Ready for some country-style holiday cheer, y’all? If December doesn’t feel complete without soaring sopranos and big gowns, then “CMA Country Christmas” is the TV special for you. The cheerful, 2-hour singalong returns at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, to ABC with country’s top voices singing some of the most beautiful holiday songs of the season.

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles once again hosts this year’s concert with Little Big Town, Brett Eldredge, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, Dan + Shay, Hunter Hayes, Brad Paisley, LeAnn Rimes, Michael W. Smith, Carrie Underwood, and even Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler (dueting with Brad for “Run Rudolph Run”).

If that’s not jolly enough to pique your interest, consider LeAnn singing the silvery “Carol of the Bells” (watch below), Carrie joining Christian singer Michael W. Smith for a mesmerizing duet of “All Is Well” (from his new holiday album “The Spirit of Christmas”) and Jennifer singing hits like “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

Later, Disney darling Idina Menzel performs “White Christmas,” the melodic “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and then teams with Jennifer to belt out, of course, her unstoppable hit from the movie “Frozen,” “Let It Go.”

All this Fa-La-La-La fun reminds us of some of our favorite old country holiday songs, plus some new ones that just came out for winter 2014 (noted below). Here’s what’s on our MyMusicCloud Top 10 Country Christmas Song Playlist.

10. “Go Tell It on the Mountain” – Sara Evans from her new album “At Christmas”
9. “Hard Candy Christmas” – LeAnn Rimes from her new album “One Christmas: Chapter One”
8. “Last Christmas” – Taylor Swift
7. “Where Are You Christmas?” — Faith Hill
6. “Run, Run Rudolph” – Luke Bryan
5. “White Christmas” – Martina McBride
4. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” — Carrie Underwood
3. “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy” — Brad Paisley
2. “Christmas in Heaven” – Scotty McCreery
1. “Please Come Home for Christmas” – Darius Rucker from his new album “Home for the Holidays”

Watch LeAnn Rimes sing “Carol of the Bells”

Upgrade to MyMusicCloud Unlimited today and get an extra 10% off: use the Promo Code “FORYOU” at checkout

Are you all about that bass, no treble? When you want to get pumped for running, lifting, or just riding that early morning bus or train, there’s nothing like the thumping sounds of hip-hop to jumpstart your heart.

This past year unleashed plenty of adrenaline-kicking new tracks, from T.I.’s relentless shout-out for “No Mediocre” ladies to Kendrick Lamar’s bouncy “I” and Eminem’s ferocious new “Detroit vs. Everybody.”

To get your hip hop playlist started, we’ve gathered 10 of Hip Hop’s Best Pump Up Songs of 2014 below with a little trap music and R&B flavor thrown in. Want more? When you listen to these on any smartphone, tablet or computer with MyMusicCloud, our free store-and-play app suggests similar songs from your library (just click on Recommended Songs), so you can keep the headphone party going as long as you like. So make like Lil Jon, and scroll down for WHAT …

10. “No Mediocre” – T.I. featuring Iggy Azalea
9. “Move That Dope” — Future featuring Pusha T, Pharrell, Casino,
8. “We Dem Boyz” – Wiz Khalifa
7. “Detroit vs. Everybody” – Eminem, Big Sean, Royce da 5’9”, Danny Brown, Trick Trick and Dej Loaf
6. “I“– Kendrick Lamar
5. “Black Widow” – Iggy Azalea featuring Rita Ora
4. “White Walls” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Schoolboy Q & Hollis
3. “Lose Yourself” (re-release) – Eminem
2. “Trophies“– Young Money featuring Drake
1. “Turn Down for What” — Lil Jon & DJ Snake

One of the perks of the new Smart TVs is that they come loaded with one-click apps for your favorite websites like Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube, so you can lean back and enjoy your social media, TV shows, and Internet videos on a luxurious big screen.

But those aren’t the only cool things you can do with a smart TV. Here are 5 smart TV apps sure to please everyone in your family — from the football fan to the boy-band music lover and even the cute kitteh video watcher.

For the Football Fan: Yahoo! Fantasy Football App – With this gridiron app, your armchair quarterback can stay up to date on his weekly Yahoo! fantasy football game match-ups, team and player stats, and more through windows and scoreboards that pop up while he’s watching the game. Available on Yahoo! Connected TVs such as Vizio and select 2014 Samsung smart TVs.

For the Grandparents: Skype – Do NaNaw and PawPaw miss the grandkids? Or do they want to chat with relatives overseas? Skype’s video call service enables them to have face time with their loved ones through your TV screen.  New improvements this year also include group video and full HD video calls. Available on 2014 Samsung and other smart TV models with built-in cameras.

For the Music Lover: MyMusicCloudOur free music app plays your entire album collection through your TV from any smartphone, tablet, computer or Smart Watch regardless of brand (Apple, Android, Windows, etc.), so you can set the mood for any occasion. Available on Samsung Smart TVs.

