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Category: #Holidays (Page 1 of 2)

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How to Watch the 2021 Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

At the end of 2021, Times Square will ring in 2022 closer to the way it has since the dawn of 1908, with at least some number of revelers present. Although some broadcast plans have been canceled—the planned show on Fox will no longer air—there are still plenty of ways to stream the Times Square Ball drop this year.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Bell

The Best Tech Gifts for Music Lovers for Holiday 2021

Close up of headphones on turntableddisq/

Everyone loves music, but some people love it just a little bit more. For those people, a musical gift around the holidays just makes sense. All of these techy gifts are sure to put a smile on their face and make them want to play their favorite tunes immediately.

Whether your recipient loves to listen to music privately from the comforts of their home or at concerts where they can jam out with other people, we’ve got music lovers of all varieties covered on this list. And really, everyone loves music, so most people on Earth would appreciate any of these gifts.

Experience Top-Quality Noise-Cancellation: Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4Sony

Anyone who loves music needs a good pair of headphones or earbuds. Sony’s 1000XM4 headphones are just beautiful, to say the least. They have noise-canceling technology built-in that works amazingly with five built-in microphones and dual sensors. And although they shine when playing your favorite song, they also sound great during voice calls (and they’ll make you sound great, too).

On a full charge, Sony’s latest headphones last up to 30 hours. And if you forget to charge them and you’re in a rush, it only takes about 10 minutes worth of charging to give you five hours of playback. With a few other cool features, like wearing detection that pauses playback when you take off the headphones, these headphones are easily one of the best in the biz right now.

Experience Top-Quality Noise-Cancellation

Sony WH-1000XM4

These headphones sound amazing and have top-tier noise-cancellation technology built-in so you can tune out the world when you want.



For More Discreet Listening: Jabra Elite 85t

Jabra Elite 85tJabra

If the person you’re buying for this holiday season tends to listen to music on the go, earbuds might be a better choice than headphones. They’re more discreet. And it’s easy to slip one earbud in while leaving your other ear free if you want to stay in touch with the world around you. Jabra’s Elite 85t earbuds have advanced ANC technology, so you can tune the world out and focus on your favorite songs.

They also come with six-microphone call technology and wind protection, which means that you can take a phone call pretty much anywhere and sound great to the person on the other end. With both the earbuds and the charging case fully charged, you can expect up to 25 hours of use; the earbuds will last up to 5.5 hours, and the case about 19.5. When ANC is in use, the earbuds will last for about five and a half hours before needing to be charged by the Qi-certified charging case.

If you’re feeling like splurging on someone, give them Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds. They’re quite a bit pricier, but your recipient will notice the premium difference. Plus, they boast longer battery life, amazing ANC technology, and a more responsive and clear sound overall.

For More Discreet Listening

Jabra Elite 85t

On top of being portable, Jabra’s Elite 85t earbuds sound pretty dang good with their advanced ANC tech.


$229.99 Save 35%

Stay Caught Up With New Music: Spotify Premium Gift Card

Spotify Gift CardSpotify

Music lovers obviously need music to listen to. What better way to make sure they always have access to the newest singles and albums from their favorite artists than with a Spotify Premium gift card! You can buy someone a full year’s worth of Spotify Premium, giving them ad-free and nonstop listening to tons of artists, big and small or old and new alike.

Plus, Spotify is home to quite a few awesome podcasts. A Spotify Premium membership might not get you ad-free versions of all podcasts because there are often pre-recorded ads, but you’ll have extra stuff to listen to when music gets boring (even though that’ll probably never happen).

A Bluetooth Speaker You Can Take Anywhere: JBL FLIP 5


A quality Bluetooth speaker that you can take with you anywhere is a must. The Flip 5 from JBL has awesome sound quality and on a full charge, it’ll give you up to 12 hours of playtime. Plus, it has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, so you can take it with you to the pool or the beach without having to worry about it getting ruined by a splash.

And if you have multiple JBL speakers, you can pair them together with the party boost feature via the JBL Portable app (Android/iOS). This is a fun option to have, but this speaker alone is more than powerful enough to fill a room or blast tunes out in the open.

If the person you’re buying for doesn’t need a waterproof speaker but is maybe just looking for a water-resistant speaker to fuel their shower singing, check out the Bose SoundLink Color II.

A Bluetooth Speaker You Can Take Anywhere


A quality Bluetooth speaker is necessary in life, and JBL’s Flip 5 is great for at-home listening or portable listening.



An Impressive Stereo System: LG CM4590 XBOOM


Stereo systems are an underrated buy for your home. People typically purchase simple Bluetooth speakers or smart speakers to blast music, but a stereo system offers more power and stronger, clearer sound. LG’s CM4590 system can pump out 700 watts of quality audio via Bluetooth, a USB connection, or a CD.

