Send to Kindle

I normally share dirt-cheap and free digital music here on Mondays, but since there seems to be a great deal of confusion around Amazon Music lately I’ve decided to dedicate today’s post to that topic. Amazon actually has five different types or levels of digital music services.

Note that details reported here are accurate as of this writing, on 1/8/17, but are subject to change at any time at Amazon’s discretion.

 

Taste In Music

 

1. What is Amazon Music?
Amazon Music is the Amazon Digital Music department on the Amazon site. It includes Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and all the other digital music that isn’t part of either of those programs. When you go to Amazon > Digital Music through the department menu or select Digital Music when using the main Amazon site search bar, you’re accessing Amazon Music.

 

2. What is Amazon Music Library?
Amazon Music Library is the online space where Amazon stores its customers’ digital music. Every Amazon customer gets their own Amazon Music Library for free, and can add music to it through Amazon Music purchases, adding Prime or Amazon Unlimited music, or uploading their own, previously-owned digital audio tracks. All Amazon customers are allowed to upload up to 250 tracks at no charge, and additions that come from Amazon sources are free to add as well. Users can play and organize their music, create custom playlists, edit the details for tracks and artists, and purchase or download music from within Amazon Music Library: it works much the same as iTunes.

You can access your Amazon Music Library via the free Amazon Music mobile app (also available in the iTunes store for Apple devices), the free Amazon Music desktop app, the Web Player on the Amazon site itself (Amazon > Account & Lists > Your Music Library), or any of the Amazon devices that can play music (Fire tablets, Kindle readers, Fire TV, Fire Phone, Alexa-enabled devices). This broad accessibility makes Amazon Music Library a very attractive option for maintaining a single, centralized digital music library.

If you already have a large library of digital music you didn’t get from Amazon sources, and need to upload more than the 250 audio tracks you can add for free, then you need Amazon Music Storage (previously known as Amazon Music Library Premium)—see list item #5 below.

 

Unorthodox Jukebox

 

3. What is Amazon Prime Music?
Amazon Prime Music is a rotating selection, or sub-set, of the albums and tracks from Amazon Music that Amazon Prime members can access at no additional charge. Prime Music albums and tracks are designated with the Prime logo on their Amazon product pages, as shown on the Bruno Mars album above.

Prime members can stream Prime Music tracks and albums while browsing the Amazon site by clicking the Listen Now button on product pages, or they can add Prime Music to their Amazon Music Library to make it available for streaming through the Amazon Music App. Once Prime Music has been added to your Amazon Music Library, you can include those albums, tracks and artists in your custom playlists.

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: Remember that I opened by saying Prime Music is a rotating selection of music. Just as with any music streaming service, its content is subject to change at any time. Amazon has contracts with music providers and those contracts dictate which music is included in Prime Music and for how long. If you want to be sure a favorite album or song won’t become inaccessible because it’s dropped out of Prime Music, it’s safer to buy the music.

 

4. What is Amazon Music Unlimited?
Amazon Music Unlimited (AMU) is a relatively new offering Amazon launched as a competitor to popular streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. Like those services, AMU offers music streaming on demand by artist, album name or genre, plus a large selection of pre-curated playlists organized by artist, occasion, mood and more.

Full disclosure: I am not an AMU subscriber so the information I’m providing here comes from Amazon’s own help topics, product pages and customer discussion threads.

AMU’s music library is rotating, like Prime Music, but the available catalog is much larger than what you get with Prime music. We’re talking tens of millions of tracks under AMU versus just over 2 million tracks under Prime Music. There’s some overlap though, meaning that some Prime Music tracks and albums are also included in AMU. In general, AMU will tend to have more of the newest music and artists than Prime Music does. For example, Bruno Mars’ newest album is included in AMU, but not Prime Music.

As of this writing AMU starts with a 30-day free trial, and after that it costs $9.99 per month for non-Prime members, $7.99/mo or $79/year for Prime members. The lower price for Prime members is probably in recognition that Prime membership already costs them $99/year (as of this writing) and includes access to Prime Music.

