british music society

british music society

Music Apps For The iPhone 4S

Posted on April 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

When it comes to music features on a smartphone, the iPhone 4S reigns supreme. Thanks to its integration with other Apple products like iTunes and its built in iPod functionality, it has everything a music lover could want from a mobile phone.

However, there are of course a large number of additional apps which can be downloaded from the music category in the AppStore. In this article I will take you through some of the top music apps available which can enhance the functionality of the iPhone 4S as a music phone.

Shazam
Have you ever been in a situation where you hear a song you like but don’t know the title or artist so you can get it at a later date? This is where the Shazam app comes in. The app works by ‘listening’ to a sample of the song, and it will then access an online database of music which consists of millions of songs to find a match. If a match is successfully found, the details such as the title, artist and album will be displayed. Also, there will be a link which takes you to that song on the phone’s iTunes where you can download it directly to the phone. The app is very simple to use. When you hear a song you wish to identify, simply open the app and hold it to the source of the music (e.g. a speaker). The app will then require a few second to identify the song and it will then access the database and display the described results. The free version of Shazam comes with a monthly limit of ten uses. If you become a frequent user of the app, you can choose to upgrade to the paid version. This costs £0.69 and allows unlimited uses. For its low price, I recommend this app, especially if you have ever found yourself in the aforementioned situation where you wish to identify a song.

TuneIn Radio
There are many radio apps available in the AppStore, but TuneIn radio is among the most popular. This app offers much more than the usual functions found on most radio apps, hence its popularity. First off, it has one of the biggest catalogues of available radio stations, with over 50,000 from all over the world. These are sorted by genre, region etc, making it easy to find what you are looking for. Because of the dual-core processor in the iPhone 4S you can multi task, whereby you can have the app running in the background, listening to a radio station while you are using other apps, browsing the web for example. TuneIn radio also allows you to search all available stations for a particular song which is currently playing, and even allows you to pause a live stream for up to 30 minutes. It is features like these which set TuneIn radio apart from the others. If you listen to the radio on your iPhone 4S, or wish to start then I highly recommend the TuneIn Radio app.

As you can see, there is much more to the iPhone 4S and its music attributes than just the apps which are included as standard. If you take the time to browse the music category of the AppStore, you are sure to find many apps which suit your needs, and enhance your iPhone 4S music experience.

5 FREE Phone Apps That Help You Relax, De-Stress and Reduce Anxiety

Posted on March 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

Our attention is pulled in more than a dozen directions daily. It can be hard to find time to relax or justify doing so when you have so much on your plate during a typical day.

Meanwhile, if you’re like the vast majority of multi-taskers, your smartphone or tablet is probably never out of reach. Why not make the most of it and use it for something other than checking your email for the umpteenth time in 15 minutes?

Believe it or not, these devices do offer apps to help you relax, de-stress and reduce anxiety for a change. Busy as you are, these can help slow you down even if you only have a few minutes to spare-waiting at carpool, in line at the bank, or just a brief time you set aside for your own mental health when it feels like the day is spinning out of control.

Here are five of my favorites:

1. Breathe2Relax (free). Breathe2Relax help you practice diaphragmatic breathing, with a video demonstration of and even a breathing timer you set yourself to achieve the maximum impact of deep inhaling/exhaling. There’s also a lot of great information about the biology of stress, its consequences and coping mechanisms.

How it helps: Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing helps calm the body and focus the mind. This app walks you through everything you need to know to practice the technique incorporate it into your daily stress management.

2. T2Mood Tracker (free). T2Mood Tracker allows you to rate how you’re feeling in areas including anxiety, depression and general well-being at any given time during the day.

How it helps: Sometimes just acknowledging that you’re feeling anxious, sad, lonely or experiencing other painful emotions can bring some relief-you’re not crazy, but you are suffering, and healthy to be aware of it.

It can also charts your mood over time, so it can help identify triggers for stress or depression. Meanwhile, if you are in counseling and your therapist asks about your feelings over the past week, you can give a more reliable answer than just relying on your memory.

