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The Best Tech Gifts for Music Lovers for Holiday 2021

Close up of headphones on turntableddisq/Shutterstock.com

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.

Amazon

$348.00

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.

Amazon

$149.99
$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

JBL FLIP 5JBL

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

JBL FLIP 5


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

Amazon

$129.95

An Impressive Stereo System: LG CM4590 XBOOM

LG CM4590 XBOOMLG

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

LG CM4590 XBOOM


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.

Amazon

$196.99

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!

Amazon

$29.95

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.

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/102960/the-best-tech-gifts-for-music-lovers/
Proactive Computing found this story and shared it with you.
The Article Was Written/Published By: Sarah Chaney

Stolen guitar recovered after 45 years using facial recognition technology

Randy Bachman lost his most beloved Gretsch in 1976. The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive guitarist had bought the 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins guitar when he was just 18 years old, with money saved up from doing odd jobs around town. — Read the rest

Source: https://boingboing.net/2021/10/23/stolen-guitar-recovered-after-45-years-using-facial-recognition-technology.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stolen-guitar-recovered-after-45-years-using-facial-recognition-technology
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Thom Dunn

Google Search can now tune an instrument

Google Search has several useful features lying in wait for searchers to stumble upon them, and today it’s getting one more. Google has added a chromatic tuner to the service, which means you can now use Google Search to tune an instrument. If you need to tune something like a guitar and don’t have a tuner handy, then Google’s tuner … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/google-search-can-now-tune-an-instrument-08694458/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Abent

How to Make a Spotify Playlist for Your Pet

spotify_hero_1200x675.jpg?width=600&heig
When it comes to listening to music, your pet doesn’t have to be left out. With Spotify for Pets, you can generate music playlists that are tailored to your pet’s personality. We’ll show you how to use this feature.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/749522/how-to-make-a-spotify-playlist-for-your-pet/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Mahesh Makvana

Discord Is Bringing Music Back With a YouTube-Sanctioned Bot

znpfe8asnedolurmb1n3.jpg

After Google-owned YouTube killed two hugely popular Discord music bots this month, forcing them to essentially shut down in the dead of night over claims of copyright infringement, Discord has reportedly begun testing a YouTube integration that will allow users to once again stream tunes within their servers.

Read more…

Source: https://gizmodo.com/discord-is-bringing-music-back-with-a-youtube-sanctione-1847730671
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Brianna Provenzano

Streaming Music? You Should Be Making Your Own Playlists

Playlist-hero.png?width=600&height=250&f
Thanks to streaming music services, playlists have become a major part of how we listen to music. However, not everyone is taking advantage of playlists. Sure, it’s easy to find good pre-made playlists, but you should make your own.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/752414/streaming-music-you-should-be-making-your-own-playlists/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

Plex Will Help You Find New Music That Sounds Like the Songs You Already Love

Two people wearing headphones listening to vinyl records and smiling in bright modern roomPlex

Plex has unveiled a clever new feature for Plexamp, its dedicated music app. Dubbed “Super Sonic,” the feature is a neural network that analyzes your music library and finds sonically similar albums and artists, making your music listening experience even better.

Now while that sounds like a feature most other music streaming services offer, Plex takes a new approach to it. Instead of basing its recommendations on album and artist metadata, it bases them on the actual sound of the music, and honestly, it’s a good idea! This makes it easier to include obscure and indie artists, as well as those who didn’t include much (or any) metadata for their music. Now every artist can be included and your recommendations will be stronger because of that.

For example, if you love Taylor Swift’s last two hipster-folk albums—rather than her early albums, which have a different sound—the Super Sonic feature will create a “Sonically Similar” playlist. It will be full of songs from various other artists that sound similar to the songs from those albums. The goal of Super Sonic, according to Plex, is to take each listener on a journey through their music library unlike any they’ve ever been on.

Two playlists, one featuring Sonically Similar Albums and the other featuring Sonically Similar ArtistsPlex

Super Sonic is powered by AI and based on a “unique audio/music genome custom built by the Plex team.” In addition to giving you the various Sonically Similar playlists, Super Sonic gives you a few other ways to shake up your music-listening experience, like related tracks (much in the same vein as the aforementioned Sonically Similar playlists, but now aimed at individual tracks). It is designed to help you better explore your music library, and gain a more in-depth understanding of how certain songs and artists are related to each other.

There are also Mixes For You, which analyzes the albums you’ve been keeping on heavy rotation, blends them into mixes, and throws in other sonically similar albums. You’ll also have Track and Album radios, replacing Plex Mix, which plays either full albums or individual tracks that sound similar to one specific song you like.

Super Sonic has a few smaller new features that are worth mentioning, as well. On This Day will show you albums that were released on the current day going back decades. Album Types lets you organize albums on an artist’s page based on their type, like EPs, live albums, and so on.

You can check out Plex’s Super Sonic feature for yourself on Plexamp if you are a current paid Plex Pass and the current Plex Media Server. Also, it’s for macOS, Windows, and Linux only; ARM CPUs are unfortunately not supported. Interested? You can check out the details here and get signed up for Plex Pass. Happy listening!

