily and productively using 3 monitors and 3-4 virtual desktops for the last 6 years. This adds up to 12 virtual screens :-)
      I am using Xfce on Arch Linux, and I both mouse scroll and Ctrl-Alt-Left/Right through the virtual desktops.
      Same goes for my laptop, where it’s obviously vital.

    2. BA said on March 11, 2016 at 5:02 pm
      Reply

      While I agree that virtual desktops are useless, there has always been a small number of die hard users and that will probably continue. I see their place in the world but I think most peoples minds just don’t work that way. And the best sign that they are probably a dead technology is that Microsoft finally added them as a native feature in Windows 10.

  22. Nebulus said on March 11, 2016 at 12:08 pm
    Reply

    I disagree with a good part of the items on your list:

    1. CD/DVD rippers are still useful, as not everyone buys music or movies online.
    2. DVD is still a viable backup medium, especially when you don’t care about cloud storage.
    3. PC on a stick might be losing ground, but LiveCD and live USB are not going to die as easy.
    4. Defragmenting is still part of Windows computing experience. Maybe you don’t need to run a standalone defragmenter, but what do you think that Windows Prefetch is doing? Hint: it is using defrag to rearrange your files on HDD.
    5. I agree with you that Registry Cleaners do (almost) nothing, but I don’t see them fading away (as they should!) :)
    6 and 7. I see them a niche programs anyway, but yeah, they might be dying. Keep in mind though that Linux distros still give you the option to have virtual desktops, and I don’t see that feature being retired soon.
    8. At least for me, RSS aggregators are an important part of my Internet habits, and I’d really hate to see them go. At least for now there are tools that fill this niche, and I suspect that as long as websites are going to provide RSS feeds, this software category won’t disappear.
    9. Internet Radio Station Recorders – I don’t have any opinion on them, really…
    10. I wasn’t even aware that there is such thing as a screenshot UPLOADER! So, for me they are dead already :)

  23. Dave said on March 11, 2016 at 12:22 pm
    Reply

    I quite liked this article, although I disagree with “(or should be)” in the title.

    I’d go as far as to say there are no good dedicated RSS readers for Windows, and there are no good dedicated podcast managers for Windows. That’s why they aren’t popular on Windows. There are good apps for these things on mobile and that’s why they are popular on mobile. Simple enough.

    Putting Firefox live bookmarks in the bookmarks toolbar is my favourite RSS solution.

    1. BA said on March 11, 2016 at 5:09 pm
      Reply

      I’ve just been using the Feedly website on Windows and Mac for a few years. I really like it and wouldn’t even consider using a Windows client.

  24. CHEF-KOCH said on March 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm
    Reply

    Hello Martin some spelling mistakes:

    “Tthere was a time when techies ” …

    “PC’s on a USB stick” … should be usb sick on a PC not the opposite ;)

    There are also some other mistakes, would nice nice if you could re-check your article. Thanks! CK

    1. Pants said on March 11, 2016 at 12:58 pm
      Reply

      Martin is not the author, btw.

      “PC’s on a USB stick” – Samer means an OS on a USB stick (which you would plug into a terminal), you know, kinda like TAILS

  25. lolz said on March 11, 2016 at 12:41 pm
    Reply

    ahaha, defragmenters, who wrote that, some linux evangelist?
    Everybody suddenly got 10TB SSD’s with unlimited data storage time on power-off state (laying on shelf)?

    ahaha, CD rippers? when you downloading some new album in .flac, have you ever wondered where it comes from?

    I bet author thinks that pineapples grow in supermarkets’ shelf’s.

    1. virginia_with_an_E said on March 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm
      Reply

      DVD rewinders, FTW !

  26. Pants said on March 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm
    Reply

    Just my 2 cents

    Samer is talking about TRENDS. Think of the millions of new users getting on the internet in developing countries each week. Think of the hundreds of millions of current users who have never had a desktop PC – their first computer was a low end budget smart phone. Think of millennials. Most of these people will consume digital data only. They have no need for physical storage. They have been bred to be cloud-aware. So definitely, the influence of DVD/CD rippers/writers etc is waning. That’s not to say they are irrelevant.

