Saturday, April 16, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [April 15th]” plus 9 more “Cool Websites and Tools [April 15th]” plus 9 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [April 15th]

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 08:31 PM PDT

Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. All listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. You can make use of them without spending a dime. If you want to have similar cool websites round-ups delivered to your email daily email subscribe here.

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Dell Auction – Buying second-hand computers from unknown sellers carries a major risk. Since you do not know the seller, you cannot rely on them therefore you cannot expect the product to be reliable. This is why Dell Auction is a wise choice when it comes to buying refurbished used computers. Read more: Dell Auction: Bid On Competently Refurbished Computers From Dell


Sndchck – When you are with your friends, they often name a few bands and suggest you listen to them. But your friends' music suggestions are often forgotten by the time you get back home. Here to help you not forget those band suggestions is a web service called SndChck, a free to use web service that lets you tweet band names. Read more: Sndchck: Make a Playlist via Twitter While Out & About



Wibbitz – is a free plugin that lets webmasters convert static web content into interactive streaming videos that will include headlines, images, video clips and more. The videos are created in real-time so the video content is always up to date. The videos also have options to share and embed them on other sites. Read more: Wibbitz: Create Interactive Video From Web Content



Recursosmoviles – If you are running an online business, you are probably running several marketing channels for your bottom line such as emails, search, social, and traditional marketing. However, one marketing pipeline that is yet to be used heavily by small businesses is mobile SMS. Recursos Moviles is a service offering tools to engage customers through SMS marketing and micropayments. Read more: Recursosmoviles: Global SMS Marketing & Micropayment Service



Webreader – You can easily add your RSS feeds to Google Reader and stay updated with your favorite websites. But for many people, the interface of Google Reader is too basic. For them, a better alternative to Google Reader's native web interface would be the visually appealing desktop Reader client, WebReader. Read more: Webreader: Wonderful AIR-Based Desktop Client For Google Reader


These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.

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The 9 Best Questions From You [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 06:31 PM PDT

MakeUseOf Answers welcomes great challenges and great solutions alike. Both are showcased every Friday as we honor the winners in our Best Answer of the Week contest.

This week the prizes go to:

Best Answer of the Week – Jay

1st Runner Up – Smayonak

2nd Runner Up – Tyler

Congratulations to the winners!

There were many more great answers it was tough to pick just three winners. Thank you everyone for your excellent contributions, your efforts are appreciated very much!

Sometimes, great answers make great questions. Have a look:

MakeUseOf Answers can teach you a trick each day. Read, learn, and share by browsing the Latest Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

Need help? Ask A Question at MakeUseOf Answers.

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How To Use Comments To Their Full Potential In Microsoft Word 2007+

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 04:31 PM PDT

comments in word 2007Though Microsoft Word can sometimes feel like a big clunky program with too many bells and whistles, there are still some powerful time saving tools under its hood that you should know about. One of them is the Comments tool, which can be used sort of like little yellow sticky notes as you write, revise, and edit your research paper, manuscript, business report, or your next great novel.

Comments in Word can serve many purposes, but they work like writing comments in the margins of a paper document. But of course, using Comments in Word, like other digital technology, provides a lot more than putting pen to paper. You can include external links to web resources, internal links to different parts of a document, and set up a pre-addressed email link for your readers. You can also send your Word file to someone or a group of people who in turn can add comments to your document.

Adding Comments In Word 2011

In Microsoft Word 2007-2011, you can add comments (when you're writing in the Print Layout or Web Layout views) by first selecting one or more words in your document, and then clicking on Insert > New Comment in the menu bar. Note, I'm using Word 2011 for Mac for this tutorial, but the Comment tool and features are similar for the PC version of Word as well.

comments in word 2007

You can of course access this tool in Word's Toolbar, or what is called the Ribbon of Word 2010 or Mac 2011 edition, to create a new note using one single click. Or better yet, create a keyboard shortcut for the New Comment menu item (here's how for Mac users).

word 2007 comments

When you add a note, you can write as much as you like in it. Your notes will appear as "balloons" on the side of the page where you selected to add the comment. All comments must be attached to piece of selected text. Comments are useful in the writing process for making notes to yourself, especially when you're in the flow of writing and you don't want to stop and check a fact or a resource. You can make a note to do it later.

word 2007 comments

You or another reader of your document could use Comments to ask questions, make suggested changes, or make references to other sources in your document. The comments you add don't show up when you print your document.

