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I Can’t Tell You How Much I Love Spotify

I Can’t Tell You How Much I Love Spotify
I spent too much time hatin’ on Spotify. I had tried to a few times but my old curmudgeon ways had me favoring local iTunes music. But then Apple Music gave me 3 months free to try it out and BOOM, I was hooked on streaming. But the UI (like everything else iTunes) was clunky as hell. Thinking there was a better way I went to put fresh eyes on Spotify again. What a difference a couple months make. I don’t know what they do with that search algorithm, but my curated “Discover Weekly” playlist has turned me on to so much new artists and music that it’s become 70% of my music search for mixes. I’m still keeping Apple Music and possibly signing up for iCloud Sharing so I can upload all of my unreleased, rare remixes and personal music for streaming, but Spotify is my main spot. Add me if you haven’t already:

Twitterrific Is My New iOS Twitter App

Twitterrific Is My New iOS Twitter App

In my ongoing pursuit to upgrade my iPhone XS Max with apps that have a sexy UI, I’ve moved back over to Twitterrific as my official Twitter app. True, the official app has a dark mode which looks great on my new phone, but Twitterrific’s tweaked UI looks lightly better with a nice user experience. I’m still on the fence so this is a trial tryout. I can always go back to the default app if needed. But until then, I’ll play around with this one.

The Agora Player Is My New Podcast App

The Agora Player Is My New Podcast App

With my phone upgrade, I’m trying to update my favorite apps, focusing on great UX and sexy UI. I’ve been using Downcast for years on my iPhone. I’ve tried a few others but alway came back due to its easy of use and reliability. But now with a nice OLED screen on my new iPhone XS Max, I’m looking to upgrade to something more slick, but still easy to use. The AgoraPlayer seems to be the dopest app I could find. There’s a bit of a learning curve on how to use it, but the UI is sexy and hell.

AgoraPlayer.com

 

MacOS + iOS App: Slugline

MacOS + iOS App: Slugline

I’ve been using Slugline for a few years. I even did a post on it back in the day. But I wanted to revisit it because it’s such a useful scriptwriting app. The big hook for Slugline is all of the formatting is automatic. If you learn how to use it properly, you can type up a script as fast as you can type. No stopping to access menus for formatting dialog, or scenes or… slug lines. You just type. This has been a dream for me, being one those creatives who obsessively try to get their thoughts down before you forget everything. Throw in a new full-featured mobile app for iOS and being able to access your scripts in the cloud, and you’ve got a great alternative to bloated script apps like Final Draft.

Grab Slugline on both MacOS ($49.99) and iOS. ($19,99). I know they’re both seem pretty expensive. But if you’re serious about your scriptwriting and you want an app that won’t get in the way of your creativity, Slugline is definitely the way to go.

MacOS App: Saving Mobile Data with TripMode

MacOS App: Saving Mobile Data with TripMode

I commute around 4 hours a day (yes, I said FOUR!!). And even though the commuter bus has free wifi for its passengers, I still don’t feel right about connecting my devices to an unprotected internet connection. So, I use my phone as a hotspot when I need to get work done on the move. For those of us who do this regularly, you know that a lot of your laptop’s background functions can burn up a lot of data with processes you don’t need (auto checking mail, cloud backup, etc.).

iOS App: Roli Noise

iOS App: Roli Noise

Back in January I did a post about a new modular MIDI controller called BLOCS from a company called Roli. It was cool a attempt at something different. It looked AWESOME but I felt was way too expensive to even think about purchasing. Now Roli’s put the functionality into a mobile app called Noise. Basically a pad-based music maker, it’s similar to Mischine’s mobile app. I don’t know how functional this app would be in my production workflow. It seems to be better equipped if you own the BLOCS modules. But when I’m on the train and I want to just mess around with some soundpads, for now Noise is a great way to experiment. We’ll see if it becomes a lot more useful in the future.

Currently only available for iOS.

iOS App: Sounds App Music Sharing

iOS App: Sounds App Music Sharing

The big thing for me on social media is the ability to post ‘media’ in my streams. I’m basically online to post mixes, promote artists I love and interface with said artists and like-minded music fans. It took me a long time to find an iOS app that would allow me to post video and music clips to embed in my posts. The only app I’ve been able to find that does this great is the Sounds App Music Sharing.