    Not everyone is old school or as tech savy as the ghacks crowd. Samer is not talking about us. RSS readers, I kinda of agree with Samer – most people will use other news aggregators – I mean how many people use facebook and garner info from that. What is it? 1 billion + users? That’s got to have some effect. What about twitter? I’m not an expert, but don’t smart phones outnumber desktops/laptops? And not all are a decent res. A lot of people just scan headlines etc – eg twitter, eg facebook click bait and so on. The usage of RSS readers as a percentage will continue to decline.

    /end of my 2 cents

    —other
    * registry – that’s always been a joke. AFAIK the hives are loaded into RAM, and the removal of a few miserable entries makes zero difference. I think I even saw a claim somewhere about “defragging your registry”.
    * never understood the virtual desktops either. I often have up to 15 programs open & windowed (i.e not minimized to tray) (note: dual screen) when I’m working. I hate it when stuff is “hidden”. Also I’ve never used my desktop for anything – its as clean as a whistle. No files, no shortcuts. It’s almost always behind some open apps. There are better ways to have all your software/recent doc shortcuts handy. I have 350+ programs and nothing is more than 3 clicks to open. The top 50 are one click (no search)
    * desktop widgets – always hated them. never used them. rolled my own rainmeter panels. All the clients I’ve known over the years never used them either

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 11, 2016 at 1:19 pm
      Reply

      Back in the days, reducing the size of the Registry would improve boot load time. I guess it makes no difference today anymore.

  27. Paranam Kid said on March 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm
    Reply

    If a site gives me a choice between a newsletter (which always comes in via email) & RSS, I always choose the RSS feed. Email is not meant for newsletters, at least not in my opinion. Furthermore from an RSS feed is easier to get a flavour of what the article is about before reading than it is from a newsletter.
    There are many RSS aggregators out there, with new ones emerging all the time, so I do not think it is a dying phenomenon.

  28. Your Name said on March 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm
    Reply

    RSS still strong and very useful and widely used by many people
    the admin of this site know that from the feed subscribers number as a little example

  29. oz said on March 11, 2016 at 2:21 pm
    Reply

    Nicely written article, samer!

    It has stirred some discussion, and that’s more important than how many agree or disagree with your thoughts. I’d encourage you to continue writing articles as time permits.

  30. seseorang said on March 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm
    Reply

    RSS feed for live!

    I use firefox live bookmarks to keep up with my favorite sites like ghacks (another reason why Firefox is the best), and checking my feed is the first thing I do when I fire up my Firefox. And when there’s nothing more there, I open feedly. Cannot imagine internet without RSS Feed, there would be alot of time and energy wasted.

  31. Jeff-FL said on March 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm
    Reply

    Here’s a trend that *should* be dying:

    Lists of X things.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm
      Reply

      Funny, I’m about to post another list ;)

      1. Jeff-FL said on March 11, 2016 at 8:31 pm
        Reply

        Lists sell. Look at whatculture.com, they built an entire site around the human weakness for clicking on them.

    2. virginia_with_an_E said on March 11, 2016 at 4:27 pm
      Reply

      Sometimes the article titles are so “clever” that they’re confusing.

      “47 Tricks You Should Do After Installing Ubuntu While Drunk”

      Was I drunk (and naked) when I installed Ubuntu last night?
      I’m being advised to get inebriated before trying to do those 407 Things?
      The author is speaking to an audience of prostitutes?

      full disclosure: I wasn’t drunk last night, didn’t install Ubuntu

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm
        Reply

        Parenthesis –
        Sounds like our beloved JuJu. If not : JuJu get out of that body :)
        – Parenthesis closed.

