Music Monday for 6/13/16

Posted June 12, 2016 By Mom
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Welcome To Music Monday!
Here’s where I share a few highly-rated, quality albums and box sets priced at $3 or less—mostly less—each week.

Today I’ve got three 99-cent Big Box collections from Bach Guild. Prices current as of this writing, on 6/12/16.

 

Big Summer Box (4.5/5 stars)
Big Summer Box

 

69 tracks: over four hours of assorted classical and chamber music pieces that capture the adventurous and cheerful spirit of summer.

 

Big Great Symphonies Box, Vol I (4.5/5 stars)
Big Great Symphonies Box, Vol I

 

Over ten hours of music from such greats as Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Berlioz and more.

 

Big Violin Box (4.5/5 stars)
Big Violin Box

 

This one includes 119 tracks, over 10 hours of gorgeous violin music from such composers as Tchaikovsky, Leclair, Brahms, Beethoven, Franck, Mozart and Bach.

 

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The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II (Carbon) has an average rating of 4.5/5 stars across over 1,770 reviews and normally sells for $199, but right now (as of 6/12/16) it’s sale priced at $179. I’ve never owned one of these, but my previous upstairs neighbor did and I can assure you: it’s capable of pumping out wall-shaking volume and bass.

 

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

 

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Fire Tablet Post of the Week: Kids on Fire: Neil Gaiman Reads His Stories For Kids

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FreeApp Friday for 6/10/16

Posted June 9, 2016 By Mom
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Free App Friday!
Here are ten of the top 100 most downloaded AND highest-rated apps (4/5 stars or better) from Amazon’s Android App Store as of this writing.

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.

 

 

Disney Crossy Road – From Hipster Whale, the makers of the original Crossy Road™ with over 120,000,000 downloads, and Disney comes Disney Crossy Road—an all-new take on the 8-bit endless adventure to cross the road without splatting!

Color Switch – Tap the ball carefully through each obstacle and your ball will switch color with some powerups. You must follow the color pattern on each obstacle to cross it!

Cut The Rope Experiments FREE – An addictively fun, award-winning, physics-based puzzle solving game!

Don’t Tap The White Tile – DON’T TOUCH ANY WHITE TILES! This is the core rule of this addictive game. Sounds easy? Give it a try, and see how well you stack up against your friends.

 

 

Dumb Ways To Die – Enjoy 18 hilarious mini-games as you attempt to collect all the charmingly dumb characters for your train station, achieve high scores and unlock the famous music video that started it all.

Paplinko – In PAPLINKO the goal is to bounce balls into cups, collecting coins and prizes as you do. Watch out for the pegs, though! The balls bounce off multiple pegs, each boing racking up points and changing the ball’s path to the bottom.

Witchy World – Match magical ingredients to solve over 100 levels in this enchanting and addictive puzzle adventure!

 

 

Inside Out Thought Bubbles – Disney Games brings you this one-of-a-kind bubble-shooter based on the newest Disney•Pixar film, Inside Out!

Word Search Games Free – This free game features classic word search puzzles, HD graphics, and an easy to use interface.

Mystery Manor – Only you can break the secret of the Mystery Manor. Dive into the mystery and challenge yourself with hidden objects action!

 

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The Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Electric Foil Shaver with Clean and Charge Station would make a great gift for Dads or grads, with an average rating of 4.5/5 stars across over 4,800 reviews. Currently (as of 6/9/16) sale priced at 45% off: $159.97 instead of the usual price of $289.99.

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

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Fire Tip of the Week: 2015 Fire Tablets: Books and Word Runner

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6 Reasons Not To Upgrade To 4K UHD

Posted June 8, 2016 By Mom
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At the most recent Consumer Electronics Show, 4K and Ultra High Definition (UHD) video content and screens were the talk of the show. Consumers are now being told that 4K / UHD is the Next Big Thing, but they aren’t being given the whole story. Here are 6 very good reasons not to make the switch—at least, not yet.

 

4K UHD Meme

 

1. Your existing, non-4K content will look terrible on the new screen.
Consumers have been down this road before, but this time it’s different because while a UHD screen can display non-4K, non-UHD content, the lower-resolution content looks awful on a 4K / UHD screen. It’s like watching a VHS video on an HDTV: I hope you like your picture grainy and somewhat pixelated.

Also important to remember: even if you intend to replace all the SD and HD videos you already own (see next bullet point), you’ll have no control over all the SD and merely HD content being piped to your TV via broadcast and premium channels.

 

2. The cost of the new TV is only the beginning: 4K / UHD will cost you for years to come.
Replacing your video content is the first, and most obvious cost associated with making this switch, and it won’t be cheap. A listing for the movie This Is The End in digital 4K briefly appeared on Amazon this week, at a price of $29.99. That’s THREE TIMES as much as the same movie currently costs in HD. How much you wanna bet the really premium titles, like Disney/Pixar and brand-new releases, will be priced even higher?

Yet another issue will be availability: there are still some movies I’ve owned in VHS or on DVD that were never made available in digital video format. It’s not safe to assume it’ll even be possible to replace your entire video library.

But the cost of the content is not the end of this expensive story. You will also have to upgrade your router and home entertainment service network—when those upgrades become available, see next bullet point—and that means paying more for those things going forward, forever.

 

3. Your internet and digital entertainment service providers can’t handle it yet.
Netflix already offers some of its content in 4K / UHD, but it makes no difference if the data stream is being throttled—as Netflix has admitted it does with plain old HD and SD content already.