There’s one more option, for owners of an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap device: $3.99/mo to provide AMU to one of those devices (as of this writing). That italicized detail is important: when you sign up for this option you must specify ONE of your Alexa devices and the AMU subscription is only accessible through that ONE device.

 

amazonmusicsettings

 

5. What is Amazon Music Storage?
Amazon Music Storage (AMS) is a sort of Amazon Music Library upgrade that allows you to upload and store up to 250,000 audio tracks in your Library in addition to the 250 tracks’ worth of storage you get for free as an Amazon customer. Once those tracks are in your Library, they’re accessible and can be used in all the same ways as any other tracks in your Library.

Since I came to Amazon Music Library with over 5,000 tracks, AMS was a necessity for me. The convenience is great, but yet another reason I’m happy to pay that $25/year (as of this writing) is that AMS provides a reliable offsite backup of my entire music library. I used to have to spend hours at a time regularly backing up my music, and I had to buy the storage media. No more!

AMS isn’t just for music, either. I’ve got podcasts and audiobooks stored in my Library too. You can access the screen shown above to sign up for AMS by clicking on the image, or by navigating to Amazon > Account & Lists > Your Music Subscriptions.

 

6. Prime Music vs. AMU: Which Should You Get?
The answer to this depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Most of my listening is limited to the tracks I uploaded when I first started using Amazon Music Library, plus audio I’ve purchased or gotten free from Amazon since then. I’m a Prime member but not a heavy user of Prime Music. I’ll often listen to Prime Music stand up comedy albums, but once they drop from rotation I’ll buy the ones I like best. For someone like me, AMU doesn’t have much to offer.

If I weren’t already a Prime member and didn’t have a huge amount of music in my Amazon Music Library already, AMU would be much more attractive because I do love music and listen to it often. It would also be worth considering if I were the type who likes to stay up to date on the latest musical artists and trends and doesn’t mind a rotating selection. To me, a paid music streaming service is sort of like the modern, digital version of music on the radio—only without the ads. You can “tune” to the “channels” you like, but with the added benefits of being able to skip tracks you’re not enjoying and select artists, albums and tracks on demand (assuming the artists, albums and tracks you want are currently included in the AMU catalog).

 

7. What If You Have More Questions About Amazon Music Services, Plans and Options?
Click here for Amazon’s help pages about Amazon Music. There are topics specific to Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon Music apps, and pretty much everything else to do with Amazon Music services, plans and options.

 

FTC disclosure for personally recommended products and services: I will get a small commission from Amazon if site visitors click through on the links in this post to purchase the featured items. However, the price to the buyer is exactly the same as if they’d gone directly to the Amazon site, Amazon covers the cost of the commissions. Also, I’d be recommending these products whether I received a commission or not.

      
Send to Kindle

Welcome to DMM’s 1/6/17 Freebie Friday! Today I’m sharing a cross-post of the 1/6/17 Freebie Friday post from my Love My Echo site, because it’s not every day you can get FIVE Audible audiobooks for free! From Love My Echo:


I’ve got a pretty astonishing haul today: FIVE free Audible titles for either US or UK readers!

 

Audiobook for Mordor

 

Today’s first freebie is We Like You so Much and Want to Know You Better by Dave Eggers (UK readers click here).

 

A million people, a billion, wanted to be where Mae was at this moment, entering this atrium, 30 feet high and shot through with California light, on her first day working for the only company that really mattered at all.

A story from The New York Times Magazine, adapted from The Circle, a new novel by Dave Eggers. Runtime: 47 minutes.

 

Next is Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings: A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story by Jodi Taylor (UK readers click here).

 

It’s Christmas again at St Mary’s and time for Max’s obligatory illegal jump. On this occasion, however, they’re right up against it.

A loaded gun has been left behind in Ancient Egypt, and it’s up to them to retrieve it before anyone accidentally blows their own head off, thus affecting the timeline for centuries to come.

And as if that’s not enough, someone (Max) has inadvertently poisoned Mr Markham. It’s hot, they’re running out of supplies, they can’t find the gun and it’s all going horribly wrong. Again. Runtime: 1 hour and 25 minutes.