When your balloon comments get too distracting or take up too much precious space on the screen, you can simply click View > Markup to hide them. Do the same to bring them back. You can delete comments one at a time by clicking the "x" button in the upper-right of the Comment's title bar.

Adding Links To Comments

URL Link

What is useful about Comments is that you can include links to webpages, a mailto link, or links to designated parts of your existing document.

word 2007 comments

To add to a URL, select a piece of text, and add a comment note. Next, either type in your URL or locate the webpage and drag the URL into the note.

Mailto Link

Sometimes when another reader or editor of your document is reading your added comments, you might want them to contact you directly by email concerning something you wrote in the document. Considering how lazy we computer users have become, Word enables you to include a mailto link in a comment or attach it directly to piece of text. That way, the lazy reader doesn’t have to stop and create a new mail and add your or someone else's designated address. You can do it all that work for them.

using comments in word 2007

To add a mailto link, select the Comment box and go to Insert > Hyperlink, or Command+K.  In the dialogue box, enter the email address and subject line of the pre-addressed email. If you want to get more fancy, notice that little ScreenTip button above? You can type in a custom message to the reader when they hover their cursor over the resulting link.

using comments in word 2007

Now when a reader clicks on the mailto link, a new email will open with your address and subject line inserted for them, so they don't have to take their precious time doing it themselves.

Document Link

If you're creating a long document, say a 150-page dissertation, you’ll know how unwieldy things can become when you need to find and locate important parts of your text file. You could use a comment in one part of your document to link to another part. However, the process for doing this requires a few more steps to set up.

using comments in word 2007

First off, you need to create a bookmark(s) link to your document. To do this, select the text for the bookmark, and go to Insert > Bookmark. Change the "OLE_Link1" to a custom name. Click Add.


When you want to add your document link in a comment or to a piece of selected text in your document, you need to click Insert > Hyper Link. Select the Document button. Click the Locate… button and your bookmarked anchor should be listed under bookmarks. Your bookmarked text will be highlighted in blue.


To remove hyperlinks, simply select the link and click Delete. Likewise, you can edit the Hyperlink by control-clicking on the link and choosing Insert > Edit Hyperlink.

comments in word 2007

Let me know what you think about this tutorial, and also what other Word tools you find useful. Also check out our other articles about Word, including How To Make Use Of Research Feature in Microsoft Word 2007How To Build a Mind Map In Microsoft Word, and How to Make Index Cards in Microsoft Word 2007.

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The 10 Most Disliked YouTube Videos Of All Time

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 02:31 PM PDT

disliked youtube videoThere are a lot of great videos on YouTube. You can find comedy videos, interactive games, high definition podcasts, and even those that teach you things like science and card tricks. You can find YouTube videos by everything from what channel they fall in to what country they’re in, and we can’t forget about those viral videos that pop up every now and then. There are even websites like Devour and 12Vid that are dedicated to picking out the very best YouTube videos. Let’s see, did I forget anything?

Oh yeah, disliked videos! Everyone always talks about the most liked, or most popular, videos on YouTube, but which ones have received the most dislikes?

10. Evolution of Dance – By Judson Laipply

We’ve all seen this video. It’s the one of the guy doing a few seconds of every kind of popular dance imaginable. This one’s been viewed almost 170 million times. How many views are you accountable for?

9. “Chocolate Rain” Original Song by Tay Zonday

Chocolate Rain is another hugely recognizable video/internet meme. You can’t argue with the guy’s voice in this one, although some clearly “dislike” it.

8. Charlie bit my finger – again !

This video, which has been seen over 300 million times, shows a couple of young kids, one of which’s name is Charlie. You’d think they’re too cute to dislike, but some people apparently didn’t think so.

7. Justin Bieber – Never Let You Go

From here on out, get ready to see a lot of Justin Bieber. The Biebs is notorious for being both largely admired and largely ‘disliked’ at the same time, and his videos are no exception. Are you a fan?