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/94810/plex-will-help-you-find-new-music-that-sounds-like-the-songs-you-already-love/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

How to Download Spotify Songs to Your Apple Watch

spotify_hero_1200x675.jpg?width=600&heig
Spotify lets you save songs and podcasts to your Apple Watch, which means you can go for a run without leaving your music behind. Today we’re going to show you how to start downloading those songs and podcasts.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/739938/how-to-download-spotify-songs-to-your-apple-watch/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Pranay Parab

The 7 Best Audacity Alternatives

Apple Logic Pro and Ocenaudio screenshots in a collage with Audacity logoOcenaudio, Apple, Audacity

Audacity is the go-to audio editor for a lot of people, and for good reason—it’s simple, free, and still reasonably powerful. But with the recent privacy controversy weakening confidence in the new owners, now’s a good time to look at the alternatives. Fortunately, there are a lot of great ones that have been competing with Audacity for years.

But first off, let’s talk about what won’t be included in this list: Audactiy forks. Audacity is open-source, meaning its source code is public and modifiable, directly opening the doors for forks. A fork is a piece of software built off of the source code of an open-source program. Usually, these still share a lot of similarities with the original program but introduce a lot of new stuff.

The reason they won’t be covered here, though, is because they’re often-time not as reliable as dedicated pieces of software. Forks are commonly owned and maintained by community members of the original program, and because of that, can go for long periods of time without updates. Taking a look at one of the most promising Audacity forks, Tenacity, you’ll see that the project maintainer recently had to step down, which is sure to slow development for a while. Uncertainty like this plagues most forks, which is why they won’t be covered here.

What to Look for in an Audacity Alternative

Chances are, if you’re reading this, Audacity is your main tool for anything audio-related, which can make it a tough thing to replace. But there are a lot of great DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstation) out there, so here are the things we looked for when considering entries for this list.

  • Features: While Audacity is used across the industry, the ways it’s used varies a lot. From podcast recording to music creation, people have found plenty of ways to push Audacity’s relatively limited features to the max. Because of that, we sought out a variety of software today, ranging from straightforward and easy-to-learn audio editors to industry-standard workstations. While the basics like recording audio, multi-track support, splicing and rearranging clips, and applying effects are seen in every program here, some go much further. If you’ve been reaching the limits of Audacity, then we have some fantastic audio-editing powerhouses here that will expand the scope of your work.
  • Open-Source: This means a program’s source code is public and easily modifiable by anyone with the know-how. While this may not sound like much to an average user, being open-source makes it much easier for people to create third-party add-ons to a program that can add new features. As we talked about earlier, Audacity is open-source, but there aren’t many other options out there that share this characteristic. We’ve only included one in this article, Ardour, so if that’s a big priority for you, you know where to look first.
  • Price: Being free is a major selling point for Audacity, so naturally, you’re likely looking for something free to replace it as well. Fortunately, there are multiple quality editors available for free we’ll be covering today. Still, we also included a few paid-for programs if you want to dive into some of the more professional options.
  • Platforms: Audacity is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, so to make sure we don’t leave anyone out, most of the programs here support all three platforms as well. The only exceptions to this are Adobe Audition which is only available on macOS and Windows, and Apple’s software exclusive to macOS.

Easy to Use: Ocenaudio (Windows/macOS/Linux)

Ocenaudio main editing pageOcenaudio

While some people use Audacity for all of their audio editing, many use it rather sparingly for simple audio projects. If you aren’t making music or fine-tuning your voice to that perfect pitch, you probably just need something to record your audio with and then do some simple editing. So if that describes your time with Audacity, then Ocenaudio is what you’ll want to jump to—it focuses on simplicity and ease of use above all else. While the UI appears dated, it’s extremely easy to navigate, which means your transition period from Audacity to Ocenaudio shouldn’t last too long.

But while simplicity is the focus, that doesn’t mean Ocenaudio lacks features. You can still apply effects, fine-tune the EQ and gain (with a real-time preview, so you know what the audio will sound like before actually making any changes), and use the multi-track design for mixing. There are definitely limits relative to more advanced editors, but if you rarely dive into Audacity’s more complex tools, you’re unlikely to notice the limits here.

Ocenaudio is also completely free, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

Easy to Use

Ocenaudio


Ocenaudio’s straightforward and easy to learn design will make the transition period a breeze.

For Mac Users: GarageBand (macOS)

GarageBand main instrument editing pageApple

When it comes to Apple hardware, Apple’s software tends to be the best match, and GarageBand is a great example. While primarily made for entry-level music production, it also works for editing podcasts and voiceovers as well. You can mix up to 255 audio tracks at once, record music from digital instruments, and fine-tune it all using GarageBand’s straightforward UI. It can even be used to learn instruments, with entire lessons designed to help you play the piano and guitar.

While there is certainly a focus on music production, the standard editing tools and effects are also here, so GarageBand remains a fairly versatile program. It’s a great option if you’re using Apple devices but still want something free.

For Mac Users

GarageBand


Apple’s entry-level audio editor with a large focus on music production.

