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Spotify is a great music service that provides a lot of value on its own due to its large song collection and awesome recommendation algorithms, but there are other tools that complement the service to help users discover music and build playlists in the quickest and most efficient way possible.
In this article we’ll take a look at six of the best Spotify web apps that you need to try.1. Rekl.be
On its own, Spotify is able to track the likes of individual users and make music recommendations via auto-generated playlists. chúng tôi extends this functionality to cover a group of people.
All you need to do is sign up to the service, create a room and add your friends. Then you can generate a playlist based on your collective likes, and it will be added to your Spotify account immediately.2. Spot On Track
Spot On Track helps you find out which songs are trending on Spotify through its daily and weekly charts which are updated daily and can be filtered by country.
You can also view specific songs to see how they’ve performed on the charts over time. For each song you will see the number of streams as well as if it is going up or coming down in a particular country or globally.3. Playlist Miner
Playlist Miner helps you generate a playlist on the fly by aggregating the top songs from public playlists on Spotify that match your search criteria. If you’re looking for tracks that match a certain mood or activity, such as “dance” or “workout,” you can type the name, and it will find playlists that match that term and create a new playlist based on the top tracks across all the playlists it found.
It requires that you connect your Spotify account so that the playlist it generates can be added to your account.4. Magic Playlist
Magic Playlist helps you create a new playlist in seconds based on another song. All you need to do is head over to the website and enter the name of the song you want to base your playlist on in the search box. Within seconds, you will be provided with a shiny new playlist of 30 songs, including the one you entered, which you can then save to your Spotify profile.5. Boil the Frog
Boil the Frog is a tool to create playlists that gradually take you from one music style to another. You only need to enter the names of two artists into the provided fields and then hit “Boil the frog” to create the playlist.
When the styles of the two artists are similar, it only takes a few songs to connect them together, but it could take more tracks for dissimilar artists.6. Sort Your Music Wrapping Up
Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.
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To install any of these apps, just go to the App Finder section on the left-side menu:1. TuneWiki
Any karaoke fans in the house? TuneWiki displays the lyrics to the song you’re currently playing and scrolls through them in real-time. If no one has synced the lyrics to that particular song yet, TuneWiki gives you the option to sync them yourself (hence the “wiki” concept).2. MusiXmatch
I don’t see any significant differences between TuneWiki and MusiXmatch except that (A) TuneWiki is more popular, and (B) MusiXmatch seems to have more lyrics available for the assorted music tests I’ve put it through. This varied, though; for example, TuneWiki was more keen on Leonard Cohen’s lyrics than MusiXmatch was. Oh, and MusiXmatch automatically features artist photographs in the background of the lyrics display. Like TuneWiki, MusiXmatch gives you to option to sync lyrics that aren’t already synced, as in the screenshot below.3. Last.fm
Last.fm is a wonderful music service unto itself, dedicated to tracking your music listening habits and suggesting related music. The Spotify app for chúng tôi lets you “scrobble” – the chúng tôi term for recording the tracks you listen to – and access most other features of chúng tôi such as artist information and similar artist recommendations, straight from the Spotify interface. To get the most out of this app, you should make a chúng tôi account.4. Moodagent
The results screen gives you a playlist along with the ability to manipulate the five-factor control curve. This lets you base the generated playlist on Moodagent’s assessment of your base song’s sensuality, tenderness, happiness, angriness, and tempo.
So how did it do? Pretty well, I thought, though it didn’t have data for all of the songs I tried it with. I don’t know exactly how their algorithm works except that it takes into account your starred songs, top tracks, and current playlists as a starting point for gauging your tastes.5. Tastebuds
Tastebuds is a social app for meeting people in your area with similar music tastes. To get started, scan your library:
Next Tastebuds will present you with your matches, which you can filter by age, gender, and location.
After you log in, you can edit your own profile. This is what mine looked like after I logged in through Facebook; as you can see, it guessed on some of the details:
I found the interface a little buggy at times. For instance, I would try to type information into the form fields, but no characters would show up. This may be a bug in my version of Spotify, though, which is the beta for Linux.
Tastebuds presented me with an impressive number of matches in my area, proving that it has an active userbase. If you’re rebounding from an epic breakup or just looking for some new friends in your area, this is a nice alternative to traditional online dating and meetup services.6. Songkick Concerts
Songkick has a simple goal: To show you upcoming concerts by the artists you listen to.
