This week I will continue my discussion on the use of social media tools that I use to simplify my life. This week I will elaborate on the multimedia tools that I use everyday.
Music probably one of the biggest passions that I have in my life. Born the daughter of a musician, I was brought up listening to artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Rod Stewart, The Hollies, Gregg Allman, Steve Miller, Fleetwood Mac, and the list goes on and on. I love all genres of music, but there’s nothing like the music created by a band, the guitar, bass, drums, everything being made by the artists, and not some computer. There’s nothing more thrilling than hearing a musician rip a guitar during a solo during a song, it gives me goosebumps every time. I have a huge respect for underground music, and love listening to and discovering music that isn’t mainstream, or that many people haven’t heard before. That’s why I think that the multimedia based social media tools are probably my favorite, and most used tools that I use day in and day out.
Rhapsody has, by far, become my favorite social media tool that I use every single day of my life, though I recently (within the past 6 months) discovered just how beneficial this app is for me. Since the emergence of the internet, I fostered my music collection, as many others have, by downloading mp3 files from Napster, BearShare, Limewire, and Frostwire. I think would burn the files to a CD or download them onto my mp3 player so that I could listen to the songs while driving, working out, you name it. As technology advanced, CDs became a thing of the past, and mp3 files were the “new way” of listening to music, and rightfully so. We no longer had to sort through countless CDs while trying to drive in order to find the songs we wanted to listen to. MP3 players allowed us to store thousands of songs on one device, and create endless numbers of playlists for any occasion. With immense growth of smartphones in society today, mp3 players also became a recent distant memory, as smartphones came equipped with mp3 players built into their software. Now users could have their cellphone and mp3 player all in one, no need to keep track of both. Being an android user for a few years, I loved that I could download free music from apps available on the phone, which were stored to my device, and made available to listen to and place within a playlist just as my Sony Walkman mp3 player had allowed, without the hassle of taking the extra step to transfer the files from my computer to the device. But just like we have all experienced with free music download software such as Napster and so on, these apps only exist for a short period of time before they are removed due to “pirating music”. Sure, another app is created to take the place of one deleted, but it became a hassle trying to find one that I liked and actually had legitimate files to download. After becoming an iPhone user, iTunes was the way that I obtained music for my mp3 player, but with my overwhelming passion for all kinds of music, paying $1.99 everytime I wanted to download a song became extremely pricey. Granted there are other apps that I would use for free to listen to music, which I will discuss later in this post, but there are often times that I want to listen to specific songs, and internet radio applications did not provide that feature. I was introduced to Rhapsody by a friend who thought that it was the perfect social media tool to meet my personal specific needs. Although it costs $10 a month for a subscription, I can confidently say that it is well worth the investment. Rhapsody allows me to search artists, album, or tracks of every artists I can think of. I have even found some of the underground artists that I love, that were not available on iTunes. I can then listen to every single track created, listed from most popular to least, listen to an entire album, or listen to the artist radio, which is similar to Pandora and iHeart radio. The features that make Rhapsody my favorite social media tool out of all that I use are the ability to either add songs to playlists, and then stream them later, or I can download the songs to my phone so that I can access them later. This is a great feature to have because, let’s say I am taking a flight somewhere. All airlines make you turn off your phone, or put them on airplane mode. With Rhapsody allowing you to download the song, you can still listen to them just as you would on an mp3 player, from your phone when the data feature is turned off. One of my all time favorite features or Rhapsody is there “related artists” feature. This is GREAT for me because it directly meets my need to discover new music that is out there now. By clicking the related artists tab, I am given a full list of similar artists, and all of their music created. Rhapsody allows me to utilize the same features that iTunes gave me in terms of downloading music, as well as the same features that Pandora gives me by providing the artists station. And in addition, it provides me access to related artists that I may not have discovered and fallen in love with their work otherwise. Needless to say, I get much more than $10 worth of usage out of this application each month.
Most of us are familiar with Pandora. It is a free internet radio application that was first made available via the web. This is one of my favorite applications because it allows me to pick an artist that I love, and then listen to songs that are of the same genre by other artists. I first began using Pandora on my computer, but definitely began utilizing it more with the development of the Pandora application on my smart phone. I can’t even tell you the last time that I listened to the radio in my car or in my house. Pandora allows me to hear all the songs that I love without flipping through the stations, and only plays a few 30 second advertisements while I’m using it. Pandora also allows me to skip songs that I do not like, click the “thumbs up” feature so that the application is sure to play that song again later, and other songs similar to it, or “thumbs down” to the songs I just do not like to ensure they won’t be played again later. And with the ability to add 100 artists radio stations to my personal list, I have access to all of my favorite tunes with just the tap of the screen. No more flipping through hundreds of radio stations trying to find good music to listen to!
Shazam has become one of my favorite multimedia social media tools that I use daily as well. As I stated before, I love discovering new music and different artists that people may not have heard of. Shazam is an app that allows me to identify any song that is playing, no matter where I am. One of my favorite TV shows is One Tree Hill (I mean it was filmed here in Wilmington, NC!). But one of the biggest reasons that I am such a fan of this show is because of their incorporation of some really amazing music. Bands ranging from Fall Out Boy, to Jimmy Eat World, and Jack’s Mannequin had their first big exposure by being featured in this show. They also use a lot of really great underground music as background music to many of their scenes. If I am sitting on my couch watching the show and I hear a song that I really just fall in love with, but have no clue what it is or who it is by, I can pull out my phone and utilize my Shazam app. In a matter of seconds the application shows me what the song is, who the artist is, and provides direct links to the lyrics, YouTube videos, and iTunes for download. I can then turn around and search the artist or song in my Rhapsody app and viola! I now have that song on my phone to listen to at any time. I have even been shopping in the mall and heard a song come over the speakers in a store that caught my attention, and all it took was the tap of a button on my phone and I have instant access to all the information about the song and artists I could ever need.
There are thousands of other social media tools that are available to consumers in order to meet their multimedia needs, and there are others that I use, but these three are my “go-to” social media tools that I utilize at least once every day of my life, because they meet my personal needs and desires when it comes to my love and passion for music.
What social media apps do YOU use to simplify YOUR everyday life?