6. Justin Bieber – One Less Lonely Girl

This video, which features another song by Justin Bieber, has been seen nearly 120 million times. Over half of the people who voted clicked the dislike button on this one.

5. Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

It looks like Lady Gaga snuck into the list. The vast majority of people who rated this video actually liked it, but when you receive 365 million views–and dress like you’re not from this planet–you’ll attract the occasional dislike.

4. Justin Bieber – Somebody To Love Remix ft. Usher

And we’re back to Justin Bieber. Did you miss him? Surely he can’t take all the heat from this one, since this video also features Usher.

3. Justin Bieber – Never Say Never ft. Jaden Smith

We’ve got one more Justin Bieber video to go and then we can wrap up this list!

2. Justin Bieber – Baby ft. Ludacris

And here it is, the former champion. This music video featuring Justin Bieber and Ludacris has been seen over 509 million times as of this writing. It’s arguably the video (and song) that made Justin Bieber a household name, and it has received over double the amount of dislike votes as it has like votes. A true number 2 in my book.

1. Rebecca Black – Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

To those who are familiar with this video, you shouldn’t be surprised to see it on this list. In a landslide of dislike votes, Rebecca Black takes the title as owner of the most disliked YouTube vid. I don’t know about you, but I’m interested to see where her career is headed after this one. We will see!


And there you have it, the most disliked videos on YouTube. Justin Bieber makes up the majority of this list, but his title as the most disliked video was only recently overtaken at the number one spot by Rebecca Black. I know what you’re thinking, these aren’t the most terrible videos you’ve ever seen. In fact, a lot of them are actually extremely popular, even though they are the most disliked.

Actually the majority of videos listed here have more likes than dislikes, and them being on this list can be attributed to being seen so often that they happened to accumulate a lot of dislikes as well. You learn something new every day, don’t you?

Are you surprised with this list? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Hot Tech Deals [Apr 15th]

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 01:30 PM PDT

If you’re in the market for a new computer, laptop, mobile phone, games and other accessories; don’t waste your time searching online. We’ve taken the liberty of locating the best tech deals and unifying them into a single post for your convenience.

For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.

  1. HP Pavilion Elite 590T Intel Core i7-920 Hexacore (6-Core) 3.2GHz Desktop $1349 via code DT1988 (Exp Soon)
  2. HP Pavilion p6780t Intel Core i7-2600 Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz Desktop $659 via code DT6448 (Exp Soon)
  3. Canon MP495 Color Inkjet All-In-One Printer w/ Wireless Networking (refurb) $33.99 Free Shipping via code 411RFB15 (Exp 4/18)
  4. HP dv6tse Intel Core i5-2410 2.3GHz Sandy Bridge 15in Laptop (6GB/640GB) $629.99 via code NB7758 (Exp Soon)
  5. HP Pavilion dm1z AMD Dual-Core E-350 (FUSION) 11.6in Laptop w/ Radeon HD6310 $399 via code NB3527 (Exp Soon)
  6. HP dv7tqe Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 17.3in Laptop w/ Blu-Ray $874.99 via code NB6973 (Exp Soon)
  7. HP dv6tqe Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 15.6in Laptop $770.49 via code NB8095 (Exp after 1350 uses)
  8. Sony NSX-40GT1 40in LED-Edgelit LCD HDTV (1080p, Android Apps) w/ GoogleTV $628 Free Shipping
  9. Dell PowerEdge T310 Server Desktop Computer Intel Xeon 2.4GHz 4GB/250GB $500 Free Shipping

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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3 Hipstamatic-Equivalent Android Apps For Retro Photo Effects

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 12:31 PM PDT

android retro photo appAndroid users often bemoan the fact that they have to wait longer than iPhone users to get some of the cool apps – or that these applications never make it to the Android. But sometimes this sort of wait inspires many competitors to jump in with their own Android apps doing similar things – often for free!

A current complaint is that Hipstamatic and Instagram, both excellent iPhone retro photo manipulators, still aren’t available on Android. So, what is a good Hipstamatic alternative for Android? Well, a number of apps fit the bill. Meanwhile, look over here if you’re looking for free Hipstamatic alternatives for iPhone.