By default, it seems to only show mainstream artists on your front page, but you can log in at the Songkick website to edit your tracked artists if you’d like to switch the focus.
Did we miss your favorite Spotify app? Which ones do you use?
Rebecca “Ruji” Chapnik
Ruji Chapnik is a freelance creator of miscellanea, including but not limited to text and images. She studied art at the University of California, Santa Cruz and writing at Portland State University. She went on to study Linux in her bedroom and also in various other people’s bedrooms, crouched anti-ergonomically before abandoned Windows computers. Ruji currently lives in Portland, Oregon. You can find her experiments at chúng tôi and her comics at dondepresso.rujic.net.
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Smartphones are expensive. Ordinary, “dumb” cell phones are cheap. The trade-off is that basic candy-bar phones are inferior and no fun, and they can’t perform highfalutin tasks such as play Super Monkey Ball. Well, that’s what you thought.
A word of caution: Many of the services described below depend on SMS messaging and consume your cell phone plan’s minutes. You might discover that using any one of these services in excess will drive your monthly wireless bill up.
For other tips and tricks to liven up your mobile phone, see “14 Ways to Supercharge Your Smartphone” and “13 Sites and Services to Supercharge Any Phone.”Receive Shopping Advice
You don’t need a fancy camera phone or smartphone to do comparison shopping on the fly–Frucall will check prices for you via SMS, or a regular phone call, for free. All you need to do is text FRU11 (3811) or call 888/DOFRUCALL (888/363-7822) with a product’s bar-code number or a book’s ISBN, or send the product name and model number (SMS only).
Frucall will then return pricing information for that product at a number of online retailers. Punch in your zip code, and Frucall will factor shipping into the price.
Frucall will work only with supported carriers, including Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.Access 411 Search
Google and Microsoft each offer free business directory assistance services. Google’s is called GOOG-411 (800/466-4411), while Microsoft’s is Bing411 (800/246-4411). Both will connect you to the number you look up, for free. Each represents an attractive alternative to paying the nearly $2 fee that most mobile carriers charge for the service.
For residential phone number lookups, you can try 1-800-Free411 (800/373-3411), which offers both business and white-pages listings. You’ll have to listen to an audio ad as part of the bargain.Reach Your Calendar via SMS
If you use an online calendar service from Google, Windows Live, or Yahoo, you can access some of your calendar tools and information via SMS. All of these services require you to set up access via the Web first.
Google: Users of Google Calendar can perform a variety of calendar tasks by texting GVENT (48368).
Text “next” to see your next scheduled event
Text “day” to see your daily schedule
Text “nday” for tomorrow’s events
You can also set up Google Calendar to send you SMS alerts for new, changed, or canceled event invitations.
Microsoft Windows Live: If you use Windows Live Calendar, you can set up your account to send you calendar reminders via SMS. Windows Live alerts are customizable, too, so you can set quiet hours to make sure you don’t receive any calendar reminders in the middle of the night.Get Social With SMS
“FOLLOW” plus a username to start following someone
“UNFOLLOW” plus a username to unfollow someone
“ON”/”OFF” to start or stop getting your entire Twitter stream delivered via SMS
“ON”/”OFF” plus a username to start or stop receiving all tweets from a specific user
Before using SMS with Twitter, it’s a good idea to sign up for an SMS plan that allows for an unlimited number of messages per month. You’ll also have to go through a relatively lengthy verification process with Twitter to start using its SMS service (usually involving about four to six SMS messages from each side). To get started with Twitter via SMS, visit chúng tôi or text “START” to 40404 (United States only; Twitter users outside the U.S. can check Twitter’s help page to see if the SMS service is offered in a particular country).Set Up Facebook Text Messages
Facebook has some limited services that you can use with almost any phone. Visit your Facebook Account Settings page and select Register for Facebook Text Messages under the Mobile tab. Once you’ve gone through the registration process, you can receive texts for friend requests, messages, wall posts, and your friends’ status updates. You can also update your own status via text message, and search for phone numbers for friends who have added their number to their profile. If your phone supports multimedia messaging (MMS), you can also upload photos and videos.Conduct Mobile Searches With Google
Just because you don’t have a smartphone, that doesn’t mean you can’t search the Web to find what you’re looking for on the go. Text GOOGLE (466453) from within the United States with your search query, and the search giant will text you back with the results.
