music http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/93/all en-US How Family Plans Can Save you TONS http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_watching_tv_90916655.jpg" alt="Learning how family plans can save you tons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While house phones and cable may be on their way toward obsoletion, the subscription market is booming. You can find a subscription or membership plan for just about anything &mdash; your favorite TV shows, your cell phone, music, and even Uber.</p> <p>While these subscription plans can save consumers money, especially if you switch from a $100 cable bill to a $7.99 Hulu bill, they can still add up. Thankfully, many subscription or membership plans offer discounts for families. Here are the top shareable accounts you can take advantage of to save money.</p> <h2>TV Streaming</h2> <p>There are quite a few TV streaming services available right now. Most of them don't openly advertise a family sharing plan, but you can activate the streaming on multiple devices.</p> <h3>Netflix</h3> <p>Netflix allows users to stream shows on up to six devices, have up to five profiles, and even stream simultaneously on up to four devices at a time. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-for-a-better-netflix-experience" target="_blank">6 Tricks for a Better Netflix Experience</a>)</p> <h3>Hulu</h3> <p>Membership can be activated on however many devices you wish, but streaming can only be done on one device at a time.</p> <h3>Amazon Prime</h3> <p>Amazon Prime allows users to add one adult to their account, and have up to four children profiles. Sharing Amazon Prime means the shared user has access to the large library of Prime shows and movies. Two different shows can be streamed at the same time on two different devices.</p> <h3>HBO Now</h3> <p>HBO Now doesn't offer specific rules on sharing, but several devices can use the same HBO account, though simultaneous streaming is limited. Funny enough, HBO CEO Richard Pepler said, &quot;It's not that we're unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business. In fact, the practice of sharing usernames and passwords serves as a terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers.&quot;</p> <h2>Spotify</h2> <p>Spotify just rolled out its revised family plan in May. It allows you and up to five family members to enjoy a Spotify Premium account for only $14.99 a month. That works out to about $2.50 per person. What is neat about Spotify's family account is that six people are not sharing the same account. Instead, all six individuals in the family get their own premium account, which means they can play their favorite music ad-free and offline.</p> <p>There are some restrictions to Spotify's family plan. All members must reside at the same address, though it is unclear how Spotify enforces this rule. Also, the account head will be billed the $14.99 each month, so you could get stuck with the $14.99 monthly bill if other family members don't pay you their portion.</p> <h2>Uber</h2> <p>Uber launched its Family Profiles in March for select cities. Even though Uber called its new program &quot;Family Profiles,&quot; the company does not discriminate if you add friends or coworkers. Once this feature is more widely available, the profile can include up to 10 riders under one payment option.</p> <p>This makes it easier to arrange rides for college students in other cities or to help older family members who cannot drive to do errands.</p> <h2>Cell Phones</h2> <p>It is no secret that you cell phone providers offer family share plans. Before we got married, my husband and I joined his sister's family plan with Verizon. It was the cheaper alternative to getting on our own plan. Somehow our bill kept growing (because his sister's family was charging us the same amount as their phones, even though they were using premium services). We were able to pay less on our own family plan with T-Mobile.</p> <p>With T-Mobile, we are not on a contract and only pay about $55 for both of us. To get that price, we added my father and sister at $25 per line. With T-Mobile, the phones are pricier, since you are not under a contract. However, there are no extra charges for using too much data or texting. When one of us goes over our allotted data, instead of receiving a hefty charge, our browsing and streaming just slows considerably.</p> <p>Another affordable family plan to consider is<a href="https://www.cricketwireless.com/5for100">Cricket's</a> five lines for $100. The basic plan starts at $40 ($35 after autopay discount). Then you can add on a second line for $30, the third line for $20, the fourth line for $10, and the fifth line should be free. This would equate to $20 per person on the plan (or less, depending on the autopay discount).</p> <h2>Kindle Library</h2> <p>If you share an Amazon Prime account with another adult, they will be able to access the Kindle Owners' Lending Library if they own a Kindle. Even if you do not add on someone to your Amazon Prime account, you can still lend out books to friends and family members, as long as the book has lending rights.</p> <p>Using family plans and sharing accounts is a great way to save money on membership and subscription costs. Just be sure to know the terms and conditions before sharing. Some companies have specific programs designed for family sharing, while others frown upon sharing your password.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to save money on subscription services?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">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-5"> <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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</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/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</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/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</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/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living books cell phones family plans music netflix saving money spotify streaming subscription plans tv Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:30:38 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1753338 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_music_headphones_000091734517.jpg" alt="Woman forgetting to use her Amazon Prime perks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the recent news of Amazon changing <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/18/business/amazon-challenges-netflix-by-opening-prime-to-monthly-subscribers.html">how they charge for Prime</a>, and allowing users to pay on a month-by-month basis, it has many revisiting their membership and asking themselves if they're using Prime to its fullest potential. It's with this frame of mind that I wanted to talk about some of the lesser known Prime perks. After all, Amazon Prime these days is much more than just free two-day shipping, and some of these perks can actually replace monthly premium pay services and help reduce your overall entertainment costs.</p> <h2>1. Unlimited Photo Storage</h2> <p>One of the least used Prime perks is the free <a href="https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/primephotos">unlimited photo storage service</a>. Their cloud drive is secure and allows you to upload and access photos from your PC, mobile device, or via any web connection. So the next time your smartphone or SD card on your digital camera is reaching capacity, you can easily upload your photos to the Amazon cloud.The only limit that Amazon places on your cloud storage is with 1080p video &mdash; you're only allowed 5GB of storage, where the Google free storage option allows unlimited storage.</p> <h2>2. Prime Music</h2> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/1TuI49b">Amazon Prime Music Streaming Service</a> has gotten much better in recent months and is worth revisiting. Its improvements make it a fantastic alternative to premium pay music services like Spotify Premium and Pandora One. For example, all Prime Music Stations and custom created playlists now offer ad-free listening with unlimited skips, making it very comparable to premium services. You can now also download songs directly to your listening device, allowing for offline playback when an Internet connection is not available.</p> <h2>3. Prime &quot;Early Access&quot; Deals</h2> <p>As a Prime member, have you ever heard of a site called <a href="http://www.myhabit.com/">MyHabit</a>? If you're like most members, probably not, but it's definitely worth a look as it's owned by Amazon and specializes in highly discounted clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and home items. The deals, often in the 70% off range, are only available to registered Amazon members, and <a href="http://www.myhabit.com/help/201612240">30-minute early access</a> to these deals is granted only to Prime members. Once on the MyHabit website, simply look for the Early Access logo and start your bargain shopping before popular items get snatched up by non-Prime members. It's also worth mentioning that, unfortunately, free two-day Prime shipping is not available on your orders from MyHabit. Their standard shipping rate is a flat $5.95.</p> <h2>4. Amazon Prime Pantry</h2> <p>Another perk that many busy families are not taking advantage of is <a href="http://amzn.to/1YaPEKg">Prime Pantry</a>, which offers &quot;low-priced everyday essentials in everyday sizes, delivered to your home.&quot; The key takeaway to their tagline is &quot;everyday sizes,&quot; as you no longer have to order in bulk and hope you use it all. You can now order the amount that you'll actually use. As long as it fits in your &quot;virtual box,&quot; you'll get it delivered to your doorstep for a flat $5.99. It becomes kind of a fun game to follow your box &quot;fill-percentage&quot; while building your online order. Popular <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Amazon Pantry</a> product categories include groceries, snacks, household, pet supplies, and baby care. If you've never explored this Prime service, and you could use some help keeping your kitchen pantry full, it's definitely worth a look.</p> <h2>5. Free Video Streaming</h2> <p>Are you a Prime member and currently paying for an online streaming service like Netflix or Hulu Plus? If so, you probably haven't explored <a href="http://amzn.to/1TuIa0B">Prime Video</a> recently. For many users, it has become an excellent replacement for the above mentioned pay services. Improvements in recent months include several highly rated Amazon original series, more monthly-added Prime movies and TV shows, and an easier to navigate interface.</p> <h2>6. Amazon Family</h2> <p>My wife and I had our Prime membership for two years before we took the time to see if the<a href="http://amzn.to/1WL7GDR"> Amazon Family</a> program (formerly Amazon Mom) could benefit us. Come to find out, I wish we had used it much earlier as it saves us a lot of time and money every month. Straight from their site, &quot;Amazon Family provides Prime members exclusive family-oriented offers, coupons, age-based recommendations, 20% off diaper subscriptions, and a 15% Baby Registry completion discount.&quot; The 20% diaper savings alone would have been of a great benefit. Also, if you have young children, the coupon offers will often save you 15%&ndash;20% on baby health items, baby food, as well as kitchen and beauty items.</p> <h2>7. Free Trial for Students</h2> <p>I was just recently chatting with a college freshman, and he was telling me about all the things he needed to buy for his dorm room. I asked if he had taken advantage of the <a href="http://amzn.to/1YaQcj2">free six-month Amazon Prime</a> trial that they offer. Surprisingly, he had never heard of it and was excited to get the free two-day shipping on all products sold directly by Amazon. It's worth noting that other perks like Prime Video, Prime Music, and the Kindle Lending Library are not available during the trial period. But after your six-month trial ends, you'll have the option to purchase Amazon Prime for 50% off the $99 price tag at which point you'll gain access to all the Prime perks.</p> <p><em>How do you use Amazon Prime to its fullest potential? Or if not a member, do any of these perks sway your decision to join?