Retroid is a free Android retro photo app which seems to have a good collection of retro effects to slap on your photos. When you take a photo with Retroid, the original is saved in your normal photo collection, while the doctored version is kept in Retroid’s data.

android retro photo app

While Retroid is fun to play with, it does take up a lot of room. It’s 5.5MB which can’t be moved to the SD card! Also, sometimes when you take photos for manipulation via the “snap” function it does strange things to them before applying the effects. If you take the photo with your normal camera and then search for the photo you want to manipulate, it can fix this problem.

android retro photo


Vignette is available as a free demo or a paid version, but the demo version comes as a surprise because it’s so packed with features. The demo limits the size of the photos you take to 2MB per photo and that seems to be the only limitation. All photo manipulation effects are fully functional in the demo as are handy features to make better use of the application. When you have found a combination of effect and frame that you like, you can save it as a favourite and you can add a link to your homepage for fast access to that effect.

android retro photo

The Vignette Demo is a tiny 400KB and can be moved to the SD card. Manipulated photos are saved to the SD card in Vignette’s own directory within your photo collection – the original photos aren’t kept. However, you can take the photo using your normal camera and simply import into Vignette for manipulation if you wish.

android retro photo

Don’t forget that the photos will be of a lower quality while using the demo application – at least you get to fully test all the effects before you make the decision to buy.


FxCamera has plenty of interesting effects ready to use, such as the Polaroid effect and the Toy Camera effect. It’s easy to change your settings to ensure you approve of where the photos are being saved. FxCamera offers fewer photo effect options than Vignette, but it’s simple to use and results in good shots.

retro effects photos

FxCamera is nearly 2MB, but can be moved to the SD card.

android retro photo app

More Great Android Apps

If you’re satisfied with the camera application on your phone, but now want to explore some more fun Android apps, check out these apps to make life easier and time-killing apps for the moderately bored. There should be something in there for you!

Which is your favourite Android camera application? Which Android retro photo app do you like best? Let us know in the comments!

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5 Interesting Historical Events Timelines That Show History As It Happened

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 11:31 AM PDT

historical events timelineThink of timelines as historical markers on a scale with dates. But though timelines may be just a plot of dates and events on a long bar, they have a cultural significance; maybe not the timeline itself, but certainly the events that are placed on it. Historical events timelines help us to understand change as it happens over the course of time. This bird's eye view enables us to grasp the complexity of a trend over the course of history. All it takes is a glance at a timeline.

But it's not only history. It can be used to plot a fictional course of events too. Just take a look at the Lord of The Rings timelines which prove that these graphic tools can hack away at complexity. Or, if you are an Android user check out this cool video timeline.

Along with infographics, I think timelines are great educational aids. So, let's take a look at a few cool timelines and understand events as they unfolded.


historical events timeline

The continuing scientific project covers 3000 years of world history with the help of interactive timelines, lifelines, and maps. A menu panel on the left enables you to navigate through people, history, events, and maps. The timeline is synchronoptic ­– it displays the interconnectedness between historical events and gives you a perspective on the events that shaped the world. The graphics may not be rich by current Web 2.0 standards, but the information certainly is.

Conflict History

timeline of events

This really cool timeline takes a darker look at world events: a look at war and conflicts around the world from the past to this day. The timeline is in beta, but it shows the potential of a Google Maps mashup to teach us about history. You can use the slider below or search for a conflict from the search bar. The relevant ones for that period get loaded in the grey box. Text information is sourced from Wikipedia.

Timeline of Art History

timeline of events

We go from war to art with the help of Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. It is definitely a well compiled look at the development of art forms by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can browse the timeline by period or by geographical region. From the pre-historic to the present, the timeline is a great educational aid if you are interested in exploration of the history of art from around the world. There are 300 timelines in total, supported by works of art from the Museum’s collection, a chart of time periods, a historical overview, a list of key events, and other content.


timeline of events

One of the world's best magazines has a rich collection of timelines all in photo slideshows. Thanks to the photographs by some of the world's top photographers, you get a close look at history through the photo stories. Pictures do speak a thousand words. 810 pages worth of timelines on diverse topics should keep you busy till the next year. Tell us about your pick.

