I don’t spend much time in coffee shops when at home, probably because until recently there really wasn’t a good coffee shop near my home. Whenever I’m away from home whether for the day or on a longer trip, however, I find a coffee shop a nice place to catch up on the world and get some work done between more enjoyable activities. I can work in a quiet hotel room for a while, but I often find a little time in the lobby a more productive environment than the traditional quiet hotel room or office.
I’ve always found working in complete silence to be more distracting than having sound in the background. Even just a television or radio turned on in the background can give me enough noise to feel more comfortable. Research also supports a moderate level of background noise prompts more creative thought. The problem with these is the chance of a movie, show, or song pulling you in and distracting you from what you’re working on. Luckily I’m not the only person that prefers something in the background at work and there are plenty of apps and websites built to provide nice background sound. Let’s look at a few.
Have you ever thought about picking up that abandoned guitar that has been in your basement since high school? Learning to play the guitar shouldn’t be something difficult and expensive anymore, especially since there are so many tools out there that can turn your Mac into everything you could ever need to learn and master this instrument.
Today we’ve gathered up our favorite guitar-related apps for the Mac, thinking about each of them from the perspective of a beginner guitarist. Here are the 10 best apps we’ve found to help any budding guitarist get started — and perhaps give old-timers a helping hand as well.
Album artwork is a big part of iTunes! For a lot of people, it helps make content easier to locate by adding an image to each artist and album. It’s also a half-developed feature, however. Apple could do a lot more with the album artwork from the iTunes Store. The developer of Bowtie had the same thoughts, so he introduced an app that put artwork on your desktop where you’ll see it often. Now you don’t have to open iTunes to see what’s playing; do a quick show-the-desktop gesture on your trackpad instead.
The Bowtie utility isn’t everything, though. Themes make it worth using: themes designed by individuals. There is a superfluity of different ways to view album artwork with Bowtie, from the pleasant default theme included with the app to minimal, yet interesting ones like Pixld. Since there are 15 pages in the app’s theme downloader and even more around the ‘net, it seemed like a good idea to gather up the most fetching for Mac.AppStorm readers. Keep reading for ten of the best Bowtie themes out there.
iTunes is probably one of the most used applications on Mac. It comes pre-installed, plays music well, and has the iTunes Store where many people shop for new music. It’s the way we manage our iPods, iPhones, and iPads, lets us watch movies, listen to music, and more. It’s priceless to many first-time Mac users, even if it does have a few flaws.
Of course, there are those who enjoy alternatives. While iTunes should still be used for syncing one’s library to an iPod or iOS device, a lot of third-party substitutes do a fine job of playing music and other content. A more beautiful way to play music is something the Mac could use — iTunes isn’t really the most aesthetically pleasing right now — and until the iTunes 11 update is released, why not take a look at the additional solutions? (more…)
This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on September 20th, 2011.
While I’ve used iTunes for the longest time, and it works pretty much as my media center; I have to come to terms with the fact that it isn’t as great as it could be. It’s heavy, slow, glitchy and at times I find it very annoying.
Ditching iTunes is especially enticing when you now have all these new options available: apps that go from streaming free music, to playing you a personalised radio with music that suit your musical tastes. iTunes is still my main music app, but it’s being quickly overtaken by some of these other options.
Who here likes music? Yep, that’s what I thought, everybody. Some might go so far as to say, it’s what makes us — or at times perhaps keeps us — human.
Music tastes are as diverse as we ourselves. And we seem to be constantly on the prowl for more. Enterprising people noticed this fact, and decided to see what they could do in the world of web apps to help satisfy this constant need.
One such web app which appeared was Last.fm. And while its extensive feature set isn’t the topic of today’s article, one interesting feature of Last.fm is scrobbling. Scrobbling is a unique aspect to the Last.fm music streaming service, and for a lot of people, its best feature.
But this is 2012, a decade since Last.fm launched, and there are a myriad of music streaming services today. But none of them have tried to duplicate Last.fm’s scrobbling functionality, or the in-depth statistics that it generates. Why? Well, I suspect a big reason is that Last.fm has an API that allows developers to tie into Last.fm’s scrobbling service. Today we have for you seven Mac apps that support Last.fm’s scrobbling API.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably long forgotten about iTunes Visualizers. Right now you’re trying to remember what they are aren’t you? For whatever reason they were something that we thought were great at one point, but they have since lost their luster.
They aren’t directly useful but can be a great addition to a party, or just something cool to look at while listening to some tunes!
There aren’t many folks out there dabbling with Quartz Composer churning out new visualizers so they are a little tough to come by these days. They aren’t the most popular feature of iTunes by any stretch, but it is a pretty fun feature and there are some amazing ones out there. I went searching for some of the best.
Maybe you’ve played guitar for fun since you were a kid, or you start your day by singing in the shower. You may not be a professional musician–in fact, you might not even pass for decent–but you’ve always wanted to play with home recording and see what you can come up with.
The price tags on professional digital audio workstations like Apple’s Logic Pro are prohibitive for the hobbyist, to say the least, but there are plenty of cheap and even free apps for the Mac that can help you realize your secret dream.
Radio is a technology that has evolved a great deal, and it doesn’t seem to show any sign of disappearing. It’s very convenient to just turn on the radio and get a continuous stream of music for hours, without having to choose anything yourself. It’s very practical, and a brilliant wat to find new music!
However, local radio stations aren’t usually very good. Sometimes you want to listen to a station that plays a certain genre, or a specific talk show that isn’t aired on your local radio stations. That’s where online radio comes in.
There’s an amazing number of online radio stations out there, and plenty of variety to choose from. But of course, you’ll need something to listen to those stations. Today, we present you some of our favorite software picks for radio listening and recording.