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</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/10-things-you-should-always-order-on-amazon">10 Things You Should Always Order on Amazon</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/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</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/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</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/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase">8 Questions to Always Ask Yourself Before Making a Big Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon early access deals free shipping music online shopping Prime prime pantry students Wed, 18 May 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Kyle James 1706851 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Big Ticket Wedding Items You Should Borrow Instead of Buy http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newlywed_couple_000042336338.jpg" alt="Married couple finding wedding items to borrow instead of buy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting fed up with the high ticket prices on wedding items? Zero out a few fields in your wedding budget and &quot;borrow&quot; them instead.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-save-on-a-wedding-dress?ref=seealso">7 Smart Ways to Save on a Wedding Dress</a></p> <h2>1. The Altar, Arch, or Canopy</h2> <p>This is an item everyone wants, until they remember how it's totally useless after the wedding. Building your own structure is awesome if you're handy, but why not borrow one? Try asking your officiant, venue, or your religious institution if they already have some materials you can use. For my wedding, our Rabbi already had the elements for a simple chuppah, so we used that instead of buying or renting an expensive one.</p> <p>If you are getting married outdoors, find a nearby tree. A tree is not only the perfect backdrop and canopy in one, but it's a great symbol for the family you are making.</p> <h2>2. The Live Band or DJ</h2> <p>Instead of hiring a DJ, why not make the music a fun activity for your guests in anticipation of your wedding? Make a form on your wedding site asking guests what song they want to move their bodies to on the dance floor. You (or your Best Man or Maid of Honor) can gather up all the answers to form one epic playlist. Have your coordinator hit play at the start of the reception and let the good times roll.</p> <p>Really have your heart set on a live band? If you are friends with musicians, try asking them to play for a portion of your wedding as their gift to you. Of course, they are working, too, so it may not be fair to keep them from enjoying the full night of festivities. Talk to your friends and family musicians to see how they can be a part of your wedding and enjoy it, too.</p> <h2>3. The Table Decor</h2> <p>From bunting to centerpieces, this is a factor of every wedding budget that tends to spiral out of control. A few ideas to borrow...</p> <ul> <li>Looked at the florist's quote and cried? Instead of buying their labor, try having the mothers of the family gather flowers from their homes in mismatched vases to use as table dressings.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bored of flowers and want something unique? Borrow framed family photos from all sides of the family and place them as table centerpieces with a few small tealights from the Dollar Store.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Borrow old books from your parents' bookshelves. Pick some ones that mean a lot to you to stack as a cute, nerdy centerpiece.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Looking for old decor that you don't have to DIY? Try asking your local department store when they will discard their window displays. Anthropologie tends to take theirs down every month.</li> </ul> <h2>4. The Getaway Car</h2> <p>Every couple wants a cool way to leave their reception, but trying to book a Batmobile or a vintage Rolls Royce can mean the difference between being on budget and having to cut down your honeymoon. Ask around! You probably have a relative or friend of a friend with a cool ride (or a connection to one). Leave in something authentic and cool, instead of paying hundreds for a rental that someone else will have to return for you the next day.</p> <h2>5. The Photography</h2> <p>While it's awesome to have a professional photographer following you all day, it's simply not in the cards for everyone. Lots of couples are saving room in the wedding budget by going the guest-sourced photography route. All your friends and family are eager to snap photos of the big day already, so encourage them to get their Instagrams ready. A great way to include guest photography can be through a game or scavenger hunt for people or details, like with the <a href="https://ceremonyapp.com/">Ceremony app</a>. Just be clear about when it is okay to ambush the couple for photos.</p> <p>The wedding goes by fast, so the most beautiful part is seeing your wedding through the eyes of all your friends and family just days later. Remember to make a Dropbox or Flickr account for everyone to add their memories.</p> <p><em>What else should couples borrow for wedding day?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy">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-7"> <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/how-to-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough">How to Have a Great Wedding if You Haven&#039;t Saved Enough</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/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</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/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-turn-your-spouse-into-a-money-saver">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Turn Your Spouse Into a Money Saver</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/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford">How Much Engagement Ring Can You Actually Afford?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living borrowing decorations DJ flowers marriage music photography weddings Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:30:27 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1659838 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is the Best Music to Listen to If You Want to Be Productive http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/music-459417755.jpg" alt="listening to music" title="listening to music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I prefer to work in silence. I don't want any background noise, including music, loud talking, or a TV on. In the working world, I'm probably in the minority. Music can help workers relax, get excited about their work, and drown out distractions such as traffic noise or talkative office workers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise?ref=seealso">How to Block Out Noise</a>)</p> <p>I've worked in newsrooms that buzz with discussions, and that can be invigorating and provides motivation to keep writing or editing. But music can work much better for some people, helping with focus and improving mental tasks and mental development. What parent hasn't played Mozart for their baby, hoping it would make them smarter, even though the theory has been overblown?</p> <p>While some people argue that listening to any type of <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/listen-and-learn-music-for-the-brain-20140206-32382.html">music will improve performance</a>, there are some views that certain types of music will help with specific types of work. Here are a few. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work?ref=seealso">Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>Classical Music Makes You Smarter, Sleepier, and Healthier</h2> <p>A 2005 study at the University of San Diego found that <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15296685">classical music lowers blood pressure</a>. It can also put you to sleep, researchers have found, which can't be a good thing at work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work?ref=seealso">Staying Focused at Work</a>)</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1281386/?tool=pubmed#ref1">Mozart effect</a> may be the most-cited study on the connection between Mozart's music and improving IQ.</p> <p>Karan Singh, a teacher of Indian classical music in New Jersey, says that in 30 years of playing music, he's found the best <a href="http://swartarang.webs.com/">music to play at work is string music</a>, recorded on middle octave and played softly.</p> <p>&quot;Intelligent improvisations in the compositions will trigger the best creativity in the workers,&quot; Singh says. &quot;It will generate tolerance and calmness. I have noticed that even when I teach music to students coming from different walks of life.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Music plays an effective role in subduing the so-called emotional balance,&quot; he says. &quot;For optimum results, select light instrumental music since it will not have verbal words which will attract the attention of your mind particularly. Listen to the music in low volume or medium volume for optimum influence. People listening to soft music will be totally relaxed.&quot;</p> <h2>Feel-Good Music Gets You Going</h2> <p>This genre can vary widely, depending on your tastes. Jazz, soft rock, oldies, and '80s music can &quot;provide a <a href="http://junearcher.wordpress.com/">feel-good vibe to get you going</a> and help you sustain you throughout the day,&quot; says June Archer, a musician and recording consultant.</p> <p>Archer points to laundromats that play oldies music to help customers get their clothes washed, dried, and out the door quicker. Such songs include &quot;The Dock of the Bay&quot; by Otis Redding, &quot;Up On the Roof&quot; by The Drifters, and &quot;Chain of Fools&quot; by Aretha Franklin.</p> <p>&quot;The oldies provide a tone of feel-good music that stimulates a sense of urgency to feel better, and in return makes productivity go up,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>An Upbeat Tempo Helps You Feel ... Upbeat</h2> <p>Like &quot;Car Wash&quot; and other songs that get you to dance, music with a heavy beat may be productive for any type of work if done in short bursts. Play a few songs, get reinvigorated, and then return to work without music.</p> <p><a href="http://www.musicmakersnh.com/trisha-craig.asp">Trisha Craig</a>, director of Music Makers, a music lesson business based in New Hampshire, says that music with a heavy beat can help more with manual labor, but it can also help office workers if played for a bit to improve their mood. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-improve-a-bad-mood?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Mood</a>)</p> <p>&quot;Listening to music with a heavy beat, regardless of genre, will elevate the mood while taking focus away from intellectual activities,&quot; Craig says. &quot;The same music, however, might increase production for physical work, exercise, or manual labor.&quot;</p> <p>The best way to increase productivity for indoor activities is to listen to something to first elevate the mood and heart rate, then do the work in silence or with white noise to cancel out extraneous sounds.</p> <p>&quot;As energy wanes, take another music break, get recharged, then work in silence again,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>Ambient Music Is Still Engaging</h2> <p>Elevator music, music at your dentist's office, or telephone &quot;hold&quot; music are examples of ambient music that are played in the background that you might not notice or think about. It will keep your brain engaged without you realizing it.</p> <p>A great example is &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002PZVH0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002PZVH0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Music for Airports</a>&quot; by Brian Eno. I've never even noticed music playing at airports, but if this was playing, I expect it would allow me to more calmly get to my flight's gate.</p> <p>There's also &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSV3jRMiRRE">chillout music</a>&quot; to give dance club patrons a break to relax that could help just as much with work.</p> <p>Whatever type of music you prefer, it's worth listening to more at work if it helps you be more productive. Time for me to take a dance break.