Google News Timeline

historical events timeline

News becomes history one day. Google captures it all in its news timeline, a Google Labs project. The controls on the top enable you to sift through all the major happenings. The default view is on the current date. You can use the slider to go back and forth. News relates to scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and information about various types of media, like music albums and movies. But aptly, the timeline allows you to put in your own queries and view the results chronologically on the timeline. You can specify as many different queries as you’d like. Wikipedia and Time Magazine are there by default. The screen shows the result of a query on the tsunami disaster in Japan.

There are quite a few historical events timelines out there. All of them let us go back in time and take another look at history. Which ones are your favorites? Let us know if you like the concept of timelines.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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2 New WordPress Plugins You Should Try & Understanding The Theme Structure

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 10:31 AM PDT

new wordpress pluginsIn the first article of what I hope will become a regular feature, I’ll be highlighting some new WordPress plugins, themes, and features of WordPress that you can make use of in your own self-hosted WordPress blog. This week I’ll be a taking a look at a superior alternative to the often praised All-In-One SEO; a plugin that gives you the power of a WordPress publishing system but allows you to output static HTML files for hosts that don’t support PHP; as well as showing you how to make sense of some of the template files contained in your theme directory.

Theme Structure & Templates

Before you read this, take a look into your WordPress theme directory and see what files it contains – notably, anything ending in .php

new wordpress plugins

Over the years, the WordPress publishing system has developed a strong foundation for templates that allows designers to make themes that are as simple or as complex as needed. The simplest theme may only include a single index.php file, which is the absolute bare minimum. Every page on your site would then be displayed using that single default template.

The way WordPress works is that each time a page is requested, it will search for an appropriate template file for the type of content being displayed – if none is found, it will then continue to generalise the template it’s looking for until finally it just gives up and uses index.php

The key to customizing your wordpress theme then, is to understand the hierarchy through which WordPress will search. You can find the full hierarchy diagram on the WordPress codex site, but here’s a cut-down version I made earlier.

wordpress plugins

For example, when a user views the archives on your site for category X posts, WordPress will first try to use a template called category-x.php, which is specific to only X category. If it can’t find one, it will generalise to category.php, which is for any category archives view. Failing that, it moves on to an even more generalised archive.php (which might also used to display monthly archives, tag archives or author archives). Most themes will include at least an archive.php, but if not WordPress will just use index.php.

So how does this help us? Well, if you already have an archive template, but you wish to customize the way your “funny pictures” category is displayed for example, all you need to do is copy the archives.php to a new file called category-funny-pictures.php, and adjust accordingly.

In the next article, I’ll show you exactly how you can create a special page for your “family pictures” category that includes a thumbnail of the photo.

Static HTML Output

The truth is that WordPress is – hands-down – the easiest (free) content publishing system on the Internet. In less than 5 minutes you can have it installed, easily change the look and feel, and be loading content in. There is no other system currently available that gives you that much power with such a refined user interface and as wide-ranging open-source development community around it.

However, not all of us can run PHP files or have access to a database server, so in that case, your only option is to use a WYSIWYG application like Dreamweaver to produce HTML files, or hand-code them. Well, no longer. What this plugin allows you do is use an offline installation of WordPress, or one running on a development domain somewhere, then output the entire site to static HTML files for you to simply upload!

Why would you do this? Well, for one, you can host the site anywhere without a database – such as your Apple webspace. Secondly, you get a huge speed boost as the site no longer needs to access the database or parse the PHP scripts on the server side.

The only downside is that you will lose the interactivity of your blog, such as the built-in WordPress commenting system (which relies upon a database to update the page with new comments). The plugin author suggests using a third party comments provider such as Disqus to get around this though, but be prepared for a little theme editing.

SEO Ultimate

For a long time, All-In-One was the reigning king of WordPress SEO plugins, but its day has come. SEO Ultimate is absolutely full to the brim, feature packed with lots of SEO-related modules – but the best part is that you can deactivate any modules you don’t need by using the simple control panel.

So besides the obvious meta keywords / title rewriting, what does this plugin offer?