3. Take a Break! (free). This app requires a little more privacy-but not much more time-than some of the other apps mentioned here. Just choose one of two meditation programs (“work break” or “stress release”), plug in some ear phones, close the door and your eyes as a narrator quietly guides you through several steps of meditation.

How it helps: When you’re busy and feel like you have a world of responsibilities on your shoulders, this app helps remind you that you’re entitled to take a moment for yourself. And the steps it outlines can be effective in bringing calm and perspective into a hectic day.

4. Relax Melodies HD (free, with paid upgrades available). Relax Melodies is self-explanatory, with almost 50 calming sounds to choose from, including several choices among nature, music, and others like “Zen” and “white noise.”

How it helps: It instantly transforms your environment, making it possible to remember that there is a world outside of your office, chaotic household or even 5 o’clock traffic. (Tip: users say Relax Melodies is also an excellent sleep aid.) The $2.99 upgrade offers additional sound options and removes the ads, though the ads are easily enough ignored unless you’re staring at the screen.

5. Calm.com (free, with paid upgrades available). Calm.com offer seven guided relaxation sessions from 2-30 minutes. Topics include: posture, mindset, mind/body connection, and breathing. Premium programs are also available with varied prices, mostly around $1/month. These include programs focused on anxiety, confidence, creativity, energy, focus, and sleep.

How it helps: Calm.com emphasizes a no-pressure approach to learning the steps, with a guiding voice that assures the user it can be hard to find calm at first when we’re accustomed to living life in high-alert mode.

Try a few of these and see if there’s one you particularly enjoy so you’ll be more likely to keep with it. Whether it’s helping you be mindful of your breathing, slowing your thoughts or just going through the steps of a simple relaxation exercise, I encourage you to find some time for yourself today that is just for you to relax. It’s totally worth it!

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Optimize Your Country Music Website – What Not To Include

Posted on February 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

In my previous article, Optimize Your Country Music Website: Part 2 – What to Include, I pointed out that a country music artist’s website is their online calling card. I listed the minimum information that should be on your country music website. In part three of this series, I want to discuss things that should be avoided when you create your site. Things to avoid include:

  • A splash page – Unless there is a REALLY good reason for it, avoid using a splash page. They usually serve no useful purpose and only make your visitor have to click another time to get into your site (people on the Net don’t like to click more than they have to to get the information they want). If you’ve just released a new CD, you could possibly use that as a splash page, but it would be better to place it prominently on your home page.
  • Slow loading animations – Any controls or animations that take a long time to load should be avoided. There are still a lot of people on dial up connections and if a page takes too long to load, they’ll go elsewhere. Even with a cable modem I’ve been on a few sites that have driven me nuts with how long it took to load a page.
  • Unintelligible navigation – Make your navigation easy to use and understand. First off, I need to know it’s navigation. Cute animations that only reveal that they’re navigation when a mouse pointer passes over them may look clever, but it can really cause confusion. Also make sure you have the same navigation options (in the same order and in the same place) on all of your pages.
  • Don’t trap me in your site – I use my Back button on my browser a lot. Sometimes I get trapped in a site because there is an instant redirect from the landing page to the actual home page. When this happens, I have to click the Back button two times quickly to get out. People who don’t know about this just get stuck in your site and I can promise you, it just ticks them off!
  • Make sure it works on all the major browsers – ou need to test your site on Internet Explorer, FireFox, and Opera at the least. More and more people are using FireFox and Opera, as well as other browsers, so you may be alienating visitors by having features that don’t work in all browsers. Again, it’s happened to me more than once.
  • Have a way to turn off the music on your site – Because you’re a musician, you want people to hear your music. However, if you have a player that starts as soon as someone lands on your page, make sure they can turn it off – you don’t know where they are and having music blaring from their computer may not be a good thing!

If visitors to your site find useful information and are not turned off by your site, they’ll be more likely to revisit your site in the future. Avoid the items listed above, and incorporate the ideas in parts one and two of this series, and you’ll be well on your way to a really great website and people will want to visit your site over and over again.

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