New Year, New You.

So, in the ever popular fashion of pretending we’re all going to start this semester off right–you know, read and annotate every reading; study in advance for tests; get involved in extracurriculars; hit the gym at least a few times a week; etc.–I thought I’d share a few websites that kept last semester great for me and will make this semester even better. Call them great procrastination tools. Call them a way to keep up on your pompous Pitchfork pals. Call them whatever you want. But, they deserve your attention, just like this attention-grabbing, yet entirely unrelated picture because now that the Coachella lineup is up, I can’t wait for Bonnaroo’s lineup to be announced.

So, in an entirely arbitrarily subjective rating system, here you go:

3. Grooveshark

Grooveshark is basically everything you love about iTunes, except for the fact that listening to any song on Grooveshark is free. It’s also sort of a hybrid with Pandora. I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to show my friends the beauty of Grooveshark for maybe the last year. With an account on Grooveshark, you can make and save playlists, follow someone else’s account, listen to genre-specific radio stations, and probably do a whole bunch of stuff that I just have yet to discover. As you can see with my playlists in the picture to the right, I seem to just have some weird affinity for the word jamz to describe music. Guess I’m just trying to stay hip. But, just think of all those times you’ve wanted to show your friend this great new song you heard the other day. Now, instead of going to YouTube, just login to Grooveshark, and you’ve got tons of music that you were just too damn cheap to pay for.. yet. Thus, it also gives you a great opportunity to listen to music before you decide to buy it. So, rather than default to YouTube next time you hear a great song you’re just not ready to buy, open up your Grooveshark playlist, and enjoy your music as much as you want with the added benefits of a shuffle and repeat function.

2. SoundCloud

Now, SoundCloud is my latest discovery (read: latest obsession). If you have the slightest interest in any of the following genres: electronic; hip hop; dubstep; mashups; techno; etc., then SoundCloud is for you. If you DJ on campus or just like to drop hella beats from the comfort of your dorm room, then SoundCloud is definitely for you. Or, of course, if you just like downloading new, free music, then you might wanna check out this website. It’s basically like a Creative Commons for artists of any genre really, but has come to lend itself to more electronic-based genres. Through SoundCloud, you can explore genres, follow artists, comment on a track, and freely and legally download songs. Plus, you’ve got artists as big as Bassnectar and as small as, well, you. If you follow this pretty much amazing blog (c wut i did there?), then you probably already know a good deal about SoundCloud. This website definitely invites procrastination though, so use with caution. You might look up and notice that three hours have gone by, and while you have 32 new super dope tracks (That’s what we’re calling them these days, right?) in your iTunes, that reading or problem set you planned on getting a head start on this semester is just sitting on your desk untouched.

1. Dropbox

If you read the ACB (which I obviously don’t), then you might notice that people have been clamoring for a resurrection of the Hub we all know and love knew and loved. (Sad, I know.) Now, I’m not nearly technologically savvy enough to give Wesleyan a new hub. But, I can give you something almost as good, perhaps only so great because it’s free and legal. Dropbox! Dropbox is just a wonderful file sharing program that you can download (for Mac and PC!) and begin sharing files with your friends, your family, or even yourself to use for multiple computers. Thus, it’s instantly a great procrastination and study tool. Rather than messing with zip drives or sending e-mails to yourself, you can just insert files into your dropbox and then access them from any computer with internet access.

With a Mac, you simply click on the Dropbox icon, open your Dropbox folder, and drag as many files as you want into the folder–making them instantly available for whomever you’ve chosen to share that folder with. Now, the only downside is you have to specifically choose which people you’re going to share which folders with, so it’s not like the Hub in that sense. What I’m saying is start finding friends with better taste in music if you really want to maximize Dropbox’s awesomeness.  And when you’re not on a computer with Dropbox already installed, you can just as easily access your files from logging in through their website on your favorite web browser. As you can see, mine is Safari–not that you asked or anything. And yeah, I guess I’m old-fashioned for not using Google Chrome at this point. Sorry I’m not sorry.

So, without going into an insane amount of detail about these programs, I’d say getting to know these websites are the key to having a fantastic semester filled with great music and compliments from all your friends on your taste and cutting edge playlists and throwing great parties with said playlists blaring in the background. (Sorry, that might be a little hyperbolic.) You can find out more info once you visit these websites and sit back to enjoy their short, entertaining tutorial videos. I’m not even being sarcastic there! The tutorials are thoroughly entertaining. Enjoy! You can thank me in the comments. Or tell me about something better you use to get your music in a free and legal manner. Or just go ahead and post “tldr.”

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