</p> <p><em>Do you listen to music while you work? Sing about it in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-best-music-to-listen-to-if-you-want-to-be-productive">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-9"> <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/independent-people-have-these-7-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Independent People Have These 7 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</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/multitasking-sucks-even-more-than-you-thought">Multitasking Sucks Even More Than You Thought</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/the-worst-time-of-day-to-do-everything">The WORST Time of Day to Do Everything</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/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips motivation music productivity Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:48:14 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1131659 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Learning the Guitar Is the Best Investment You Can Ever Make http://www.wisebread.com/why-learning-the-guitar-is-the-best-investment-you-can-ever-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-learning-the-guitar-is-the-best-investment-you-can-ever-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/musician-1915247-small_0.jpg" alt="guitar" title="guitar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We often think of investments in terms of dollars and cents. Financial investments are judged on their ability to show a monetary profit over time. But how about an investment in a life skill that will reward you mentally, physically, emotionally, and even socially for all the years of your life? One of the best things I ever did was pick up a stranger's guitar at a party when I was 17. Here are eight reasons learning the guitar is the best investment you can ever make. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-music-lessons-worth-it-hidden-benefits-may-tip-the-scale" target="_blank">Are Music Lessons Worth It? Hidden Benefits May Tip the Scale</a>)</p> <h2>1. It's Ubiquitous</h2> <p>Why the guitar? Of all instruments, the guitar is the most versatile, popular, and portable. You can't lug a piano to a beach or park. When was the last time someone whipped out a clarinet at a party? Nearly everyone's family has at least one guitar lying around somewhere. With a guitar you can play single notes or chords, and you can play by yourself or with other musicians. And most importantly, you can use it to accompany singing.</p> <h2>2. It's Cheap</h2> <p>From a purely monetary perspective, getting started playing guitar is as cheap as can be. If you can't find a family member or friend to give you hers for free, you can easily pick up a very playable guitar new out of the showroom for $100-200. And if you're really budget conscious, you can find a huge second hand market on Craigslist or eBay where you can pick a guitar up for less than 50% of the new purchase price. Because there are so many guitars, supply is never a problem. Compare that with violins, horns, or pianos.</p> <h2>3. It's Easy</h2> <p>Learning how to play the guitar simply isn't as hard as most people think it is. For the purpose of playing a few simple songs, anyone can learn to play within a month with some dedication and practice. Most popular songs are composed of the same ten or so chords, so once you learn the basic chord shapes, thousands of songs become available for you to play. Most pop songs are constructed from two to four chords. Learning guitar is easy in the beginning, and then gets deeper and more fantastic as you progress.</p> <h2>4. It's Accessible</h2> <p>When I started playing guitar, there was no such thing as the Internet. Each song I learned I had to either painstakingly deduce note for note by rewinding and trial and error, or I had to buy expensive published sheet music, which often was hard to understand. Today there are websites devoted to hosting tablatures of most any song. Type in a song name and add the word &quot;tab,&quot; and you will easily pull a listing of free transcribed songs with lyrics. Furthermore, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-music-lessons-online-for-now" target="_blank">YouTube provides many free guitar lessons</a>. Search for any guitar lessons, guitar styles, or song names; and you will probably find someone has already made a guitar playing video about it.</p> <h2>5. It's Social</h2> <p>The guitar is a social instrument. Across all cultures, people gather and play music. Most people have a hidden (or not so hidden) desire to sing. Normally shy people quickly open up after a few songs, breaking external barriers in the process. Music is magical like that. I once took a lightweight travel guitar around while traveling abroad, and I was surprised by how quickly I made friends with no common language other than music. Guitars are big enough to be seen when carrying or playing one, and playing gives an excuse for strangers to start a conversation with you (or for you to start one with a stranger)!</p> <h2>6. It's a Start</h2> <p>With some songs under your belt and a few hot licks, you can then turn your attention to playing with others and/or performing &mdash; which is when the journey takes a marvelous turn. Start a rock band. Record a song and put it on the Internet for others to hear. Release an album. Perform at a local coffeehouse, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight" target="_blank">singing your own songs</a>. It's all free and easy with the Internet, and it will bring people and experiences that enrich your life like nothing else.</p> <h2>7. It Helps You Grow</h2> <p>One of the great things about playing guitar is that it is always there waiting for you, whether you're happy, upset, bored, or inspired. Through it you can give voice to your troubles or release built up physical tension after a stressful day. Unlike other hobbies, the very act of playing an instrument is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today" target="_blank">way to talk to and know yourself</a>. Parts of yourself you didn't know existed will show themselves through music. Learn to know your true voice. You have one. Everyone does. But not everyone knows what it sounds like. This is perhaps the most important reason of all to learn.</p> <h2>8. It Makes You More Attractive</h2> <p>For guys: A <a href="http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/guys-holding-guitar-makes-you-more-attractive" target="_blank">French study</a> has recently shown that merely holding a guitar makes you more attractive to women.</p> <p>An experiment was run where a young man went up to random women on the street and asked for their phone number while holding:</p> <ul> <li>A guitar</li> <li>A gym bag</li> <li>Nothing</li> </ul> <p>Thirty-one percent of the women gave their number to the man with the guitar versus 9% and 14% for the gym bag and air respectively. And that's without ever actually playing the guitar! Imagine the benefits if you actually learn to play with skill and ease! On a personal note, I can attest that without the guitar I would probably not have had a chance with 50% of my girlfriends. Having such a worthwhile skill shows persistence, sensitivity, and hidden depths. A great first date idea is a guitar lesson indeed.</p> <p>OK, now go out pick up a guitar and bring more glorious music to the world!</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by Wolf Chen, a guitar player for 20 years. He runs a </em><a href="http://www.cheaperpedals.com/" target="_blank"><em>guitar pedals</em></a><em> retail website at <a href="http://www.cheaperpedals.com" title="www.cheaperpedals.com">www.cheaperpedals.com</a>. You can listen to some of his music at </em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/wolfchen" target="_blank"><em>soundcloud.com/wolfchen</em></a><em>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wolf-chen">Wolf Chen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-learning-the-guitar-is-the-best-investment-you-can-ever-make">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/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</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/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</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/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">7 Amazon Prime Perks You&#039;ve Forgotten to Use</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/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</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/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development guitar music music lessons skills -- LHP -- Thu, 25 Jul 2013 14:19:23 +0000 Wolf Chen 980648 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Go to Concerts? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4175041759_94430816da_z-1.jpg" alt="Do You Go To Concerts?" title="Do You Go To Concerts?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts#comment-535935"><em>Betty D</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts#comment-536285"><em>Kate</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts#comment-536037"><em>Ang</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Almost everyone has been to at least one concert in their lives. Some people go to concerts regularly to see their favorite artists or bands. However, the price of tickets deters others from attending concerts on a regular basis.</p> <p><b>Do you go to concerts?</b><span style="font-weight:normal">&nbsp;How often do you go? How do you save on tickets? What is the best concert you've ever been to?</span></p> <p>Tell us whether or not you go to concerts and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, June 11th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after June 11th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether or not you go to concerts and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-go-to-concerts">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/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices</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/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-721-12pm-pacific-for-a-chance-to-win-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 7/21, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes</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/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</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/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-421-12pm-pacific-for-a-chance-to-win-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 4/21, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes</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/join-our-tweetchat-on-thursday-714-12pm-pst3pm-est-for-a-chance-to-win-300-in-prizes">Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 7/14, 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Chance to Win $300 in Prizes!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Announcements Ask the Readers concerts music Tue, 05 Jun 2012 10:36:17 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 932769 at http://www.wisebread.com New Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/headphones.jpg" alt="Woman listening to music" title="Woman listening to music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems like everyone has an iPod or a cell phone with mp3 capabilities now. But paying for music stinks, and every week seems to bring a new favorite song, so why keep paying just to fill your iTunes with thousands of songs you don't listen to? I don't consider myself a music junkie, and even I have about 100 hours worth of music on my computer. That's the equivalent of listening to music non-stop for over four days! Sounds interesting, but it's unlikely to happen.</p> <p>There are lots of free music services out there, so paying for music may be a thing of the past (and not just by downloading it illegally). Here are a few great ways to listen to music for free! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a>)</p> <h3>Listen to Your Favorite Radio Station Online</h3> <p>In Los Angeles, 102.7 <a href="http://www.kiisfm.com/main.html">KIIS FM</a> is the bomb. They're always playing the most popular songs, and there's a solid argument for setting all six pre-set radio stations in your car to this one channel.</p> <p>If there's a station you absolutely love, it's possible (and likely) that there's an option to listen to it stream online. And if not? Give KIIS a chance! You won't regret it!</p> <p>The plus side is great, free music. The downside is the regular commercials that come with the radio. So let's explore some options that have fewer or no commercials at all.