  • 404 monitor – essential if you’ve moved your blog, or are getting a lot of incorrect inbound links, this module will allow you to know exactly where and why the 404 errors are occurring so you can take the appropriate 301 action.
  • Slug optimizer – which keeps your pretty URLs to a minimum by removing useless words like “a” and “the” from them.
  • Competition researcher - a powerful tool for anyone hoping to get into a niche market, this module lets you investigate URLs or keywords to find how much competition there is.
  • Automatic Deep-Linking – If you find yourself constantly linking certain keywords back to some of your best articles, let this tool do the linking for you. Just specify the keywords you want linked, the URL and like magic it will be applied site-wide.
  • Link masking – if you’re running a successful affiliate program, but afraid of being penalised for it, then you’ll love this. With this module you can hide your affiliate links to look like for example.

new wordpress plugins

That’s all of the new WordPress plugins for now, folks. Stay tuned as next week I’ll take a look at some fabulous new themes for you to customize, and show you exactly how to put that elusive featured post thumbnail image into a custom category archives view. Comments, suggestions and feedback to the comments section below, please!

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The Top 6 Websites To Listen To Country Music

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 09:31 AM PDT

listen to country musicOne of the most amazing things about each genre of music is that there are entire communities and subcultures devoted to following all of the latest gossip about music artists, listening to their music and learning all there is to know about the music. It’s true for rap, reggae, heavy metal and certainly country music is no exception.

Country music, while some despise it and others love it, offers a mix of soothing tunes, peppy knee-slapping dance rhythms and everything in between. If you’re one of those folks that loves to listen to country music every now and then (or all the time), then I’m going to offer up five of what I consider to be the best online resources to listen to country music for free.

The Country “Station”

I think the bottom line is that to get to the best online stations with great sounding music and the highest quality music players, you have to go with the big well-known online radio sites.

It wasn’t long ago that I covered RadioTime, but the only issue with that site is that while it’s fantastic for finding local radio stations, it can take some time to find really good, well-known, popular music. On the other hand, Will headed down the right road when he listed 5 of the best online radio sites for music in general.


To get to the country music the fastest, it’s best to use some of the more popular sites like Pandora Radio that give you the ability to go straight to the genre you want.

listen to country music

To get to those genre stations, all you have to do is scroll down the main page and under your player you’ll see a link for “Genre Stations.” This takes you to the directory. Click on Country Music and you’ll see all of the selections available.  One thing that I’ve always liked about Pandora is that while you’re listening to the station you can like or dislike the songs and it’ll gradually customize the playlist to your tastes.

country music free listen

YouTube Music

Now, while I spend most of my music-listening time on Pandora, another very popular and well-known site that categorizes music by genre is actually YouTube, believe it or not.  At the top of the YouTube page, just click on Music, then “Categories” and finally “Country.”

country music free listen

Voila – you now have a whole world of not only country music, but country music videos to explore. I spent about two hours here in one night just browsing through Johnny Cash songs. Good stuff.

AOL Radio

The final well-known online radio site that also features a good country “station” as part of the genre collection is actually AOL Radio. If you want to listen to country music, finding the country section is as easy as going to AOL Radio, clicking on the Country link in the left navigation bar, and then choosing a sub-genre that you’re interested in, like Bluegrass or Classic Country.

country music free listen

The player features its share of ads, but it is free so who’s complaining? Another nice feature that I like about the AOL player is that you can read a bit about each group as you’re listening to the music. Just scroll down the screen a bit and you’ll see an interesting writeup about the group or singer.

listen to country music online

Slacker Radio

Of course, another huge online radio site is Slacker Radio.  Like AOL, getting straight to the country music is as easy as clicking the “All Stations” link and then clicking on “Country.”

listen to country music online

Devoted To Country

Dixie Streams

The country website Dixie Streams is all about country music – including reviews, videos and news. However, if you click the Radio link you’ll actually be listening to their country radio site hosted on Loudcity.

listen to country music

It’s one station, but they play the best of the best of country music today, and of course it’s all free. So you can visit the Dixie Streams radio link and just sit back and enjoy.

CMT Radio

No country music radio list would be complete without mentioning CMT. Every country fan knows that Country Music Television is at the very heart of Country Music today. At the main site you’ll find everything – awards, news and gossip. Of course, you want to listen to music, so click on the radio link  and you’ll see several stations to choose from.

listen to country music online

Click on any of them, and a small radio player will pop up and play the station.

You can keep browsing the Internet as you like, and the music or show will keep streaming.