For the Photographers & FilmMakers: MyDigiPack — This nifty cloud-based app stores all your important photos and home videos together in one place, so you can create a moving picture show in high definition on your HD TV or impress your family and friends on the go. Upload video of your baby’s first birthday from your Android phone, or those wild pics from your trip to the Burning Man music fest. Crop, rotate or colorize your photos and share them on your smartphones, tablets, or computers. Storage is free! Available on select Smart TVs.

For the Silly Cat and People Video Lovers:  VTV – Whether it’s a cat snuggling with a chicken or someone in a Bigfoot costume jumping out at hikers, Viral TV (VTV) pulls the weirdest and most viral videos off TV and the Web. Things like page views, how much they’re shared, and comments on Facebook pages decide which videos are suggested for viewing in a pop-up window. Available on Samsung smart TVs from the OnTV page.

 

generic football pic

Virginia Tech has Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The Iowa Hawkeyes “swarm” out of the tunnel to “Back in Black.” And those crazy East Carolina University Pirates jog through purple smoke to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”

So what’s your favorite college football entrance song? We’re talking about the pre-game music played as the players run out onto the field before kickoff. Some schools use videos, some (like Notre Dame) use their classic fight songs, and others grab onto the latest trend.

When it comes to getting fans pumped up about their home teams, teams will adopt nearly any pop song as their anthem, from AC/DC to U2. So before this weekend’s big rivalry game, why not make a music playlist of the songs that stir your alma mater spirit? Crank it in the car, take it to your tailgate party, and listen on any music device, regardless of brand. It’s easy with store-and-play service MyMusicCloud.

To start you off, here’s a list of 10 Great College Football Entrance Songs. Enjoy some classics and discover some new ones. And don’t forget to “Jump Around.” (Select videos below).

10. Texas Tech Red Raiders — “A Warrior’s Call” by Volbeat
9. Auburn Tigers – “Ladies and Gentleman” by Saliva
8. University of Miami Hurricanes – “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
7. Texas A&M University Aggies – “Power” by Kanye West
6. Ohio State University Buckeyes – “Testify” by Rage Against the Machine (Honorable Mention: The McCoys’ 3rd Quarter “Hang On, Sloopy”)
5. East Carolina University Pirates – “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix
4. University of Wisconsin Badgers — “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2 (Honorable Mention: 3rd Quarter’s “Jump Around” by House of Pain)
3. University of Nebraska Huskers – “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project
2. University of Iowa Hawkeyes – “Back in Black” by AC/DC
1. Virginia Tech Hokies – “Enter Sandman” by Metallica

Eat Their Smoke! Watch the ECU Pirates’ Entrance

The Aggies Get Pumped to “Power”

The Virginia Tech Hokies bounce around to “Enter Sandman”

Last year we posted the Infographic below, based on data around Holiday season buying trends. Our prediction was that Smart TVs were going to be the must-have connected devices of 2014. Were we right?

Well, according to a report released by Futuresource Consulting (available here) by the end of the year 30% of homes in developed regions will own a Smart TV. This follows trends in our research from last year and sees penetration growing by a further 10% from 2013.

Will Smart TVs continue to be the must-have connected device this coming year? With Google and Sony stepping up their game in the market recently, you would assume Apple won’t be too far behind, and it’s hard to imagine the growth slowing.

Check out the Infographic from last year.

christmas_gift_shopping

 

Have you noticed all the gorgeous music eye candy popping up everywhere you turn? Flashy smartphones, tiny earbuds with big bass, sick speakers, and more music gadgets are just begging to be bought. With the holiday sale season in full swing, this is the best time to indulge your inner music junkie and splurge. Here, we’ve rounded up the best earbuds, laptops, speakers, albums and new music gadgets worth buying for the 2014 holidays:

Best Earbuds Between $50 and $200: Apple may have Beats by Dre, but the real bass-lovers are drooling over Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2 earbuds with their sleek fit and decadent sound quality. Can’t afford the $179.99 price tag? Check out Audio-Technica ATH-CKX7I SonicFuel In-Ear with its flat, tangle-free cables and ear-hugging C-tip design ($72.34 on Amazon).

Best Laptop for Music: Everyone knows that MacBooks are legend for their superior mixing, DJing, and audio capabilities, but PCWorld.com calls Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 the “best-sounding laptop” they’ve listened to. That’s because it has a Wolfson WM5102 audio CODEC encoder/decoder and can play songs with an exceptionally high signal-to-noise ratio (113dB). In other words: crisp tempos and kickin’ bass. Now, for the sticker shock: The ATIV Book 9 came out in July at $1,500.

