Sunday, November 24, 2013

3 Desktop Applications for Google Play Music

If you have significant music collection of your favorite tracks and you prefer having access to them whenever you want and wherever you go, free service from Google might be a good choice to use. Starting from 2011, Google offers you to upload for free up to 20,000 songs and access them from any device equipped with appropriate application or through the Web browser, given you have stable internet access. You may add your collection from iTunes, Windows Media Player, or any folders on your dedicated hard drive. Then, you may listen on the web or your mobile devices without the hassle of wires or syncing.

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While there is no need for the special application to use the service, there is always easy to have special applications for such access.

The web interface can be reached:

In this post, we will present several desktop applications for Windows to improve your listening experience.

1. Music Manager

Music manager is an official Google application, allowing uploading music from your computer to Google Play and listening to the music you love anywhere you have Internet access.

Main features:

* Upload up to 20,000 songs from your iTunes library, Windows Media Player library, My Music folder, or folders of your choice to Google Play.
* Selective upload is available. You may upload only the tracks you want - choose individual songs or upload songs automatically.
* Adjust the bandwidth available for uploading songs.
* View your upload progress.
* Download any songs that you previously uploaded to your music library, as well as songs you purchased from Google Play.

2. Google Music Desktop Player by Victor Gill

This is a desktop application for Google Music online music service allowing you to use this service as a desktop application mainly for accessing/controlling it with multimedia keyboard, taskbar buttons and as a widget.

Main features:

* A notification splashform.
* LastFM Scrobbling
* Free RAM after song end
* Uses Webkit Engine
* Supports Multimedia Keys [PlayPause, Stop, Previous and Next]
* Windows 7 Taskbar support [Buttons for: Play/Pause Previous and Next]
* MiniPlayer
* Metro UI Like with Aero Snap support
*Multi-monitor support
*Windows 7 and 8 compatible

3. GMusic

GMusic is a desktop client for Google Music that supports minimize to tray with a draggable playback control bar and support for multimedia keys.

Main Features:

* Miniplayer - to enable, right click the system tray icon, choose "Settings -> Show Miniplayer When Hidden." When the player is minimized, this will show the always-on-top semi-transparent control bar pictured below. You can move the bar by dragging the right hand side. We will add a visual cure to make this more obvious in the near future.
*  Multimedia Keys - Play/Pause, Next Track and Previous Track keyboard keys can be used to control playback. If you have troubles be sure there are no other media players running and check to ensure your keyboard drivers are properly installed and configured. You can find more information on configuration from your keyboard manufacturers’ website.
* Optional Browser Key Control - If your keyboard has browser navigation keys (like Forward, Back, Home, etc.) but does not have media control keys you can enable this option by right clicking on the system tray icon and choosing "Settings -> Capture Browser Keys." Doing so will cause the browser keys to control playback in lieu of multimedia keys. One drawback is that some browsers will aggressively intercept these keys when they have focus so you may not be able to control playback while actively browsing the web, but it should work fine while you are using other applications.
* Command Line Support

Monday, November 11, 2013

5 Freeware Pandora Desktop Clients for Windows

Since Pandora started back in 2000, they have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together a team of fifty musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes! Pandora continues this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart's content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you. 

While some people enjoy Pandora exclusively on the mobile phones and players, other use it as creative background for their daily computer activities on Desktops and Laptops. If that is a case for you, you may look into dedicated applications for your computer versus listening through Web interface or even through browser plugins.

In this post, I will present several freeware utilities which will make easier, enhance your experience, and offer more satisfaction from Pandora use.

1. Elpis

Elpis is a free and open source Pandora client for Microsoft Windows. It was created to provide a simple, lightweight and seamless way to enjoy music through Pandora while freeing you from the confines of a web browser and integrating into the desktop.

Main Features:
* Simple desktop application supporting both subscription and free accounts.
* Ability to View, Sort and Select Stations
* Play, Pause, Skip Song
* Cover and Artist Art
* Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, Tired of Song
* Save user credentials and automatic login
* Automatically play last station at launch
* System tray notification with song info
* Automatically reconnects on session timeout (no more “Are you still listening…”)
* Creating stations
* Edit QuickMix
* Create Station from playing Song/Artist
* Add new artist, song, or composer seed to current stations

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If you do not like Elpis for reason, here you have a choice from several other freeware Windows utilities for Pandora Desktop:

2. Pandora Box
Pandora Box is a desktop client for Pandora that lets users access the streaming music service without opening a web browser. 

