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The Best Music Training Apps for iOS Devices

It’s never too late to learn how to play an instrument. Whether you’d like your kids to start learning how to read music, or you want some training for yourself, these apps can be excellent starting resources.

Learning how to read and play sheet music is a great way to build cognitive dexterity and keep your mind sharp. Take a look at these great music training apps for Apple’s iOS devices.

Nota

Are you intimidated by music theory? This revolutionary app will get you over that barrier with an extensive database of theory definitions, visuals, and auditory examples.

You’ll start memorizing a variety of music scales in no time. Nota is really geared toward education; it will help you retain information with built-in quizzes and progress-tracking systems.

If you ever need help building a chord during a jam session, you can quickly look up the notes with this app’s reference tool.

GarageBand

Both adults and children will have fun playing with the virtual keyboards, guitars, and drum sets in this dynamic music creation app. You can record, edit, and share your masterpieces with others, without knowing how to read music at all.

Just explore the exhaustive sound libraries, put on a metronome, choose a virtual instrument, and start jamming! Don’t worry about mistakes, because you can use the built-in music editor to splice and re-record later.

Notes! Learn to Read Music

Some people learn better with flashcards. Notes! has assembled the symbols for every note and its position on a piano keyboard with easy-to-read, virtual notecards.

You can also plug in MIDI devices, such as electronic keyboards, so that you can view note transcriptions live while you’re playing different sounds.

Rhythm Cat

The whimsical black-cat animation in this app will be your tutor. Get to know the basics of timing, staff markings, rests, and beats while the cat dances across the screen.

This app is ideal for novice sheet music readers who want to get acquainted with rhythm concepts. Before you know it, you’ll be able to pick up classical violin sheet music and play these pieces like a pro!

Learning how to read sheet music is just the beginning. You’ll be able to master your favorites, and pretty soon, you might even find yourself transcribing original songs.

The digital era has made it easy for budding musicians to learn, create, and share their future masterpieces.

Lifestyle:

Does Networking Increase Your Net Worth?

Networking

With the advent of the Internet and social media, networking has become the new norm for the way businesses share information and gain potential clients. One article, The Advantages of Networking, even states that it can improve a company’s credibility.

It’s also a means to advertise directly to a specialized niche. More important, it’s the new way to grow your business while solidifying your foothold in the world. But networking did not always look the way it does today.

Death of a Salesman is a famous play by Arthur Miller that debuted in 1949. The main character is a door-to-door salesman who’s down on his luck because the industry is dying.

His means of forming relationships is by traveling from town to town and knocking on every door he can to sell his product. In the play, the main character slowly loses all his money and control of his family because his method of networking has become obsolete.

Even decades before the Internet gained popularity, the playwright knew that certain ways of forming meaningful business relationships were a tactic of a dying breed. So what does networking look like today?

Of course traveling salesmen aren’t going door to door anymore with their products in large briefcases. But what are they doing, how do they do it, and what exactly are they doing?

What networking is

According to the School of Library and Information Science, the term indicates a type of exchange between two parties, with the possibility of a career advancement.

This means that networking isn’t just a fun way to keep in touch or gain information. The main purpose is for monetary gain; it’s a type of intellectual business transaction.

How networking should be done

There’s more to it, though. Networking can make you a leader in your field.

Whether it’s real estate, journalism, or sports, establishing the right kinds of relationships with people in your business area will help you advance. When you want to be thought of as good in a particular field, you should surround yourself with those kinds of people.

How should networking be done? Ivan Misner states that networking is only an efficient use of time, energy, and/or money if it’s a strategic and focused method of building meaningful relationships. That means people who network shouldn’t just blanket email everyone they know. It has to be specialized and concise.

Some tips on how to start

Here are some tips on how to begin networking yourself:

  • Keep an ongoing list of names and contact information

  • Politely ask your friends, family, and contacts for their contact information

  • Use blogs, discussion groups, forums, and chats

When it comes down to it, does social networking increase a company’s net worth? It certainly builds meaningful relationships between like-minded individuals.

It passes useful, current information between two or more parties. It brings potential clients to a company who might possibly be interested in the product.

In all, it’s much more than what a door-to-door salesman would do.

