Steve’s Media Blog

Archive for the ‘resource’ Category

Happy Friday!  Last week saw some sappy love tunes courtesy of Cover Lay Down, but this week sees 11 free albums!  The list is courtesy of The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown, a blog which makes top 11 lists of…everything.  Usually music.

Check out their February 10th post for what they consider the best free albums online; I wanted to feature this last week, but Valentine’s Day was just around the corner… 

The 11 Best Free Albums on the Internet



Got this link courtesy of Lifehacker:

The Ultimate List of Free Windows Software from Microsoft

Apparently, the author scoured over 5,000 tags to make this list complete.  There seems to be a rather large mix of really useful applications and just some neat toys.  As the title suggests, everything there is a Microsoft product so it’s safe to download and experiment.

I think the most common new year’s resolution, apart from overall “change your habits” thinking, is to lose weight.  It’s probably a flawed resolution because it’s often based on the pounds gained over the holidays and not looking at the bigger picture (for example, weight goals compared from year to year as opposed to a holiday eating binge, or health reasons).  The short version is that nearly everyone makes a resolution to lose weight, and nearly everyone will be the butt of a few weight-loss resolution jokes.

However if one of your goals is to lose some pounds, then you should do it smart.  My girlfriend and I have a goal to lose 10 pounds this month – which is great, but I think we should be tracking our progress.  You can do so with a handy-dandy workout log!

Posted today over at squawkfox is a free, printable workout log (in PDF format) that covers a period of a week.  Personally, my vision for this for us is a little binder for all the weeks this month, and the next, and the next, and so forth.

Either way, a very handy log and it’s free!

I used to put together a lot of websites – not all of them very good, mind you, but for a teenager in high school they were fairly decent.  I think they were exceptional for the actual amount of design talent that I possess.

Lately I haven’t been into it too much – there are a lot of developments out there now that are way above my head: php (though I tried jumping into that briefly – it’s something I’ll reconsider later but for now I’ll leave it), CSS, xhtml, and whatever other acronym you can think of.

But I decided that I need a better personal web space.  Right now, I have this site, which is about as simple as you can get.  It used to be a site for my resume, but I was made aware earlier this year that company policy doesn’t allow us to post anywhere online saying what company we work for.

I’m really getting off-topic here though: I’m trying to talk about a website that offers a really easy-to-read essay about basic elements of web design.  It’s not a tutorial, though it has links to different resources throughout.  It definitely changed my opinion on web design and how I’m going to go about putting together my next project.

Take a look through the article “Why tables for layout is stupid: problems defined, solutions offered”.  If you’re a web designer, perhaps it might serve to open your eyes a little; it opened mine, for sure!

Wow, I logged into WordPress today and found a new design for my dashboard.  Completely forgot about the upgrade – it looks good!

Moving along, I have several free songs for you!  They’re from ARTISTdirect Network, a site I stumbled upon just this morning (I know, I should really plan out my blog a little more!).  Looks like a standard music site, and they have a whole section of free downloads.

Check out the list underneath the main ad on the right side (right now for me it’s some ad for a playboy perfume, could be something different later), or hit the Free Downloads link on the left underneath the “Overview” section.

I’m officially adding this site to my resource list; apart from the free music they’ve also got links to different streams (including Britney’s Circus album – I think that’s getting a review sometime soon!).

A quick note: I think I suggested there might be a review today since I missed it yesterday.  Going to have to renege on that as I am leaving work early today to get ready for a Christmas Party and I won’t have time between now and dinner.  Look for something on Monday.

Lastly: got an email today (for some reason, to my work email) in very big bold letters about some French artist.  I haven’t looked at her myspace but I felt I would copy the letter for you guys (edited only slightly). 


Do you know Anaïs ?

She’s a French young girl who just released her album in the US. “The Love Album” was produced by DAN THE AUTOMATOR (Gorillaz, Love Age) and is already available worldwide on Itunes.
Her first album sold 450,000 copies and was a major success in France.

The first single from her second album “I LOVE YOU” might be of great interest … feel free to take a listen here:


I shouldn’t make it a secret that a lot of the free stuff I link to are courtesy of Red Flag Deals.  It’s a fun web site and they’ve got a large forum with various topics.  It’s where I got that link to Love Song.  And it’s where I got pointed to a new music site (at least, new to me): Amie Street.

They have an interesting pricing model, where all songs start at $0.00 and move up to a maximum price of $0.98 – depending on the number of purchases.  The more popular songs will likely cost the maximum $0.98.  They also seem to give you rewards for song recommendations that lead to an increase in price (i.e., more purchases).  All the music is DRM-free, so it will work in any media/mp3 player.

I’m not sure how they are able to do this – it’s not really explained in their “about” page.  I would venture a guess that they pay a blanket licence fee that allows them to set their own prices.  That would at least explain how they are able to start songs at $0.00.

They claim to be a place to discover new artists – and from the looks of things that is the case, although they are featuring Cold War Kids as one of their “new” artists.   I suppose the mainstream might not be familiar with them, but a lot of people already know how great they are, I’m sure.

In any case, looks like another resource for free music – and it is apparently legal.  I think I’m going to send an e-mail and find out for sure what their deal is.

As well, to make up for a lack of a Friday Morning Free Music last week, here are some cover songs of music by The Band courtesy of Cover Lay Down.  I’ve always loved The Band (and actually, one of my projects at school was a short documentary about them), and I like me some free covers.

image from TheBlackTechReport

image from TheBlackTechReport

I had two websites to link to today that really didn’t fit together: a password generator and a web-based writing utility.

First up is a very useful website utility, “Perfect Passwords”.  It’s maintained by the Gibson Research Corporation (which I have never heard of, to be honest), and generates exactly that: a perfect password.  Everything is completely randomized and is, according to the website, very secure.  You can read about how the passwords are secure and notes about the application.  Check out Perfect Passwords if you need a new password (recommended for protecting your wi-fi connection).

Then there is a really great application that will be very handy for anybody who is taking part in that famous November novel writing month.  I found this through Lifehacker; it’s called Write or Die.  It’s a neat little application, designed to help you write something for which you may be on a deadline (like a novel-writing competition that ends November 30).  I haven’t tried it out yet – but apparently if you put it in Kamikaze Mode, if you stop writing for a little bit the application starts deleting your text.  I guess that would motivate you to keep writing!  You can check out Write or Die here.

Hope you all enjoyed the free song on Friday – I’ve decided I’m going to see what I can dig up this Friday.

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