  32. Tom Hawack said on March 11, 2016 at 2:38 pm
    Reply

    I’m expressing with simple words a prospective proposed by several authors which is that computing devices will become simple terminals with all applications, iOt and even users’ data confined in the cloud. Personally I’m not (yet) fond of the idea, perhaps the old attitude of relating the existence of things to my ability to see/touch them, sort of a propriety scheme. Odd reaction when on another hand I prefer to drive a luxurious car that doesn’t belong to me (usufruct) than a very modest one I own. But concerning confidential data I just don’t like having it elsewhere than on my *physical* devices.

  33. Siddhartha said on March 11, 2016 at 2:38 pm
    Reply

    Even I do not agree with the RSS point. I am posting this thru Feedly.

  34. swamper said on March 11, 2016 at 3:36 pm
    Reply

    I’m with you on most of this Samer.

    1 & 2: I don’t know when it was I last ripped or burned anything. It would have been a rip I suspect last. I haven’t bought any blank plastic media in years.

    3: I never carried my OS in my pocket but I do keep a stick around loaded with GParted. It will let me at file systems and is much quicker doing hdd functions without the hdd being the boot drive.

    4 & 5: These are two that go into my must have category. Built in Windows defrag is a joke. If the file system could pick up and put down the data in a sane manner then it wouldn’t be necessary. Why NTFS was not developed to do so is beyond me. I have always considered it a failure on MS part in the way it handles the 0’s and 1’s. Registry cleaners make my life much simpler when cleaning out trash folks like to install. Stops hours of registry searches trying to get rid of malware traces. I also tend to be OCD on the traces stuff leaves behind when it is supposed to be uninstalled. I do not use it as a speed bump though merely a cleaning aid.

    6: Never used the feature in Linux or Windows. Always made more sense to me to minimize instead of dragging to another desktop.

    7, 8, 9, & 10: I can hear the howls already but I never used any of them. Probably not going to start now. I want to see the news I click a bookmark, go to the site, and read the homepage. RSS has just never been my thing. Other than a system resource monitor that allows me to view network, cpu & gpu temps, cpu usage, and hdd I/O I wouldn’t have anything on my desktop that ever resembles a widget. Overclocking makes a resource monitor a requirement in my book. Gives me an at a glance look as whether I have anything on my system that wants to phone home and shouldn’t be too.

  35. Gabriel Eggleston said on March 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm
    Reply

    Dying or should be: comments sections on websites.

    The thing about RSS dying is that when it was “alive” it was still very niche, but more people thought their little niche applied to the whole world. That niche is carrying on strong, but the opinion that it’s essential for everyone is what’s dwindling (previous comments on this article notwithstanding.) I reached this entry via RSS but I’m not disillusioned enough to think I’m a normal computer user.

    I don’t think “integrated into every desktop operating system” is a situation that particularly calls out the “death” of virtual desktops. Again, it’s a niche feature that nobody uses, but it was built into Windows 10 just last year. It’s been fiddled with repeatedly by Apple in OS X.

    Also, I’m a regular user of a screenshot upload tool. You’ve never run into a situation where there was an amusing juxtaposition of two elements you wanted to share (perhaps a “watch next” or “people who bought this item also bought this other item”)? Never wanted to show someone a UI element? A still from an image? A portion of a video game screen? And you’ve never heard of anyone that might want to share those things?

  36. Earl said on March 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm
    Reply

    5.1 The [Windows] Registry
    There was a time when hardware was too slow to keep up with what the software wanted to do; the registry helped speed things up [a bit]. That time has long passed. There is no longer any technical reason for the registry to exist. It exists for its own sake–proprietary format madness.

    Unlike social media (aka “personal blog”), RSS will always be a good idea.

  37. Samer said on March 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm
    Reply

    Hello guys. I am Samer from Freewaregenius.com, the author of this article.