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last update: July 25, 2014

Lifestyle:

4 Apps That’ll Help You with Household Chores

Most of us juggle chores at home, on top of our full-time jobs and other responsibilities. It can be very discouraging when you let dirt and grime accumulate so much that cleaning the house becomes an extraordinarily time-consuming proposition. housework1

However, the tedium and drudgery can be eased with apps designed to help keep you on schedule with your home-cleaning tasks. Take a look at these four great apps that can help you manage your chores and even entertain you a little along the way.

1. You Rule Chores

Human psychology is a funny thing. Turns out, if you transform cleaning into a game, you’re more likely to complete the tasks.

You Rule is a game of chores that awards users with unique avatar power-ups as you clean. This is ideal for families that have a difficult time getting motivated to tidy up.

Your kids will get on board so they can reach new upgrade achievements and compete with each other. Once you have this, your house will get cleaner than it’s ever been.

2. Bright Nest

Your home fixtures are accumulating lime deposits, dust, stains, rust, and other unwanted grime. So how exactly do you clean these surfaces?

The Bright Nest app is full of simple tips and tricks that have been crowd-sourced by cleaning professionals. For example, did you know that you can use lemon water to clean the inside of your microwave?

Also, vinegar will kill mold that you find growing on the edges of your sink or bathtub.

3. Green Shine

Are you concerned about exposing your family members and pets to harmful chemical cleaners? You can cut out dangerous substances by using green cleaners.

Not only are they non-toxic, but they’re also better for the environment. This app contains a guide to simple and safe cleaning substitutes for a variety of home surfaces.

4. Podcasts

Your podcast app can become your best friend during cleaning sessions. You don’t have to put up with the boredom of cleaning alone.

Download a couple of informative podcasts and turn cleaning into a period for entertainment or education. Pop in some ear pods so you can hear over the sound of running water or the vacuum cleaner.

Are you feeling motivated to tidy up yet? These apps can help you maintain a cleaning schedule, avoid dangerous chemical cleaners, and stay entertained while performing household chores.

Regular cleaning can help maintain the longevity, look, and functionality of your household furniture. Enlist the help of your roommates and family members so you’re not stuck with the bulk of these responsibilities alone. Happy cleaning!

Clean:

How to Use Today’s Technology to Search for a Home

You’ve built up your nest egg, secured a great credit score (or at least a decent one), and now you’re ready to purchase a new home. But dont make the mistake of calling the real estate agents just yet. There are a few things you need to know first that could save you a lot of time and money and get you the exact house you desire. gmap

There always seems to be at least one deal-breaker with every open house you visit. It’s either not in the right neighborhood, or it lacks sufficient charm. Don’t be discouraged. Now that you are actually ready to look for a home, you can use technology to find the house of your dreams. Here’s how.

Google Maps

According to the Kleer Team website, Google Maps is a great way to locate prospects for your new home. You can zoom in or out on an area to get an idea of the surrounding streets.

The map even shows you geographical features that are close by. Switching to the street view shows real images of what could be your new street. This gives you a great idea of what the neighborhood is like before you waste any time with an agent.

Mobile apps

In an article titled Real Estate’s Love/Hate Relationship with Technology, the author explains that mobile apps can help you make better, informed decisions when it comes to buying real estate. It’s easier to identify comparable houses in the area using mobile apps than by any other means.

With a click of the button, you can see if the three bedroom/two bathroom house you’re interested in is worth the same as another one down the street. If it’s way more, then pass it up.

Google Earth

This can also make the real estate market more friendly. According to this Slide Share, real estate agents can leverage Google Earth to showcase properties to the entire globe.

When you live far from where you want to buy, you can still survey a neighborhood to see if it’s the right place for you. Much like using the street view of Google Maps, you can scout what the neighbors’ houses look like and make sure your candidate isn’t too close to the main road.

Jott.com

When you are ready to begin looking at homes in person, there are technologies available to help you search. According to one blogger’s top ten list of technology tools, Jott.com is a service that enables you to send email notes to yourself, and texts to contacts, or add calendar events … all through voice activation.

That means you can stay organized while getting whipped around from property to property. Instead of trying keep all the ideas in your head or frantically writing them down on sheets of paper they give you, you can just say them into your phone and have all the information stored in one place.

So when you’re in the market for a new home, don’t forget to put your fingers to work on that keyboard of yours. You’ll have a better chance finding the right home.

Lifestyle:

How You Can Use Technology to Buy the Perfect Home

Technology has come a long way in virtually every area, including the way today’s home buyers go about purchasing a home. Finding a home to buy that meet all your needs has become a lot easier, thanks to the latest technology.

