Archive for the Entertainment-Music Category

eLibraries Change How We Borrow Content

Posted in Entertainment-Movies, Entertainment-Music, Hi-Tech, Lifestyles with tags , on June 16, 2014 by shutterbuggeek

Princeton Public Library eLibrary

Summer reading programs have begun, as well as vacations, so kids, teens, and adults are searching for reading material. Princeton Public Library has revamped their eLibrary to make life more convenient for cardholders. It’s easier than ever to get collections of books and other content to you without a visit.

In these days of instant gratification in the form of streaming and downloadable content, Princeton Public Library is constantly redefining itself to meet the needs of the community. Hoopla, Mango, OverDrive, and Zinio allow you to read, watch, and listen to content for free on your desktop, laptop, eBook reader, tablet, cell phone, or iPod Touch.

Unlike some free e-book apps that merely provide the classics, Hoopla and OverDrive e-book and audio book selections are bestsellers from authors like John Grisham, Veronica Roth, Judy Blume, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, John Green, Markus Zusak, Katie DiCamillo, and EL James. There’s something for all ages and both genders.

In addition to audio books and e-books, Hoopla also provides movies, music, and TV shows. Zinio gives you current and archive issues of popular magazines, such as O (Oprah), Car and Driver, Macbook, The Economist, Cosmopolitan, Popular Photography plus others that will pique the interest of most men and women.

The eLibrary doesn’t end there. Leaving the country for business, vacation or relocation, or studying abroad in a land where the language is foreign to you? Download the Mango app and learn a new language or refresh your skills at home or on the go.

The best thing is, these collections are available 24/7 wherever you get wi-fi. So you can still get a book and some magazines at the airport or at your final destination if you’ve forgotten to download before you left home.

A four-hour training session will be held at the library on June 26th to learn how to use the eLibrary for those who are not as technically incline, so make an appointment today if you’re interested. The librarians can also offer you quick help over the phone if you’re a bit tech savvy.

There is also an e-book challenge for the month of June. Load up on e-books using OverDrive, and help the Princeton Public Library win $1,500 to further build their digital collection. You can check out up to five books at a time for 21 days.

Not near the Princeton Public Library? Check out your local library’s digital collections. Happy Reading!

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Throwback Thursdays

Posted in Entertainment-Movies, Entertainment-Music, Social Media with tags , , , on April 24, 2014 by shutterbuggeek
Photo Credit: Netflix

Photo Credit: Netflix

If you use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, I’m sure you’ve noticed the trending hashtag #tbt (Throw Back Thursday). This day is dedicated to reminiscing, usually posting old photos from childhood, weddings, vacations, etc.

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. When you look at one, you’ll have flashbacks of an activity or event capturing that moment. There are also other stimuli that trigger memories. I find music, movies, and TV shows bring me instantly back to a point in time, whether it was singing a song with my best childhood friend at the top of my lungs, or bringing my kids to the movies.

Music can easily be shared to social media sites via Spotify, or videos from YouTube. I used to share music under the hashtag #Music Monday years ago, but now I can share my love of New Wave (New Order, The Smiths) and Grunge (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden) using #TBT instead.

I can share movie and TV show memories with my kids by showing them the classics of my time via Netflix. I like to show them TV shows like Family Ties, or movies like Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; and Doctor Doolittle. To share what you’re watching on Facebook, connect it to Netflix accounts by clicking the Social Settings link, or from a device that supports Facebook social features. 

So, instead of posting photos from your childhood every Thursday, why not mix things up a bit, and share the joy of music, film, or television?

 

Watch Streaming Video on Your TV!

Posted in Apple-Mac, Entertainment-Movies, Entertainment-Music, Gadgets, Hi-Tech, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, iTunes, Photography, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2009 by shutterbuggeek

For those without a DVR, the ability to watch ’30 Rock’, ‘The Office’, or ‘House’ on demand via Hulu is amazing.  You can even watch movies like ‘Jewel of the Nile’ or  ‘Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrel’.  If you have a Netflix account, and you’re looking for a better selection of movies, you can select Watch Instantly to stream select features.   The only problem is you have to watch them on a computer monitor, and if you only have a 13″ screen laptop, it will not be as rewarding as watching it on your television. The solution is to hook up your laptop or Mac Mini to your TV, or buy a Vudu, Roku or Apple TV set top box.  Check out my previous blog post on connecting your Mac/PC to your TV if you opt for the laptop/Mac Mini connection.  If you have a home theater, and/or want a permanent set up, then a set-top box might be right for you.