    I have a few things to say:
    (1) RSS. Like many of you who commented about how much you like and value it, I also am an avid user of RSS aggregators and absolutely LOVE them. The notion that RSS was ‘dying’ came to me a couple of years ago when Google shut down Google Reader. It was puzzling to me, as Reader was clearly at the very top of the category, and it occurred to me then that RSS never quite got mainstream traction. For example, whenever you hear of something going ‘viral’ and being seen by several hundred million people, it is always via social media, which gives you an idea of the awesome power that social media can have (which RSS doesn’t in the same way). The reality is that RSS has traction with technically advanced users like ourselves. (E.g. My wife and my mother share articles on Facebook daily, but don’t know what RSS is). If you were a venture capitalist and someone came to you seeking funding for an RSS aggregator with some clever twist, would you fund it? I think the probability is low.

    This doesn’t mean that I am going to stop checking RSS feeds, which I do almost daily.

    (2) Screenshot uploaders: I concede the point that this is actually a very useful feature, especially for those doing software or web development/debugging, or for customer support, etc. These usage cases did not occur to me.

    (3) For those who seem upset by this article: I spent two days writing this, and I thought there was much in it that was thought provoking and (dare I say) entertaining. You do not have to agree with every point, but remember you’re getting to read this absolutely free, so perhaps being grateful is a better reaction, and you can always take from it what you like. Sheesh.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 11, 2016 at 7:05 pm
      Reply

      I’ve appreciated your article and, as Pants reminded us, your article is about trends, not about your own likes/dislikes. Perhaps some critics are based on a lecture of your article which mistakes this analysis of trends with a whatever promotion of computer categories, otherwise disagreeing on a trend is possible of course. I think most of us liked reading you and, you know, 65 comments means there is reaction :)
      Keep on the good work, writing articles is a tough adventure, as is exposing whatever work to an audience.

    2. tolazytotype said on March 12, 2016 at 2:25 am
      Reply

      Your website still says it’s 2015. https://archive.is/46Lyz#selection-2657.0-2657.40 You should switch to some php solution, especially as a techie.

  38. Anonymous said on March 11, 2016 at 6:45 pm
    Reply

    What else should go away?

    How about Top Ten articles about stuff we already know about.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 11, 2016 at 7:57 pm
      Reply

      It’s not about “what should” but about “what is likely to” as exposed with an analysis of trends. Two different things, no? Now of course one can disagree with what is mentioned as a trend and add his own beliefs. That’s how I see it. I believe Mozilla is likely to disapear doesn’t mean I hope it will, correct?

  39. Andrew said on March 11, 2016 at 7:32 pm
    Reply

    1. I hope never, and I doubt it will as long as there is a medium. I still buy CDs personally, and rip them into flac, essentially used the physical CD as a backup. Plus, as long as cars and computers have CD players, that will never end (and streaming w/ data caps will prboably never rid of movie discs).

    2. Burning a CD to load into my car is a hell of a lot quicker and easier than having to go to my car, pull out my ipod, sync it, then have my car reindex.

    3. I always liked this idea, but I think it’s too far fatched.

    4. agreed

    5. Every time I have used a registry cleaner, it has completely screwed up my system. This includes CCleaner. I really hate the registry in general.

    6. I like the idea, but doubt I would personally ever use it.

    7.I loved desktop widgets, I actually wish I could have a sidebar for my Windows 10 like I used to have on XP. It’s nice having everything on your desktop without having to open the apps. I guess I could learn rainmeter, but meh.

    8. If RSS ever dies, I doubt I would ever spend as much time reading articles. Sad to say, but I probably would stop or forget going to sites.

    9. I have so many internet radio recordings that I recorded back in 2001/2002. Still to this day when I listen to them it reminds me of my first year of college. Most are all form Digitally Imported, and a few are from bluemars. Glad I did it to now that bluemars is gone, I still have a good amount of the streams.

    10. I guess everybody needs a hobby?

    1. Daisy said on March 12, 2016 at 3:34 pm
      Reply

      I do the same with my music. Most of the music I buy isn’t available in a lossless digital format, so I buy CDs and rip them. I don’t want my only copy of a song/album to be a lossy one.

