Linux Apps and Icons and Themes, Oh My!

I’m here today to share a few more Linux applications that I find particularly useful, plus a GTK theme and an Icon Theme that I’ve recently become very fond of.

First up is a really easy to use and useful little app called ClipGrab. It’s a free downloader and converter for YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and many other online video sites. It works a lot like some video download extensions for Firefox, but it’s a standalone application that I think is a little easier to use and has more functionality. It lets you download and convert on-line video to many different formats, and is dead simple to use. When you start the application, ClipGrab will automatically inform you when there is a downloadable video URL in your clipboard and it starts to work by just clicking on the notification. Or just highlight a video URL, and ‘Ctrl+C’ to start the download. And it also has a web search functionality and many different settings. The website has more info and screenshots.

Another application I’ve been using for a few years now on several Linux distros is Radio Tray. This little app lives in your panel and is a wonderfully quick and easy way to listen to internet radio streams. It’s easy to configure and plays shoutcast radio streams as well as many other playlist formats. Check out the home page. This is one of my must-have applications! It does one thing and does it very well. And it also just happens to come pre-installed in Voyager Linux.

I’ve been using a groovy little calendar application for quite a while that  I’d also like to share with you. It’s cross-platform (works on Linux, Mac and Windows) and I’ve found it to be the perfect calendar/to-do application that sits on my computer desktop. It’s called ‘Rainlendar‘, and I discovered it on one of my Linux forums.You can drag it around and put it anywhere on your desktop, and keep abreast of appointments and such at a glance. Rainlendar has many features and is highly configurable to show monthly, weekly or daily activities. It’s very intuitive and easy to use. But check out the website, where you’ll find everything you need to know.

There is a completely free version to download, or a more advanced paid version for a minimal price. I, of course, am using the free version of Rainlendar and it does everything I need at the moment. I’ve quickly become quite fond of this app. I hope you’ll find it useful as well.

Another well-known full-fledged media player app that I’d also like to suggest is good ‘ole Banshee. It’s been around for a while; and years ago I didn’t care for it much. I used to prefer Rhythmbox, but today Banshee has an interface that is usefull and that I can comprehend; it has all the functionality I need and more; and it hasn’t given me any problems in a long, long time. And it’s easy to burn music CDs using Brasero. You just need to select songs from a playlist, then right-click and go to ‘Write CD’ and Brasero automatically opens. I like programs that are useful and just work!

And to finish up today I wanted to recommend a lovely new icon theme I recently discovered. It’s called Nitrux and it resembles a slightly more streamlined/modern take on the very popular Faenza icons. There are a few variations of Nitrux; the one I’m using in this screenshot have the slightly rounded button edges.

I’m a big fan of dark themes. Sometimes I like to switch to a lighter one, but I guess my aging eyes just find the lower contrast/brightness of dark themes easier for lengthy viewing. And the Xfce theme I’m currently using is called Plasma Shock. It also can switch between different hightight colors. Some dark themes seem too washed out to me, or have problems with print and background contrast; but this theme seems just right for me.

Those are my humble recommendations for today. Very soon I’d like to talk about the new version of Bodhi Linux; a very nicely done distro that uses the Enlightenment Desktop Environment.