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Why Apple Music Is Indispensable For Me

Why Apple Music Is Indispensable For Me

When was the last time you found something that immediately became invaluable for you? Join me on that treasure hunt. It will pay off in only 5 minutes, promised!

Apple Music not only recently gained fame – ahem, I mean blame – for having one of the most confusing and cluttered interfaces in history, but the search really adds to this mess. In fact, the search is so bad, I was forced to create an additional list of links to access my beloved playlists.

As a huge fan of anything related to Sherlock Holmes and crime audiobooks, I’ve been on a quest for quite some time now. How could I listen to an audiobook every other day without spending too much of my hard earned bucks?

Since I’m a somewhat happy subscriber, I thought it might be worth it to try Apple Music to hunt them down.

The ever growing source of audiobooks

Yes, believe it or not, Apple Music has not only music but a great variety of audiobooks for your pleasure. Why you don’t tell us how many, you might ask? That’s indeed an excellent question, but I cannot put an answer to it. I doubt even Apple can, and I will show you why in a minute.

Audiobooks are, in fact, a big deal for Apple Music. Especially since we know how much audiobooks cost and likewise how hard it is to find the tasty ones. So it’s safe to admit, I like what Apple Music has to offer.

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Nonetheless, it tells a lot that only recently I found out much more about it. It’s because the search didn’t come up with anything I could even remotely agree with.

Searching – and not finding

Search might have been the most obvious approach to unravel the excellent audiobooks you were looking for… but it isn’t. You will only find stuff for which you enter the right full term.

Ready for an example? I know you are. Let’s start with the first thing that comes to your mind. It would be the term “audiobooks”, wouldn’t it? Wrong.

Audiobook search

    Even though it appears as somewhat successful, it doesn’t show anything interesting at all. Likewise, 80% of the results are music files. “Audiobooks”, considers the “s” at the end, which does more harm to the search!

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    Audiobooks search

      So, what should I do instead you ask? Well, now you’re asking the right questions!

      Start with something you’re sure exists. That’s the hard part, I know, but I cannot provide better advice. Otherwise, trial and error is your remaining option. For me it was a little easier since I knew all along, Sherlock Holmes would have to be somewhere.

      Sherlock Holmes Search

        That’s what I call a full blown hit! Look at the listing in the search that points to the various series the iconic world class detective features in.

        Pat yourself on your shoulder dear friend, you just cracked the box that holds dear the beautiful world of audiobooks.

        From here it’s a lot easier to dig up the related stuff, which contains, for example, the following pieces:

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        • Edgar Wallace (I’m German, though)
        • Edgar Allen Poe
        • Jules Verne
        • Die Drei Fragezeichen (Yes, I know)
        • Pater Brown
        • Morgenstern

        Those are all valuable audiobooks of excellent quality. They are heavily biased not only by my taste but even more by the fact that I’m a German guy.

        Even though it sounds like a bunch of work, it’s actually a lot of fun to follow along with the recommendations and discover something new every other minute.

        Recommendation

          Pro Tip! Watch out for regular updates to your beloved series. Each month there will be new episodes added to the already quite impressive lists of audiobooks.

          Updated series

            Conclusion

            Apple is obviously not too easy to tell, where the precious, high quality audiobooks reside. Quite understandable, since they want to make money on selling audiobooks within iTunes.

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            However, digging up audiobooks is actually a lot of fun and a never ending stream of high quality audiobooks is there for your entertainment.

            Just take care of storing the new found gold nuggets accordingly. Playlists, and how to easily discover things similar to what you just listened to is far from straight forward in the Apple Music ecosystem.

            My 2 cents on that issue: copy and paste the links from the audiobook series into apple notes. Then you will always have an up to date view of your beloved pieces of entertainment!

            Happy digging, dear friends!

            Please feel free to comment and connect with me in any way you like and I will be more than happy to help.

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            Jochen Burkhard

            Owner Burkhard Consulting

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            Published on September 20, 2018

            11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

            11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

            In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

            Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

            In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

            Minimizing Tabs

            Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

            Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

            Incognito Mode

            Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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            1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
            2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
            3. Download extension New Incognito Window

            This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

            Save Webpages as PDF Files

            Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

            Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

            Open Recently-closed Tabs

            Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

            One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

            The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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            Solve Mathematical Problems

            Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

            For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

            Play Media Files

            Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

            In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

            Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

            With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

            Stay Focus(e)d

            Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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            Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

            With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

            This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

            Grammarly for Editing

            Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

            You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

            Loom

            There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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            There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

            With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

            Chrome Calendar Extension

            No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

            Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

            Final Thoughts

            Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

            Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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