55 Open Source Replacements for Popular Multimedia Software

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Open source multimedia software clearly has remarkable growth potential. Statistics reveal that multimedia grabs a huge percentage of the time most users spend with their PCs and smartphones. Hulu has 30 million viewers a month. Netflix now accounts for 20 percent of U.S. Internet traffic in the evening. According to NPD Group, 30 percent of U.S. music consumers listened to streamed music in August. As of June, consumers had downloaded more than 5 billion songs from iTunes, and they watch 50,000 movies through the service every day.

The multimedia craze can also be seen within the open source community. At the time of writing, 10 of the top 15 all-time most popular open source downloads at Sourceforge related to multimedia.

For this list, we collected some of the best open source apps to help you view, find, buy, share, create, organize and manage multimedia files. While they may not be as well known as the commercial software they can replace, many of them are just as good if not better than their counterparts. As always, if you know of other open source apps that should have made our list, feel free to post in the comments section below.

3D Graphics and Animation

1. Art of Illusion Replaces: AutoDesk Maya

While far less robust than Maya, Art of Illusion lets amateurs try their hand at creating and rendering 3D animations. The controls are easy to use, and the Web site's art gallery includes some fairly impressive examples created with the software. Operating System: OS Independent.

2. Blender Replaces: AutoDesk Maya

rest here