3 years ago
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My favorite desktop and mobile software and tools

Note the platforms in the bracket for each software are only the platforms I use the software, not all platforms that the software supports.

Development tools

Microsoft Visual Studio Code (Windows, Linux)

The most powerful code editor that works very well on both Windows and Linux.

Notepad++ (Windows)

When I need a slim code editor, Notepad++ is a good choice.

Far File Manager (Windows)


I've been using Far File Manager for about 20 years and I will continue using it. It's a little out of date nowadays but it's still a very good file manager.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 community version (Windows)

I use VS to develop cross platform projects.

Qt and Qt creator (Windows, Linux)

I don't use Qt that often nowadays, but Qt is still one my favorite framework and Qt creator is a pretty good C++ IDE.

Oracle VirtualBox (Windows)

I only use Windows as the host OS. When I need to run Linux, I run it in VirtualBox.

Laragon (Windows)


Great PHP and web server for local development.

SmartGit free version (Windows, Linux)


I always believe GUI for version control system is more productive than command line.

HeidiSQL (Windows)


My favorite SQL servers viewer and management tool. I wish it would not crash that a lot...

XShell free for home/school version (Windows)


It's enough for me to manage my personal servers.

Multimedia, audio, video

Audacity (Windows)


Free yet powerful audio process and recording software. I created a free tool to automate Audacity recording

GIMP (Windows, Linux)

I use GIMP to do some simple image manipulation. I mostly use it to process music scores.

Greenshot (Windows)


An awesome free screenshot capture software.

PotPlayer (Windows)


My favorite video player. I used it to play audio, but seems it amplifies the volume and background noise significantly.

Foobar2000 (Win10 app)

I use it to play audio. Its auto playlist function is great to monitor sound changes.

Faststone Image Viewer (Windows)


My favorite image viewer.

ffmpeg (Windows)

I write little script to call ffmpeg to split videos.

Inkscape (Windows)

I use Inkscape to edit SVG images.

VLC media player (Android)


My favorite video player on mobile phone.

AZ Screen Recorder (Android)


Android screen capture.

VSDC (Windows)


Free video software.

Music and instrument learning



Free music composition and notation software. I use it to make Ukulele scores.

Soundcorset tuner and metronome (Android)


Very powerful tuner and metronome. I usually tune my instrument using this mobile app.

modTuner (Win10 app)

Music instrument tuner for Win10. Rarely I tune using this Win10 app.

Asparion Metronome+ (Win10 app)

Free and easy to use metronome.

Stage Metronome (Android)


Free and easy to use metronome.

The Metronome by Soundbrenner (Android)


Powerful and free metronome.

Spectroid (Android)


Audio spectrum analyzer.

Smart Chords (Android)


App for learning chords for Ukulele and Guitar. It has much more features.

Hydrogen Drum Machine (Windows)


Free drum machine emulator. It's fun to add some drums to my instrument performance.


ReadEra (Android)


My favorite PDF and Epub reader on mobile phone.

PDFCreator (Windows)


I use PDFCreator to convert PDF to images.

Bing dictionary (Win10 app)

I'm not a native English speaker, so I need a good dictionary.

Download Them All


Add-on for browsers (Firefox, Chrome, etc). Download documents on a web page easily.

Free Download Manager


Free, slim, no advertises, no spyware, no crappy ware, no information stealer, no extra crappy programs. If you used some popular downloaders made by Chinese companies, you understand what I mean :-)

Duo mobile (Android)


Two-factor authentication.

Core Temp (Windows)


I use Core Temp to monitor computer processor temperature.

Zapya Kuaiya (Android and Windows)


I use it to transfer files between my PC and my phone. I don't need a cable anymore!

Free Countdown Timer (Windows)


I use it to set timer for my instrument practice session. The features I like: 1, it can add many timers. 2, it can set the sound notification volumn. 3, it can order the timers.

The software I would AVOID

The list is from my own subjective opinion. It maybe not correct or suit for you.


It's very buggy (for example, it often "stay on top" while I don't allow it to do that). And after I uninstall it, it leaves crappy information in Windows registry which still associate all media types with it. Deleting its garbage wasted me pretty much time. I'm usually not unhappy with crappy software, but this one is too crappy and I wish I never heard it.