FOSSPicks

Auryo

Even though it's a commercial service, and the Internet is swamped with services attempting to turn themselves into a social network, SoundCloud is still a useful place to share your music, at least until we can reinvent the idea with a federated and open source version. But it's impressive that, even with its initial focus on people sharing their own music creations, SoundCloud has become a streaming service to compete with the likes of Spotify and Tidal thanks to some big names dropping rare tracks into the site. What still makes SoundCloud slightly different, and worth exploring, is that it retains an experimental edge to the music. That means if you're into more left-field or home-grown music, you're more likely to find it on SoundCloud than anywhere else.

Which is where the beautiful Auryo can help. This is an application that removes browser requirements from listening to SoundCloud, letting you enjoy music through a native desktop application. Unfortunately, you will need a SoundCloud account, which isn't required if you're simply browsing and listening through a web browser, but it does mean any playlists you save, or tracks you star, will be available both in the application and via the web interface. You can then take advantage of the desktop audio integration and keyboard control available within Auryo. Its simpler UI design also makes it easier to discover new music, as well as tracking anyone following your own creations. There are no options for the application itself, which says a lot about how intuitive the design is – Auryo doesn't need any configuration options, because it's easy to use and already looks great. If you're bored with the mainstream music applications and looking, or listening, for something a little different, it's definitely worth a download.

Project Website

http://auryo.com/

Auryo is a desktop version of the SoundCloud web UI, written in the JavaScript-inspired (and Microsoft-maintained) TypeScript.

Desktop calculator

Qalculate!

Despite its terrible name, Qalculate! has more mathematical functionality than almost any other desktop calculator has in their advanced views. It's so crammed full of features, it's difficult to get a mental grasp of its entire capabilities, especially on first glance. It looks like a standard calculator application that can easily replace your desktop's default choice. For that reason, switching over shouldn't be too much of a mental burden. In this mode, it operates just like a regular calculator on your desk, albeit a decent scientific calculator with more than eight digits of precision. Tap out the numbers, and you see your answer. It's only when you start exploring the myriad of drop-down menus that it starts to become complicated.

Every menu seems to have 20 options, and every button seems to hide another menu. Even the Edit menu includes scary headings like Manage Variables and Insert Vectors. The Functions menu contains shortcuts to common functions split into many different categories, from microeconomics to trigonometry, and there's a plot window that will render the output into a Gnuplot window. Many of the button-driven functions of the main calculator have drop-down menus to extend their functionality, too. The sin button, for example, lets you choose between Hyperbolic Sine, Inverse Sine, and Inverse Hyperbolic Sine. There are also file operations, such as loading or saving a list of comma-separated values, updating exchange rates, and a very useful periodic table. If you're willing to put some effort into learning where everything is, this is a calculator that seems to have almost everything the desktop mathematician might need. Qalculate!, as its name almost implies, is the Gimp of mathematical applications.

Project Website

http://qalculate.github.io

Augment your computing potential with a calculator that has more options than the New York Stock Exchange.

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