If you’re looking for the weather forecast in Bloomington, Indiana, for instance, you text “weather: Bloomington, IN” to 466453. To see more examples of typical SMS queries, visit Google’s Mobile SMS page. Google’s SMS search is a handy way to find information in a pinch, but remember that regular message rates apply.
Next: Retrieve Sports Scores on Demand
Here are some essential tips to maximize your animation skills.1. Focus on Visual Feedback
Animation guidelines for UX are typically built around the notion that every component of a site should be as intuitive as possible and guide the user towards the content that interests them in the most sensible and natural way. But as sites become increasingly more complicated, designers have a lot more control over what interactivity looks like. Animation is one of the best options available when you want to make sure that your site responds to the inputs of your users and provides context or their actions.2. Minimize Impatience on the Part of Your Users
The internet has facilitated a world where practically anything you could want is available at the press of a button, but this has also created a higher level of expectation from users. Studies suggest that nearly half of users expect a site to load in under two seconds, and they grow impatient after four. An eight second load time can drive a customer from your site entirely. Unfortunately, you can’t always keep your site loading within the standards your users expect, and the less time they spend growing impatient, the better.
In sites that can’t be optimized to the standards of the customer, loading animations can play a valuable role. These sorts of animations can distract users from the fact that they’re waiting, but they also serve the purpose of expanding your brand identity. A good looking animation that captures your company’s overall culture will help sear your message into the minds of your users. Just be sure to carefully walk the line between engaging and obtrusive. Animations that are too ostentatious can remind the user that they’re waiting, running contrary to their very purpose. Simple, flat, and elegant animations are the general UX standards when implementing loading screens into a site.3. Let Animation Guide the Eye
Smart web design strategy is all about guiding your users to the content that matters to them with as little explicit instruction as possible. The less time you spend on-boarding your users, the more likely they are to stick around. Talented designers put together sites and apps that lead their customers on a guided tour without them knowing that they’re being led, and animations can serve as some of the best visual cues around. Demonstrating the sliding functionality of a menu can help your users know how to navigate through a catalog, and more complex instruction can lead the user through the process of operating an app or site without them having to read anything.4. Rules for Animation Should be Consistent
When you create the UX and UI for a website or app, you’re essentially creating your own ecosystem. And while users might not realize it, the process of navigating an app or site essentially teach them the internal rules by which that interface works. That means that your rules need to be consistent across the entire platform. If you’re using sliding menus to help your users navigate through the environment, then that needs to be the given standard for all or most of your menus, and it needs to respond at the same speed and in the same manner.
An organic sense of space is equally as necessary. If a user swipes a menu to the left side of the screen to make it disappear, it needs to reemerge from that same side when you need it. And overloading your site or app with too many styles of interaction will confuse your user and distract them from how the interface operates.
5. Minimize Disorienting Animations
A consistent sense of space is just as important as consistent animation rules, but designers only have too much space to work with, especially when working with mobile devices. Transition animations are practically a necessity, but you want to make sure that your animations don’t make users feel lost. When making state changes, or transitioning from a higher level to a more detailed view, functional animations can ease the user into the experience in a way that hard cuts can’t. Meanwhile, pop-ups can create a great sense of space when you’re trying to display hierarchical information to the user.6. Focus on Short and Sweet Animations
While animation can create a unique visual flourish to your site or app, it shouldn’t be the star of the show. Each site serves a distinct purpose for its users, and animations that take too long are distracting them from getting to the information they need. UX policy suggests that animations should generally be kept to under a second in length in most instances. In cases where this isn’t possible, consider splitting up the process into multiple animations. This will keep the user engaged without making them feel like their time is being wasted.7. Focus on the Narrative
Apps and sites are about more than just providing users with the content they need. They’re a method for building a relationship with a customer and selling them the identity of your product or service. Animations can guide the user on a journey, but you should be thinking in terms of what story those animations tell. The experience your animations guide your users on should be logical and consistent, and it should focus on the message you want to tell your customer. UX, and particularly animation in web design, can be as much a marketing tool as it is a practical one.
