free music http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8634/all en-US Duh..Libraries http://www.wisebread.com/duh-libraries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/duh-libraries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000005271495XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let me start off by saying I&rsquo;m a substitute librarian assistant so I spend at least a few days each month on eight hour shifts of the library. I preface my blog with this to say, dude, I am in the know&hellip;and is there anything out there more frugal than using the free resources at the library? But do you know of all the resources available to you?</p> <p>As libraries across the United States and specifically in my state, California, are facing yet more budget cuts, it&rsquo;s time I think to remind us all of the value of the library. And while the book stacks are a nice visual reminder that, yes, you can check something out and read for free provided you reside in the county the library is in, there is more to the library than the stacks of free reading material in the stacks.</p> <p>Let me start off by saying I&rsquo;m a substitute librarian assistant so I spend at least a few days each month on eight hour shifts of the library. I preface my blog with this to say, dude, I am in the know&hellip;and is there anything out there more frugal than using the free resources at the library? But do you know of all the resources available to you?</p> <p>As libraries across the United States and specifically in my state, California, are facing yet more budget cuts, it&rsquo;s time I think to remind us all of the value of the library. And while the book stacks are a nice visual reminder that, yes, you can check something out and read for free provided you reside in the county the library is in, there is more to the library than the stacks of free reading material in the stacks.</p> <p>The number one thing that keeps me busy these days as the library sub is checking out videos. Our library, like many, has a two tier video rental system. The county dvds are newer and free for two days and the ones donated to the library (which can help you have an eighties flashback weekend) are free for four days. This seems to be the number one reason why most people visit our library.</p> <p>As April and tax time is approaching the second most used service is all the income tax forms and instruction booklets, and while we don&rsquo;t give out tax advice, we do instruct people on where to go in town to talk to someone and give them an idea of which form is probably for them.</p> <p>Next is the computers. Free wireless without having to purchase coffee to use it. Free computer access for those not bringing their own laptops. Free computer classes for those who don&rsquo;t know how to use the computers effectively. Most of the librarians I know will help with some instruction regardless of whether or not you are in the computer classes. <br /> I often wind up helping people navigate or learn how to use keywords.</p> <p>Newspapers and magazines. Why bother with a subscription you don&rsquo;t read all of anyway? The library has it. And has all those back issues that you accidentally recycled. Being a library employee has cut down on my subscriptions. I now only subscribe to small presses. I read the big guys like Time and Newsweek at the library (and they are available for check out).</p> <p>Audiobooks and tapes. Probably the most expensive way to buy a book is an audio CD&mdash;good reason to check them out instead. Even in a small rural area you can have access to variety because smaller libraries and counties usually have a collective that they pull from. In Northern California, we are part of the &ldquo;North State Collective&rdquo; which means if I want to borrow some book on tape from neighboring Butte County, I can.</p> <p>Speaking of CDs&hellip;libraries&hellip;the ultimate in legal music sharing. And you are just listening, right? Not copying&hellip;no, not you. Never.</p> <p>Storytime. Where else can your toddlers and preschoolers have someone read to them other than you, do some sort of crafty thing with paste, buttons, and feathers AND get a sip of juice and cookies for free? Affluent neighborhood mommies pay big money for this sort of thing and your kid and get it all for free one day a week at the library. And though we don&rsquo;t have a jungle gym in the kids section, we&rsquo;ve got toys from every decade of the last fifty years for the pleasure of the kiddies to play with while they are here. And you don&rsquo;t even have to buy a happy meal.</p> <p>Some libraries I know show free movies. Ours is too small for it, but every once in awhile we have some. We also host poetry workshops that you&rsquo;d pay $200 for elsewhere with the exact same instructors.</p> <p>The biggest perk for me (other than working here so I&rsquo;m on top of my due dates and fine potential) is the Friends of the Library booksales. Our town has about five different book clubs and we seem to get all of their books on a regular basis. If it&rsquo;s on the best seller list, eventually&mdash;sometimes even within the same month, I can score a copy of the latest books that still look new for a quarter a piece. We have a free table of older donations and magazines too.</p> <p>The community bulletin board. I know of everything that could possibly be going down in this town all because of the library community bulletin board. If it ain&rsquo;t on the board, it&rsquo;s not happening.</p> <p>As a regular patron, if you don&rsquo;t find the book you want that you just read a terrific review of, you can request it. Many counties use patron requests as a guide in their book buying.</p> <p>So, what are you waiting for? Get your butt back to the library. Meet your neighbors. Find out what&rsquo;s going on. Check out new things, old things, use the Internet. Use the library before the powers that be decide that it&rsquo;s something they can cut out of our lives and our communities. It&rsquo;s the ultimate in our frugal lifestyles&hellip;a good gathering place for the coming recession&hellip;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maggie-wells">Maggie Wells</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/duh-libraries">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-all-the-documentary-movies-you-can-handle-free-online-and-yes-its-legal">Watch All The Documentary Movies You Can Handle, Free Online - And Yes, It&#039;s Legal.