Open-Source: Ardour (Windows/macOS/Linux)

Main Ardour editing pageArdour

Ardour is the only program here that’s open-source, meaning it’s free and easy to modify—but it’s still packed with features for all sorts of audio editing. There’s an unlimited number of tracks, dozens of supported file formats, and extremely in-depth effects and mixing tools to get that perfect sound. Ardour prides itself on adding features its users want and need, creating an excellent DAW whether you’re dealing with voiceovers, vocals, or instruments.

This is further into the professional scene than what’s been covered so far, so it will be intimidating if you’re not experienced with a full DAW. There are lots of buttons, dials, and sliders to mess around with, but you can solely focus on the simpler tools if those fit the bill for what you’re doing. Whether you push it to its limits or not, Ardour is a real powerhouse in this scene.

Open-Source

Ardour


If you’re missing the open-source nature of Audacity in particular, Ardour is the best replacement.

The Full Package: DaVinci Resolve 17 (Windows/macOS/Linux)

DaVinci Resolve 17 Fairlight editing pageBlackmagic Design

To start, let’s make something clear: DaVinci Resolve is a video editing program first and foremost—and a really great one at that. However, DaVinci Resolve prides itself on including everything you need to create a video, including standard video editing, color grading, special effects, and, notably right now, audio editing. There is an entire DAW hiding within Resolve called Fairlight, and on top of some solid features, it has a clean and straightforward UI.

There are special audio effects, you can quickly edit the EQ and gain, there are plenty of tools for cleaning up the sound, and you can use over 700 tracks at once. While these tools are designed with video production in mind, you can use Resolve solely for audio editing—and if you are working with video as well, then being able to jump from video to audio editing quickly is extremely useful.

DaVinci Resolve 17 is completely free, which is an amazing deal considering the functionality it provides. Whether you want a DAW with a clean design or you’re a video editor with advanced audio needs, Resolve has you covered.

The Full Package

DaVinci Resolve 17


There’s an entire DAW hiding within Resolve and it’s pretty great.

Powerful and Affordable: Reaper (Windows/macOS/Linux)

Reaper main audio editing pageReaper

This is the first paid program we’ll be talking about, but Reaper still keeps things reasonably affordable, especially considering how much it brings to the table. Reaper is a complete audio production tool for music, vocals, voiceovers, and other audio-related projects. It’s built to be as fast and efficient as possible, both in performance and UI design, with plenty of effects to alter your recordings. There’s support for 200+ tracks, digital instruments and physical audio hardware, and free updates constantly improve the program after purchase. You can also use third-party plugins to further personalize the program to your liking—both aesthetically and functionally.

Without a doubt, Reaper is the best solution to professional audio editing without professional prices. It has the tools to rival the larger names in this field without breaking your budget. As long as you’re not making over $20,000 a year from creations using Reaper, you only need the “Discounted” license. For a one-time price of $60, this grants access to everything Reaper has to offer (if you use Reaper in a professional capacity and make more than that, then you’ll need the commercial license for $225). There’s also a 60-day free trial if you want to give it a spin before paying.

Powerful and Affordable

Reaper


A professional audio editor without professional prices.

Professional Grade: Adobe Audition (Windows/macOS)

Adobe Audition main editing pageAdobe

Audition is an industry-level workstation that you should look at if you already use the Creative Cloud. Not only does it offer all the tuning tools you’d need out of a DAW (along with a wide range of effects and free sound samples), but it also works in tandem with other Adobe products such as Premiere Pro and After Effects. Considering the limited audio editing tools found in both video programs, this is a crucial feature for advanced users.

But that’s not to say Audition can’t stand on its own two legs; it definitely can; It features a multi-track design with no limits, in-depth composition and analysis tools, and multiple forms of noise reduction for dealing with white noise and hissing. Like most of the other options here, Audition is built to be a one-stop-shop for everything audio, and it does a great job at that.

Like the rest of Adobe’s products, Audition runs on a subscription service—either $20.99 a month for Audition by itself or $52.99 a month for the entire Creative Cloud.

Professional Grade

Adobe Audition


Adobe’s industry-standard workstation which works great with the other programs in the Creative Cloud.

Apple’s Full Offering: Logic Pro (macOS)

Apple Logic Pro main editing pageApple

Logic Pro is Apple’s proper DAW. It certainly doesn’t disappoint with a straightforward but powerful UI and excellent performance on Mac devices (especially those with the newer M1 chips ). Creating music, recording a podcast, and fine-tuning your recordings is made as simple as possible, without compromising on the options you need.

You can still fine-tune your audio to your heart’s content, create music with digital instruments, apply effects, and make use of up to 1,000 audio tracks (which might as well be unlimited). Logic Pro is full of little UI touches that pull the whole program together and makes it a pleasure to work with whether you’re doing it professionally or as a hobby.

Regardless of why you use it, Logic Pro will cost a decent amount. There’s a 90-day free trial to take advantage of, which is always great to see, but afterward, it will cost you $199.99 for a full license.

Apple’s Full Offering

Logic Pro


A full-on, industry-level DAW from Apple optimized for Mac devices.

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/91232/the-7-best-audacity-alternatives/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

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