For a lot of people out there, country music isn’t just a genre, it’s an entire way of life. If you want to live it and breathe it even when you’re surfing the web or working at your computer, then these sites are really the best way to keep the music flowing constantly.

Which country music radio site do you like best when you want to listen to country music? Is your favorite not on this list? Share your own resources in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Pam Roth

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What’s The Fastest Android Web Browser? [Geeks Weigh In]

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 08:31 AM PDT

best android browserPerformance is important when browsing the web on a computer, but your average PC has plenty of power to work with. Using multiple tabs and loading pages is usually quick as long as you’re using the latest edition of any of the major browsers.

Smartphones, however, are a different story. The hottest Android phones on the market right now are packing the nVidia Tegra 2 processor, which is substantially slower than any modern PC. When working with such limited resources, efficiency and speed are a priority. That begs the question – which Android web browser is the quickest?

The Contestants

best android browser

There are quite a few web browsers available on the Android marketplace. Some of them are mobile renditions of popular PC browsers like Firefox and Opera while others forge their own path. I had to narrow down the list somewhat though, so to choose the best Android browser, I focused on the most popular browsers, including:

This is, I think, a good selection of browsers to look at. The only browser some might miss is Opera Mini. Unfortunately, Opera Mini bombed two of my benchmarks (that is, it would not run them to completion). Opera Mini may well be great, but it's hard to test something that can't enter a score.

The hardware I'm using for this test is the HTC Thunderbolt, Verizon's new 4G LTE phone. My apartment is not in a 4G area yet, though, so I tested using the 3G network. All browsers were benched in the exact same location under the same conditions. I had an app killer terminate all programs between every benchmark to reduce interference.

Now, let's look at the results.


This popular JavaScript benchmark is used to test browsers on any device that can run one. I used the latest version (0.9.1) and ran the test three times, then averaged the scores.

android browser

Lower is better in the Sunspider benchmark, and that means Firefox is the clear victor. The gap between it and the next fastest browser, Opera Mobile, is significant. It's worth noting that the gap between Opera Mobile and the third quickest browser is also significant. It seems that the experience these teams have gained from working on browsers for the PC has translated into great JavaScript performance on Android.

Rightware Browsermark

Next up we have Browsermark, a benchmark that tests both JavaScript and DOM performance. This is essentially the Peacekeeper of smartphone benchmarks, and it's commonly used by hardware reviewers as a means of determining a phone's overall performance.

android browser

In this benchmark, higher is better, so this is another win for Firefox. Opera Mobile, which was doing well in the Sunspider benchmark, fell off a cliff. The Dolphin browsers and xScope remained in the middle of the pack.

Surprisingly, both the stock Android browser and Skyfire bombed this benchmark. Both of them ended at the benchmark at the error page, indicating they failed to properly complete one of the tests.

Page Loading Times

Finally, I decided to perform a "real world" test by seeing how long these browsers took to load my blog, Smidgen PC. I performed the test three times and averaged the result.

best android browser

There wasn't nearly as much of a spread here as there was in the synthetic benchmarks. That's not unusual, though; you'll find the same if you benchmark PC web browsers. Synthetic benchmarks only test the browser's ability to cram through certain tasks, usually involving JavaScript and DOM. Real-world performance is also bound by hardware and your data connection, however. Factor that in, and the spread narrows considerably.


It seems that Firefox for Android is currently the best Android browser when it comes to speed. It killed the competition in the synthetic benchmarks, and earned a small but definitive victory in the page loading test as well.

Skyfire seems slow overall, and the stock Android browser is second to last. Most other scores are comparable, however. That means many Android browsers are similarly quick, and you’re unlikely to detect major differences between them.

What I can say for sure is that the stock Android browser is not the best one available. You may be wondering if you should switch – after all, the stock browser does seem “good enough”.  Based on these results, I say you should. As I’m sure some readers will note, that’s not only because of speed. All of these browsers have additional features that are not part of the stock Android browser.

It may seem like fussing over a few seconds of difference in loading times is silly, but the time shaved off can add up. A few seconds can mean the difference between an experience that feels butter smooth and one that feels bumpier than a hayride in a washing machine.

So what do you think?  Which Android browser gets your vote?

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