  40. Jojo said on March 11, 2016 at 8:18 pm
    Reply

    Disappointing article! You need to take off your blinders Samer, as many of the technologies you pan are still quite valid. As always, there are a wide variety of people who have diverse needs, many of whom may still get value from using the technologies you claim are obsolete.

    In terms of RSS readers, I am quite satisfied with Innoreader. They have and continue to do a lot of development, far more than Google ever did. For example, here is a new interesting development they just released:

    Inoreader for teams now allows you to securely collaborate on content
    Yordan Yordanov Monday, March 07, 2016
    http://blog.inoreader.com/2016/03/inoreader-for-teams-now-allows-you-to.html

  41. John Krazinski said on March 11, 2016 at 8:56 pm
    Reply

    Martin, you are awfully wrong.
    I’m surprised by this article. Sounds like you are getting tired of software reviews.
    If you no longer drink soda that doesn’t mean this is a global trend.

    You need a break, dude.
    Have a break and come back with an overhauled website.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 11, 2016 at 8:59 pm
      Reply

      Still not my article ;)

  42. Alex said on March 12, 2016 at 12:06 am
    Reply

    #1 – how else do you think BR rips get onto torrents?
    #6 – those who don’t care about this, most likely never perform few very different tasks/jobs which require multiple windows/programs each
    #7 – simply because implementation on Windows was pretty bad, it doesn’t make the idea bad. I like it on Linux (so far)

    1. tolazytotype said on March 12, 2016 at 2:27 am
      Reply

      And if somebody is still using icons and praising desktops for different icon layouts it just means that poor sould doesn’t use launchy or any of the many alternatives.

      1. Samer said on March 13, 2016 at 2:24 pm
        Reply

        You’re assuming incorrectly that icons equals app shortcuts. In fact what I meant was organizing the icons of various projects across various desktops, mostly consisting of documents and images etc. See this article I wrote: http://www.freewaregenius.com/ten-free-tools-to-better-organize-your-desktop-icons/

        Also, did you really think that someone could write an article like this one and not know about search-based launchers? My favorite is Find and Run Robot.

  43. Doc said on March 12, 2016 at 3:49 am
    Reply

    “…secret weapon used to eek out that…”
    You meant *eke* out, Samer.

    Another trend that needs to die is enormous frameworks for programming, such as .NET…

    1. Samer said on March 13, 2016 at 2:25 pm
      Reply

      Thanks for noticing. Fixed it!

  44. Sukhen said on March 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm
    Reply

    #1 I just hate unnecessary registry entries. Regcleanr helps me to have a clean system. Windows usually always keeps behind many unnecessary entries and I prefer a clean system. Usually, the Revo Uninstaller does a good job and I never install any software without monitoring by it. So far, no troubles yet.

    #2 Internet Radio stations are extremely important to me although I don’t care to record unless some song attracts me too much. Of course I can download any of the songs but, it again calls for some time. I do that at times.

    #3 Snapshots are extremely important for my work and we share it regularly. Snaps in the video mode is even better and I find FastStone Capture/Ashampoo Snap very handy. Videos consume more data. In stead of that, I take snaps at regular intervals for my work (Forward Testing). Windows Photo Viewer is pretty good to check back later.

  45. Doe said on March 12, 2016 at 7:19 pm
    Reply

    The writer “assumes” much…I use several of the items listed. Not all of us have the newest equipment or technology and rely on CD/DVD Writers/Players. I personally have an extensive CD library and my Logitech computer speakers are much better than my regular sound system.

    I also prefer an RSS Feed over FACEBOOK. Much less trouble and you get just the info you want…and not the garbage/baggage that goes w/ it.

    Those are two of the listings I will continue to use along w/ registry options in CCleaner, etc. I may not be the savviest on the geeky side of things, but do know much about people and what they can and cannot afford… some doing good just to have a computer w/ an older operating system…and don’t have a freestanding CD/DVD Player relying on their computer to play movies and music.

    So please think of others when composing articles for the general public. Ghacks has a loyal following and Martin Brinkmann writes intelligent articles from which everyone gleans information. You could learn a lot from him!