</p> <h3>Pandora</h3> <p><a href="http://www.pandora.com/">Pandora</a> is a music-streaming service that allows users to create customized radio stations based on a song, album, artist, or genre. Pandora plays songs that it thinks are similar to your song (or album, artist, or genre). A thumbs up lets the program know it did a good job in picking a song for you, while a thumbs down lets it know you're not interested in that song. The more feedback it gets, the better job it does at picking music you like.</p> <p>Pandora has short, 15-second commercials approximately every 10 songs, so it's a small price to pay for such a great service. The more significant downside is that free listeners are limited to a total of 40 hours each month. However, for $36 a year, you can avoid the commercials and get unlimited listening by upgrading to Pandora One, which also offers higher-quality audio, though I've never noticed low-quality sound in the free version.</p> <h3>Last.fm</h3> <p>This service is similar to Pandora in that it plays songs similar to your original choice. <a href="http://www.last.fm/">Last.fm</a> is free to use, though ads appear on the site while playing music. Last.fm also has a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">social network</a> aspect to it, and while it scores high in matching new music to your tastes, the website is not all that user friendly or intuitive.</p> <p>If having music chosen for you isn't your thing, there are two services that let you choose the exact music you want to play.</p> <h3>Grooveshark</h3> <p>With <a href="http://grooveshark.com/">Grooveshark</a>, you can search for music and create customized playlists with the songs you select, and there's no need to sign up just to play music. If you're always connected to the Internet, you can create a library with the songs you want and play it from wherever you are.</p> <p>For $6 a month, you can get the service ad-free, and for $9 a month you can also stream the service to your Grooveshark application on your smartphone.</p> <h3>Spotify</h3> <p>The newest addition to the streaming music scene is <a href="http://www.spotify.com">Spotify</a>, which is similar to Grooveshark, but comes as a desktop application (similar to iTunes). Once you download it, the user interface will blow you away. It's very easy to use (and fast, too!), and searching for the song or album you want is a breeze. Creating playlists is as simple as dragging and dropping your selections, and the playlists are accessible from wherever you use Spotify. You can also add your own files into the program, so it can become your one stop shop for all your music needs. It's my favorite way to listen to music these days, so if you can get your hands on an invite (or have the patience to wait for it to become public), check it out!</p> <p>The free application comes with a few unobtrusive ads that pop up while playing music, but for $10 a month, you can get full access on your smartphone, enhanced sound quality, and offline mode (which keeps your favorite playlists synced for a plane ride).</p> <p>There's no shortage of free music services out there. And splurging to get rid of ads or higher quality audio is pretty cheap as well, far cheaper than buying the songs individually only to forget about them a month later. Plus, as opposed to illegally downloading music, all four of these services <a href="http://blog.pandora.com/faq/contents/351.html">pay a royalty fee to artists</a>, so not only do you get your music for free (or at least very cheap), but by listening to music through the services, you're helping the artists get paid as well!</p> <p><em>Which free music service is your favorite?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daniel-packer">Daniel Packer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap">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/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices</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/free-entertainment-all-over-town">Free entertainment all over town</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/diy-entertainment-a-recipe-for-the-recession">DIY Entertainment--A Recipe for the Recession</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/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</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/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment free entertainment music streaming media Wed, 24 Aug 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Daniel Packer 675083 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kiss.jpg" alt="Kiss Concert" title="Kiss Concert" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you buy concert tickets on a regular basis, like me and many of my friends, then you know one topic of conversation that often rears its ugly head &mdash; what's the deal with the pricing?!</p> <p>You start off with a ticket for $35, by the time you're done it's closer to $50. What's with all the service fees and other add-ons? Why does it cost more to print the ticket yourself than to have the online service print it for you? How much does the artist actually get after all's said and done? Why are some of these tickets more expensive than a new laptop?!</p> <p>If these questions have been rattling around your brain, Wise Bread has the answers for you. And you may be quite surprised at the results. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a>)</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a chart that outlines where the money goes, with a further breakdown below.</p> <p>&nbsp;<img width="599" height="399" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/paul_concert.jpg" />&nbsp;</p> <h3>The Biggest Shocker &mdash; Most of the Money Goes to the Artist!</h3> <p>I know, amazing. My cynical brain, coupled with the way artists often complain about vampire record labels, had me thinking that the artists walk away with one tenth of the take, if they're lucky. It turns out that assumption was dead wrong. Although artists get poorly compensated for music sales (roughly 10% of the retail price) they get a much bigger chunk of change when they tour. And good for them, because touring is no easy task (despite what you may have heard from Motley Crue).</p> <p>On average, <a href="http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/071610ticket">the artist takes 74% of the ticket price,</a> although it can go as high as 90% in some cases. Now you know why more bands tour so much.</p> <h3>Next, the Dreaded Service Fees</h3> <p>Back in the eighties and nineties, it was usual to pay 10% or less in service fees. Those days are gone. Now, depending on the price of the ticket's face value, service fees can be as much, or sometimes more, than the cost of the actual ticket! If you buy a ticket to an unknown (or maybe unpopular) act, it may only set you back $15. But don't expect to pay just $1.50 in service fees. No, they will still be around the same price as those of a $50 ticket, and friends have shown me stubs from concerts that showed a $15 ticket fee and $12.50 in service fees.</p> <p>So what are you paying for? Well, it's usually made up of the following:</p> <h4>Convenience Fee/Charge and Order Processing Fee</h4> <p>These vary by event, and retail outlet/box office purchases usually don't include an order processing fee. These fees are typically shared with the artist, venue, or promoter, but this is the main source of revenue for places like Ticketmaster and covers their costs plus substantial profits.</p> <h4>Delivery Price</h4> <p>If you choose standard delivery or print-at-home options, these should not apply. But you can add a lot to the final price of the ticket if you have them shipped two-day or overnight.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Facility Charge</h4> <p>The venue of the concert/gig is responsible for adding any facility charges, and they receive 100% of the money collected from them.</p> <h4>Taxes</h4> <p>City, state, and local taxes are typically included in the face value of the ticket and are not considered service fees.</p> <h3>Why Did It Once Cost More to Print Your Own Ticket?</h3> <p>Ticketmaster used to charge you $2.50 for the option of printing your ticket at home, or you could get them delivered free. Wait, what? Well, it wasn't a question of the physical cost of printing the ticket; clearly it cost the company more to print them than to have you print them yourselves. This was simply one of those &ldquo;because we can, that&rsquo;s why&rdquo; fees and it made a lot of financial sense to the company. People were willing to pay the small fee for the convenience of having instant access to tickets and a soft copy available that they could print at any time.</p> <p>Physical tickets can get lost in the mail, damaged, or misplaced, and that&rsquo;s just a headache. Plus, if you&rsquo;re buying concert tickets last minute, the instant option is your only one unless you want your tickets to arrive after the event. The good news is, as you can see from the <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9NTM4Nzh8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=&amp;t=1">LiveNation PDF</a> (or if you have recently purchased tickets via Ticketmaster), that these TicketFast fees have been abandoned. Increased scrutiny from watchdogs and complaints from consumers over the power of the Ticketmaster monopoly had a lot to do with it. So now instant gratification is even more gratifying.</p> <h3>So You Want the Best Price For Tickets...What Do You Do?</h3> <p>Well, in most instances you're going to get your tickets from a reputable online dealer like LiveNation, which includes Ticketmaster, TicketsNow, TicketWeb, and House of Blues. And yes, they've pretty much cornered the market. But you do have some options to save money.</p> <p>First, see if you can buy tickets directly from the box office of the venue the gig is at. That may be a trip, but it saves you on a few of those service fees. You could also try buying through the artist's website, which may offer discounts to fan club members, better seats, CDs with purchase, or any other number of goodies. And if you do go through an online source, order them in plenty of time so you can choose better seats and avoid any rush delivery charges (if printing at home is not an option).</p> <p>Oh, and please, don't give money to the scalpers, and that includes those insidious sites like StubHub. I wanted to get tickets to a concert recently that had completely snuck up on me. Face value of the ticket was $62, but the tickets had all gone. Lucky for me though, StubHub had a bunch at the bargain-basement price of $370! Yeah, no thanks. I went to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craigslist-shopping-101">Craigslist</a> and found someone selling them last minute because they had to back out, and they only asked face value.</p> <p>I personally think there should be a limit to how many tickets anyone can buy, and that includes corporations or other businesses. And I mean real limits, not the feeble ones they have now that aren't enforced and clearly don't work.</p> <p><em>Any other ticket buying advice? Concert ticket horror stories? Ridiculous fees that you paid? Chime in.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">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/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap">New Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap</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/10-ways-to-do-la-on-the-cheap">10 Ways to Do LA On the Cheap</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/10-ways-to-watch-sports-on-the-cheap">10 Ways to Watch Sports on the Cheap</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/free-entertainment-all-over-town">Free entertainment all over town</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/diy-entertainment-a-recipe-for-the-recession">DIY Entertainment--A Recipe for the Recession</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment concerts fees music tickets Tue, 05 Jul 2011 10:24:20 +0000 Paul Michael 603242 at http://www.wisebread.com Runaway Debt, Can You Ever Pay It Back? http://www.wisebread.com/runaway-debt-can-you-ever-pay-it-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/runaway-debt-can-you-ever-pay-it-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/moving_train.jpg" alt="moving train" title="moving train" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever hear a song that reminds you of someone from your past? I used to know a student named Andy who was always up to his eyeballs in debt. Every time I hear the tune &quot;Runaway Train&quot; by Soul Asylum, I think about Andy&rsquo;s massive debt and how this song probably captured the way he felt about it.