Britney Spears: Glory Album and Short Review

Britney Spears - Glory album coverPeople who only like “cool” music scoff at Britney listeners, which is essentially brushing off the idea of catchy pop. Fine, but you’re missing out.

Overall? Glory is pretty good, and all the more impressive for a pop career that started in the 90’s.

Make Me” is actually one of the more boring songs on Brit’s new album, despite being the biggest single. Some of the better deep cuts include Man on the Moon, Slumber Party, and Love Me Down.

Say what you want about Britney, but her staying power alone speaks volumes. Not many pop singers are consistently relevant for decades, and she continues her streak with this record.

Get your Glory on below.

Balance and Composure: Postcard Track & Short Review

Balance and Composure have received a lot of criticism for this song, for one reason only: electronic drums. In the nine years (!) they’ve been around, they’ve stuck with a winning ethereal rock formula — and while they’ve taken chances within that realm, their diverse catalog has never dipped into anything electronic. Until now.

Don’t get it twisted – this is not some EDM anthem, and you won’t hear a bass drop. But for certain rock purists, it doesn’t matter — the mere idea that a computer may have directly assisted with the drum sound is enough to send them skittering back into the warm arms of their vinyl collection. Fair enough – but this song is the perfect progression for Balance and Composure. It retains their core (both musically and emotionally) while reaching for new grounds, and the result is one of the catchiest songs to come out in 2016.

Oh, and the video is phenomenal, too — check it out and listen to “Postcard” below. As long as you don’t have a phobia of drum patterns.

Tegan and Sara: Stop Desire Track & Short Review:

So, Tegan and Sara have come out with a few new songs lately (and now album, Love You to Death). “Stop Desire” is the best single yet. It has the heart of a classic T&S song (think So Jealous or earlier) but with a modern, “we’re mature and electro-pop-ish” twist. Great 80’s drums and shimmering crystal choruses. Reverb sprinkled in all the right places. A well-crafted pop song.

Listen to “Stop Desire” by Tegan and Sara below.

How to Add Music to a PowerPoint

How to Add Music to a PowerPoint

Note: if you’re planning on playing multiple songs, it’s best to combine them into one file first.  You can find out how to do so here.

How to Add Music to a PowerPoint:

  1. Open the slide you want the music to start on (typically the first slide)
  2. Click “Insert” in the top menu and choose “Audio”
  3. Select your file, either WAV or MP3 (it’s best to use MP3s if possible because those files take up less space). If you’re trying to add a song from iTunes, first you need to convert it into an mp3 file (iTunes uses .m4a). To do so, right click the song and choose “Create MP3 Version”
  4. Decide whether you want the music to automatically start when the presentation starts (“Play in Background” button), or based on your click (“No Style”). If you choose “No Style,” the music (or other sound file) will play when you click the audio button.
  5. Choose your toppings: you can select fade-in or fade-out durations, choose the volume level for it, and decide whether it should loop when it finishes.
  6. If you have Office 2007 or newer, you can share the presentation with the music in place. If you have an older version of Office, see here.

How to Download Music Straight to Your iPhone

There are a few ways of downloading music to your iPhone, using either a paid streaming service or a file downloader.

Download Music to your iphone From iTunes & Spotify:

How to Download Music Straight to iPhone - Spotify and iTunes
Spotify & iTunes Logos

You can download thousands of songs to your phone via Spotify or iTunes, by having a paid account and selecting playlists/albums/etc. for offline use while on your computer. Then, simply open the app on your iPhone.

Download songs or albums straight to your iphone using a File Downloader:

If you want to download specific music files (like mp3 or m4a), you can use Total Downloader.

How to Send GarageBand Files

How to send GarageBand files - GarageBand LogoIf you’re wondering how to send GarageBand files, rest assured – it’s actually very simple. Read on to find out how you can send a GarageBand track either as a .m4a or .band file.

How to Send GarageBand Files

If you want to send it as an mp3 or m4a file, meaning the recipient will be able to listen to it in iTunes:

  1. Open the desired song/audio track in GarageBand
  2. In the top bar, select “Share” and click “Song to iTunes” in the drop-down menu that appears
  3. Enter the title, artist, composer, album, iTunes playlist, and Quality and click “Share”
  4. Open a new email message and click the “attach” symbol (typically a paperclip icon)
  5. Search for your track name, and select the “.m4a” file version
  6. Send the email!

If you want to send it as a file that can be opened via GarageBand (for example if you’re sending it to get mixed and mastered):

  1. Open a new email message and click the attach symbol (typically a paperclip icon)
  2. Search for your track name, and select the “.band” version
  3. Send the email!

Drake Views (From the 6)

Drake Views Album Cover
Drake Views Album Cover

Drake’s new album, Views (originally called View From the 6), was released on April 29, 2016. It’s his fourth solo album, and first in three years – though he released a mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late in 2015.

Views is expected to go platinum during the first week, through a combination of streams counting as album sales and actual purchases. Part of this is because the streams for Hotline Bling are counted due to it being a single from the album.

See below for the track list.

Drake Views TrackList:

1. Keep the Family Close
2. 9
3. U With Me?
4. Feel No Ways
5. Hype
6. Weston Road Flows
7. Redemption
8. With You
9. Faithful
10. Still Here
11. Controlla
12. One Dance
13. Grammys
14. Childs Play
15. Pop Style
16. Too Good
17. Summers Over Interlude
18. Fire & Desire
20. Hotline Bling (Bonus)

Tidal Music Streaming Service: What is it?

