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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Free Music Online...That's Perfectly Legal

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Free Music Online...That's Perfectly Legal

I got a "trial by fire" so to speak when I got my Microsoft Zune for Christmas. I like to listen to a few podcasts...the financial gurus Dave Ramsey and Ric Edelman being my favorites. I guess my husband saw me wasting too much time on the computer listening in, so now I can get their latest talk shows and listen to them on my outings around town...very handy. And then when I saw the music...my hubby had uploaded all my favorite hits from the 80s and 90s! What a great feeling to listen to all that old stuff. Now my kids happen to get Zunes too from Santa. They,for the most part, don't like to listen to that "old lady stuff", so we looked at alternatives to get them their favorite songs. They have been diehard XM Radio Top 20 listeners for about 6 months now. It's funny to see the "almost tweenies" get into the latest songs and artists and such, mouthing the wrong words and keeping just a step behind the beat.

After dutifully downloading a few songs from the Zune Marketplace, as well as Amazon and a few other places...we started running out of allowances and chump change. So I put on my thinking cap. Remember in the very old days..at least for us....recording songs off the radio with your cassette player? I figured there had to be something just as nifty now. After a few days online, here are a few alternatives I have found...all are legal, and your conscience won't beat you up about it either.

  • Broadclip MediaCatcher. Let me say, I loved the idea. The software searches for you on hundreds of internet radio stations. You check back periodically to see what it found and then download the songs as MP3s to your computer. I say I loved the idea, because I had software issues and couldn't quite get it to work right.
  • Freecorder. This is a nifty little browser tool with record, stop, play, etc buttons at the top of your browser. You can go to one of the many sites that plays songs in streaming audio (I like Yahoo Music and CNet Downloads, which also has some free songs), hit "record", then "stop" when it's over. Freecorder will then prompt you for a song name and where you want to store it. You can customize some other options too. I have a folder I named "My Recordings" and made sure the Zune was able to find it.

Of course, when you record songs, you do have to fill in the Album, Artist and other info. The Zune automatically searches for album art and plugs that in. There are also some programs you can use to find album art and fix tags. I tried out Fixtunes . It fixes all your tags automatically, but gives you the chance to check them over first too. I had a few album covers that were just plain wrong. You can do 50 free with the shareware version, to buy, it's $24.95, but if you use coupon code 3eba623620, it drops the price to $9.95. It was a handy program, and it worked well for me. After a few hours, early one morning, I fixed all the old tags from my husband's music. It was funny to see him go to bed last night, scrolling through all the old album art from his heydey on his own little Sansa MP3 player.

I also tried out MP3 Tag, which is more labor intensive, but it allows you to search online databases to fix individual album art as well. I liked how it organized all the artist folders, so you could see what was in each one, without clicking on it. We had some songs stored in the wrong folders, which we would've never noticed otherwise. I guess that's my being uptight by things that aren't quite so orderly. Anyway, it's another program I recommend.

Do you have an MP3 player? When do you use it? Where do you get your music?

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9 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

Hey graet article! You are VERY right< Freecorder is AMAZING and I use it all the time to record internet music, even skype calls.

If you want, I've put together a website recently that discusses the BEST freeware and shareware on the net, it's www.record-online-media.com
I've also got a online forum setup there, www.record-online-media.com/forum

I dont have alot of posters yet because it's a new forum and website, but my name is Jeff, and my name on the board there is Media Guru so if you're ever looking for more cool tools, or just have a question on how to record something, let me know!

By the way, this is NOT spam, as you can see I have numerous blogs on blogspot as well, and i'm typing this up as I go

Anyways, great post, and if you want a better mp3 editor than mp3 tag, check out Replay Music and/or MP3 Magic, both are discussed on my forum!

Take care

Jeff

January 11, 2008 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I have an iPod, courtesy of SpouseBuzz and their "What's Your Story" contest. Most of the music on there is mine, ripped from my own CD's. I also get occasional offers from emusic.com which offers 25 free downloads. They don't have as good a selection, so I get my 25 free, then leave. They recently had an offer for 75 free just before the holidays. But I had a hard time finding 25 the FIRST time. Though, from what I hear, they upgrade their library all the time.

If I'm looking for music, I usually just use the iTunes/Apple store...cost 99 cents a song. But I'll check out your offerings. I like the idea of recording off of streaming music, but if there are any glitches or skips in your connection, won't you get those in your recording as well? The quality is not as good as the regular files, I'm thinking.

January 11, 2008 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife**** said...

Linda, I've "freecorded" about 20 songs now...I had forgotten to also mention the Rhapsody site for streaming songs. As of yet, all the songs are crystal clear, even at high volume on my husband's stereo system and Bose speakers...I would say if you have a cable internet connection, you shouldn't run into any problems. I've also recorded music videos (the music, not the video...yet).

Congrats on winning the contest! I don't think I've ever won anything that nifty!

Jeff, thanks for mentioning your site. It sounds like a nice idea, and that you are putting a lot of work into it (or else you wouldn't have found my post!).

January 11, 2008 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Haha, this is very true, and thank you for the kind words! I'm not that great with HTML, but i had a good friend of mine who is a web developer help me out with the site in exchange for dinner a few times. :-)

Anyways, check out the site and forum, and enjoy! And hey, linda congrats on the contest, i'm jealous! :-)

With regards to linda's comment about glitches and skips etc, that is true, you DO get the glitches and skips, but I dont encounter those all that often. Depending on the file format, you can even edit those away with "mp3 magic" (which I discuss in my forum)

yeah, so many programs out there, too bad one doesnt do EVERYTHING, haha

take care

jeff

January 11, 2008 at 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I highly recommend Replay Music. http://applian.com/replay-music/index.php

It automatically saves the song as an MP3 with the correct file name and artist/title tags. Rhapsody works awesome with this program. If you want to get the subscription it's a good deal since you can get unlimited streaming for about $10/mo. but if you want you can just use their free membership which limits you to 25 songs per month.

Also, I recommend using the Free YouTube to iPod converter for grabbing videos and songs off of youtube and saving them in a variety of formats. This works great with music videos. You can save the music video in video format or as an mp3.

http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/guides/dvd/convert-YouTube-FLV-video-to-iPod-MP4-video.htm

January 12, 2008 at 3:19 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I've got to say, I agree with "Anonymous" 100%, Replay Music is graet. In fact, coupled with MP3 Magic, you've pretty much got all the mp3 tools you want.

Anyways, here's a good article on both:

http://record-online-media.com/forum/yaf_postst17_What-is-the-BEST-mp3-program.aspx

Take care again, and this blog is GREAT!

Jeff

January 13, 2008 at 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the anonymous poster from before. I would use audacity instead of mp3 magic. You can use audacity instead of replay radio also, but replay radio is much nicer for what we want and is worth the money. Audacity is a free program.

http://www.google.com/url?q=http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/&sa=X&oi=smap&resnum=1&ct=result&cd=2&usg=AFQjCNEADOyUtfTomufJZ_YGMJ3gEdEI_w

May 1, 2008 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

I just downloaded Audacity myself..been thinking to use it for making podcasts of this site...but the learning curve is steep for me...never mixed music, etc before!

May 1, 2008 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger tuxgirl said...

I recommend checking out Jamendo.com. Their music is all by independent artists, and it's all available for free. REally good music!

July 21, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

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