Are you using Chrome extensions for Gmail? If not, then you have no idea what you are missing out on. Gmail is a great email client but Chrome extensions are what bring powerful features to the fold. Some extensions add new features to Gmail, some bring visual changes while some make it more secure and personal.Best Chrome Extensions For Gmail Gmail Offline – Using Gmail Without Internet Access
The Gmail Offline Chrome extension does what its name suggests. It lets you access your mail, respond to them, search and archive offline. The extension runs at startup to sync all your mails for offline usage. You will have a mail icon in Chrome’s New Tab page to access Gmail offline. Queued tasks like outgoing mails are sent when active internet connection is available. You can also use it if you have a liking to Google’s tablet Gmail interface.Gmelius – The All in One Chrome extension for Gmail
Gmelius is one of the most feature rich Chrome extensions for Gmail. It covers the features of a number of extensions. It brings the ability to detect and block tracking attempts, schedule email, turn emails to tasks, email templates, unsubscribe easily and more. Gmelius for Gmail is easy to set up and its settings can be accessed through the Settings button in your Gmail inbox. If you want an extension especially to block tracking, you can give PixelBlock a try.Sidekick – Track your emails
There are a number of great mail tracking extensions but Sidekick is our favourite. It not only supports Gmail but also Outlook, Apple Mail and other email clients. It lets you track your emails and schedule emails for the future. It also shows you profiles of your contacts with their social profiles, tweets, recent conversations with you and more. You will have to register your Gmail account with Sidekick to start using it. If you are not satisfied with Sidekick features, you can also check out other extensions like Mail2Cloud, which brings additional features like self destruct mails or Boomerang, which lets you manage emails and more. If you want a quick and simple way to track emails, you can also give MailTrack a try.Checker Plus – Get desktop notifications and listen to your emails
Streak – Manage tons of emails with ease
If you get tons of emails everyday, Streak is a must have extension for you. It will help you manage your emails in case you are into sales, hiring, support, real estate, fund raising, journalism or even if you are getting lots of emails due to personal commitments like events, trips or wedding planning. The extension consists of various features aimed at different needs. It lets you add certain types of emails to a box, so that you can handle all of them better. Overall, if you need to manage a lot of emails, you will love Streak. So, check it out!Secure Mail – Send encrypted emails
Secure Mail is a handy Gmail extension, which lets you encrypt and decrypt emails. Once you select to send a secure mail, you can add a password to the email, which will be asked to the recipient when he/she tries to open the email. The extension uses symmetric encryption and it’s pretty easy to use. There are also other encrypted email extension options like Mailvelope.Send from Gmail – Share links easily through Gmail Todoist for Gmail – Add a Task Manager & To-do list to Gmail
Todoist lets you add a to-do list to your Gmail account and manage your tasks with ease. The Gmail plugin lets you convert emails into tasks, set task priorities, sync tasks and more. It shows up your tasks in your Gmail inbox through a cool plugin, so that you don’t miss any of your tasks. You can also try RightTasks, which might not be as feature rich but lets you see all your tasks in a simple sidebar.Cloudy for Gmail – Share files from different Cloud Storage accounts
WiseStamp – Create a cool signature for your Gmail account
Ever feel your Gmail signature is too simple? Well, it should be great once you’ve used WiseStamp. Once you add the WiseStamp extension, it will ask you to create a custom signature with your details and links to social media profiles. There are some cool templates available but only for Pro users.Rapportive – Know everything about your contacts on Gmail Attachment Icons – Shows File Type of Attachments
Attachment Icons can be quite useful if you get a lot of mails in the day filled with attachments. This extension shows you the file type of attachments outside the mail and in the inbox itself, so you already have an idea of what it might be.CloudCodes Insertable – Insert Excel tables in Gmail with ease Unroll.me – Unsubscribe to various subscriptions instantly Giphy – Add GIFs to your mails
If you love sharing GIFs through emails, Giphy should be a good bet for you. The extension adds a button in the Gmail compose box, which lets you search and discover cool GIFs that are trending across the globe. You can choose GIFs from the Giphy box according to your mood and send it to your friends and family.News.me – Get all the popular Social Media stories in a single email
KeyRocket – Learn Gmail Shortcuts on the goStrikethrough – Adds the missing “strikethrough” feature
The Gmail compose box might be very feature rich but it misses a much used formatting tool. Well, you might have already guessed it, it does not have an option to strike through between text. The Strikethrough extension adds the ability to cross any text or strike it through.
