Posts Tagged ‘free’

Intern Insights: Part 4

August 5, 2010

YES! Opportunity to post a shark picture taken! (Flickr/hermanusbackpackers)

Emily the intern is back from a month long vacation. “What?!? Interns get vacations?” you’re asking. I know! Geez.

Anyway, Emily’s back at Fairware and well-rested. She has a new intern insight for this week focused on free music on the internet. Read on.

Grooveshark gives itunes a run for its money

If you’ve been relying on YouTube to get your music fix, it is time to start swimming with Grooveshark.

Grooveshark in three words? Sharp. Clean. Impressive.

The music streaming website focus on music is spot on with its ocean-predator namesake. It will no doubt get you groovin’ quickly with its “millions of songs” and savable playlists. And yes – it’s free.

Although free online music streaming sites like Pandora or Slacker have been around for a while, Grooveshark’s interface is much more intuitive and straight to the point. There is no need to search for genre “stations” or spend a lot of time customizing to get to the specific songs you like. The genius of the site is that, you can start playing songs right away, even without registration. It allows detailed search of songs or albums by the same artist. You can drag and drop to reorder songs and modify playlists. iTunes enthusiasts will find the similarity useful.

For the music experience connoisseur, the automatic “radio” option is available, allowing Grooveshark to create a playlist for you based on similarities to music you like.

Although free, Grooveshark is not bogged down with clunky ads asking you to go premium and you barely notice the banner ad on the far right of the music player.

The music database is powered by users uploading their own music on to the online library and allowing other users to stream it.

Share links to your playlists with your friends via email/facebook/twitter with no requirements for them to sign up. You can also create a music widget on your website from your Grooveshark playlist. Additional options for paid premium VIP users can stream for free with the smartphone Grooveshark app, as well as a quick launch desktop version ($3/month).

Drawbacks: Few, if any. The only issue is if Grooveshark will face any legal issues in the near future. Unfortunately, like much of the nifty free content on the internet, if you want your songs offline, it is back to the download route.

Yay sharks! (Flickr / Erik Charlton)

Grooveshark gaives iTunes a run for its mone

Intern Insights: Part 2

June 23, 2010

Flickr / kevindooley

Emily the intern is back with more cool stuff on the internet and free tools that can make your life easier. Read on.

Where did all my money go?! Personal finance minus the spreadsheet

For a business major, I am notoriously bad at keeping track of receipts. My bill envelopes at the end of the month are like Kinder chocolate eggs – guaranteed to come with a surprise inside.

The headache ends here. For those Excel-allergic, PayPass flashing, too busy wheeling and dealing to manage your wallet individuals – the solution is Money Strands.

Money Strands

Money Strands is a free personal finance site that makes it easy to enter your expenses. You can also enable it to automatically pull records from your bank, credit card and mortgage accounts, or upload digital bills yourself. If you mostly use credit or debit cards and use online banking, you will avoid the whole mundane process of data entry. Set up filters to automatically categorize your spending into Groceries, Car Repairs, Bills, Vacation and everything in between. Nifty analytic tools show you pie charts as well as cash flow patterns. Not sure where you’re at before splurging on the new iPhone? Check your budget balances and receive text message alerts. The site will also analyze your demographic and compare your spending patterns with people like you. It may or may not make you feel better about your quarter-life/mid-life crisis shopping sprees.

Money saved from not having to purchase software: $44.99 (Intuit Quicken)

More time to spend doing fun things instead of entering expenses and juggling budgets at the end of the month? Priceless!

Drawback: Uploading financial information on a third party website makes some people nervous. Many banks are launching their own apps within their online banking sites. Integration with smartphones is still buggy, so entering expenses on the go can still be improved.

For something a little more fun, but equally wallet-friendly, check out Groupon

Groupon has been big in the States for a while and recently hopped over to Canada. Use the power of the crowd to get you deals like $20 for $40 of seafood at A Kettle of Fish or half price annual membership to your favorite gym. Deal-hunting just got a lot savvier.

Until next time,

Emily the Intern


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