</p> <h2>Runaway Debt</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t know what the song&rsquo;s lyrics are actually about, but I imagine many people struggling to pay off their debts sometimes feel like they&rsquo;re on a runaway train. Let's take a look at some of the lyrics and what we can learn from them.</p> <h3>&quot;It seems no one can help me now&quot;</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re drowning in debt, it&rsquo;s easy to feel alone and beyond help. The crazy thing is, when you feel the farthest from help is probably when you need it the most.</p> <p>Family and friends might not be able to help you financially, but they can lend moral support and help you find professional guidance. Look out for companies trying to take advantage of your situation; the FTC has some tips for dealing with <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/moneymatters/dealing-with-debt-relief-services.shtml">debt-relief services</a>.</p> <p>There are legitimate debt-counseling organizations that can help you; a good place to start looking is the <a href="http://www.nfcc.org/FirstStep/firststep_01.cfm">National Foundation for Credit Counseling</a> (NFCC). The NFCC is the country&rsquo;s largest and oldest nonprofit credit-counseling network.</p> <h3>&quot;I'm in too deep; there's no way out&quot;</h3> <p>One of the discouraging things about high-interest debt is that it&rsquo;s really easy to get &ldquo;buried&rdquo; by the interest payments.</p> <p>You feel like all your payments are going to just pay off the interest, and you&rsquo;re not even putting a dent in the amount you borrowed.</p> <p>Like any really discouraging situation, you may be tempted to give up and walk away from the debt, but that&rsquo;s probably the worst thing you can do. Filing for bankruptcy is an option, but not the one you should consider first.</p> <p>Your debtors want their money back and may be willing to work with you to renegotiate the terms of the loan to make it more likely you&rsquo;ll be able to pay it back.</p> <h3>&quot;This time I have really led myself astray&quot;<em> </em></h3> <p>We're human, and we all make mistakes &mdash; some worse than others. When you&rsquo;re stumbling under a crushing load of debt, the reality of your situation can really get you down.</p> <p>Not everyone&rsquo;s battle with debt has self-inflicted wounds, but often one or more decisions you&rsquo;ve made have contributed to the problem. While it&rsquo;s good to take responsibility for those mistakes and make changes so they won&rsquo;t happen again, dwelling on the past can slow your climb out of debt.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to be destined for a debt-ridden life because of your past choices. Getting hung up on bad decisions, misfortune, being a victim, or being treated unfairly can take your focus off of digging out of debt.</p> <h3>&quot;Bought a ticket for a runaway train&quot;</h3> <p>This line says to me, &ldquo;I did this to myself.&rdquo; However, it&rsquo;s a lyric that comes with the benefit of hindsight.</p> <p>Would you get on a train you knew was going to jump the track? I&rsquo;d hope not. Chances are you probably had a much different destination in mind when you set out. Looking back, you wouldn&rsquo;t do it again.</p> <p>Sure, things might have crashed and burned somewhere along the way, but don&rsquo;t beat yourself up about it. What would you do if you were literally on a runaway train? Probably find a way to get off as quickly as possible&hellip;sounds like the way to go to me.</p> <h3>&quot;Like a madman laughin' at the rain: little out of touch, little insane&quot;</h3> <p>Tens of thousands of dollars in debt is enough to make anyone a little crazy. It weighs on your mind and probably every financial decision that you make.</p> <p>If your debt truly has put you into a stupor of denial or avoidance, maybe you need a wake-up call to snap you out of it. Of course, when you're consumed by something, it can be tough to realize you need some intervention. This is where the people you surround yourself with become really important.</p> <p>You want to be around people who care about you and are willing to put themselves on the line to help you out. A good support system is important to helping you beat your debt.</p> <h2>Getting Out of Debt</h2> <p>Just like the song &quot;Runaway Train,&quot; the experience of being in debt is full of emotion. Sometimes our emotions can drag us down to a real low point, but don't let them derail your efforts for getting out of debt. Just remember, there are many people who were once in a similar situation and made it out of debt. You can too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/runaway-debt-can-you-ever-pay-it-back">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/john-cummuta-transforming-your-debt-into-his-wealth">John Cummuta: Transforming Your Debt Into His Wealth</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/slow-and-steady-wins-the-debt-race">Slow and Steady Wins the Debt Race</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/debt-free-living-is-attainable-if-you-want-it-you-can-have-it">Debt-Free Living IS Attainable: If You Want It, You Can Have It</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/debt">Debt Management Resources</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/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management debt relief music pay off debt Tue, 04 Jan 2011 14:00:14 +0000 Ben Edwards 420627 at http://www.wisebread.com Pianos cost too much? Get a synth! http://www.wisebread.com/pianos-cost-too-much-get-a-synth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pianos-cost-too-much-get-a-synth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/torley-on-piano.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm thankful for a delicious cornucopia of experience with music: I grew up on classical <a href="http://torley.com/piano">piano</a> before moving into electronics, a galaxy — wait, <em>universe</em> of sound at my fingertips! With all that learned, and not just because of the recessed economy but practical factors, if a parent were to ask me:</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;What piano would you recommend I buy for my kid to get into music?&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>I'd shake my head, and <strong><em>not</em> suggest a piano at all!</strong></p> <p>Blasphemy? Absolutely not. I've played dozens of epic grand pianos and oodles of uprights with character. But <strong>pound-for-pound, buck-for-buck, synthesizers — synths for short — beat them almost every time</strong>. An initial hurdle to getting into synths is the dizzying array of choices, including &quot;digital pianos&quot; (not strictly synths since they're not focused on sound creation, but performance with a limited array of sounds). But on the whole, synths beat pianos in both the quantity and quality departments.</p> <p><em>Wait, how can I say that?</em></p> <p>Throw away your 80s stereotypes of bleeps and beeps — technology has advanced to where electronically-amplified piano sounds are in many cases indistinguishable from &quot;the real deal&quot;. From <a href="http://www.imperfectsamples.com/website/samples/braunschweig/braunschweiguprightpiano.php">multilayered samples</a> to <a href="http://www.pianoteq.com/">physical modeling</a>, there's a rich sea of options. Yes, a few purists will cry foul, but they're the same people who can't tell the difference in a double-blind test; and if you happen to be <em>that</em> picky, by all means, get a real piano. Like <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;source=web&amp;ct=res&amp;cd=1&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood&amp;ei=BQIsSsrGEaWwtAOqw_3rCg&amp;usg=AFQjCNGxCIguW7L4W_IaDwgRAjJrWkjUqA&amp;sig2=7TnuAks23jm87YZ6YmTXqQ">diamonds</a>, they have overpriced charm. But plenty of people who'd be better off with a cheaper, more expansive solution would be wise to try synths first, then <strong>understand firsthand</strong>.</p> <p><div style="padding-bottom: 0px; margin: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: none; padding-top: 0px" id="scid:5737277B-5D6D-4f48-ABFC-DD9C333F4C5D:426eca5b-a247-4ce7-b2ff-d9de3e5437a1" class="wlWriterEditableSmartContent"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/2ZPdiz2qJcw&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></div> </p> <p><em>(That's me playing — sorry, the video is flipped.)</em></p> <p>If you're looking to get yourself, your child, or a friend started on piano, here are 6 solid reasons to consider a synth (or other digital instrument) over an acoustic beast:</p> <h2>1. Playing a synth is the same as a piano… plus bonuses</h2> <p>Synths have same black-and-white keyboard layout, and up to the same number of keys. There are synths with &quot;hammer action&quot; keyboards for the hammer-strike feel of a real piano with robust durability. Good to try these out in-store, words won't do.</p> <p>On top of that, synths usually have additional controls like a pitch-bend wheel (to emulate other instruments) and a modulation wheel (to add expressivity), plus knobs and sliders. These can make a sound duller or sharper, add reverb to make a piano sound like it's in the Grand Canyon, and much, <em>much</em> more.</p> <p>(I'm not getting into alternative controllers like <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keytar">keytars</a> and the <a href="http://www.global.yamaha.com/design/tenori-on/">Tenori-On</a> in this article, but yes, they're options once you know the basics!)</p> <h2>2. Synths are cheaper… by far</h2> <p>To really drive this point home, a low-end-yet-decent upright piano can set you back US$2,500. Guess what you could buy with the same money? A high-end synth workstation like the Yamaha MOTIF XS6, which is one of the top performers across the <em>whole</em> synth pantheon. Yes, it's the same parent company that makes Yamaha acoustic pianos and the XS6 only has 61 semi-weighted keys, but the 88 weighted-key version, the XS8, can be had for $3,600. What's more, you're not limited to one sound: you get <strong>thousands of sounds out of the box</strong>, can make your own, and can record yourself on the built-in sequencer, creating song arrangements on the same tool Grammy-winning pros use. It'll teach you a lot more about the sonic universe than a single, limited piano will. (More on that later.)</p> <p>By the way — I'm not referring <em>here</em> to sub-$300 starter keyboards that are sometimes labeled &quot;<a href="http://www.zzounds.com/cat--Personal-Keyboards--2698">personal</a>&quot;. They're fun and can be a worthwhile trial to test if you want to commit further to music, but while they've gotten more powerful over the years, they're easy to outgrow. It's worth paying a few hundred bucks more for something that lasts much longer. And if your wallet still screams for mercy, look local for a rental shop that'll let you try out top synths for a stretch of weeks.</p> <p>But, if that still makes your bank account cringe, do you have a decent computer? You can look into a keyboard controller (like <a href="http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.family&amp;ID=USBkeyboardcontrollers">M-Audio's</a> or <a href="http://us.novationmusic.com/products/">Novation's</a>), which may contain <em>no</em> sounds of its own, but instead plugs into your computer via USB (like your mouse) or MIDI and uses your computer's existing processing power to play — it's called &quot;software synthesis&quot;. There's a wealth of &quot;software studio&quot; options, and they tend to cost a few hundred dollars at most.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.computermusic.co.uk/"><strong>Computer Music</strong></a></em> is one of the best online-and-offline magazines to learn about this from. There are <a href="http://kvraudio.com/">hundreds of plugins</a> for some of these soft studios, <strong>many free ones</strong>, and many under $100. To discover these tools in addition to mainstays like <strong><a href="http://harmony-central.com/">Harmony Central</a></strong>, a couple of my favorite sites are <strong><a href="http://www.synthtopia.com/">Synthtopia</a></strong> and <a href="http://rekkerd.org/"><strong>Rekkerd</strong></a>, both of which are superb at highlighting all things related to &quot;synth culture&quot;. Learn day-by-day, strange names will soon become familiar.