Humans are unhealthy. We’re getting fatter, sicker, and lazier than ever. Sure, we can blame it on the accessibility to junk food, conveniences like two-day shipping, and sedentary lifestyles.
However, the reality is that it all comes down to you and your habits. No one forces you to buy from Amazon vs. walking around your local shopping mall. Nor does anyone tie you down and force-feed you fast food and soda. Yet, only 2.7% of Americans lead healthy lifestyles.
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While mobile gadgets are getting a bad rap for making us lazier, they can also be used to save us from our unhealthy customs. Let’s take a look at health tracker apps you can use on your smartphone to monitor your health.
How often do you get your heart pumping throughout the day? Or a better question — when’s the last time your heart raced?
Maybe it was last Tuesday when you were late for work and had to run up a flight of stairs and down a hall to catch an elevator before the doors closed? Or maybe it was several years ago when you last played tag with your children?
Either way, you’re not giving your heart the action it needs to thrive. As you’d imagine, the Instant Heart Rate health tracker app helps track your heart rate, and what it should be during different activities, such as:
High-performance training (Athletic Athlete)
This is all calculated based on your age. Then it’ll collect heart rate data each day, which comes with visual reports. Just make sure you have your phone in your hands since it can only detect your heart rate through your fingertips.
Want to lose weight and get fit, but don’t have the will to get off the couch (or wherever you’re sitting) to achieve your goals? Well, then the Couch to 5K is the app that can help you get in shape no matter where you are.
It can help take you from doing 0 feet a day to running 5K within nine weeks.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to run around the block. Nor do you have to step foot outside of your home (or office). You can run right where you are — just jog in place, and it’ll track your steps.
It includes workout routines shown by four motivational coaches. So you’re not left to figure it all out on your own. You start off simple, switching between walking and running short distances. Eventually, you build yourself up to handle longer (in-place) journeys.
Then to spice things up, you can listen to your music — the running tracker app plays audio cues so you don’t miss anything.
What you put in your body is just as important as what you do with your body. Eating the wrong foods can reverse any effort you make towards becoming fitter and healthier.
With the Fooducate app, you can learn about the foods you’re eating to see if they have too many carbs and calories. These are the common culprits of unsuccessful weight loss attempts.
It also helps track what you eat daily, and you can scan product barcodes so the app can give it a nutrition grade. At least, you’ll never have to worry about whether the items in your shopping cart are healthy for you.
Best of all — this food tracking app is free and available for iOS and Android.
So we’ve talked about health tracking apps you can use for your weight loss, diet, and heart health. But what about your mind? Stress is a silent killer we must eradicate.
The only way you can pull this off is if you practice mindfulness, get a good night’s rest, and meditate. Too many of us are working too hard, leading busy lives, and not taking care of our minds.
This includes doing breathing exercises, unwinding before bed, and helping you with focus, so you’re more productive throughout the day.
Knocking out tasks will surely help to ease tensions we deal with at the end of the day.
Alternatives to the Couch to 5K app are Apple Health and Google Fit. These health tracking apps allow you to keep track of all your daily activities.
For example, it’ll tell you how many steps you take daily, monitor your weight, and tell you how long you’re active each day. You can also set goals and see if you’re reaching them. A countdown shows how long you have left to complete your daily steps and activities.
The recommended amount is 10K steps daily, but you can always start smaller.
These apps can also record activities like cycling and running. You can monitor your improvements, so you stay motivated to continue going.
There’s a reason wellness goes hand-in-hand with health. If you’re not feeling well, then you can never achieve a healthy state. This is why it’s critical to keep an eye on your mental wellbeing.
You can do this with MyMoodTracker, which helps to keep track of how you feel throughout the day. It’ll ask how you’re doing, then you can choose between a range of emotions, such as happy, sad, mad, etc.
Over time, you can paint a picture of how often you have bad moods. The key is to try and improve your weeks with more happy days. To do this, you have to pinpoint what’s bothering you.
Maybe you need more sleep, a more nutritious diet, or a change in departments (or careers). Your emotional health should always be at the forefront, so try using this iOS app to monitor it.Take Control Of Your Health
It’s time to stop playing the victim to poor lifestyle habits. You can improve your diet, fitness, and mental wellness just by giving it more attention.
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