The amount of data contained in a 4K video is four times as much as what you’re currently getting with HD. I had to upgrade my internet service speed and router last year just to be able to stream HD video to two locations on my network at once without signal drop-outs, visible pixelation or buffering delays on either video. Since 4K requires four times as much bandwidth, the only way I’d be able to watch 4K videos on my network at all would be to download them first: and that download would be HUGE! It would bring the speed of my network and internet connection to a crawl for a couple of hours.

And I have the fastest network connection currently available from my provider.

 

4. You’ll need a UHD TV that’s 55″ or bigger to appreciate the difference in resolution, if you intend to sit any further than three feet from the set.
Yup, the distance between you and the image definitely makes a difference in picture quality and even perceptible screen resolution.

This chart from A/V tech expert Carlton Bale shows you all you need to know by plotting distance from the screen against video resolution.

Most consumers position the couch or viewing chairs somewhere between 6-9 feet from the TV. In order for you to see a noticeable difference in the 4K / UHD picture at that viewing distance, you would need a screen that’s 90 – 145″ across (measuring on the diagonal).

 

5. Entertainment industry tech experts are not on board.
If nothing I’ve said so far has convinced you to wait a while longer before taking the 4K / UHD plunge, maybe the advice of William Scanlon, “a film/broadcast producer with 25 years experience covering most aspects of the broadcast game” will. From Scanlon’s Techradar post:

At the recent IBC industry gathering I attended in Amsterdam, industry professionals were wowed by standard HD content displayed on a professional HDR monitor. And markedly less wowed by the mass of 4K standard dynamic range content on offer.

Click here to read the entire post, which goes into great detail about all the many practical and technological reasons why, in Scanlon’s opinion, 4K / UHD is not yet ready for prime time.

 

6. 8K is already here!

 

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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—a 25% discount off the regular price of $39.99. It’s currently rated 4/5 stars across over 9,700 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.

 

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Tech Tip of the Week: Simple Utility To Keep Microsoft From Sneaking Windows 10 Onto Your Machine

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Welcome To Music Monday!
Today the focus is on relaxation, meditation and sleep with albums priced at $3 or less, and I’ve got three to share.

First, it’s the wonderfully relaxing Green Hill – One Hour Of Spa Music: An Exclusive Amazon Sampler (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $2.99).

 

Green Hill Spa Music

 

This album has a full hour soothing ambient, piano, harp and other New Age instrumental music punctuated with bells and nature sounds.

 

Today’s second album is Sleep: Ambient Music Therapy – Natural Music for Deep Sleep, Meditation, Spa, Healing, Relaxation (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at 99 cents).

 

Sleep: Ambient Music Therapy

 

This album consists of a single, hour-long track consisting of piano and ambient music specifically created to help the listener fall asleep.

 

Today’s final pick is The Sound of Summer Rain (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at 89 cents).

 

The Sound of Summer Rain

 

Here again it’s a single track, with a runtime of just over one hour, thirteen minutes. As the title says, this one’s filled with the sounds of summer rain, including distant thunder and rainfall of varying intensity.

 

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The TCL 32S3800 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV is rated 4.5/5 stars across over 3,200 reviews and normally sells for 289.99, but as of this writing (6/5/16) it’s available for 41% off: $169.99. Great for cord-cutters or anyone else who wants to step up to a smart TV.

Roku Smart LED TV

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

 

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Fire Tablet Tip of the Week: The Real-Life Friendship of Houdini & Doyle

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6/3/16 FreeApp Friday

Posted June 2, 2016 By Mom
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Free App Friday!
Here are ten of the top 100 most downloaded AND highest-rated apps (4/5 stars or better) from Amazon’s Android App Store as of this writing.

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.

 

 

Ancient Egypt: Age of Pyramids – Build your own town in Egypt: make it unique by adding colorful habitats for your creatures and Gods.

Brain Yoga – Ten puzzle games train your memory, vocabulary, numeracy, spatial ability and pattern matching.

Word to Word – Challenge yourself with this fun and addictive free word association game.

Crossy Road – Crossy Road™ is the endless arcade hopper you’ll never want to put down.

 

 

Miracle Match 3 – Delve into the world of magic and miracles together with your favorite fayritale heroes and help them solve mind-sharpening puzzles!

Call of Duty®: Heroes – Command an army of legendary heroes, elite soldiers, and devastating drones straight from the Call of Duty franchise in this 3D combat strategy game.

Fibbage: The Hilarious Bluffing Party Game – It’s Fibbage – the lying, bluffing, fib-till-you-win multiplayer trivia party game from the makers of YOU DON’T KNOW JACK!

 

 

PAC-MAN 256 – Endless Arcade Maze – PAC-MAN perfectly reinvented for your mobile phone or tablet.

Deer Hunter 2016 – Return to the wild and hunt across the globe in the world’s greatest hunting experience.

Word Search Games Free – This free game features classic word search puzzles, HD graphics, and an easy to use interface.

 

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The Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Electric Foil Shaver with Clean and Charge Station would make a great gift for Dads or grads. Currently (as of 6/2/16) rated 4.5/5 stars across over 4,700 reviews, and currently sale-priced at 45% off: $159.97 (regularly priced at $289.99).

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

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Fire Tablet Tip of the Week: Amazon Video Spotlight: Shows For Armchair Scientists

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