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free">Sit in on a Class at MIT for Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-poor-things-i-forget-about-that-dont-cost-a-thing">Feeling Poor?: Things I Forget About that Don&#039;t Cost a Thing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-things-in-life-are-more-or-less-free">The best things in life are (more or less) free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-know-youre-a-wisebread-reader-if">You know you&#039;re a Wisebread reader if...</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle free free books free Internet free music libraries storytime tax forms Mon, 17 Mar 2008 19:16:55 +0000 Maggie Wells 1926 at http://www.wisebread.com Frugal Music Options Fade http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-music-options-fade <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/frugal-music-options-fade" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/where-is-qtrax.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="127" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was living in the dorms during college, several of my peers received threatening letters from the Dean (via the RIAA) specifically identifying movies they had illegally downloaded and were sharing on the school&#39;s network. The Dean then instituted a computer-scan policy where the RA&#39;s were responsible for checking resident&#39;s computers for software which could be used to share files illegally. Our school thereafter subscribed to Ruckus, a service where the school pays a huge flat-fee to the company, and in turn, students may download unlimited files for free. The only two catches were: (i) no iPod compatibility; and (ii) shallow music catalog.  </p> <p>I&#39;ve long since subscribed to iTunes service which I find sufficient for my music/podcast/movie purposes, but which often has a very negative effect on my bottom line. It&#39;s just so easy to click &quot;Buy Song&quot; that you don&#39;t even realize how the $.99 add up.</p> <p>I was overjoyed to read about new legal peer-to-peer software which had struck deals with all the major record labels, and would offer millions of free songs (in a legal fashion) which would be compatible with iTunes and iPods. Then came <a href="#mce_temp_url#">the shocking news.</a> Qtrax had prematurely claimed they reached deals with the major record labels, and now the site which promised to change the face of the music industry around the world is crumbling under the weight of all the negative press.</p> <p>This is especially bad news since I&#39;ve lately been upset about the lack of depth in my music library. With that in mind, I&#39;m going to offer a decent list of some free (or cheap) and legal (or quasi-legal) options for expanding your music options coupled with some pitfalls to avoid, hoping this will generate an open dialogue on alternative ways of legally expanding your exposure to various forms of music:</p> <ul> <li><span class="Apple-style-span">Use ourTunes (At Your Own Risk)</span></li> </ul> <p>For many people iTunes is the music software of choice because of its ease of use and compatibility with the most popular mp3 players, the iPod. An open source program known as <a href="#mce_temp_url#">ourTunes</a> which has faded in and out of existence as Apple constantly modifies its iTunes software, allows you to basically rip music from anyone who is sharing their files on your network and burns the songs you select to your music folders. I&#39;m not positive of the legality of this system, and you should only use it at your own risk. I use it because it allows me to &quot;permanently borrow&quot; music the fiancee has downloaded onto her Gateway and increase the iTunes library on my MacBook. </p> <ul> <li><span class="Apple-style-span">Lala and other Trading Sites </span></li> </ul> <p>There is a whole litany of sites like <a href="#mce_temp_url#">Lala</a> and <a href="#mce_temp_url#">swapacd</a>, which allow for users to interface with each other and either exchange music online or via snail mail. These systems are usually only as strong as the users who support them, and none of the platforms out there offered the huge library capabilities that Qtrax promised. However, this does provide a secure, generally legal forum for expanding the size of your music library.  </p> <ul> <li><span class="Apple-style-span">Avoid Sites Purporting to Offer Millions of Legal Downloads Once You Pay A Fee</span></li> </ul> <p>Misleading tags that attract huge crawls from search engines like &quot;free ipod downloads&quot; &quot;free songs&quot; &quot;free music&quot; lead you to sites that look semi-professional and have names like &quot;ipoddownloads.net&quot; or &quot;ipodmusicdownloads.info&quot;. <span class="Apple-style-span">AVOID THESE SITES!</span> Through ambiguous information in the FAQ and information sessions, these sites try to convince you that if you pay an annual fee you will have access to millions of legal downloads which are compatible with your iPod. In reality, what you will pay for is access to about 4 illegal peer-to-peer sites that you could access for free anyways. These sites will always throw in some kind of &quot;converter&quot; software to help you port the mp3&#39;s into Apple iTunes format, but ultimately all of these sites are scamming consumers. </p> <ul> <li><span class="Apple-style-span">Buy Used, eBay, Amazon, Etc.</span></li> </ul> <p>There is a <a href="#mce_temp_url#">great used music store</a> downtown where I live that buys and sells used CDs/DVDs and lets you listen to entire albums by popping the CD into one of their several multi-disc players, accompanied with nice headphones and even a stool so you can relax. If your city doesn&#39;t have a great store like this, turn to my personal favorite Amazon or eBay to buy music at ridiculously cheap prices from users looking to unload CDs cluttering their closets. Of course, Amazon also offers downloads for a fee, but who wants that?  </p> <p>These are just a few of the options (and non-options) I&#39;ve explored to expand my music library. But I want to know: What works for you? </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anthony-marrone">Anthony Marrone</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-music-options-fade">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-travel-with-postcard-fun">Free Travel With Postcard Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-five-economy-based-board-games-that-make-you-think">Top 5 Economy Based Board Games that Make You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-paying-for-cable-television-but-keep-up-with-your-favorite-shows">Stop Paying For Cable Television But Keep Up With Your Favorite Shows</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Art and Leisure free music legal file sharing qtrax Tue, 29 Jan 2008 20:54:59 +0000 Anthony Marrone 1697 at http://www.wisebread.com