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In the late 90s and early 2000s, it was nearly impossible to find a PC that didn’t have Winamp installed on it. The music player with its sparse interface and plethora of plugins was everybody’s favourite. Its simplicity and ease-of-use for a non-techie was an instant sell, while the audiophiles were thrilled with the options it offered.

Since then, there has been no shortage of music players released, and while Foobar comes closest to capturing the glory of Winamp of old, it doesn’t quite match up. Try giving Foobar to someone who isn’t tech-savvy and see them struggle with it.

I’ve long been on the lookout for something that had the simplicity of the old Winamp, but had a modern and easy interface, so that my mom could use it. And it needed to be light so that it can run well on her netbook.

Gom Player still is my favourite movie player, so when they announced an audio player, I just had to take a look. So does Gom Audio match up to the Winamp of old?

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These days we all worry about security, and with good reason.Viruses and malware abound on the internet. Phishing scams capture well-meaning users. Today’s internet  user can’t make a move without wondering what the consequences are. Fortunately there is software to help out — Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender built right into the operating system and programs like Malware Bytes offer added protection.

However, if you want a complete audit of your system from hardware to software to security then Belarc Advisor may be your new best friend. It provides both information about your system, as well as security data.

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Recently I reviewed an app called Twabbit, an advanced Twitter client which gave the user a mass array of different settings and options — definitely not the simplest of apps. However, today I’ll be looking at Rowi, a Twitter client which is far simpler, but, still possesses the features necessary for a solid replacement.

Rowi, similar to Twabbit, is £1.29 for the full version. This means there isn’t any difference in price between the two. However, while Rowi may appear basic first this app can just about bring enjoyment to anyone. Read on to find out more!

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It may seem strange that the first thing the store page for Facebook+ Lite tells you is that the app lets you scroll through your newsfeed vertically  – rather than the side to side scrolling that has been adopted by the Windows 8 Start screen and the vast majority of apps.

This may seem like a minor selling point – although the app is actually free – but it certainly gets things off to a good start for anyone who is slightly resistant to the new app format. Facebook is constantly open in a browser tab on my desktop, and I’ll try any app that grants me easy, constant access to the social network.

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Taking advantage of the rise of portable devices, an ever-growing number of viruses designed to affect them are being found. By default, whenever you plug in a storage device in your computer, Windows automatically enables a auto-play function, which runs the a file called “autorun.ini”. Such malware uses “autorun.ini” as a vector of transmission and, through that auto-play, infect your computer.

Most paid antivirus suites scan USB devices for viruses as they are plugged into the computer, which does not happen with most free ones. If your antivirus does not provide such feature, USB Immunizer, developed by BitDefender Labs, might be the perfect solution to improve your security, as it automatically disables the auto-play function and injects a vaccine into your device, leaving it perfectly immunized against such infections.

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Where do you turn when you want to watch a film? You might flick on the TV, pop on a DVD, or make use of a Netflix subscription, you might even head off to the cinema.

But what about those times when you’re looking for something a little different, but don’t want to spend a fortune? This is where SnagFilms could help, bringing a collection of independent films from around the world to your Windows 8 desktop.

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I’m sure there are a lot of people like me who love cooking and want to try out new recipes every single day – or at least every weekend? Yes, the internet has a huge repository of great recipes but having your own database in your Windows phone is much cooler, don’t you agree?

I have been meaning to try a nice cook book app for a long time and BigOven suddenly struck my eye in the Windows Marketplace – pure luck, I guess. BigOven claims that it has over 250,000+ recipes and one million registered cooks from around the world. Well, clearly a lot of people are using it and it is time for me to try it out.

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There can be few web sites that are as well-known as Amazon; it is the go-to online store for everything from toilet paper to PCs. This is not surprising when you consider the sheer range of goods you can buy coupled with the range of merchants competing for customers and keeping prices down.

There are mobile apps available for iOS and Android, so it makes sense that a dedicated app should also be released for Windows. Amazon for Windows 8 brings the world of online shopping to your desktop in a dedicated app. We take a closer look.

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There’s no dearth of music players out there in the Windows universe, each one with a unique take on how such an app should look and function. From the humble Windows Media Player to the feature-packed Winamp to the infinitely customizable foobar2000, there’s something for every taste. But just when you thought we had every base covered, I came across Stoffi Music Player.

Designed by a cross-national team of four to fit in with native Windows programs and be as simple to use as possible, Stoffi Music Player takes a novel approach towards finding and playing back audio on your PC and beyond. The app includes some interesting features that make it worth trying out — but will you stick with it? Let’s turn the volume to 11 and find out!

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