VUDU was the first device to come out that would enable you to rent or purchase a movie and stream it to your television. It offers 13,000 movie and TV titles on demand from Hollywood studios and independent distributors, including a large HD collection.  The standard box gives you 250 GB of space ($149).  The XL model, designed for high end home theaters and available only through an authorized installer, has 1 TB of storage, which translates to about 500 titles ($499). Bonus – You can connect to Pandora Radio, Picasa, YouTube and Flickr.

ROKU gives you have over 50,000 videos at your fingertips. This selection includes 12,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, and 40,000 titles from Amazon Video on Demand.  It has built-in wi-fi, and can be used wired or wireless.

APPLE TV teams up with iTunes to extend movies and TV shows in standard definition and HD.  It comes in 40 GB and 160 GB versions ($229/$329).  It can access all compatible content off your iTunes account (movies, TV shows, photos, music, podcasts, etc.), and even stream content from up to five computers.  It is partnered with Flickr, YouTube, and Mobile Me (.Mac) to add more viewing capabilities to your box.  Warning, this does NOT work with older, non-widescreen TVs.

BOXEE is the baby of the bunch, and it doesn’t have hardware (yet).  You simply download the freeware, and use it on your desktop or even better, on your laptop. The latter is portable and can be connected to a larger screen. It’s an alpha version, and available for Mac and Linux users.  The last group of Windows testers were invited in February 2009, so you probably have to wait for the beta version.  Boxee brings a lot to the table. It’s a media center that assembles all your entertainment together.  Your movies, TV shows, music and photos on your hard drive are added to the mix of several online channels (too many to mention them all).   The highlights of Boxee are Hulu feeds, Joost, Netflix (Macs only), CNN, G4, NBA, Discovery, CNET TV, Pandora, Last FM, Shoutcast, YouTube, Picasa, and Flickr. You can even send updates to Twitter, FriendFeed and Tumblr (set-up via the website)!

DYNAMIC DUO – Here’s were the fun begins!  For those Mac users with an Apple TV and are a bit technically inclined, there is a hack that will get Boxee (and XBMC) onto your ATV. Follow the first video (link below) to build a USB patchstick (not all brands and models work, so check the Boxee announcements forum for the list), and the fourth video to install it to your Apple TV.  This gives you the ability to watch whatever is in you iTunes collection, PLUS all the streaming video content available through Boxee on a larger screen. Score!

Music Tuesday

Posted in Entertainment-Music, iTunes with tags , , , on May 12, 2009 by shutterbuggeek

In the world of Twitter #MusicMonday is the day to discuss harmonious sounds.  I find Tuesday the time of the week for me to delve into the melody oriented topic based on a couple of sources.  Every Tuesday, iTunes offers a new small selection of free content to all with an account.  The songs available are from an eclectic mix of genres, and there is a gratis music video.  Other giveaways include TV episodes or clips, movie featurettes, and spoken word excerpts, but let’s stick to the music.  There’s a catch.  The music store is not handing out the latest and greatest tunes; however, you might enjoy some of the selections, so they are worth the listen.  The Single of the Week is often an up and coming artist or one who isn’t mainstream.  I download it 85% of the time, so I have to like it or find potential in it to add it to my hard drive.  The Discovery Download is where they mix things up, by providing a different category of music weekly.  I’ve seen rock, hip-hop, gospel, comedy, audiobooks and more offered here.  Then there is Canción de la Semana, which features the Latin single of the week.  The music videos are unique, because they occasionally offer a top 40 song.  I have downloaded Coldplay’s ‘Lovers in Japan’, The Veronica’s ‘Untouched’, and Delta Goodrem’s ‘In this Life’ all courtesy of iTunes.

Let’s move on to a different source of music.  Josh Schwartz (The O.C., Gossip Girl, Chuck) has created an on-line series called ‘Rockville CA‘, which takes place in the fictional club Rockville in Los Angeles that provides live performances by indie rock bands.  A group of twentysomethings hang out in the club to hear the latest up and coming bands, while the main characters date other people, but have a special chemistry with each other.  The first five to six minute episodes debuted on March 17, 2009 on the WB.com, and new shows are offered every Tuesday.  Some of the featured bands are: Nico Stai, Kaiser Chiefs, Lykke Li, Phantom Planet and White Lies.  All episodes are still accessible on the site for viewing, and available on iTunes for download at $0.99 each.

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