Thursday, September 29, 2016

Roku - Free Channels List & More

Here is a sampling of Free Channels, from the Roku Channel Store. To date, there are more than three thousand free, and pay channels available. Far too many to list, this post highlights the many categories available with Roku, and offers a small sample of these.

What more and more people are doing these days is going with streaming services and ditching cable. These folks are affectionately referred to as cord cutters and are among the masses of people who are fed up with the price gouging of their cable providers.

Here are the categories to choose from: All - Featured - New - Most Watched - APPS - Comedy - Educational - Fitness - Food - Games - International - Kids & Family - Lifestyle - Movies & TV - Music - News& Weather - Personal Media - Photo Apps - Religious - Sci & Technology - Screensavers - Shopping - Special Interest - Sports - Themes - Travel - Web Video

You can search within these categories and find channels for just about everything. Roku is always adding channels and there are numerous other private channels.

So, you're probably wondering if this is worth ditching cable, all I can say is that it's worth giving a try. Roku is only one streaming device service. There is also Chromecast, and others.

In fact, there is now a major push to provide packages of channels via the internet. I think we are all really at the beginning of something new.

Free Popular Channels:
Free Channels for Movies & TV Shows:
Free News Channels:
Free Channels for kids:
Free Channels for Music:

*FYI – The average Pay TV bill is now over $100 a month, that's just the average. Many people are paying for extra channels and are also getting charged monthly rental fees for their equipment and some of these people are paying upwards in the area of $200 a month. Ouch!!

Below is a very useful link to breaking the bad...habit of Pay TV.
Let me know what your favorite free channels are in the comments below.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Android Apps Now On Your Chromebook

Yay! If you want to use Android apps on your Chromebook, now you can. All you'll have to do is this, go to About Chrome OS in the Settings pane, then click More info, and Change the Channel. Choose the developer channel - the least stable.

After changing the channel your system will cycle through a process of updating your system, and then prompt you to click restart.

After a restart, you’ll be ready to go. A new Play Store icon will appear in your app launcher.

That's all there is to it.

Most Android apps launch in a phone screen-sized window. You can maximize the window although, some app's may not respond to this well, and might become unstable. Some can easily switch to tablet mode, while some apps have an extra menu button that lets you manually switch between Portrait and Landscape modes, it varies depending on the app.

The reality here is many apps may not work at all, some will have terrible display, and some may say your device isn't compatible with this version etc.

Lets face it, many app's are designed for mobile and were not intended to be used on laptop like screens. Many app's rely entirely on touch screens, and as we all know, most Chromebooks do not feature these touch screens.

Keep in mind, this is all new and developers will now have to accommodate chrome as a new system as they develop and update their app's.

Google says that their PlayStore Apps will all be compatible with newer Chromebooks with touch screens.

*After doing this, you can go back and change the channel again, back to stable, and the PlayStore Icon button will still be available to you. This way you can select apps that will work. This is a better option for those with older Chromebooks.

Good Luck!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hoopla Digital Streaming App - Review

Hoopla is a digital media streaming service with an extensive catalog of Audio-Books, Movies, Music Albums, Comics, e-Books, and TV shows. Their service offers multiple different forms of media all in one web-site.

Hoopla can best be considered as an additional digital media service that libraries offer to their patrons, in addition to whatever digital media services libraries provide themselves.

The big upside here is that there are no commercials or advertisements, the library pays to subscribe. The only downside here is that the library’s patrons get limited access, from 4-15 for free.

Ask your local library if they are affiliated, if so, then you can create a free Hoopla account with your library card.

After creating a Hoopla account with a supported library card, you'll have access to check out a number of titles per month, from 4 to 15, depending on your library’s subscription.

Then you can check out Movies and TV for 72 hours, Music Albums for a week, e-Books, Comics, and Audio-books for three weeks. Their availability automatically expires after their designated time allotment as per the specific media.

Hoopla is a great way to check out digital media before buying it.”

The publisher of the media gets paid each time a patron checks it out, and only when a patron checks it out, so libraries don’t have to take the risk of paying for a title that their patrons may not actually want. The media can be checked out and played or read either through a web browser, or with Android, and iOS apps.

