Sunday, October 30, 2022

Finding replacement Linux utilities

Having used Windows and macOS computers for the last 30 years or so, I got used to using certain applications and utilities.

In 2007, when I moved from Windows to macOS (called OS X at the time) I had to replace some utilities, but not all. For example, there were Mac versions of Microsoft Office, and it was easy enough to use that. There were some differences between the Mac version and the Windows version -- I continued to use Microsoft Windows at work -- but overall, they were very close.

Of course, using Web browsers was not much of a big deal, as the browsers I used were on both operating systems. That was easy.

Audio and video utilities were actually fairly easy, though not entirely smooth. I used the same utilities for the respective operating systems. Some differences, but not a lot.

Some everyday utilities were different, though. For writing Web pages and such, there were different utilities I used. Sure, there were some that were available in both Windows and Mac, but the ones I had been using weren't.

This was true for different applications and utilities that I used for different tasks. There were some that were available in both Windows and Mac, and some that weren't. For those that were not on both operating systems, I would either find a Mac alternative, or I would switch to a utility that was supported on both. Price and ease of use, or the learning curve, drove that decision.

Not, I'm going through much of the same thing again. I have moved to Linux as my primary operating system. And, I'm running into a lot of the same issues I had when I first left Windows for Mac.

This is a little more difficult, however. There are not as many applications that run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Don't get me wrong, many that I'm using do run on all three, but certain ones don't. The main one is iTunes. You see, when I purchase movies or TV shows, I use iTunes for that. I've been using Mac and Windows utilities to convert the videos to MP4 and remove DRM. I don't share them with others, but use them on my own personal video library running under Plex.

The problem is that I've not found a free open source utility that runs under Linux and can convert the movies and remove DRM. Heck, I can't find a Linux utility that allows me to download iTunes movies.

DVDs isn't so much of a problem, but these digital videos are the problem. I still have to use Windows or Mac to accomplish this task. I want to be able to do it all in Linux.

I'm continuing to look for Linux utilities that will do what I want, and do it well. And I prefer free open source software (FOSS). But, that has proven to be a challenge. I've not given up, but I am having a hard time with it.

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