iPad Tips And Tricks Infographic


Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

It’s amazing, sometimes, how long you can have a device like an iPad and still not know some of the most useful tips to help you get the most out of it. So… Here’s an infographic to help you out. Some of these tips can apply to your iPhone as well.

(click the image to enlarge if you have problems reading it)

Infographic courtesy of Kensington. Do check out their product line after bookmarking this page.

Google Music Beta – First Impressions


Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Today, Google sent me an invitation to Google Music Beta. Until today, I was not a part of the limited number of users allowed in to play around. Launching quietly among all the buzz about Google+ and Google +1, Google Music is yet another attempt by Google to steal a huge user base. This time, Apple is the target.

What Is Google Music?

Google Music Albums

Google Music is a way to make your music collection available from anywhere you are. Because you upload your music collection to Google Music, it’s on the web for you to access from any computer or Android device. According to Google, it’s “A better way to play your music.”

How Do I Get A Google Music Invite?

When I first saw the Google Music Beta landing page, my first thought was that I wanted to dive in and play around. Of course, it’s in Beta, so they are limiting who can get in. I signed up to be on the list for an account and just a couple days later, I received my invitation email. Head to http://music.google.com and request an invite. If they open it up by time you read this, you should go right to your music collection to start adding. At the time of this writing, there are no invites being handed out to anyone other than via the invitation request system.

Google Music Features

In its infancy, Google Music Beta has one main feature: Play your music from anywhere. Beyond that, it doesn’t really have any ground-breaking features that are going to change your life. It has playlists, the ability to give a track a thumbs up or thumbs down, listings by song, artist, album or genre, and lots of information about the track. So, yeah. It’s like iTunes on the web.

In my quality time with Music Beta, I did find a few features that I thought stood out a little. While playing music, you can navigate to the next and previous tracks with the left and right arrow keys or use the space bar to play or pause. Additionally, the up and down arrow keys, home and end and even the page up and down help you navigate through the list while the backspace or delete keys will remove a track from your collection.

Google Music Tracks

Google also added context menus to tracks to help you add songs to playlists, buy music, etc. My favorite part is the instant mix which just makes a quick mix playlist from the song you chose and other songs Google thinks compliment it. Finally, like in iTunes, you can select multiple tracks with SHIFT+click or CTRL+click and drag things around to make stuff happen. While testing, I dragged a whole album to a playlist to add it quickly.

To get your music into Google Music, you need to install the desktop application. It finds tracks from a selection of locations (I chose my iTunes library) and works like mad to upload them all. If you want to give it a test run, you can create a folder with a small selection of tracks and just import that or you can do like I did and go for broke. If you have a large collection, like me, you should be prepared to wait and keep in mind the 20,000 track limitation Google currently imposes. Seven hours after starting, only 3,400 tracks from my collection have uploaded. The upside is that it doesn’t choke up your computer’s bandwidth, processor, or memory as it quietly churns away in the background.

What’s Missing?

Social sharing : GrooveShark and Pandora set great examples for music sites with ample social sharing options. Google Music Beta doesn’t even integrate +1 or Google+ sharing, but I’d rather see Facebook and Twitter as a minimum. With the existing APIs, it should be really easy to build in.

International availability : At last check Google Music is available only in the United States. With a project like this, it’s probably just a matter of Google getting all the kinks worked out and then working through any legal barriers for offering a music service in other countries.

More keyboard controls : That there’s keyboard controls at all pleases me, but I kept looking for a way to fast forward or rewind with the keyboard. I’d also love to see shortcuts for common actions like SHIFT+Up Arrow to give a track a thumbs up or ways to add to playlists without the mouse.

While it’s not something I expect Google to take care of, I had a number of tracks that would not import because they had the old DRM ball-and-chain from iTunes. Actually, Music Beta intelligently recognized the DRM tracks, refused to import them, and provided a report about them in the desktop application. You can always burn those tracks to CD, rip them back to your computer, and re-import them without the DRM later.

Early Conclusions

The feature set is a little underwhelming, but the concept is exactly what I want from online music… MY music when and where I want it. Everything worked well, too, but I’ve heard others complain about the user interface. Google is touting it as “free for now”, but with an ad-supported option and some polishing, this will completely replace everything else I use to listen to music.

Even More FarmVille Secrets, Hints, Tips, And Tricks


Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

Warning: Division by zero in /var/www/sites/jtnew/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php on line 2

In September, I posted an article about Secrets, Hints, Tips, and Tricks to Succeed in FarmVille on Facebook. Having only played the now amazingly popular Facebook farming game for less than two weeks, I had already gathered lots of helpful tips. I’ve been asked so many times for more tips that I thought it was time for Part 2.

