Thursday, January 21, 2010

Top 10 Free Dictionaries for Windows

Online dictionaries are abundant. But their biggest drawback is their dependence on an active internet connection. When the internet connection is down these dictionaries become useless. This is when offline dictionaries come helpful. So here I have compiled 5 popular and very handy free dictionaries for Windows.

1. Wordweb Free Dictionary

Wordweb is probably the best freeware dictionary out there. WordWeb is available as a powerful Pro version and a cut down free version. The free version is used by millions of people from all over the world.

It sits in the system tray and can be launched from within any program. WordWeb integrates into MS Word and gives you a one click access to it from within Word. Apart from definitions, Wordweb shows you synonyms, related words and the root of the words. Wordweb has more than 150 000 words and 120 000 synonym sets.

2. TheSage's English Dictionary and Thesaurus

TheSage's English Dictionary and Thesaurus is a professional software package that integrates a complete dictionary and multifaceted thesaurus of the English language into a single and powerful language reference system.

TheSage allows you to look up words directly from most applications, offering multiple detailed definitions each coupled with its own thesaurus. It has over 145,000 references with multiple detailed definitions (over 200,000) and a complete thesaurus with nearly 1,200,000 relationships between definition. TheSage has a tabbed interface, which is a rage these days, and supports wildcard search which is extremely helpful.

TheSage can look up words directly from almost any program (IE, Word, Firefox, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc ) and is 100% portable.

3. Stardict

Stardict is a free open source dictionary program that allows you to use all those free dictionaries (at the moment more than 200 dictionaries are available). StarDict is just a dictionary shell, so when you download it you have no dictionary that comes along. You have to install dictionaries yourself.

Stardict supports an interesting search concept called Fuzzy query. When you can't remember how to spell a word exactly, you can try StarDict's Fuzzy query. It uses "Levenshtein Edit Distance" to compute the similarity between two words, and gives the match results which are most similar to the word that you input.

Everest Dictionary has a total of 35 dictionaries available. It's possible to search words across multiple dictionaries. It also monitors the clipboard; in any program, a simple copy of the word to the clipboard using "Copy" command will launch the automatic search of the word in the dictionary.

5. TranslateIt! Westlanguage

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The only transformation product that has this technology is TranslateIt! It can be obtained at: With TranslateIt!, you can see the change of words and common phrases by openly moving the mouse outstanding the text.

6. tinySpell

tinySpell is not exactly a dictionary, it's a spell checker. The reason I've included this on my list is because we often look up a dictionary not to learn it's meaning but to check it's spelling, don't we?

Occasionally you need to check spelling in an application that does not include a spelling checker and you don't want to launch your word processor just for that. This is when tinySpell becomes handy. It is a small utility that allows you to easily and quickly check and correct the spelling in any Windows application.

7.1-Click Answers

While this tool is oh-so-helpful in searching for information via without interrupting your work, results aren't always only one click away. 1-Click Answers provides two search options: you can enter a keyword or phrase into the Answerbar, a discreet bar that docks on the side of your desktop, or you can use Alt-Click to pull up a small window for a brief summary.

The great thing about 1-Click Answers is that you can search for information directly from an e-mail, a Microsoft Office program, or browser. Our searches never came up empty, and the information on was thorough. The Answerbar worked like a charm, yielding quick results each time we performed a search. The Alt-Click function, however, was a disappointment, often producing a blank window that took a few seconds to load. Also, we found ourselves repeatedly hitting Alt-Click. It does give you the option of changing the hot key combo, but you still have to incorporate a mouse click, which didn't help the situation.

8. Lingoes Translator

Lingoes is a dictionary and multi-language translation software providing results in over 60 languages. It offers text translation, cursor translator, index list group and pronouncing text, and abundant free dictionaries as a new generation dictionary and translation software. Lingoes offers users the instant way to look up dictionaries and translation in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and more over 60 languages. With the creative cursor translator, Lingoes automatically recognizes the word and its definition as soon as you move the cursor and point to any text, then press hotkey. It wouldn't disturb your current work.

Lingoes owns full features of current popular commercial software, and creatively develop cross language design and open dictionaries management.

9. MultiTranse

MultiTranse is a simple utility for translating languages. The program impressed us with its speed and accuracy, but it left us wanting just a little more than it provided.

The program's interface was a delight. Not only was the layout intuitive, with its smartly designed command icons, but also it's helpful. A pop-up tip screen walked us through our first translation, completely eliminating any need to seek instruction from the Help file. You simply enter a primary phrase in any of the 24 languages MultiTranse handles--we chose English--and select one of the national flags representing the language you want your words translated into, in much the same fashion as many multilingual Web sites. We only have a basic knowledge of French and Spanish, but we were happy to see our translations accurately converted into those languages in a few seconds. Since we don't know any of the other languages--including Korean, Russian, and many others--we can only hope the program is equally as accurate with those translations. We were disappointed that the program didn't offer any special features, such as an audio pronunciation component. Regardless, this program performed its translations well, and we felt users of any level would be confident with its results.

10. Rhymesaurus Free Edition

This program provides a number of handy tools for working with words, but it also consumes a great deal of system resources. Downloading Rhymesaurus's 50MB installer can take a while, and once the program is on your machine it eats up nearly 100MB of RAM. Although the program's interface is not beautiful, it is simple to understand at first glance. You simply enter a term into the search box, then choose from such options as Dictionary, Thesaurus, and, of course, Rhymes. If you opt for the latter, you'll find all sorts of options for narrowing down the program's list of generated words. For instance, you can specify that Rhymesaurus return straight rhymes, reverse rhymes, homophones, or just terms with assonance and consonance. We can recommend this program to folks who work with words on a daily basis, so long as they have plenty of hard-drive space to spare.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Top 10 U.S. Music Sites

A launch week filled with technical problems did not stop new video hub VEVO from becoming the most trafficked music web site music in the U.S. according to data from comScore though 90% of that traffic came via it's YouTube channel.

MySpace was #2 and music lyrics hub ToneFuse came in at #8. just missed the Top 10 with 6 million unique visitors landing it at #11

Top U.S. Music Services On The Web
Unique visitors, December, 2009

1. Vevo 35.4 million
2. MySpace Music 33.1 million
3. AOL Music 29.0 million
4. Warner Music 23.3 million
5. MTV Networks Music 17.6 million
6. Yahoo! Music 16.4 million
7. Jango Music Network 9.6 million
8. ToneFuse Music Network 8.3 million
9. MSN Music 6.6 million
10. Rhapsody 6.5 million