There’s even an Auto DJ feature that almost eliminates gaps between songs, so if you’re having a party, there won’t be any awkward silent lulls. Whether this stereo system is going in the living room to enhance TV audio or next to your computer to enhance game audio, LG’s system will easily impress.

If you want a stereo system that requires less overall wattage and is ever-so-slightly more affordable than LG’s system, check out PHILIPS FX10 stereo system. It comes with all the same connection options, including Bluetooth, USB, and a CD player.

An Impressive Stereo System


If you want your TV or game audio to have a little more oomph, invest in a stereo system for your home like this awesome one from LG.



For Concert Lovers: StubHub Gift Card

stubhub wishing you happy holidays gift cardStubHub

For anyone who loves the experience of going to concerts in person and going home with a sore voice, ringing ears, and a wide smile on their face, try out a StubHub gift card. There’s just something magical about going to see your favorite artists perform live and coming together with other fans of their music.

And what’s awesome about StubHub gift cards is that there’s a wide range of dollar amounts to choose from. So whether you want to treat someone to a discount off their next ticket or enough to cover a few concert tickets for free, you’ve got the choice. Gift cards range from $25 to $1000.

For Concert Lovers

StubHub Gift Card

Anyone who loves to go to concerts will appreciate a StubHub gift card to support their habit.

Listen to Concerts in Comfort: Loop Experience

Loop ExperienceLoop

Concerts are awesome, but that ringing feeling in your ears afterwards isn’t. And while traditional ear plugs can protect your ears from that, they’re not the best option because they can often reduce too much sound. Enter: Loop Experience ear plugs.

These hi-fidelity, noise-reducing ear plugs reduce decibel levels without reducing sound quality. So you can put these bad boys in during a concert and still hear everything clearly, from the songs played on stage to the people talking right next to you.

Listen to Concerts in Comfort

Loop Experience

Concerts can be even better with Loop Experience’s noise-reducing ear plugs; you don’t have to go home with ringing ears anymore. Score!



Throw It Back with a Vinyl Turntable: U-Turn Orbit Basic

U-Turn Orbit BasicU-Turn

Vinyl turntables are all the rage nowadays, for music aficionados and the average collector who doesn’t want to bother with CDs anymore. U-Turn’s Orbit Basic turntable has a Precision OA2 gimbal tonearm that helps combat distortion and a pre-calibrated cartridge that makes setup simple.

This turntable strikes the perfect balance between price and sound quality. Sure, there are plenty of other turntables out there that might be better overall, but they probably cost a lot more. It’s a terrific value. If you do have a bigger budget, however, check out Audio-Technica’s AT-LP120XBT-USB turntable. It’s absolutely worth the extra cost if you can spring for it.

Throw It Back With a Vinyl Turntable

U-Turn Orbit Basic

CDs may be going out of style, but vinyl is coming back into style, so give someone the gift of a sleek vinyl turntable.

Get Fresh Vinyl Every Month: Vinyl Me, Please Subscription

vinyl me please monthly subscription for fresh new vinyl recordsVinyl Me, Please

If you love playing vinyl records, why not grow your collection every month with a vinyl subscription? Vinyl Me, Please is one of the most popular vinyl subscription services out there, and for good reason.

There are currently four different Tracks, or subscription packages, to choose from, including Classics, Essentials, Hip-Hop, and Country. The Classics Track focuses on the best soul, blues, and jazz; Essentials includes must-have records across all genres and eras; Hip-Hop covers a combo of old school rap and new SoundCloud rap; and Country delivers both country classics and today’s top hits in the genre.

Though if you choose a Track and don’t like the vinyl record offered that month, you can change Tracks or swap it out with a different record that’s more up your alley.

Get Fresh Vinyl Every Month

Vinyl Me, Please Subscription

To support someone’s constantly growing collection of vinyl records, gift them a subscription to Vinyl Me, Please.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sarah Chaney

The 6 Best Android Smartphones for Holiday 2021

best android phones including samsung galaxy s21 ultra, google pixel 5a with 5g, and oneplus nord 10 5gSamsung/Google/OnePlus

It’s fun to see all the new Android phones hitting the market, full of spec improvements and even the occasional inventive design. Because a smartphone is something most of us use frequently throughout the day, a new Android phone makes a fantastic holiday gift for pretty much everyone.

But which one is the best you ask? Well, that depends entirely on what you’re looking to get out of a new Android phone. A few of the phones on this list prioritize budget over specs and features, while a few others optimize specs and produce an amazing phone that you pay a steep price for. Of course, that’s not to say that the more affordable options on this list are not worth buying. (They wouldn’t be on this list if they weren’t pretty dang good phones!)