 

Third is Roar by Nicole Trope (UK readers click here).

 

A short story for fans of Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve. Step into the fragile domestic world of Roar and discover the unforgettable voice of Nicole Trope, best-selling author of The Secrets in Silence, Three Hours Late and The Boy Under the Table.

The baby sleeps peacefully, filled with milk and contentment. The man on the bed breathes his way into the darkness, filled with rage. Was there ever really a choice? Runtime: 31 minutes.

 

Fourth, it’s A Breach of Security by Susan Hill (UK readers click here).

 

When a bunch of neo-fascist thugs named The Bulldogs attack a Gay pride march in the sleepy country town of Lafferton, detective Simon Serrailler moves quickly to find the assailants. He’s already got his hands full making security arrangements for a memorial service to honour soldiers returning from Afghanistan. When anonymous threats come in, Serrailler wonders if the Bulldogs are behind these too – and worries that they know the Prince of Wales will be in attendance. As the day approaches, the threats intensify, and Serrailler finds himself racing against the clock to prevent catastrophe.

Susan Hill has won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llew. Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes.

 

Last but certainly not least, it’s Lock and Key: The Gadwall Incident by Ridley Pearson (UK readers click here).

 

The New York Times best-selling author of the Peter and the Starcatcher and Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson, brings us the stirring digital prequel to the Lock and Key series, which reimagines the origins of the rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty.

In The Gadwall Incident, listeners get a glimpse into James’ life a mere 24 hours before the tipping point – before life as he knows it changes irrevocably and his childhood slips into the shadows. Listeners will come to know the dangers that surround the Moriartys before James and Moria are sent off to the hallowed halls of Baskerville Academy, where they first meet the insufferable, inexhaustible Sherlock Holmes. It’s a tale full of intrigue and false starts and daring getaways, one that will leave listeners desperate to know what’s next.

Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes.

 

But Wait, There’s More!
There are some more freebies from Audible, but these are specific to the US or UK.

Amazon’s US customers can also currently get the thriller My Soul to Lose, plus four more time travel fantasy-comedies from Jodi Taylor: When a Child Is Born: A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story , — Roman Holiday: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s , — Christmas Present: A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story , and The Very First Damned Thing: An Author-Read Audio Exclusive.

For those in the UK, there’s the Matthew McConaughey -narrated FREE: Summer Farmer: A Story from White Man’s Problems , and Driver by Taiye Selasi: FREE SHORT STORY: Granta 123 Best of Young British Novelists 4.

 

WHEW! Now THIS is a Freebie Friday worth sharing, so be sure to take advantage of the site’s handy sharing buttons (if you’re viewing this in a browser, they’re at the top of the post). Also note that prices are subject to change at any time and there’s no guarantee these audio books will be free for long, so be sure to grab the ones you want right away!

 

* * *

Logitech offers Alexa integration for its Harmony smart home devices (click here to view Logitech’s own help page about it). You can take advantage of this new functionality with the Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control for Smart Home and Entertainment Devices, works with Alexa (UK visitors – click here). Currently (as of 1/5/16) rated 4/5 stars across over 650 reviews and currently priced at $149.99.

 

Advertisements make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

* * *

 

      

How To Get Rid of iCloud Calendar Spam

Posted January 3, 2017 By Mom
Send to Kindle

I don’t use any Apple stuff but I know lots of my readers do, so here’s something for them.

 

Deleted Spam Is Back

 

Beginning around last November, many iCloud users started getting fake Calendar invites to “events” that are really just ads with embedded links, like an invite to “Versace Bags Sale – 50% Off!”. Unfortunately, turning down the invite doesn’t necessarily solve the problem because it alerts the spammers they’ve hit an active account and motivates them to spam you all the harder.

Apple is aware of the problem and has rolled out a fix for iCloud.com, but fixes for iOS and macOS are still in the works. iMore provides instructions for reporting the spammy invites in iCloud:


If you receive a Calendar invite from someone that is not in your contacts, Apple makes it possible for you to report it as junk, which will remove it from your calendar view without you having to respond to it directly.