3. Open Pandora
Open Pandora is one of the oldest and most feature-packed desktop Pandora clients, letting you do pretty much everything you can do at including listening to multiple stations, using the QuickMix feature, and giving songs a thumbs up or down. Utility also has a few useful extra features, like a mini-player mode that just displays the player/pause, volume, and next track buttons.

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4. Pandora Browse
PandoraBrowse is a mini browser for the music service with limited number of features.

5. Pandora Desktop Client
Simple and lightweight Java desktop client for Pandora.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

5 virtual hiding places for teenagers

You just recently got sense of what it is being on Facebook, and your teenager kids already consider it outdated, slow, clattered, and inconvenient. That is true. Twitter has overtaken Facebook as the social media network that is most important to teens, according to Piper Jaffray's semi-annual teen market research report.

Twitter is the new king of teens, with 26% naming it as their "most important" social site. Only 23% said Facebook was most important, down from a high of 42%.

But Twitter should not become complacent, the report suggests. That's because Instagram has rocketed in popularity with teens. 23% said Facebook-owned Instagram was their No.1 choice, up from 12% a year ago.

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Here some basic information on the most popular sites for teens. We will not review Face book itself, or Twiiter, since you have probably know about these popular services.


Rumbler is a blogging platform that relies heavily on imagery and short posts. Most of Tumblr’s traffic comes from users who are under the age of 25. Tumblr culture is based on memes that relate to various topics, such as fashion, pop culture and photography. Though in Piper Jaffray’s survey only 4% teenagers consider Tumblr to the most important social network, Tumblr users are much more engaged with the site — reading and posting content about things they care about for hours — than on Facebook. This is a big issue for Facebook that thrives on its user base spending hours of their time on the site, updating their information, sharing content, and seeing advertisements.


Snapchat is a messaging service where users can send photos, videos, texts and creative drawings to a regulated list of people. Photos get destroyed soon after they have been received, giving Snapchat users an illusion of anonymity. The service is designed for savvy teenagers who don’t want to leave an Internet footprint. Released in September 2011, users can send “Snaps” — photos or videos — that last between 1 and 10 seconds, depending on the limit set by the sender. It already has 100 million users and 350 million snaps sent daily, according to a spokeswoman for the app. Twenty-six percent of 18- to 29-year-olds with cellphones use Snapchat, according to Pew Research Center, compared with 5% of 30- to 49-year-olds and 3% of 50- to 64-year-olds. Parents might want to monitor and check in on their kids’ social media activity from time to time, says Kelli Krafsky, co-author of the book “Facebook and Your Marriage,” but “Snapchat is impossible to check.”


Launched in November 2012, this mobile app allows users to create and share videos, photos and voice tracks, plus make live broadcasts and share posts of 420 characters or less. Pheed reached 1 million users six weeks after launching and, last March, announced that it had 3 million users. It’s on track to double that by the end of the year, according to Steve Goldberg, a company spokesman. Pheed has never advertised or bought users, Goldberg says, “everything is organic and by word of mouth.” Around 84% of its users are ages 18 to 25. “When teenagers started using apps, Facebook was already a standard,” he says. “They never went and searched for their social network; it was sort of handed to them as the only option.”


This app has lofty goals: Develop a “social art community,” and bring art to children around the world. Created by developer Artavazd Mehrabyan, the free photo-editing app and drawing tool PicsArt was released in November 2011. Since then, it’s exceeded 77 million downloads on mobile devices. Approximately 20% of users are between 13 and 17 years of age, and over 40% are between 18 and 24, according to a spokeswoman for the company. More teenagers, particularly girls, are moving toward niche sites where they can be more creative, says Jeanne Connon, chief marketing officer of, a marketing firm that analyzes fashion, technology, trends and relationships among young girls.


Vine is like Instagram for videos. Users can create short, beautiful looping videos that can be instantly shared – perfect for the teen demographic that seems more interested in applications that support creating visual content without investing too much time. According to business journals, by simplifying the media publishing process, “Vine is doing to YouTube what Twitter did to Blogger.” Vine has only been around for a few months, but has already risen to #1 in the app store.

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Sources and Additional Information:
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