Whether you’re looking for a new phone that has an awesome camera, a cool design, a long battery life, or something else, there’s something on this list that’ll suit you.

What to Look for in an Android Phone

There are so many awesome Android phone brands that come out with new phones every year, so how do you narrow it down? Here’s everything you need to consider before buying a new phone:

  • Specs: When buying a smartphone, you’ll need to consider how much storage you get, the amount of RAM, the processor, refresh rate, and battery life. With storage and RAM, you’ll end up paying more to get more. While you might think you don’t want more storage or RAM right now, you’ll be kicking yourself down the line if you change your mind a year into owning the phone. It’s usually easy to increase storage via a microSD card, but it’s pretty much impossible to increase available RAM. If you don’t think you’ll use up 512GB of storage in a phone, it’s perfectly fine to go with the 256GB storage option; but when it only adds a relatively low amount upfront and saves you hassle later on, it might be worth it to splurge now. Just make sure you thoroughly compare prices and specs before making your final decision.
  • Design: The biggest thing to think about with the design is screen size. Although the look of a phone is important, we often cover them up with a protective or decorative case anyway. Most phones nowadays have a display of about six inches, but that can vary from phone to phone. Even a difference of half an inch can make a phone feel too large or too small. Consider your current phone’s screen size and think about how it would feel to go smaller or larger.
  • Price: Smartphones are often expensive … like really expensive. Luckily, there are still quite a few phones that strike a balance between impressive specs and a decent price. When you’re considering how much to spend on a new smartphone, think about how long you intend to have it. Do you need something that’s just going to get you by with basic texts and calls? Do you want a phone that has fantastic specs and doubles as a powerful camera or mobile gaming device? Or do you want something in the middle? What you need from it ultimately affects how much you’ll need to pay for it.
  • Cameras: Smartphone cameras have drastically improved over the past few years, so all modern phones take pretty decent pictures. Most smartphones are equipped with a front-facing camera (aka a selfie camera) and a rear-facing camera. But a few smartphones on the market have extra lenses, like a telephoto lens or an ultra-wide lens that can take more unique photos. If you’re interested in taking cool pictures on your new phone, keep an eye out for these extra lenses.
  • Unlocked vs. Carrier: When you purchase a phone through your carrier (or even through a bigger retailer, but still for your specific carrier), you can sometimes get a discount on the phone in exchange for signing a contract. But, then, your phone is locked by that carrier, meaning you can’t switch to another carrier until you ask your current one to unlock it. When you buy an unlocked phone, it doesn’t belong to any carrier and you’re free to switch carriers however many times you want to. It can cost more to buy an unlocked phone, but it gives you more freedom to switch carriers if you’re getting bad service.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G

Samsung Galaxy S21+ Plus 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell PhoneSamsung


  • Brilliant 120Hz AMOLED display
  • 64MP camera is pretty awesome
  • Great battery life


  • No audio jack or SD slot
  • Cameras are the same as the S20+

For most people in search of a great Android phone, that search can stop at the Samsung Galaxy S21+. It has a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 2400 x 1080 screen resolution and an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. This high refresh rate and gorgeous screen make scrolling through social media or performing other tasks on your phone feel silky smooth and look fantastic.

It has 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, an IP68 water-resistant rating, 5G connectivity, and a battery that’ll last you all day. As if all of that isn’t already great enough, it also has a solid rear triple camera setup.

With the 64MP rear camera, you can capture quite a bit of detail and produce an (almost) professional-looking photo. Then, there are two additional 12MP cameras, the wide and ultra-wide. When all these cameras work together, you can get up to 30X Space Zoom and capture crisp detail from far away. You can also capture video footage in 8K at 24 frames per second, 4K at 60, or FHD at 120. And the Director’s View feature comes in handy when you’re trying to make a nice-looking video.

Samsung offers customers an unlocked version of their phone to make everyone’s lives easier. As soon as you get the phone, all you have to do is choose your carrier and data plan to make your phone completely yours and usable.

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy S21+

The Samsung S21+ is an Android phone with awesome specs at a fairly good price, making it perfect for most people.



Best Midrange: Google Pixel 5a with 5G

google pixel 5a with 5gGoogle


  • Affordable
  • Great cameras
  • Awesome battery life


  • No wireless charging
  • Design isn’t that impressive

Google’s Pixel 5a with 5G is an affordable option that falls somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to specs. It has 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, and an Adreno 620 processor. It has a Titan M Security Module built-in as well.

The phone’s 6.34-inch OLED display with 2400 x 1080 resolution is the largest display of any phone in Google’s A-series so far. The Pixel 5a also has the largest battery of any A-series smartphone; it can last for up to 15 hours in between charges.