Quickly find homes that meet your standards

Before the Internet arrived, most people spent hour after hour sorting through newspaper ads and real estate pamphlets trying to find a home. It was usually hard to know which houses might meet their needs and desires, since the listings offered very little information along with one black-and-white photo at best.

Thus, it was extremely difficult to find a home based on criteria such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other desired features without the assistance of a Realtor. But now, anyone can perform a search on the Internet or their smartphone to search for a home that meets all their criteria in minutes.

Need a home that’s near your current neighborhood with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a three-car garage? In just seconds, you can find the answer to that question on your home computer or your smartphone. Narrow the search even further to square footage and price.

Instantly compare home values

Another superb technological advantage that potential homebuyers enjoy today is the ability to research the value of a particular home almost as swiftly. You can learn the selling prices of other homes in the neighborhood, or how much people paid for the ones recently sold with just a few clicks of your computer’s mouse or the keypad on your phone.

Also, you can obtain an estimate of what a home may be worth. With a little homework you’ll know if you’re overpaying for your dream home or getting the deal of the century.

Homebuyers can now get information that was once only accessible to real estate agents. Today you can easily figure out the average number of days that a home has been on the market.

Research the targeted neighborhood

Current technology enables you to research and obtain information about the area where you intend to buy your new home. You can find out anything, from the quality of schools and how many parks are in the neighborhood to crime rates.

Another great but often overlooked online tool is Google Earth. This can give you a bird’s-eye view of the property and area surrounding the home you want to buy.

Use virtual tours

There’s no need to wait for an open house or your agent to schedule a walk-through. Now you can take a virtual tour of many homes listed for sale in order to view their interior features.

Too often, it’s hard to get the real feel of a home by just looking at pictures. But a video offers an excellent peek into the home’s layout and other details.

Advances in technology make it fun and simple for potential homebuyers to do their homework quickly and get the necessary facts before taking the plunge into homeownership.

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Mobile:

An Amber Alert for Dogs

New technology has now made it much easier for you to locate a missing pet. A new app, PiP (Positive Identification of Pet), will undoubtedly be reuniting dog owners with their long-lost best friends after they wander out of the yard.

This digital app is one of many services now available to pet owners, who will surely appreciate it.

How it works

Philip Rooyakkers designed the app for tech-savvy pet enthusiasts. In each pet profile created in the system, a photo of the pet is uploaded with basic profile information entered by the pet owner.

When the pet disappears, the owner can activate an alert. PiP will then place a call to the pet owner to learn more about the details. The information is instantaneously transmitted to all the local shelters and clinics.

Any animal clinic or shelter within a 15-mile radius will receive the information. If someone finds the missing pet, a photo can be uploaded with the face of the animal.

The database will cross-reference the new pet information with files in the system to verify a match. Information regarding unique facial features of the pet is stored in the database.

The technology is capable of analyzing sophisticated pet features to identify a potential match. When a match is identified, the owner is notified that the match has been made. Customer care representatives from the company keep the pet owner updated of the progress of the search.

Who receives the information

The information gathered is made available to other entities besides the local clinics, hospitals, and shelters. The app also monitors social media activities by major outlets to see whether any posts were uploaded in those areas about a missing pet.

Popular venues such as Facebook and Twitter are monitored. The system also searches Kijiji and Craigslist for potential match information.

The subscription

Thousands of people have gone online to register their pet information. More than half of the people who download the app actually end up registering their pet for the service.

The free app can be downloaded into any iPhone or Android. Pet owners can pay an annual fee of $18.99 to have their pet profile information added to the system, which breaks down to about $1.49 per month.

What inspired the app

App creator Rooyakkers was inspired by his own experience. In 2011, he reported losing his Yorkshire terrier. The terrier was located within 24 hours, but he began working on a plan to help pet owners who face the same crisis.

he app connects a community of pet enthusiasts who work together to help pet owners reunite with their lost pets. The user-friendly app allows people to submit their pet information to a centralized database with ease, where all account information can be readily cross-referenced for a potential match.

Clinics, social media, animal hospitals, and users all work together to reunite animals with their families. In unifying a community of pet enthusiasts and incorporating facial recognition technology, the app enables pet owners to have more access than ever to resources that will locate a missing pet.

There are plenty of new toys and tools to help you enjoy your life with your pet, but preparing for a crisis when your animal is not there could be the smartest pet purchase you make.