Best Music App: Of course, we have to mention our free MyMusicCloud store-and-play music app, which syncs your library across any laptop, smartphone, tablet and Samsung smart TV / smart watch regardless of operating system (Apple, Android, Windows, Nokia). Listen on or offline, make playlists, view lyrics and singer bios, and get song and artist recommendations anywhere you go.

Best Portable (and Wearable) Bluetooth Speaker: When you need a light, portable yet powerful speaker with satisfying bass, check out this Bluetooth-synced beauty.  At a lightweight 4.2 x 3.2 inches and 5.6 ounces, the JBL Clip ($49.95) easily hangs onto your backpack, belt-loop, or the back of your SUV (for the ultimate tailgating party). Comes with a plug-in charger.

Best Smartphones for Music: From dub-step to hip-hop, music fans seem equally split between two smartphones with powerful speakers and sound: the Sony Xperia Z3 (with Android for T-Mobile and soon new for Windows) and the HTC One M8 ($99.99 with 2-year contract at Best Buy) with its BoomSound system. Unlike most smartphones, both have front-facing speakers and impressive built-in amps. The Xperia Z3 is a whopping $630 alone or $26.25 / month with T-Mobile for 2 years. (You can also get the cheaper Z3v version from Verizon for $199.99 with a 2-year contract.)

Best New Music: Now that you’ve berzerked your way through the Marshall Mathers LP 2, here comes Eminem with a giant, new 2-disc compilation album called Slim Shady XV out Monday, November 24. The first disc features 12 tracks from Slim with partners like Sia (“Guts Over Fear”), Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, Big Sean and Danny Brown (“Detroit vs. Everybody”), and his posse Royce da 5’9 and D12. Disc 2 is meant to showcase the best of Shady Records, including 50 Cent’s “Wanksta” and “I Get Money,” Slaughterhouse’s “Hammer Dance” and Yelawolf’s “Let’s Roll” featuring Kid Rock. There are also old faves like 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” with an original lost-and-now-found demo version starring lyrics that were ultimately discarded. Here’s a peek:

So how do you like to listen to Eminem or your favorite music – on a laptop, smartphone, headphones or elsewhere? Tell us in this poll …

 

free music app free storage any device

How many songs can I store? What do those phone icons mean? How do I make a playlist? If you’ve just joined our cloud-based music delivery service or are curious about some of these dashboard features, here are answers to these common FAQs.

How many songs can I store?
MyMusicCloud enables you to upload and store your entire music collection in our cloud completely FREE, so you can access it anytime on up to 10 devices of your choice. You can upload your songs using our Desktop Sync Agent, Dropbox and Google Drive, or by simply clicking the blue Upload arrow icon, found in the top right-hand corner of the dash on our web portal (see image below). The Upload icon opens a box that helps you select and import your music, so you can enjoy any of your 250 songs free seamlessly on any mobile phone, tablet, laptop, Samsung Gear smartwatch, Samsung Smart TV, and more. It doesn’t matter which carrier or brand you have, your songs are always available to play on- or off-line. Don’t want limits on your music library? Choose the “Unlimited” membership and play any song you own for just $40 / year (less than the cost of 1 frappuccino a month).

mymusiccloud dashboard

How much memory do I have left? At the top of the dashboard is the “Account” button. Click on that and a usage bar pops up showing how many songs you’ve uploaded and how much memory is left. If you’ve exceeded your free 250 songs, a CLOUD tab will also appear in the top navigation bar. To move songs you’re tired of back into the cloud, click the Playable tab on the left, hover over any track and click the “-” icon to send the track to storage. Then you can rotate new ones in.

MMC Cloud Storage Icon

What are the phone icons for? Once in MyMusicCloud, your songs are automatically sorted by tracks, albums, artists, and playlists. On the web version under TRACKS, the phone icon indicates whether that song is synced with your mobile device or not, so it can be played offline. Phone icons with a check mark represent synced songs; grayed-out phone icons with a slash through them are un-synced songs. Accidentally un-synced songs from your phone or tablet? You’ll need to sync them through the website. Read how to recover them here.

How do I play and delete songs? Move your cursor over a song title and click twice to play it. You’ll also see a blue triangle, or “more” menu button, appear in the lower right-hand corner. The menu button helps you select songs to play next in your listening queue (at right); add a tune to an existing playlist; edit the title of a song; sync it with your phone; or delete it

How do I create a playlist? Just highlight the song you want, click the “more” button and choose “Add to Playlist.” A new window pops up asking you to name the new playlist or add the song to an existing list. The playlist then appears in the bottom left corner of the dashboard, and also on your mobile device once you’ve downloaded the app. (Right now, you can only create and edit playlists on our Web dash, not phones.)

We hope this how-to guide makes it simpler for you to navigate our cloud-based music delivery service and free music apps. For more tips, visit our “Help & How to” section on the homepage of our blog. Got a question we haven’t covered? Pose it below and we’ll reply right back. You can also email us at support@mymusiccloud.com.

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