Taking great photos is an easy feat with the Pixel 5a. There’s an 8MP front-facing selfie camera and both a 12.2MP primary camera and a 16MP ultra-wide lens on the rear. A-series Pixel phones have always been able to take awesome photos, taking out a lot of the guesswork in focusing and perfecting the shot.

As its name implies, the Pixel 5a comes with 5G connectivity, helping you stay connected with fast speeds. And for the first time in Pixel history, a Pixel phone also has an IP67 water-resistance rating, which is great for any mishaps you might have near water.

Best Midrange

Google Pixel 5a 5G

If you don’t want a budget phone, but you also don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, check out the reliable Google Pixel 5a.

Best Budget: OnePlus Nord N10 5G

OnePlus - Nord N10 5G 128GB Midnight Ice (Unlocked) - Midnight IceOnePlus


  • Extremely affordable
  • Speedy 90Hz refresh rate
  • Warp Charge 30T


  • Specs aren’t super impressive
  • No IP water-resistance rating

The Nord 10 5G from OnePlus is an impressive phone set at an even more impressive price. It has a 6.49-inch FHD display with a 90Hz refresh rate, which isn’t even seen in all new phones from major brands. Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 5G mobile platform, 6GB of RAM, built-in Google Assistant, and no current IP rating.

It features 128GB of built-in storage, which isn’t a whole lot to start with but you can expand storage up to 512GB with a microSD card. And surprisingly, the camera setup is pretty nice. The phone has a quad-rear camera setup with a 64MP main camera; the three cameras on top of the main camera include a 119-degree ultra-wide, macro, and monochrome lens.

You can expect battery life to last about a day, which is decent. What’s really special about OnePlus phones is the Warp Charge 30T feature, which charges your phone almost completely in about half an hour.

This smartphone comes unlocked and is compatible with all major U.S. carriers, including the big four (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile) and quite a few prepaid carriers, like Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS.

Best Budget

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

This affordable OnePlus phone barely makes a dent in your bank account, but it’s built with some pretty awesome specs and features.

Best Premium: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell PhoneSamsung


  • Super impressive camera setup
  • Speedy variable 120Hz refresh rate
  • Awesome specs


  • Pretty pricey
  • Screen may be too large for some

Although it comes with a pretty high price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of the best premium Android phones out there right now, especially if you want an awesome camera setup. It has a large 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a striking 3200 x 1440 resolution and a variable 120Hz refresh rate.

Then, it has more RAM than most other smartphones out there. You can get 12GB of RAM with either 128GB or 256GB of storage. Or, you can get 16GB RAM with 512GB of storage. This boost in the amount of RAM makes for a speedier phone that can handle more tasks at once as well as processor-intensive tasks. But as mentioned above, the cameras are really where the Galaxy S21 Ultra shines.

On the front, there’s a 40MP selfie lens that captures impressive detail with clarity. On the back, there’s a stunning 108MP main rear-wide camera with three additional lenses: an ultra-wide lens, a 3X optical zoom lens, and a 10X optical zoom lens. When all of these are used together, you can get super up close and personal with 100X Space Zoom.

There are so many things that make the S21 Ultra a must-buy. You can record in 8K or 4K with Director’s View, it’s IP68 dust- and water-resistant, it has speedy 5G connectivity, and it’s unlocked so you can set your phone up with any carrier you want. Plus, with its 5000mAh battery, you can get up to two days worth of battery on a single charge.

Best Premium

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra is a beast of a phone, with the best cameras ever on an Android phone and specs that make the phone incredibly speedy.



Best Small: Google Pixel 4a

Google - Pixel 4a 128GB (Unlocked) - Barely BlueGoogle


  • Super affordable
  • Universally unlocked
  • Smaller 5.8-inch screen


  • Underwhelming cameras
  • Only has 4G LTE coverage
  • Limited available storage

The Google Pixel 4a is the smallest phone on this list, yes, but it’s also another great affordable option. Despite that, however, the phone still delivers with a 5.8-inch OLED screen that’s clear with vivid colors; plus, the phone feels comfortable in your hand. And although this phone only supports 4G LTE speed (and not 5G), you shouldn’t notice too much of a difference when downloading apps, streaming content, or just browsing the web.

Because this is a Google phone, it’s no surprise that Google Assistant is built-in to help you out through voice commands. Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. On the back of the phone, there’s a 12.2MP with a few different features like Night Sight and Super Res Zoom, but the camera just isn’t powerful enough to take breathtaking photos that are on par with those of current-gen phones (if that’s what you’re after).