Even if your library is not affiliated with Hoopla, you can still create a free account.

The overall here is, Hoopla is a fantastic service where you can enjoy digital content ad-free, and that alone makes this a worthwhile app to add to your favorites.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Justin Bieber Awarded 8 Guinness World Records

Justin Bieber Scores Big w/ 8 Guinness World Records.

OMG-WTH-WTF etc...Do you feel like Ozzy, and are scratching your head wondering what's a Bieber? If so, you're not alone.

His 85 million and counting twitter following, along with his 10 billion plus streams on YouTube, and having 17 songs simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, are maybe his most impressive achievements.

This 22-year-old digital millennium pop star sets eight world records. His trail blazing success is due largely to the strength of his chart topping fourth studio album “Purpose.”

Listed below are the eight new world records set.

  1. Most streamed track on Spotify in one week
  2. Most streamed album on Spotify in one week
  3. Most simultaneous tracks on the US singles chart
  4. Most simultaneous new entries in the Hot 100 by a solo artist
  5. First act to occupy all top 3 positions simultaneously on UK singles chart
  6. Most followers on twitter (male)
  7. Most viewed music channel on YouTube (individual)
  8. Most subscribers on YouTube for a musician (male)

Whether or not his blend of pop music is your cup of tea, does not matter, his success makes him an undeniable phenomenon.

His success is an example of stardom in a new era. Records today are just for today...eventually someone new will come along and break them, raising the bar, setting new records.

Are you a Belieber or are you a non-Belieber?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

To Stream or Not To Stream, That is The Question

To Stream or not to Stream, that is the real question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind and wallet to suffer the outrageous subscription prices of the music industry vultures, or to take another direction altogether for listening to music that you like.

Amazon Prime , Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud,  Tidal, and a few others, that are really insignificant, all offer music streaming services.

When it comes to paying artists, YouTube is paying out the meager $0.00111 per stream to that eye popping $0.00121 with Spotify up to the $0.01573 from Tidal.

When it comes to the quality of your music streaming you'll find that Spotify and Tidal will give you up to 320 kbps while the others are likely to give you 128 kbps and that includes YouTube.

If you want to pay an ongoing subscription for listening to music, the all around best option will be Spotify. They have better playback, and more selections and are fairly priced for the service they provide. They also offer an ad supported free version. YouTube is your next best choice, they also offer a free ad supported version. The upside with YouTube is that they have the largest all around selection of music that there is.

Free tiers are offered through Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube. These are all worth considering.

Now ask yourself, how much music do you listen to? When do you listen to music? How long do you listen to music? Do you really listen or is it just something in the background while you're doing other things, socializing etc.?

Is this worth the ongoing $10-$14 a month?
The same music is being played on the radio for do know that right?

Aside from the cost, the resources used by your system of choice and the bandwidth, I really do not think that any of these services are worth their price. None!
You can use your Google account to create a YouTube account and from there create play-lists of all of your favorites. You can create lists of songs or lists of albums, it would depend on what you prefer. This is my recommendation for anyone wondering whether to stream or not to stream.

YouTube has the most music available, creating various play-lists is easy enough to do, and more and more are doing just that. Forget about Google Play Music and YouTube Red, just use the standard YouTube to create all of the play-lists that you like.

Another option is to check your local library for digital media. There you can stream high quality content, but there may be a limit to how much you can check out. It is a good option that no one else has been talking about, and I like to do this myself.

You'll have to decide for yourself, but the best free options are your local library and YouTube, and the best paid service to date will be Spotify.

Rock On!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Happy Together Tour Wednesday August 31st 8 PM at the Canfield Fairgrounds

The Happy Together Tour Wednesday August 31st 8 PM at the Canfield Fairgrounds

The Happy Together Tour stopped in Canfield and despite the pouring rain they then played on.

The show was a success despite the conditions and my family and I watched from the cheap seats in the covered grandstand. It was the first concert that my wife and young son has ever seen and they enjoyed the experience very much.