</p> <p><em></p> <object width="480" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/jytjn_xQe6U&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/jytjn_xQe6U&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="295"></embed></object><p></em></p> <p><em>(Synths make it easy to play along to music you love, facilitating the process of practice or simply jamming!)</em></p> <p>For a controller, I have an <a href="http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Keystation88es.html"><strong>M-Audio Keystation 88es</strong></a>, which cost less than $200 (I got it after <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;source=web&amp;ct=res&amp;cd=1&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdont-buy-it-now-on-ebay-without-using-livecom-cashback&amp;ei=bdwrSqbHCJWatAP96vXwCg&amp;usg=AFQjCNF5n96eFwHFQx2M4IbkIiMWox7ZwA&amp;sig2=HeZtMVezgjV-xDrM_CIrbQ">cashback on eBay</a>) and has 88 semi-weighted keys. I prefer these because it's easier to do quick runs up and down the keybed. I've paired it with the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) called <a href="http://www.ableton.com/"><strong>Ableton Live</strong></a>, which is such an elegant way to put together tracks. Even if you don't need those options now, a computer is far more expandable because as long as software can run on it, you can adapt your configuration. If you had a max. of $2,500 to spend on music gear, including a computer, you can easily include a quality audio interface + mic (to record vocals if you chose) and speakers. But you could just use headphones, which brings me to…</p> <h2>3. Synths let you practice without bothering other people</h2> <p>Guess what's impossible on a traditional piano? Making music without having it invade the room around you. This is good if you're putting on a show, sucks if you have tight living space or your walls are weak — I often ran into the issue of my performance leaking into the kitchen, where sometimes it was welcome, other times my Mom would scream at me to stop.</p> <p>Just about every single digital keyboard/synth can have its output confined to headphones. Even those which simulate the conventional piano form factor, like <a href="http://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/musical_instruments/keyboards/silentpianos/">Yamaha's Silent Pianos</a>, have this advantage. There are numerous capable digital pianos which can be found for under $1000 and they all have a headphone jack. Price of a quality pair of &quot;cans&quot;? Easily $150 or less. I've had my <strong>Sony MDR-V900s</strong> for years now, cups over my ears and has big bass; others swear by Sennheiser or Grado. There's something to be said for focus when you can enclose yourself when playing, too.</p> <h2>4. Synths don't go out of tune (unless you want them to) and are easier to carry</h2> <p>There's no need to call a piano tuner. While early analog synths like some <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moog_synthesizer">Moogs</a> had pitch instabilities, current generations don't suffer that frailty. However, some noted sound designers have deliberately introduced drift and detune into their sounds for that wow-and-flutter-sorta retro sound. (Funny how much we treasure imperfections when we've gained control of how to fix them.)</p> <p>Real pianos, however, are weak against the weather and being moved. Oh yeah, they're also a lot less portable, which is a problem if you want to take your instrument gigging. All worthwhile things to think about as you make a checklist of what's right for <em>you</em>.</p> <h2>5. Synths encourage explorations through sound</h2> <p>I had some mighty piano teachers, but for the most part, they didn't &quot;get&quot; the outer realms I wanted to venture to on my own. And ultimately, that's what counts: if you have goals, your mentors may not appreciate all of it, but they should help you get there. Unfortunately, there are still too many classical music snobs out there who're killing their music by being limited and stuffy. If they balk at you learning music on a synth for no pragmatic reason, I'd caution to stay away — <strong>their mindset isn't progressive enough to help you prosper</strong>.</p> <p>Fingering techniques and other virtuoso fortes can be learned on a 88-key, weighted synth just as well as a &quot;normal piano&quot;, and don't let anyone deceive you otherwise. (To those who say &quot;It's not the same as a real piano&quot;, there are many different pianos with varying feels; they need to substantiate what they mean.)</p> <p>After all, music demands <em>your</em> creativity to make the most of it. No one wants to have memories of lessons they were forced to take, because the <strong>best learning comes when you're enjoying yourself</strong>. I've long been supportive of exploring tonal textures through electronic music. As this video with me playing shows, you can easily emulate guitar and other sounds. (And to extend on that idea, yes, there are synthy equivalents for other instrument families; guitars have the <a href="http://line6.com/variax/">Line 6 Variax</a> to thank.)</p> <p><em></p> <object width="480" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TLajokq3nyc&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TLajokq3nyc&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0xcc2550&amp;color2=0xe87a9f&amp;hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="295"></embed></object><p></em></p> <p><em>(I heart the <strong><a href="http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=kore2">Native Instruments Kore 2</a></strong> sound libraries — as you can hear, amazing!)</em></p> <h2>6. Learn skills not possible with a &quot;real piano&quot; on a synth</h2> <p>An electronic setup is harder to outgrow than a single real piano, since it can be vastly more flexible. In addition to chords and scales, you can learn all about synthesis: how more complex sounds are formed from simple waveforms, oscillators, filtering, and soforth. And if you intend to take music from a hobby into a career, some of these skills are commonplace must-knows.</p> <p><em></p> <object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="277" data="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"> <param name="flashvars" value="intl_lang=en-us&amp;photo_secret=fc258f4d0f&amp;photo_id=3517718845" /> <param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" bgcolor="#000000" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="intl_lang=en-us&amp;photo_secret=fc258f4d0f&amp;photo_id=3517718845" height="277" width="480"></embed></object><p></em></p> <p><em>(Many surprises await you when browsing sounds!)</em></p> <p>What's relevant <em>now</em>: the distinction between sound engineer and performer has blurred, and if you want to squeeze the most potential out of the time and energy you put in, electronics make this accessible. For example, <a href="http://www.propellerheads.se/products/reason/">Propellerheads Reason</a>, a &quot;studio-in-a-box&quot;, lets you simulate rackloads of expensive gear and shows how they're routed to and from each other to generate the final sound. While still in their early years, programs like this are being taken increasingly seriously to result in certification programs and courses at distinguished schools like <a href="http://www.berkleemusic.com/school/course?course_item_id=1492069">Berklee</a>.</p> <h2>Still… don't scrimp on a teacher</h2> <p>The above in mind and synth in hand will hopefully save you money you can put forth towards a good teacher. You can pay for lessons, but there's no clear monetary value for the <em>joy of music</em>. <strong>This human element can't be replaced by a machine</strong>, and while there's a wide variance of teaching styles (and online courses beyond the scope of this article), past the obvious &quot;You should get along and grow&#160; together,&quot; if you subscribe to what I've shared above, you should <strong>go with a teacher who understands the connections between styles of music</strong> — the most exciting, potent stuff is cross-disciplinary, and stodgy dinosaurs are dying out.</p> <p>It's time to awake the new breed and destroy old misconceptions. <strong>Learning music needs to be useful <em>and</em> fun… and oh, preferably affordable!</strong></p> <p><strong><em>Have questions about the similarities &amp; differences between pianos &amp; synths? Are you like my parents and think pianos have more &quot;dignity&quot;? Let me know in the comments below!</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pianos-cost-too-much-get-a-synth">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-3"> <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/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards">Inside the Shady World of Cheap iTunes Gift Cards</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/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">7 Amazon Prime Perks You&#039;ve Forgotten to Use</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/the-5-best-home-hair-dyes">The 5 Best Home Hair Dyes</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/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping computer electronic learn lesson m-audio music piano sound synth synthesizer teacher yamaha Sun, 07 Jun 2009 19:09:01 +0000 Torley Wong 3236 at http://www.wisebread.com DIY Entertainment--A Recipe for the Recession http://www.wisebread.com/diy-entertainment-a-recipe-for-the-recession <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/diy-entertainment-a-recipe-for-the-recession" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/DSC00533-1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="320" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last Friday night something nearly impossible happened in our tiny hamlet down the road of Taylorsville, CA (boasts a population of 175?)---nightlife. Nightlife in a recession no less. How did we get 40 + people&nbsp; to show up at an evening event&nbsp; in a town that opens at 8 am and closes at noon? In a time when many people in our town have less than no money? I&rsquo;ll tell ya....</p> <p>This is my recipe to cure small town boredom on the cheap. You need a few items:</p> <ol> <li>One Facebook account</li> <li>One aging dive bar in the middle of nowhere whose manager won&rsquo;t say no to you because they haven&rsquo;t seen a steady flow of customers in years.</li> <li>A few serious musicians and writers that are good enough to be entertaining and willing to pitch in for free beer, but obscure enough not to demand big money or billing.</li> <li>One PA system</li> <li>A point of contact/go to person/emcee</li> </ol> <p>Last May a former student and I had an idea after attending some Words + Music shows in neighboring towns. We&rsquo;d attended a few of these shows and noticed the majority of the musicians and some of the writers were actually from our area but since our area did not sport any venue to play in, those seeking the stage were going elsewhere. It was rare for us to go anywhere, especially in winter due to icy roads. The last thing one wants to do after partying all night is to have a nice white knuckle drive through icy canyons on the way home. So we thought. How could we bring this kind of thing to our town?</p> <p>We looked around at different restaurants and cafes but most had bad accoustics. Then we discovered the Taylorsville, Tavern. Born in the late 1800s, it sported an almost forgotten backroom that already had the hints of a stage.&nbsp; Hmm...would they go for it? We talked to the manager and asked if we could &lsquo;try&rsquo; something one Friday night a month. We&rsquo;ll clean up and set up, and you provide us the free room and hopefully whomever comes to see the show will buy beer. Worked like a charm.</p> <p>Next we did what every rural person does around here. We got on Facebook , added friends by the dozens that lived around here and created an event. We also hit the town with flyers the old fashioned way and the local paper as well. Now we had an event and people were RSVPing and asking questions. How much were we charging and why were we doing it?