Clean:

Use Technology for a Greener Home

Are you a tech geek who has a soft spot for doing your part to green up Mother Earth? There are countless ways to use more sustainable technology in the home, but they’re not all necessarily marketed as “green technology.”

Maybe you’re keeping an eye out for new appliances that have Energy Star ratings, but there’s more than one way to lighten your carbon footprint while preserving the heft of your wallet. Routine home upgrades can make a big difference on your budget and conservation efforts.

For example, did you know that ductless heat pumps are a great way to cut your energy usage by as much as 50 percent? Instead of relying on a traditional backup system that wastes precious energy, this one lets you personalize it by going with a 100-percent ductless system … or cherry picking which areas of your home to use it.

As an added bonus, you can even score a rebate and/or tax break when you install this system. However, there are further technological advances to consider.

Control freak

You can look at smart thermostats, but you should recognize that they’re not all created equally. Go with a designer model such as Nest Labs, which the iPod designers dreamed up, to control the temperature of your home based on your lifestyle and schedule.

Its sleek, contemporary, and stainless-steel approaches make it a form of home décor in its own right. Dependent on cloud computing and sensors, Nest monitors your habits to optimize your home heating. It’s been estimated that you can shave 30 percent off your energy bill with this model.

The right power adaptor is an easy and affordable installation that costs less than $200 and saves homeowners up to 13 percent each year. A reputable company like Green Plug offers a solid model that promises better connectivity between home devices that require power and the energy supply.

Once a device like that busy coffee brewer has the power it needs, the power line is automatically shut off.

The automated home

Home automation isn’t just a drool-worthy addition, it’s also a great way to save money. Consider automated lights that work around your schedule and “know” when a room is empty.

They cost less than $200 per light switch, but can save you a lot of cash depending on how forgetful you (or the kids) are about the lights. In the winter months, when people stay in and the days are shorter, automating your lights can be a great way to double up on those heating conservation efforts.

Use technology for a fatter bank account, to score tax benefits, and to boost your home’s value. Who knew home updates could be so easy?

Gadgets:

How to Get the Most Value When Shopping Electronics

electronics

It seems as if there’s a new electronic tablet or smartphone on the market every week, saturating the electronics industry with new apps and features to entice customers. Although prices have dropped dramatically for many devices, the more advanced processors still have high price tags.

However, you can go to several outlets to research and purchase a new electronic gadget for less than the retail price. Check these out!

1. Check coupon websites

When consumers visit Savor.co, they’ll find a list of potential coupons for various products. One of the best ways to secure a high-quality electronic device at a cheap cost is a coupon website.

Each one operates in a slightly different manner, but most require a login to participate. Consumers may need to rally their friends to create a bulk discount on a product, for example. These coupons offer substantial discounts that may allow you to buy that new electronic for as much as 20 or 30 percent off.

2. Buy used

Because an electronic device is used, consumers often turn away from a deal due to age or wear. Not all used items are heavily used, though.

Corporations typically update their devices once a year or more, and leave perfectly good electronics in the used bin. Take advantage of a phone or tablet that’s only a year old. Used items are heavily discounted and still have several years of productive use for little investment.

3. Comparison shop

In the past, consumers were forced to drive or call different stores to compare prices. Today’s technology allows you to use shopping apps to find the best price on a gadget.

Visit local stores to scan the product code. Prices swiftly pop up on the app to display all local deals. The price in the store you’re in could be slightly higher than in the shop down the street. Consumers save time and money scanning for electronics deals.

4. Get hands-on time

When you visit local stores to comparison shop, you can also get some important hands-on time. Although online shopping is convenient, you can’t wrap your hands around a camera or cellphone.

A device that looks perfect might not feel comfortable in your hand. Take some time to hold several devices, and try pressing buttons or icons. Manufacturers try to make each device ergonomic, but everyone has a different preference and hand size for electronic comfort.

5. Look at auction sites

Auctioning off electronics is still big business for online entities. Some sites request a login and bidding charges, though. Find out the site’s rules before you place any bids.

You don’t want to pay a huge amount with an automatic bidding option, for example. Stay in control of the bidding action and stop when the device is no longer worth it. Thousands of other auctions are waiting to start. Simply read the descriptions carefully to select a well-maintained item.

The electronics business will continue to expand as internal components grow faster and smaller. Become a savvy consumer and find smart ways to save through used sales and auctions. That two-month-old device at 50 percent off could be well worth it.

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