Tidal Music Streaming Logo

Tidal music streaming service may be best known as “Jay Z’s random company.”(Jay Z is one of the co-owners and has promoted it heavily.)

But the Tidal platform and music streaming service is actually very similar to Spotify, Apple Music, etc – millions of tracks and albums that you can listen to at any time as well as playlists, radio, and more – and they now have millions of subscribers to show for it.

What Makes Tidal music streaming Different?

There are a few main things that set the Tidal music streaming experience apart.

First, exclusive content. Artists that have released albums exclusively through Tidal include Kanye, Jay Z, Beyonce, and many more. So they’re getting some very popular, huge artists and music that you can’t stream on any other service. Typically it’s only their new albums that are exclusive to Tidal (and often only temporarily), but there are exceptions: Jay Z has removed older albums like the classic Reasonable Doubt from Spotify.

However, if you’re not a fan of this small (albeit enormously popular) handful of musicians, the exclusivity won’t really affect you – the majority of new albums come out on all of the streaming services, not just Tidal.

One of the other unique Tidal perks is exclusive video content. For example, Lemonade, the visual album by Beyonce was released exclusively on Tidal (with just 24 hours on HBO Go). Though other services may not have as much exclusive video content, Spotify and other competitors are starting to move towards incorporating video.

Another aspect of Tidal that sets it apart (albeit one that doesn’t affect the user experience): Tidal pays a higher rate per song to the artist – at least 3x more than Spotify, even by conservative estimates. Ironically, this has become one of the reason that some people avoid Tidal, as the artists promoting it were worth hundreds of millions and came across to some as greedy for pleading for more money from streaming services.

How Much Does Tidal Cost?

Tidal subscriptions cost either $9.99/month or $19.99 a month, depending on whether you want the HiFi version (“Lossless” High Fidelity sound quality).

Interested in trying it out? You can sign up for Tidal or start a free trial here.

iTunes Music Subscription Service: How Does it Work?

iTunes music logoiTunes Music is basically like Spotify by Apple. They offer a free three-month trial subscription so you can try it out without paying, but make sure to change the auto-renewal option so you don’t get charged if you forget. (To do so, go to Subscriptions and select Manage, then Renewal Options.)

If you do get charged and want a refund, you can try contacting Apple. They have sometimes given refunds, but it’s not guaranteed.

What Do You Get with a Paid iTunes Music Account?

With a paid account, you can listen to anything in the Apple Music Library at any time (including offline if you download it), as well as Beats 1 radio station where they have quite a few exclusive big names — Drake just premiered his new album “Views From the 6” on Beats 1.

You also get “expert music suggestions” as Apple says, but don’t expect Trent Reznor and Jimmy Iovine to take you out to dinner.

Get it (or the free trial) from the Apple site or Play Store (if you have an Android). After the first three months, it’s $9.99 per person or $14.99 for a family plan. You can also get it on Apple Watch, TV, or CarPlay.

What Does Spotify Premium Do?

Spotify Premium logo

Spotify Premium is, as you probably guessed, the “premium” or paid version of Spotify, a music streaming service that allows you to listen to almost every song or album that’s ever been released.

It currently costs $9.99/month (or $4.99 for additional family members or students).

Spotify Free vs. Premium

Spotify Premium:

-No ads/commercials. You won’t be interrupted every few song with a pesky voice hawking Budweiser.

-Higher quality sound. (Though the quality of the free version is not noticeably bad.)

-You can download music and listen to it offline. Say you’re going to be traveling, you could literally set it to save thousands of songs to your device so that you could listen to them even when there’s no internet or cell service.

-Play any track you want at any time (versus shuffle-only for free accounts).

Spotify Free:

-Regular commercials (every few songs). Pretty on par with how often a radio station would play ads.

-Lower quality sound (though again, not terrible by any means).

-You can only listen in shuffle mode.

-You’re pissing Taylor Swift et al off.

So is it worth it? We think so. If you listen to a lot of music, you’re probably not going to like being stuck with shuffle-only when trying to listen to your favorite album, or only being able to listen with an internet connection.

What is Scrobbling? scrobbling logo

Scrobbling refers to tracking the music you listen to via “Scrobbles” are what calls plays of each song.

Once you download the app, it tracks your iTunes (or Spotify, Tidal, etc) plays so that every time you listen to a song, it counts as a “scrobble.”

For example, if you listened to “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” by the Backstreet Boys (or David Byrne or whoever you claim you’d be listening to) ten times, that would mean you had “10 scrobbles” of that song. So the definition of a scrobble is simply playing a track.

If you listened to a “Boyfriend” by Tegan and Sara 5 times, but you’d listened to So Jealous, Sainthood, yadda yadda tracks 200 times, you would have “205 Tegan and Sara scrobbles.”

Where Can I See What I’m Scrobbling?

Scrobbles (or plays) are tracked on your profile so you can see how often you listen to Metallica, but you’re also outed for listening to the less cool parts of your music collection. So prepare to face some judgment over Coldplay scrobbles (we would know).

If you don’t have a account yet, you can sign up here. Happy scrobbling.