</p> <p>Free. No charge. We billed it as Entertainment on the Cheap. That was 2008. Now in 2009 we call it Entertainment for the new Economy. </p> <p>Once we had the show hooked up at the bar and people RSVPing 21st century style we began working on potential players. We made friends with the guy who had the PA and encouraged him to play a few songs. We heard the librarian sing and told her she should polish a few songs and come sing for us. We told two musicians who we&rsquo;d heard play that these other musicians were playing and did they want to play too? We found writers who were funny and asked them to read a funny story to us in between music sets. Unlike a regular talent show where those without talent eagerly take the stage like American Idol wannabes , we actively solicity talent that we hear about and wear them down until they agree to play us a few tunes. </p> <p>Our first show we had about seven people show up to perform and about seven people show up&nbsp; to watch. Our last show we had 40 non-performers show up and nine performers.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s hella huge for a town of 175.&nbsp; We buy the first drink for each person taking the stage. Audience members usually follow suit.&nbsp; The bar is seeing totals on those nights that it hasn&rsquo;t seen in decades.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s taken 10 months of these once a month shows to really get it off the ground. Now people are stopping us on the street telling us what a good time they had. Maybe they are thinking of performing next time. Are we going to do a theme again? Someone told me that she doesn&rsquo;t go out anymore because of the cost of everything. But with our night she can have one beer at home and one at our &lsquo;niteclub&rsquo; and sit and listen to some music and words and feel like she used to when she did have money to go out.</p> <p>Just because the financial world and our financial world is tanking doesn&rsquo;t mean the fun has to stop too. If anything , this is when we need it the most. </p> <p>I sincerely hope our NiteClubs at the Tavern have a long life ahead of them.&nbsp; This combination economic downturn + community involvement has really come to = a real good time. We are doing it ourselves: singing , dancing, laughing for four hours a month all for the cost of a couple of beers. And when you live in a snowy mountain range, that winter interaction can mean everything.</p> <p>I give you this recipe free. Take it to your nearest dive bar manager. Find your musicians. Find your comedians wanting their training wheels to finally be off and a way you go. Find your community. Show them a good time.</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/diy-entertainment-a-recipe-for-the-recession">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/free-entertainment-all-over-town">Free entertainment all over town</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/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices</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/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</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/free-travel-with-postcard-fun">Free Travel With Postcard Fun</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/magazines-for-free-or-cheap">Magazines for Free or Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Entertainment Art and Leisure free beer music spoken word taylorsville tavern Thu, 05 Mar 2009 07:57:10 +0000 Maggie Wells 2894 at http://www.wisebread.com Inside the Shady World of Cheap iTunes Gift Cards http://www.wisebread.com/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4811696998_958d31a9fd_z.jpg" alt="iTunes gift card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It all started so innocently: I recently purchased an iPod Nano as a Christmas present, and also wanted to include the gift of music. A casual search on <a title="eBay" href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/ebay">eBay</a> led to attention-alarming auctions shouting at me, tantalizing me with <strong>the possibility of getting iTunes gift cards for <em>CHEAP!&nbsp;</em></strong> How cheap? Apparently, if I shelled out US $5-8, I could get a &quot;guide&quot; with info telling me where to purchase these cards for up to &quot;80% Off!!&quot;, one listing yelled. Yet another auction cautioned me while hawking its own ware, &quot;How to NOT get scammed w itunes gift card code auctions.&quot; What was going on here? (See also: <a title="How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</a>)</p> <p>I had to admit, the in-your-face attitude and numerous typographical errors turned me off &mdash; and I'm <em>too</em> thrifty to plunk down a few bucks to be told what URL to type in. (Nevermind the fact that some of these discount cards are listed on eBay&hellip;duh, how obvious.) So I did the most natural next thing: a Google search, and soon dove deeper into the dubiousness.</p> <p>Several minutes later, I collected numerous pages pointing to <a title="iOffer" href="http://www.ioffer.com"><strong>iOffer</strong></a>, sort of like eBay, but a rockier road in terms of usability. <strong>Searching for &quot;itunes 200&quot; yielded numerous matches for $200 gift cards as low as $38.</strong> Alas, that seller was on vacation, so I had to settle for a $47 one. I placed an offer and watched the screen anxiously, refreshing the page and also checking my email. I noticed this seller was quite an inconsistent replier, attending to the newest offers bidding on his quantity of 50+ cards while not getting to first-come offers until much later. At last, I was served up an invoice, and PayPal'ed it through. A few minutes later, I received an email with the code. Terse, cryptic, and from a Chinese email address, it read:</p> <blockquote><p>Hi , here is the code .<br /> $200<br /> [CODE REMOVED]<br /> pls use it asap.<br /> and pls leave me a feedback.<br /> thanks!</p> </blockquote> <p><em>Too good to be true?</em> I pondered. Why the urgency to use it? Only one way to find out. After I refreshed the page again and noticed the hotbed of activity piling up, I mused &quot;They must really want their music!&quot; and booted up the iTunes Store myself. I plunked in the code, and without hesitation, it was credited. My account balance now stood at $200.00, and as any music fan would naturally do, I began snapping up tracks.</p> <p><strong>But is there a darker side to this? Some would say yes.</strong> Feeling ethically conflicted, my curiosity got the better of me and I dug deeper. More info-nuggets were just a google away, such as:</p> <ul> <li><a title="iTunes gift certificates" href="http://reviews.ebay.com/US-iTunes-gift-certificates-bought-with-stolen-cards_W0QQugidZ10000000006868109"><strong>US iTunes gift certificates bought with stolen cards</strong></a></li> <li><a title="iTunes gift cards 40% off" href="http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=6469109&amp;postcount=89"><strong>People on Ebay are selling itunes gift cards for %40 off?</strong></a> &mdash; Interesting behind-the-scenes report.</li> </ul> <p>For a brief moment, my pupils dilated as wide as <a title="Dramatic Lemur" href="http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1799458">Dramatic Lemur's</a>. Was I now linked to criminal activity? I don't want to be a knowing participant in the cycle of identity theft and fraud. Alas, it's hard to say.</p> <p>I contacted over a dozen of these gift card bulk sellers. A few replied with unhelpful or cryptic answers. I chalked part of it up to their non-native English (a disproportionate amount claim to be Chinese or Eastern European), and the other part up to wanting to keep a tight lid on their profitable secrets. The most &quot;comprehensive&quot; response I got, after asking <strong>&quot;How did you get such a great deal on these iTunes gift cards?&quot;</strong>&nbsp;was:</p> <blockquote><p>Hi, I bought it from my friend . hehe<br /> its price is realy low .<br /> if you like, you can buy from me and then selll it on ebay.<br /> I saw they sell about $100 for $200 card on ebay<br /> hehe<br /> thanks!</p> </blockquote> <p>No shortage of &quot;hehe&quot; in the responses I received, that's for sure. Like the myths behind <a title="gold farming" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_farming">virtual gold farming</a>, they add color to the tales, but that's where my trail went cold. <strong>Wherever there's riches, you can count on not just greed to be present, but bizarre human behavior.</strong></p> <p>Returning to eBay, I scoured around some more. I rummaged through the gift card auctions, and was hard-pressed to find any as popular or as below-expected-price as iTunes. I even found some big names that went substantially <em>above</em> their value, like <a title="eBay winning bid" href="http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;item=250346986547">this $530 winning bid on a $500 Amazon.com gift card</a>. (What's the point?) But <strong>iTunes ones can be consistently, suspiciously found for much lower</strong>. Since the majority of these sales are digital codes, not actual cards (as one seller made sure to remind me he couldn't send the card), a physical object isn't necessary to use them. Which makes them harder to trace.</p> <p>What's Apple's gospel word on this? None. <a title="Apple Gift Card FAQ" href="http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/store/giftcard/"><strong>Apple's Gift Card FAQ</strong></a><strong> says nothing about the matter yet, but it's been </strong><a href="http://forums.ebay.com/db1/thread.jspa?threadID=1000154506&amp;tstart=0&amp;mod=1227979752904"><strong>happening for years</strong></a><strong>.</strong> This has been bubbling beneath the surface and hasn't gotten broader attention. There's been articles about <a title="iTunes phishing" href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&amp;articleId=9087358">iTunes phishing</a>, but that's not the same as the underground gift card/code phenomenon.</p> <p>This is especially ambiguous because we can't rule out that there <em>is</em> a legit channel for these cards, or that they're so affordable for another, non-criminal reason which isn't understood by all parties involved. True, the factors I mentioned above make them look very <em>shady</em>. And even if you don't have a tight budget which strangles luxuries like music, the goal is always to buy low&hellip;so how low is too low? Branding someone as a crook just because they don't speak fluent English is unfair, considering that they may've genuinely gotten the codes from an associate and are genuinely unaware if it's unlawful. I'll understand if Apple gets in touch with me about my account, as they apparently have with some others, and in the meantime, I'll continue to use my store credit &mdash; and ethically, look for better ways to <strong>reward the artists directly</strong>. (Which is a discussion for another time.)</p> <p>The moral of the story: from &quot;it fell off the back of a truck&quot; to gift codes in cyberspace, there can be <strong>more than meets the eye when it comes to an unbelievable deal</strong>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards">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-17"> <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/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</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/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</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/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</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/use-these-stores-gift-cards-asap">Use These Stores&#039; Gift Cards ASAP</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/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot">6 Surprising Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Home Depot</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping eBay gift cards ITunes music Tue, 06 Jan 2009 17:04:08 +0000 Torley Wong 2682 at http://www.wisebread.com Trent Reznor giving away new Nine Inch Nails album http://www.wisebread.com/trent-reznor-giving-away-new-nine-inch-nails-album <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/trent-reznor-giving-away-new-nine-inch-nails-album" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2050725995_391c4f3bf5.jpg" alt="Trent" title="Trent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Music fans of the world, unite. The very cool Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (or who basically IS Nine Inch Nails), is letting fans download the entire new album The Slip free at the NIN website. This is one further slap in the face to the RIAA, and a move that will no doubt shake up the archaic music industry even further.