Part social media stream, and part clip creator, the Sounds App allows you to find, edit and then share clips of your favorite music and music videos on your Sounds App account, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and most notably Instagram. You can only post clips with a 60 limit (the instagram max) but that’s enough to let people hear what your listening to. It can be a little clunky at times (creating 60 clips sometimes doesn’t work with instagram) but overall it’s a great way to fill out your social feeds with your musical tastes. Download on iOS and Android

Bye Bye #Slack. Dropbox Just Gave Me Paper

Bye Bye #Slack. Dropbox Just Gave Me Paper

This week was my week to get organized. I have so many damn projects on my plate:

  1. Day job (videos, web development, email campaigns and presentations)
  2. Movies (editing a Hip-Hop documentary)
  3. Music projects (My own project, collaborations with Aarophat and Sean-Touré)
  4. Launch a new business model (kitchenrebel.com recipes, catering and food tutorials)
  5. Writing (scripts, novels, short stories)

There’s so much i’m juggling right now that I need to keep track of anything that falls through the cracks. About a year ago, I got invited to try #Slack. It’s a team messaging platform built for collaboration. It’s basically a Facebook/twitter style app that lets you share and collaborate content in a stream with your team. #Slack has a lot of app add-ons that allow you to use it with other platforms like Box and Dropbox. What little of it that I used I loved. I loaded two projects in and added my teams with no problem. There was a slight learning curve to understand the workflow, but afterwards, it sped up the collaborative process immensely. But I hadn’t used it in awhile due to a lot of other things i’ve had to do which didn’t give me time to funnel things through #slack’s system. But this week, I was making time to re-organize my workload and set up some pretty extensive #slack projects.

Just as I finished by first project and sent out requests to add collaborators, and a buddy hipped me to Dropbox’s new beta platform called Paper. WHAT THE F***?! Soooo… let me get this straight, Dropbox. You’ve launched a platform beta that basically takes all the best parts of #slack, streamlines the UI and integrates it with my primary document syncing service? HELL YES!! I quickly signed up for the beta and was treated to one of the best tutorial walkthroughs I’ve ever seen. Within minutes (ironically enough, thanx to #slack) I was able to understand and start using Paper. I loaded up a few projects and was surprisingly pleased by the content stream UI. It was more blog-based and social media. Being an older designer who can remember when blogs were the new hotness, this was super minimal, familiar and extremely easy to use.

I’d love to stay loyal to #slack though. To be truthful, those guys bent over backwards to help me climate to their platform- even giving me one year free of their premium level to fit with what I needed it to do. It’s just… Dropbox did a very smart thing. They built a platform that others had been requesting for years. Right now, everyone that I collaborate with uses Dropbox as their primary way to share and collaborate files. Paper just adds to that workflow, easily taking away all the repetitive headaches of cutting and pasting links into email or text messages. Now we can take all the other workflows and keep all of the aspect of the projects in one tight process.

LINKS: Dropbox Paper | #Slack

MacOS App: Blogo

MacOS App: Blogo

 

I’ve been looking for a cool offline blogging tool for my Mac. I was using MarsEdit for years, but it never really seemed to work right. Checking the Mac App Store, I came across Blogo. It’s basically MarsEdit with a nice Mac OS flat polish.

Seems to only work with WordPress blogs, but apparently there’s more platforms on the way. I’m writing this post in Blogo right now. It doesn’t seem to be compatible with custom template functionality, so if there’s added multimedia that’s attached to your template, then you’ll have to work around it. Once I’m finished typing this post, i’ll have to jump into the browser editing system to add video.

But for the simple post jobs, it seems to do the trick. Offline blogging will allow me to prep posts and work on them even if i’m not online.

 

#Essentials: Productivity Apps

#Essentials: Productivity Apps

I always get emails and Facebook/twitter/google messages about my essential tools in everything. So I decided to start compiling #essentials lists of my favorite things. Let’s kick it off with my Top 3 Productivity apps I can’t live without.

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Transmit

This has been my favorite ftp app for a while now. Feature-wise it’s not that different from a lot of the other apps. But the UI is very clean and fits well with the rest of my apps. Plus, being able to mount my ftp directories on my desktop can be a little slow but very useful sometimes.
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Jaksta Deluxe Media Bundle

This is proof that email advertising works. I got this ad for an all-in-one bundle for ripping and converting audio and video from ANY website (including bandcamp, soundcloud, youtube, etc.). It can be a little clunky at times. Some days it just won’t work. But most of the time when I need to pull hard to find content from the web, or convert one format to another, Jaksta tends to come through when I need it. It’s a worthy successor to VisualHub (r.i.p.)
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Scrivener

I get the writing bug from time to time, and a simple text editor isn’t going to do it. I found Scrivener and i’ve been in love ever since. Basically a writing app on steroids. It’s got a full featured content management system so you can save your notes, research, reference media, and others directly into your working document. Plus you can export to all the essential ebook formats so you can load your masterpiece on your iPad and Kindle.
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