The cotton candy was $4 and water was $2 and soda pop and popcorn was $3. They were selling t-shirts and CD’s also but I didn’t check to see their prices. Covered stands seating tickets were $25 and seating on the track was $35.

The assigned seating really didn't matter too much, as there were plenty of open spaces where you could move around and change if you liked. The stage was not very big, but again that did not matter much as there were projector screens on both sides giving you the up close look from farther away. It did rain throughout the whole show, so we thought being in the grandstand was a better idea.

The show was at the Canfield Fairgrounds and began at 8 PM with the Cowsills. Of the Five acts that performed I think the Cowsills may have stolen the show. They just shined through the evening with an abundance of happiness, noticeably more so than with the other acts. Gary Puckett wowed us with his big hits, his distinctive voice is as strong as ever, and made sure we noticed he was still able to wear his famous blazer from the sixties. He and the Cowsills were the highlights of the show.

Mark Lindsay the Paul Revere and the Raiders front-man gave us “Cherokee People” and “Arizona” along with a few others and had the crowd really going. Chuck Negron, one of Three Dog Night’s front-men gave us memorable performances of “Mama Told Me Not To Come”, “One” and “Joy To The World.” His voice was the most powerful of the night's performers. The Turtles finished off the evening in fantastic style, they opened the show spoofing Adele’s Hello and making Caitlin Jenner jokes, pointing out how they just missed out on being The Beatles by three letters and how that cost them billions. In case you’re wondering the evening was filled with lighthearted humor that appeals to an older crowd.

On this night, unfortunately the Spencer Davis Group did not perform due to an illness. The five acts that did perform played on through miserable rainy conditions and were all really great.

You could tell by the crowd interactions and sing-along that they are followers of this Tour that comes to town every year. The Happy Together Tour is a great show for the family and you should check out their website to stay up to date and catch them in concert if you can.

If you wanna talk about bang for your buck, you won't do better than this show for sure!

Mill Creek Park - Mill Creek Metro-Parks

Mill Creek Park, now officially known as Mill Creek Metro-Parks, is located in Youngstown, Ohio.

Mill Creek Park was founded in 1891 by Youngstown attorney Volney Rogers. Rogers purchased most of the land, and secured options with the rest, for the purpose of this becoming a state park. Rogers then put forth what he called the "Township Park Improvement Law." After this Law was passed, Rogers turned over all of the land he had secured for park purposes. Rogers then had the area declared a park by the state legislature. It became an official state park in 1893.

Lanterman's Mill was built in 1845–46 by German Lanterman and Samuel Kimberly. It was restored during 1982–85 with the financial assistance of the Ward and Florence Beecher Foundations. The Mill operates today just like it did in the 1800s, grinding corn, wheat, and buckwheat.

Inside the Mill is a store where you can buy souvenirs and food products.

Aside from the main attraction of Lanterman's Mill are picturesque trails for riding, jogging or walking. There are Lakes and ponds and garden and a Nature Center.

In all there's quite a lot to experience and see and to do it all would take more than a day.

The Gorge of Cuyahoga Falls

The Gorge of Cuyahoga Falls

Long ago, in 1759, a 12 year old Mary Campbell was taken in Pennsylvania, by Delaware Indians and brought to the present-day Gorge Metro Park, where she lived as a child of Chief Netawatwees.

Mary Campbell, became the first white child in what was then the wild frontier of the Western Reserve. She later settled with the tribe in a village along the banks of the Cuyahoga River, not far from the cave. She was eventually released in 1764 after a treaty ended the French and Indian War.

Thousands of years prior, the Gorge was formed when glacial debris blocked the route of the Cuyahoga River, and caused the river to find a new course. Today, the water flows over a shale riverbed, between ledges made of Sharon conglomerate sandstone. Oak, black-gum, tulip and yellow birch trees are very common in the woods that covering the valley walls.

This 155-acre Metro Park was made possible in 1930, when the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company donated the land to Metro Parks.

Summit County Metroparks – The Gorge

1160 Front St Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223