Google’s Pixel 4a is yet another Android phone that is universally unlocked. It’s compatible with the top four U.S. carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) as well as most prepaid carriers, including Google Fi, Total Wireless, and Cricket Wireless.

Best Small

Google Pixel 4a

If you’re looking for a smaller display that’s more comfortable to hold, Google’s Pixel 4a is a fantastic choice.

Best Foldable: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung - Galaxy Z Flip3 5G 256GB (Unlocked) - Phantom BlackSamsung


  • It’s a modern-day flip phone
  • Phone is functional when folded and when open


  • The foldable design isn’t for everyone
  • Specs aren’t the best
  • Cameras don’t produce good photos

Who would’ve thought we would go back to the days of folding phones? While the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is certainly a nod to the past, the specs and features are updated for the modern world. Even though this section is titled as such, it’s worth mentioning that this is the best foldable phone for those who want a foldable phone; if you’re just looking for a new phone and you’re not picky, you might be better off sticking with the traditional smartphone design.

When the Galazy Z Flip 3 is folded, there’s a 1.9-inch AMOLED touchscreen that you can use as a quick access area without opening the phone. From here, you can check notifications, the time, the weather, and more. When you fully open the phone, you’ll see a 6.7-inch AMOLED display and use the phone just as you would any other smartphone. (Although you might be worried about the crease in the middle, it’s not too noticeable. Read more about that in our full review.)

As far as other specs go, this foldable smartphone is IPX8 water-resistant, has 128GB and 256GB storage options, and boasts speedy 5G connectivity. And though Samsung is often known for producing smartphones with great cameras, the cameras on the Z Flip 3 aren’t super great. But again, if you’re buying this phone, you’re likely buying it for the novelty of having a modern-day foldable phone.

Best Foldable

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3

Foldable phones are relatively new to the market, but Samsung outdid themselves with the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sarah Chaney

Walmart will turn TikTok into its own home shopping network for one night

581d7c80-4079-11eb-9f7b-3babb341666bWalmart’s bid to invest in TikTok didn’t pan out, but that isn’t stopping the two from collaborating on an unusual project. As TechCrunch reports, Walmart ia hosting a “first-of-its-kind” live shopping event through its TikTok account on December 18t…

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How to Drive With Santa and Enable a Christmas Theme in Waze

If you find yourself navigating with your phone this Holiday season, why not jazz it up with a little Christmas spirit and drive with Santa? The Waze app has a number of Santa-themed options that are available for a limited time.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

Everything You Need to Automate Your Christmas Decorations

Sleighbells ring, are you listenin’? Want to automate the things that glistenin’? A beautiful sight is smart Christmas lights that you don’t need to turn on all by hand. Parody songs aside, plugging in your Christmas lights, blowups, and other powered-decorations to turn them on is annoying. Here’s what you need to automate all your Christmas stuff this holiday season.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

Holiday 2020: The Best Tech Gifts Under $75

The holidays are fast approaching and, if you’re like us, you’ve still got some holiday shopping to do. If you’re wondering what to get the tech geeks in your life, look no further than our list of the best tech gifts under $75. At this price point, you can buy some seriously impressive gadgets without breaking the bank.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

Holiday 2020: 9 Great Retro Tech Gifts

Fluance RT81 Elite sitting on a shelf playing a vinyl recordFluance

We all have nostalgic sweet spots, and for many, tech items of the era can be an immediate throwback to another time. While these products may be mostly for novelty or some quick fun, that doesn’t diminish the legitimate joy they can bring. And there are quite a few retro revivals kicking around that will make great gifts this year.

Micro Consoles

Sega Genesis Mini, GAME & WATCH Super Mario BrosSega, Nintendo

Micro consoles exploded with popularity after the release of the NES and SNES Classic, so it’s only to be expected that some other companies have released their own versions of this great idea.

  • Nintendo GAME & WATCHIt wasn’t a surprise to see Nintendo return to this formula, but most people expected the company to revisit the Gameboy era of handhelds before the GAME & WATCH. This handheld was released for the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros and as such, includes the original NES game. The design is faithful to the original GAME & WATCH systems and includes some extra fun doodads like a Mario clock app.
  • Sega Genesis Mini: Sega has been releasing plug n’ play versions of the Genesis for a while now, but the build quality, UI, and emulation were always subpar. Fortunately, the Sega Genesis Mini improves on those faults and delivers an excellent micro-console experience with 42 classic games loaded onto it. Whether it’s Sonic, Ristar, or Ecco the Dolphin, you’ll find it on this console. It also comes with two wired controllers out of the box for multiplayer titles.
  • The C64 MiniFor fans of the Commodore 64, the C64 Mini is sure to bring waves of nostalgia. The console comes with a joystick controller for playing the 64 included games. Unfortunately, the keyboard on the system is just for show, but there are USB plugs for keyboards/controllers on the side of the console to fix that. You can even write in the “BASIC” code language with this system if you want to mess around with that.

