· radio television software career

15+ Free Apps for Broadcasters

In July, I proposed a presentation for the Central Canada Broadcast Engineers, Technologists & Technicians Career Development Conference covering when to consider free and open source software, a brief overview of public software licenses, and a list of some free apps I’ve found useful.

Friday was presentation day!

Animation of the colourful wheel used to select the app category

The spinning free app category wheel got a good reaction during the presentation.

The List

If you missed any of the apps I spoke about, here’s a complete list by category. (You can also download the presentation slides.)




  • Inkscape - cross-platform vector graphics editor
  • Paint.NET - image and photo editor with support for layers

Networks and PCs

  • Packet Sender - send and receive network packets to test metadata or APIs
  • VirtualBox - run a virtual machine on your computer
  • Wireshark - network packet analyzer
  • Zabbix - framework to monitor devices and applications and show historical data for troubleshooting


  • Atom - very customizable text editor
  • LibreOffice - office suite including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, and database programs
  • Notepad++ - lightweight text editor


Other Tools for Your Toolbox

The list above is definitely not exhaustive! If the software you need isn’t covered, there are several other places to find free apps.

  • Visit AlternativeTo and search for a free or paid app. You’ll get a list of similar software which can be sorted by licence or supported OS.
  • PortableApps.com lets you install supported applications to a USB drive so you can carry that software–and settings–between computers easily. For example, servers you add to your FTP client will be available when you run it from the USB drive no matter which computer you’re using.
  • To learn directly from the source code of an app, check out GitHub. If it’s there, you’ll be able to download the code and even create a custom version if you want.

Thank You

A big thanks to the CCBE executive, organizers, and volunteers for allowing my presentation and for putting on another great conference! If you haven’t attended, you should definitely do so–I can’t recommend it highly enough.

And thank you to the other attendees who gave me very nice compliments after my presentation. I also got a lot of free app suggestions throughout the rest of the conference which is much appreciated.