Get More Eggs And Other Special Items

Even if you’ve never used Twitter before, I’m sure you’re aware of what it is by now. Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you should grab a Twitter client because it’s very useful in helping you snatch up those coveted lost animals and chicken eggs. Chicken eggs go especially fast because they hatch to reveal gold, brown, black, and white chickens as well as other cool stuff like hot tubs, pink flamingos, or even fuel. The problem is that people grab lost animals and eggs so fast you almost have to be on Facebook all day for a chance at one. I have to work all day, but I have a secret weapon. I use a program called TweetDeck for my Twitter accounts, but I also added Facebook, and that includes all those freebies that go by. I keep it minimized while I work or browse the web and when updates are found, it pops up a little notification with a preview. If I see an egg, I just click on it and it opens in a new tab in FireFox while I continue to work. More often than not, if eggs are made available by one of my FarmVille friends, I’ll get one, and I barely have to be on Facebook at all during the day.

seesmic

This works almost as well with another program called Seesmic, which I use at home. As you can see in the image above, I have Seesmic in single-column mode, just showing Facebook. This way, it takes up a small portion of the screen, leaving the rest for what I’m working on. You may notice that while I was starting this very article, I snagged an egg and some free coins.

Get More Out Of Your Chicken Coops

Generally, you’ll wait a day for a chicken to lay an egg. This means you’ll wait about a day for a coop to be ready to harvest. You can, however, speed up the process. Drop in a chicken that is already ready to harvest. Make sure the coop is then ready to harvest. Now drop in 19 more chickens that are not ready to harvest and then harvest the coop. Empty your coop and do it again and again. It’s a lot of work, but your friends will love all the eggs produced.

Get Multiple Chicken Coops

more coopsSo many FarmVille players have been asking, “How do I get multiple chicken coops in FarmVille?” and the answer is pretty simple, actually. First, if you have a chicken coop, move all your chickens out of it and then sell it. Now, with no coops on your farm, take advantage of one of the tools mentioned above to snatch up eggs. You’ll get a chicken coop every time because FarmVille doesn’t see one on your farm. Don’t hit OK on the page that gives you the coop. Just keep collecting them until your gift box is full. I got 14 of them before I decided to stop (not enough room on my farm). When you’ve decided you have enough coops, just start placing them on your farm from the gift box and filling them with chickens to hatch eggs.

Level Up Faster

Sometimes the only thing holding you back from the next crop in the marketplace is your Level. Often, I would harvest my whole farm of crops and be wishing I could buy the next crop, but not having the XP to level up and not wanting to wait a day for the next harvest to get those needed XP. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait. I noticed all the XP floating around for sale in the marketplace.

buy to level up

While you can’t just buy XP, you can buy items that give you a lot of XP. Take a look at the image above. My favorite is the windmill, because it gives me 1,000 XP and takes up hardly any room on my farm. It’s not cheap, but if you don’t want to wait, this is a good way to level up past your friends while they wonder how you did it.

Make More Money

Now that I’ve just told you a sure-fire way to blow through a lot of your coins, I’m sure you’d love to find out how to get more of those coins back faster. The fastest way to get coins is typically by just farming the more expensive crops. Pay attention to the harvest times and plant according to your ability to later harvest before anything withers. Remember, every crop that withers is just money (and time) down the drain, so don’t plant strawberries (4 hours) and then go out all night.

You can also make more money with gifts. The more friends you have that play FarmVille, the more gifts you end up with. I get easily 100 gifts a day and have no room for all of them, but I certainly won’t turn them down. Now that FarmVille has the “Sell All” feature in your gift box, you can just pick the items you want and put them on your farm and then just “Sell All” the rest. A lot of times, it’s an easy 6,000+ coins per day.

Finally, celebrate the achievements of friends and use TweetDeck or Seesmic to celebrate every achievement. You’ll get 50 to 500 coins each time and that adds up. The achievements of others often leave me with an extra 10,000 or so coins a day.

collecting coins

Get The Real Deal

You may have noticed a lot of pictures of eggs or gifts popping up on your wall, in friends’ updates, or with your regular FarmVille gift request notifications. Unfortunately, many of these are worthless in as much as they can’t be used in the game at all. While they may be fun to pass back and forth, they won’t contribute to your FarmVille play at all. Personally, I ignore all of them.

Take A Break Once In A While

Hi. My name is Joe and I’m an addict. No, really. This game is a lot of fun, but you can get burned out on it if you play too much. Once in a while, plant a three+ day crop and then just don’t log in for a couple days. And even more important to note is the opportunities for a break that are all but forced on you. Like many fast-growing games, FarmVille has its bugs. When you see people complaining that it wiped out their friends or you try to get the game to come up and it won’t, just find something else to do for a while. When you come back, you’ll be far less frustrated than others and will have more fun.

Experiment

FarmVille is software and software is prone to glitches. The methods to get multiple coops or generate eggs faster are based on glitches that someone found through experimentation. Drag a cow to a neighbor’s farm. Pet your horse every day for a week. Just try doing something in a different way and see if something new happens. If you find out a new tip, be sure to come back and post it here.

Please help your FarmVille neighbors by letting them know about this post with the Facebook share button below. It only takes a second.