A Modern Arcade Cabinet: Arcade1Up’s Catalogue

Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga Arcade1Up CabinetsArcade1Up

Nothing screams retro gaming like an arcade cabinet. The problem is, genuine ones are pretty expensive and very large. That’s why Arcade1Up has become a favorite of many retro collectors over the years. Arcade1Up creates faithful scaled-down versions of arcade cabinets that are still large enough to feel genuine without being a pain to fit in your living room.

Some cabinets even slip in unique features like seats for Atari Star Wars or online play for NBA Jam. And there are many more cabinets than that available, so you have quite the selection to choose from. Whether the person you’re shopping for prefers classic Namco games like Galaga or fighting games like Mortal Kombatthere’s a good chance Arcade1Up has a cabinet to match their tastes. Arcade1Up also produces smaller countertop cabinets that are less expensive and ideal for homes without the space to spare for a full cabinet.

A Resurrected Keyboard: Unicomp Classic Model M

Unicomp Classic Model M KeyboardUnicomp

The IBM Model M was a revolutionary keyboard that’s still loved by many for its uniquely satisfying buckling spring key switches. Unicomp has now come out with a modern version of the Model M that’s outfitted with a USB cord and is easy to get your hands on. The exterior design is the same as the classic Model M, so it still has that iconic old-school computer look to it. Unicomp has also been releasing multiple versions of the board including new colors such as “black and gray“.

The Iconic Pet: Tamagotchi On

Tamagotchi OnTamagotchi

Tamagotchi is a pleasant memory from the ’90s, and now those memories can be relived with the recently released revival of the classic digital pet. All the classic mechanics of the Tamagotchi games are here, along with updated sprite work and new stuff to do with your Tamagotchi—like marriage. You can also connect it to the Tamagotchi app (Android/iOS) to access some unique multiplayer mechanics with other players.

While this isn’t 100% faithful to the original handhelds, the modern touches make for a fun toy that can still be enjoyed regardless if you’re nostalgic for the original systems or not.

The Iconic Pet

Tamagotchi On – Magic (White) Amazon Exclusive, Magic White

Take care of a brand new digital pet with this updated version of Tamagotchi.

A Turntable: Fluance RT81 Elite

Fluance RT81 EliteFluance

Vinyl has been making a strong comeback over the years, and the RT81 delivers excellent sound quality with a classic wood plinth—although, it’s also available in a standard black color as well. This turntable is expertly designed, and Fluance prides itself on delivering the most accurate analog sound possible without damaging the records. When it comes to turntables in this price range, this is the cream of the crop, and it still has enough retro flair to hearken back to the good ol’ days.

An Instant-Film Camera: Polaroid Originals Now

Polaroid Originals NowPolaroid

Instant-film cameras are plenty of fun to mess around with, and the Polaroid Original Now, with its classic exterior style, has the character of these cameras down pat. The accurate flash and auto-focus are nice modern touches, and it’s compatible with both i-Type and 600 film. It’s also available in eight different colors—there’s even one based on The Mandalorian.

An Instant-Film Camera

Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera – Black (9028)

Have fun and take some great pics with this modern instant-film camera.

Some Classic Handhelds: Hasbro Tiger Electronics Handhelds

X-Men Project X Tiger Electronics HandheldHasbro

While LCD handhelds are certainly a thing of the past, they’re great for some nostalgic novelty nowadays. Hasbro decided to revive the Tiger Electronics handhelds from yesteryear to a T. There are four games currently available, all with unique artwork to really seal the deal: X-Men Project X, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Transformers: Robots in DIsguiseand Sonic The Hedgehog 3The games are simple, but it’s still a nice throwback to this old form of handheld.

A Bluetooth Boombox: GPO Brooklyn

GPO Brooklyn BoomboxGPO

Nothing says “funky” like a boombox, and the Brooklyn from GPO is a great blend of modern features with ’80s style. Not only does it have a cassette player, CD player, and FM radio, but you can also connect to it via USB or Bluetooth if you want full access to your music library. All the dials and buttons are fully functional and the handle is great for taking it on the move. It’s available in two colors: Silver and Black.

Some Fun Charging Stands: elago Apple Watch Stand

elago Apple Watch Standelago

Have you ever wanted your Apple Watch to look like a Gameboy? Because if so, elago has the product for you.