1. Navigate to iCloud.com on your computer.

2. Log in with your Apple ID and password.

3. Click on Calendar.

4. Double-click the offending event invitation.

5. Select [the new] Report Junk [link] under the sender name.


Click here to view the full article on iMore, which also includes instructions for how to have invites sent directly to your email instead of Calendar, so you can report them as spam or delete them from your inbox.

 

* * *

The Echo Dot is back in stock, and it was one of Amazon’s hottest sellers throughout the holiday season of 2016. Currently (as of 1/3/17) rated 4.5/5 stars across over 10,600 reviews and priced at $49.99.

Advertisements make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

* * *

 

      
Send to Kindle

Welcome To Digital Media Mom’s 1/2/17 Music Monday!
Ring in the new year with these two 100-track box sets of classical music that trace the history of piano and classical strings, respectively.

 

First is The History of Piano (100 Famous Songs) (UK visitors click here). Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven and more. Click here to view a full track listing on Amazon’s US site (album content is the same on UK version).

 

Next is The History of Strings (100 Famous Songs) (UK visitors click here). All the greats: Brandenburg Concerto, Four Seasons, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and more.

 

* * *

Need a high-capacity memory card for that new phone, tablet, digital camera or gaming console? The Samsung 128GB 80MB/s EVO Select Micro SDXC Memory Card is a great pick, since it’s the latest model from Samsung: a trusted name in electronics. A standard SD card adapter is included, to ensure compatibility across devices. Currently (as of 1/2/17) rated 4.5/5 stars across over 1,700 reviews, and priced at $39.99.

Advertisements make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

* * *

 

      

12/30/16 Freebie Friday: Classic Card Game Apps

Posted December 29, 2016 By Mom
Send to Kindle

Digital Media Mom’s 12/30/16 Freebie Friday!
This week I’m featuring free mobile app versions of classic card games like Spades, Gin Rummy, and even Euchre and Pinochle!

Remember that free apps may include in-app purchase (IAP) options or be ad-supported, but given that these apps have been given very high ratings by MANY consumers, where IAP links or ads are present they must be pretty unobtrusive. Descriptions below are from the apps’ product pages.

 

Cribbage Pro – Play the powerful computer opponent or go online with other players world wide!

Euchre – Single-player and online multiplayer, optional Joker (Benny), optional Canadian Loner Rule, optional Going Under, optional Sticking The Dealer, statistics, more!

Blackjack! – Real Blackjack tests your luck and your skill as you play against the house for imaginary winnings.

Hearts – Professional computer players and online multiplayer in a great Hearts card game!

Gin Rummy Free – Gin Rummy is a hugely popular card game for 2 players, where the aim is to form sets and runs of cards before your opponent. It’s simple and quick to play, and if you are new to the game then Gin Rummy Free provides everything you need to learn it!

Spades Free – Classy graphics, super smooth gameplay, highly scalable difficulty & much more. Spades has never been so good!

UNO & Friends – UNO™, the world’s most beloved card game, introduces a new free social experience!

Fairway Solitaire Blast – It’s solitaire as you love it, but with a twist that has made it one of the most celebrated franchises ever: it’s solitaire with power ups, with friends, with golf!

World Series of Poker – WSOP Texas Holdem – THE ONLY AUTHENTIC POKER BRAND raises the stakes with the BEST FREE POKER experience on Android devices, hands-down!

Pinochle – Single-player and online multiplayer, double and single-deck games, really challenging AI, options for bidding, passing cards, scoring and some regional variations, statistics & more!

 

* * *

The NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender, Essentials Edition boosts your existing WiFi network to make it stronger and extend further. Right now, this very handy item can be had for just $29.99. It’s currently rated 4/5 stars across over 15,000 reviews, and is eligible for free Prime shipping. Whether for yourself or to give as a gift, this is a great value!

Advertisements make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

 

* * *

Fire Tablet Tip of the Week: Where To Find Kindle First Books Each Month

* * *