  46. Doug said on March 13, 2016 at 12:20 am
    Reply

    Disagree with most of these. Just because there are new ways of doing things doesn’t make them more reliable or safe.

  47. Steve Costello said on March 13, 2016 at 5:31 pm
    Reply

    I am one of those that love RSS, which is my preferred method of knowing what is going on.

    Others that are listed are not as important to me as they once were, but still are occasionally useful so have not discarded them completely.

    Very interesting perspective on software.

  48. webfork said on March 13, 2016 at 8:28 pm
    Reply

    Internet Radio Recorders – (especially the one you pictured – streamWriter) solve four major problems for me:

    1. Client freedom. Internet radio stations have a WEALTH of tools, clients, and capabilities, available for almost every platform and device, as the tech has been around ~20 years. If you want to use an old device or don’t like something about your streaming service interface or features, too bad.

    2. Niche genres and live broadcasts. Internet radio stations seem to handle this far better.

    3. Song names. Frequently site channel listings are unclear or incorrect and I can’t get the artist or show it’s connected to. At least with a recording you have some options.

    4. Plays the repetitive bit. Especially for the dance music genre, most streaming services subject you to the entire intro and outro of a song, which is really just for mixing and not something the artist expected you to hear.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 13, 2016 at 8:45 pm
      Reply

      The screenshots were taken from Ghacks’ archive ;)

      1. webfork said on March 21, 2016 at 11:15 pm
        Reply

        Martin: Understood but I hope Samer will test streamWriter and see if it doesn’t change his mind about the genre. It’s a remarkable program that you’ve covered here on the site many times. Open, actively developed, can record multiple streams, and there’s a lot under the hood. It’s way ahead the tools mentioned back in the day on FWG.

  49. Penguin of Doom said on March 16, 2016 at 4:42 am
    Reply

    Strongly disagree with the first item. I’m sure out of the hundreds of CDs I still own, there are still some that I’ll still need to rip so as to be able to play it on a mobile. Almost none of my CDs will play on an old fashioned player without stuttering or skipping, but I can still usually get the optical drive in one of my old computers to rip the contents and–la voila!–I have my music again. (See also: Why I never throw out or dispose of my old computers.) TL;DR version. I have some things that are *not* available for purchase anywhere online.

    I also disagree about streaming services. It’s not just about prepackaged or even personally customized streams of music. Most brick and mortar radio stations now offer streaming, so you can listen to radio stations anywhere in the world. Music-focused streaming services like Pandora don’t replace this capability. Or do they? Maybe I missed the memo.

  50. Tengu7 said on March 16, 2016 at 11:28 am
    Reply

    PC on a stick is not fading away, it is just how pro works.
    De-coupling metal and OS is simply too handy, it happened back in mainframe times, it happened on PC (VM, PC on a stick, virtualized app containers, etc), and you can bet it will eventually happen on smartphones no matter how strongly hardware-pushers will oppose and try to make it unnecessarily hard.
    Of course it is not handy for Plain Jane and Average Joe, and should not have never been trendy in first place, but sure hardware and OS bounds are getting less tight year after year, no matter how commercials are successful in get plain users stuck in walled gardens.

  51. Trudy said on March 17, 2016 at 10:58 pm
    Reply

    I’d include video file converters except that the darn things just don’t seem to by dying off. Why does anyone need these nowadays? Every other “giveaway of the day” seems to be a converter.

  52. Victor said on May 25, 2016 at 8:39 pm
    Reply

    I agree with Latz. “No Feed, No Read”
    With over 50 feeds on my desktop of 3 monitors, I can’t imagine how to stay on top of all the important topics otherwise. Try filtering through that many messages via emails or blogs and you will see how much more efficient RSS is. I just wish a lot more sites would incorporate RSS feeds and I cringe every time one of my feeds goes down.
    on that note: a big thanks for keeping your feed going!

  53. SSS said on March 11, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    Reply

    Don’t podcasts work pretty much using RSS?

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