At the end of the day, these are just simple stands to put your Apple Watch on while it’s charging, but the fun designs make them great little stocking stuffers. elago currently has two stands with retro designs: one based on the original GameBoy and one based on an old iMac. These are fitted to neatly display the screen of the watch, so you can still view and interact with the screen while it rests on your nightstand charging.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

Holiday 2020: The Best Gifts for Musicians

Rock music band with lead electric guitar player and drummer behind drum set4 PM production/

Serious musicians live and breathe music, so it makes sense that they’d probably want a music-themed gift for the holidays. Fortunately, we rounded up a variety of gifts—like MIDI controllers and digital music lesson services—that will appeal to musicians of all kinds (and of all skill levels).

Learn How to Play Guitar: Jamstik Guitar Trainer

Jamstik Guitar Trainer on table with tablet and coffee mug and headphonesJamstik

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play electric guitar, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes with the Jamstik Guitar Trainer. The travel-size, wireless, MIDI guitar lets you play at home or on the go, and is perfect for learning how to play guitar and write songs, as well as creating and producing your own music. Its included software has interactive teaching apps and options for introductory music production and composition.

FretTouch Finger Sensor technology and Infrasense Optical Pickups can sense where your fingers are on the Jamstik and provide accurate real-time feedback on a connected device. With these features, you’ll be playing your first guitar chords in no time. Built-in software provides on-demand guitar lessons, and you can plug in your headphones so you don’t disturb others.

Learn to Play Guitar

Jamstik Guitar Trainer

Learn to play guitar with this handy MIDI guitar and interactive learning software.

Listen to Streaming Classical Music: Idagio Subscription

Idagio classical music streaming service home pageIdagio

Sure, you can find classical music on standard streaming services, but none of them really understand it like Idagio ($29.99 per month) does. The music streaming service is dedicated to classical music and makes it easy to learn more about the genre (and discover terrific new pieces you like) with minimal effort.

You can save pieces you like, create playlists, browse new releases, and find beloved legendary records with ease. Plus, any time you click on an album, Idagio provides a blurb that tells you about the album, artist, or composer. You can even find curated classical playlists based on your mood.

Practice Guitar without Annoying Others: Vox AP2AC Headphone Amp

Vox AP2AC Headphone AmpVox

You might love practicing guitar (go you!), but others in your home might not appreciate it as much. Luckily, Vox’s AP2AC Headphone Amplifier enables you to practice quietly without disturbing others. Just plug in your guitar and some headphones, and start playing. You’ll be able to hear what you’d normally hear when connected to a regular amp, and everyone else will hear little to nothing.

The headphone amp works for both bass and guitar. It has built-in controls for tone, volume, gain, chorus, delay, and various reverb effects. And its small size easily fits in your guitar case or desk drawer when you’re done. Talk about a win-win situation!

Practice Guitar Without Annoying Others

VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier

Plug your guitar and headphones into this headphone amp so you can practice without bugging others in your home.

Plenty of Songs for a Jam Session: The Ultimate Fake Book

cover of The Ultimate Fake BookHal Leonard

Fake books are essential for every gigging musician, and they’re fun to mess around with during practice and casual jam sessions as well. They’ve got all the melodies, lyrics, and harmonies you’ll need to play a gig or round out your repertoire.

The Ultimate Fake Book (for C instruments) is a perfect addition to virtually all musicians’ sheet music libraries. It contains over 1,200 songs across all genres, like jazz standards, country classics, and pop chart-toppers, with titles like Unforgettable, When I Fall in Love, Georgia on My Mind, Brazil, Friends in Low Places, and Let’s Fall in Love. There are different fake books for Bb instruments and Eb instruments as well.

Plenty of Songs for a Jam Session

The Ultimate Fake Book (for C Instruments)

This fake book has over 1200 songs across several genres, like jazz, country, and pop.

Stay in Tune and on the Beat: KLIQ MetroPitch

KLIQ MetroPitch joint metronome and tunerKLIQ

Tuners and metronomes are the cornerstone of any musician’s success. And when both can be combined into a single device, it’s a match made in heaven. The KLIQ MetroPitch is a tuner and metronome that works with all instruments and chromatic tuning modes. It even includes a carrying pouch and comes in four different colors.

The device’s small design will effortlessly fit in your instrument case when not in use. It supports a wide pitch range, from A0-C8, along with various tuning modes, transposition settings, pitch calibration, tap tempo, and even has a tone generator. It has a high-sensitivity microphone, input and output jacks, volume control, tempo dial control, and a low battery indicator. It’s the perfect musical accessory or stocking stuffer idea.

Stay in Tune and on the Beat

KLIQ MetroPitch – Metronome Tuner for All Instruments – with Guitar, Bass, Violin, Ukulele, and Chromatic Tuning Modes – Tone Generator – Carrying Pouch Included, Black

The KLIQ MetroPitch is a two-in-one tuner and metronome with pitch calibration, multiple tuning modes, and transposition settings.

