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Comparing softwares by using Windows and Linux

This time the homework assignment was all about softwares. The task was to compare the softwares we are personally using at the present time to ones we can find for free on Linux. I picked my 3 softwares pretty quickly and started the mission.

1. ITunes and Clementine Music Player

I really like ITunes and it is the "must" software for listening to music for me. The layout is clear and easy on the eyes.
I like the fact ITunes basically does everything for me - from searching the album cover to naming and categorizing the songs I just uploaded. What could be easier!

Click to enlarge image

ITunes also has a wide selection of radio channels. You can just pick the genre and get the list of the channels playing your favorite music. Personally I use ITunes just for this purpose and I often catch myself listening to Kicking country and KAWAii Radio.


ITunes and the wide collection of radio channels.


With Linux I wanted to give a try to Clementine Music Player. I would say it is the stripped version of ITunes. Don't get me wrong because this software really has potential and everything with it works just fine.



Unlike ITunes Clementine doesn't recognize the songs from your CD so you have to add the information manually.
The list of radio channels is also wide but a little bit harder to use compared to ITunes (then again it might be just my inexperience with the software). For example I had difficult of searching for the channels that play my kind of music.

Summary
  • ITunes and Clementine are both free to download.
  • They are both handy
  • Clementine is simpler looking but not simpler to use.
  • ITunes recognizes your songs and categorize them - Clementine doesn't.
  • The wanted radio channel is easier to find on ITunes.

2. Photoshop and Raw Therapee

In my opinion it is really unfair to compare PhotoShop with any software but since this comparison is only based on light photo retouching I can carry it out without feeling guilty.
I love to photograph so I use PhotoShop daily. I know it fairly well and I have no attentions of changing it to any other software. I still don't see why I couldn't do some basic editing with some other program in the case of an emergence.

For this experiment I chose one picture from my albums and gave it a little retouch with both PhotoShop (by using windows 8) and Raw Therapee (by using Xubuntu).


I started with PhotoShop by swinging the image to more horizontal position (edit > transform > free transform) and by adding a little bit more brightness and contrast from adjustment label. After that I used Clone brush to remove the trash from dog's ear and finally cropped and re-sized the image.

Back in Xubuntu's side I decided to use a software called Raw Therapee and do the same editing as I did in PhotoShop. At first everything seemed going well. Rotating the image to the right position was really easy to do and actually worked a bit faster than in PhotoShop. The editing is easy but it does not meet my personal quality standards.


Cropping the image is easy but I don't understand why the software leaves weird black zone around the selected area and doesn't delete it. Another frustrating fact is that there isn't a tool to remove the trash from your image. Well... at least adding more contrast and brightness works fine but overall Raw Therapee is way too plain software.



Summary
  • PhotoShop is professional yet expensive software while Raw Therapee is free to download.
  • Raw Therapee is fairly ok for simple editing but it misses too many actions.

3. Illustrator and Inkscape

Not only I use Adobe Illustrator to make vector graphics but also for quick sketching. I used Trust's Slimline Widescreen Tablet (16529) to perform this test between Illustrator (tested with Windows 8) and Inkscape (tested with Xubuntu).

Adobe Illustrator
I started the sketching by setting the brush as pressure sensitive. This allows to create more vibrant drawings while the brush strokes are not just one plain line (you must have a drawing tablet to do this).
After playing around with the brush settings I finally chose thick calligraphic brush and started sketching.
I finishes my work in 5 minutes and went back to Linux to find similar software and came across with Inkscape.


I have used Adobe's softwares for years I have to say Inkscape is truly competitive with Illustrator. Even though I will have to go even deeper with this software to compare them equally.
With Inkscape I didn't have to set my brush to pressure sensitive because the software did it for me automatically. All I had to do was to adjust the calligraphic brush they way I wanted and start drawing. I used 5 minutes to complete this sketch, just like I did in Illustrator. Inkscape really gave me a big surprise and I will definitely keep on studying it more!

The left sketch made with Illustator and the right sketch with Inkscape.
Summary

  • Inkscape is free to download and as good for sketching as Illustrator.
  • Inkscape is easy to use and pen pressure sensitivity works as charm.
  • Both Inkscape and Ilustrator has a wide selection to create the brush you need.

System information - OS: Windows 8 64bit Manufacturer: Dell Inc.Model: Inspiron 3721 BIOS: A05 Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3337U CPU @ 1.80GHz (4 CPUs), ~~1,8GHz Memory: 8192MB RAM

Sources:
http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator.htmlhttp://www.trust.com/http://inkscape.org/http://www.ghibli.jp/http://www.photoshop.com/http://www.apple.com/ituneshttp://www.clementine-player.org/http://www.rawtherapee.com/
Pictures, drawings and text: Carola Wennermark.

Based on Linux course by Tero Karvinen (http://terokarvinen.com/)

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