</p> <p>If you're a lover of great rock music (NIN is classified as industrial rock I believe), you can't miss out on this one. <a href="http://dl.nin.com/theslip/signup">Click here to sign up</a> , the download link will be sent to your email.</p> <p><img width="500" height="500" title="Slip" alt="Slip" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/splash.jpg" /></p> <p>The album The Slip has the following track listing.</p> <ol> <li>999,999</li> <li>1,000,000</li> <li>letting you</li> <li>discipline</li> <li>echoplex</li> <li>head down</li> <li>lights in the sky</li> <li>corona radiata</li> <li>the four of us are dying</li> <li>demon seed</li> </ol> <p>Run time is 43:45. This is from the website:</p> <blockquote><p><em>as a thank you to our fans for your continued support, we are giving away the new nine inch nails album <strong>one hundred percent free</strong>, exclusively via nin.com.</em></p> <p><em>the music is available in a variety of formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or M4A lossless at CD quality and even higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE. your link will include all options - <strong>all free</strong>. all downloads include a PDF with artwork and credits.</em></p> <p><em>for those of you interested in physical products, fear not. we plan to make a version of this release available on CD and vinyl in july. details coming soon.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Now, unlike NIN's Ghosts I-IV, fans have NO option available to pay for The Slip, not even $5. There are no retail partners either. Trent is actively encouring fans not only to download the songs for free, but to recreate and remix the songs as they please.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote></blockquote> <p>I'm no fan of illegal downloading, so this is great for me. But it also represents a step towards a new way for artists to share music with fans, whilst making the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) rethink their entire structure. Sure, they have been hit hard by file sharing, but I am reminded of a recent story that surfaced in which the RIAA basically went into the realm of, dare I say it, crazy?</p> <p>Take a look at the following <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1KfJHFWlhQ">video</a> , some of you may have seen it before...</p> <p><object width="425" height="355" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/N1KfJHFWlhQ&amp;hl=en" name="movie" /> <param value="high" name="quality" /> <param value="false" name="menu" /> <param value="" name="wmode" /><embed width="425" height="355" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" menu="false" quality="high" wmode="" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/N1KfJHFWlhQ&amp;hl=en"></embed></object></p> <p>See anything wrong with that? Well, the RIAA did and sued, yes sued, the mother of 18 month old Holden Letz for copyright violation of the Prince song. This is not a joke, you can read about it <a href="http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9749386-7.html">here</a> . What seems to be happening is that the RIAA can't stop the way people are now listening and sharing music, so they're doing what they can to recoup their losses...even if that means filing ridiculous lawsuits.</p> <p>Change is coming. Either the RIAA accepts it and finds a way to go with it, or they face extinction. I leave you with a quote from a much overlooked film, Other People's Money starring Danny DeVito. This rings true in so many ways.</p> <blockquote><p><em>&quot;You know, at one time there must've been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I'll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw. Now how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company? You invested in a business and this business is dead. Lets have the intelligence, lets have the DECENCY to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future.&quot;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trent-reznor-giving-away-new-nine-inch-nails-album">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/legendary-rock-band-radiohead-charges-whatever-you-want-for-latest-album">Legendary rock band Radiohead charges &quot;whatever you want&quot; for latest album</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/feeling-patriotic-grab-a-free-national-guard-t-shirt">Feeling patriotic? Grab a free National Guard t-shirt.</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/give-a-dog-six-bones-free">Give a dog SIX bones...FREE!</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/stapler-stapler-free-20-swingline-stapler">&quot;Stapler. Stapler.&quot; - FREE $20 Swingline Stapler</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/cut-computer-waste-in-half">Cut Computer Waste in Half</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Freebies download free MP3 music NIN Nine Inch Nails Mon, 05 May 2008 17:07:00 +0000 Paul Michael 2069 at http://www.wisebread.com Legendary rock band Radiohead charges "whatever you want" for latest album http://www.wisebread.com/legendary-rock-band-radiohead-charges-whatever-you-want-for-latest-album <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/legendary-rock-band-radiohead-charges-whatever-you-want-for-latest-album" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/radiohead.jpg" alt="Thom Yorke" title="Thom Yorke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's making huges waves through the music industry, which is hardly surprising. Organizations like the RIAA have been trying, and failing I think, to crack down on illegal music downloads. And in response to this, Radiohead have decided to charge &quot;whatever you think the album is worth&quot; to download it in full (plus a small negligable transaction fee).</p> <p>The new album, In Rainbows, is released on October 10th and promises to be the greatest Radiohead album since OK Computer (which by many critics' standards is one of the best albums ever recorded, and I agree.) If you go to the website <a href="http://www.inrainbows.com/Store/Quickindex.html">here</a> you can pre-order the download.</p> <p>But more important than the album itself is the stand Radiohead is taking on the price. The band separated from their music company EMI in 2003 and have argued that there's no reason a music group can't promote and distribute an album without the backing of a major label. I for one hope they're right and strike a blow for handcuffed musicians everywhere. In fact, this could mark an exodus of bands leaving record labels if Radiohead is successful.</p> <p>As you can read for yourself in <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/02/AR2007100201029_pf.html">this article by The Washington Post</a> , the recording industry is doing whatever it can to hand on to profits by persecuting illegal music sharing. I think $30,000 per illegal song is overkill in the extreme, but this reaction is one to the massive mountain the recording industry has to climb. When it comes down to it, why pay for an entire album for anywhere from $10 - $20 when you can cherry-pick songs for $1 at iTunes or grab them free from places like Bit Torrent?</p> <p>The price fixing conspiracy that the recording industry was involved in during the late 90's has already tainted their reputation with music-lovers everywhere. And when recording artists were pushing albums crammed with &quot;filler material&quot; for extortionate prices, it was inevitable that the worm would turn. And turn it has, completely, to the point where the music industry is on its knees.</p> <p>This move by Radiohead is one of extreme confidence in their own music and in the good will of fans. No doubt many people out there will pay less than the price they'd pay for a full album download at iTunes, but I suspect the majority will pay way more than $1. And the reason...respect. I know I will be downloading the album for $10 because it will be worth every penny.</p> <p>So, mark the date. October 10th is a day for great music and the beginning of great changes in the way we buy music, hopefully.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/legendary-rock-band-radiohead-charges-whatever-you-want-for-latest-album">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/trent-reznor-giving-away-new-nine-inch-nails-album">Trent Reznor giving away new Nine Inch Nails album</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/the-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</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/how-to-host-a-new-years-eve-party-on-a-budget">How To Host A New Year&#039;s Eve Party On A Budget</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-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i">The Costa Rica Heist (Remix) A case for T.I.</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/diy-entertainment-a-recipe-for-the-recession">DIY Entertainment--A Recipe for the Recession</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Art and Leisure download illegal songs MP3 music Radiohead revolution Wed, 03 Oct 2007 21:01:46 +0000 Paul Michael 1248 at http://www.wisebread.com Will Internet Radio die on July 15th? http://www.wisebread.com/will-internet-radio-die-on-july-15th <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/415466483_a1c6c82e8c.jpg" alt="mouth shut" title="mouth shut" width="283" height="188" /></p> <p>If you love the freedom and variety of Internet Radio, today is not going to be a good day for you. Today is Internet Radio Day Of Silence. Webcasters everywhere have gone silent, not as a way to annoy loyal listeners, but as a way to encourage us all to act on a bill that could silence web radio forever.</p> <p>July 15th is a day looming on the horizon for Internet Radio. Royalty rates will increase three-fold that day due to the single-minded lobbying of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). What&#39;s more, the fees are retroactive to January 1st, and such fees will cripple many online stations. My favorite, Pandora, posted a letter about this whole incident <a href="http://pandora.com/">here</a> , and thus my Macintosh is sadly silent today.</p> <p>Web radio is a wonderful musical resource. With so many genres to choose from, it gives consumers variety and freedom. It&#39;s also great for up-and-coming bands, who often can&#39;t break through the red tape of traditional commercial radio stations. I, for one, would sorely miss Internet Radio if it were to wither and die. And without your help, it may just do that.</p> <p><strong>What can you do?</strong></p> <p>First, visit <a href="http://www.savenetradio.org/">savenetradio.org</a> and read all about the campaign. Once your blood is good and boiling, find the names and numbers of your <a href="http://www3.capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/issues/alert/?alertid=9738601">local Senators and Representatives</a> and tell them to become co-sponsors of the <strong>Internet Radio Equality Act. </strong> </p> <p>As I often say, power to the people. Let&#39;s get Internet Radio a fair deal folks, and tell as many people as you can about this. I certainly don&#39;t want to be writing its obituary in a month&#39;s time. Thanks. </p> <p><em>Powerful NEW photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/wiseacre/">Wiseacre</a> . Thank you (I changed the old photo due to a few lovely comments.  I do hope you got the point of the article and did your piece to help though). </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-internet-radio-die-on-july-15th">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/the-most-important-free-piece-of-paper-youll-ever-receive">The most important FREE piece of paper you&#039;ll ever receive.</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/how-a-700-billion-bailout-became-a-800-billion-rescue-plan">How a $700 billion bailout became a $800 billion &quot;rescue plan&quot;</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/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0">What Is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You?</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/legendary-rock-band-radiohead-charges-whatever-you-want-for-latest-album">Legendary rock band Radiohead charges &quot;whatever you want&quot; for latest album</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/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Congress Internet radio music pandora.com royalty fees. savenetradio.org senators Tue, 26 Jun 2007 16:34:45 +0000 Paul Michael 777 at http://www.wisebread.com