For Digital Musicians: AKAI Professional MPD218 Controller

AKAI Professional MPD218 ControllerAKAI

If you’re more into making beats than playing them, you’ll want a good MIDI controller at your fingertips, like the AKAI Professional MPD218. The MIDI-over-USB pad controller blends MPC controls and technologies with USB connectivity to make it easy to create beats.

The controller is lightweight and portable, so you can easily move it around or take it with you on the go. The thick pads are highly sensitive and perfect for triggering drums, samples, effects, basslines, and more. Expandable banks, assignable controls, full level controls, and MPC note repeat puts all the music production options in your hands, as does the included comprehensive software suite: Ableton Live Lite, Sonivox Big Bang cinematic percussion, and Big Bang universal drums.

For Digital Musicians

AKAI Professional MPD218 | 16-Pad USB/MIDI Controller With MPC Pads, 6 Assignable Knobs, Production Software Included

The AKAI Professional MPD218 Pad Controller is lightweight and has expandable banks, assignable controls, and an included music production software suite.

Good Supplies Make for Good Practice: Manhasset Music Stand

Manhasset Model 48 Sheet Music StandManhasset

A music stand might not be exciting, but it’s still nice to have one that’s high quality. The Model #48 Sheet Music Stand from Manhasset is durable and easy to use. You can set it to any height, and its no-knob friction-tilt neck holds the tension. It uses solid brass bearings, and has a greaseless heavy-duty chrome inner shaft and a heavy-gauge steel welded base for sturdiness. (I’ve had mine for nearly 20 years and it still looks new and works perfectly.

Good Supplies Make for Good Practice

Manhasset Model #48 Sheet Music Stand

A durable music stand is a must-have for a home music studio and every practice session.

Get Digital Music Lessons: Yousician

Yousician app music exerciseYousician

Yousician (starts at $14.99 per month) is a great place for online music lessons for piano, guitar, ukulele, bass, and voice. Students of any skill level can sign up. Plus, with COVID-19 still at large, keeping music lessons online rather than in person is ideal.

The site has world-class educators, offers tailored lessons and exercises, and offers solid tools for learning how to master your instrument. You can explore thousands of exercises, lessons, and songs; set goals; track your progress; and monitor your improvement over time. You can also access step-by-step video tutorials and compete with other students for placement on the leaderboard. Yousician also has occasional sales, so be sure to double-check if it’s running any specials before signing up.

Practice Guitar with a Small Amp: IK Multimedia iRig Micro Amp

IK Multimedia iRig Micro Amp with guitar and smartphoneIK Multimedia

You don’t have to break the bank to find an amp for your guitar, and you don’t have to go all-out on a stage-worthy amp just for your practice room. The IK Multimedia iRig Micro Amp ($149.99) is compact yet powerful. The 15W amp covers a range of tones, with three custom-voiced analog channels: lead, drive, and clean. Plus, top-seated knobs for gain, bass, mid, treble, and volume let you control how it sounds. Plus, you can pair it with a smartphone or tablet and take advantage of apps like Amplitube or JamUp for an endless number of tones.

If you’re looking to round out your setup, consider picking up the iRig Blueboard ($99.99) as well. The Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard lets you control your favorite music apps (like AmpliTube) and more with your foot. The Blueboard makes it easy to do things like switch between presets, turn effects on and off, control volume, and change patches. Four backlit soft-touch pads are set in a sturdy chassis, and you have two TRS expansion jacks. It’s the perfect partner for the iRig Micro Amp when paired up with a smartphone or tablet.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ will air on PBS, in spite of Apple TV+ rights exclusive


Call it a holiday miracle. Apple today announced that animated holiday classics “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will, indeed, be appearing on television this year. The news comes after some pushback against an Apple TV+ exclusive that found the Peanuts cartoons being pulled from TV broadcast.

As we noted last month, the deal would mark the first time in 55 years the beloved Christmas special wouldn’t be broadcast on network television. Both holiday specials appeared to be resolved to a similar fate as the 1966 Halloween special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

While Apple’s rights had a clause that involved a window for free broadcast, it was hard to shake the feeling that relegating a holiday tradition to a premium subscription service flew in the face of the original special’s staunch, anti-consumer message.

Thankfully, in addition to appearing on TV+, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will appear on PBS and PBS on November 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT, while “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will air on December 13, 2020 at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT.

It’s a small victory, perhaps, but these days we’ll take them where we can get them. And this time without ads.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Proactive Computing found this story and shared it with you.
The Article Was Written/Published By: Brian Heater

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