The Best Earbuds, Speakers, Smartphones and More Holiday Music Buys

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 …

 

Viral Video Alert: Watch Halloween House Sing Thriller, Bohemian Rhapsody & Dark Horse

Ready for some spooky musical fun? Halloween home decorations have grown from simple carved pumpkins to elaborate LCD light shows set to music, as we discovered last year when we invited you to Watch a Halloween House Sing ‘What Does the Fox Say.’

This year, we found a fun, new singing house to spotlight. The Thomas House of Naperville, Illinois sings 30, yes, 30, different songs, according to owner Nick Thomas.

Using dancing LCD lights shaped like pumpkins and monster mouths, the two story home appears to “sing” along to hit songs by Katy Perry (“Dark Horse”), The Kongos (“Come with Me Now”), AC/DC (Hell’s Bells), Eminem (“Till I Collapse”), Queen (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) and, of course, our favorite, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Plastic skeletons, ghouls and tombstones in the home’s yard perfectly complement Jackson’s epic zombie hit. (Or maybe those are the remains of his disapproving neighbors. Muhahahaha.)

We’ve posted a few versions of the singing house below for you to enjoy and share with friends. Happy Halloween from the musical monster mashers at MyMusicCloud.

Thriller


Bohemian Rhapsody

Dark Horse

 

25 Pump-Up, Tailgate Songs to Make Your Own 2014 Football Playlist


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Edit: Many of our users know by now, but MyMusicCloud has officially become eMusic as of 09/25/17. 

eMusic provides all the features MMC users have used and love, such as access to any of your previously stored music and playlists, unlimited cloud storage & playback on multiple devices. It also includes much more – access to over 26 million tracks at up to 55% off iTunes pricing, access to free music every day, all year and access to premium sales and promotions.
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Hey Jack, it’s a fact, the show’s back in town. And, by show, we mean America’s favorite pro sport, football! So break out your favorite jerseys and beer koozies, and get ready to drop that bass, because we’re going to help you make a killer football song playlist.

But first, it helps to know what the real grid-iron gangstas are listening to. Billboard.com recently polled several pro-football players about which songs made their pre-game football playlists, and the answers are pretty surprising.

Sure, there was a lot of T.I., Drake, Wiz Khalifa, and Young Jeezy, but there was also Sum 41, Smash Mouth, and Everclear (from Minnesota Viking linebacker Audie Cole); some Whitney Houston and Sade (Really, Dallas Cowboy Justin Durant?); and a little Kaskade and Tiesto (Geoff Schwartz of The New York Giants).

But, seriously, football fans, even though hip-hop has been quickly eclipsing rock at many parking lot parties, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC and Florida Georgia Line are still holding their own. And some of the hottest rappers, like Eminem, are combining the two for even more basspower.

So, here are some of the best, classic, tailgate-crashing, stadium-rocking, football pump-up songs we could find, along with some new jams and some feel-good country anthems for the Boys of Fall.

Got MyMusicCloud? By importing any of these into your music collection, or buying them from our Music Store (starting at 19 cents), you can flag these to a portable Football Playlist in no time.

First, log in to your account from a computer or tablet, select the PLAYLISTS tab at top, and click “Create New Playlist.” Once you name it, open any track and hit the blue triangle that appears at the bottom right. Select “Add to Playlist” and highlight the list you want. Just like that, you’ll have the honeys dancing in their seats at the pre-game party too.

  1. Juelz Santana – The Second Coming
  2. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
  3. Kongos – Come with Me Now
  4. Eminem – Berzerk
  5. Kanye West GOOD Music — To the World
  6. T.I. featuring Eminem – Touchdown
  7. Meek Mill featuring Rick Ross – I’m the Boss
  8. DMX – X Gon’ Give It to Ya
  9. The Heavy – How You Like Me Now (Original)
  10. David Guetta featuring Sia – Titanium
  11. Jay-Z Featuring Rihanna, Kanye West – Run This Town
  12. Daft Punk – Harder Better Faster Stronger
  13. Jay-Z – Public Service Announcement
  14. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Dubstep Remix) – Can’t Hold Us
  15. Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise
  16. The Notorious B.I.G. — Hypnotize
  17. Kid Rock – All Summer Long
  18. Florida Georgia Line Featuring Luke Bryan – This Is How We Roll
  19. Avenged Sevenfold — Hail to the King
  20. AC/DC — Thunderstruck
  21. Ozzy Osbourne — Crazy Train
  22. Bon Jovi — This Is Our House
  23. U2 – Elevation
  24. Foo Fighters — My Hero
  25. Don’t Look Back – Boston

This playlist was brought to you by MyMusicCloud. Upgrade to Unlimited today using the promo code “FORYOU” and get 10% off!

Watch Carrie Underwood kick off NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” as the Network’s New Anthem Singer

Is Your Music Playlist Male or Female?

Are guys simply born loving rap and rock? Do women really gravitate toward dance and teen pop groups like One Direction? Or are these just popular stereotypes?

Paul Lamere ponders questions like these a lot.  As Director of Developer Platform for The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company in Massachusetts, he often dives into data trends like this on his blog, Music Machinery. This month, he compared the streaming playlists of 200,000 male and female U.S. listeners to find out if there are such things as “gender-specific” music preferences.  For instance, if someone found your lost phone or iPod and started playing your music collection, could they easily tell if you’re a guy or a gal?

To keep things simple, he zoomed in on the top 40 pop singers and bands preferred by both sexes. As you might expect, singers that ladies enjoy but their male counterparts shun include: Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, Ciara, Ke$ha, Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj, Shakira, Britney Spears, and, yes, One Direction.  While artists preferred solely by dudes include: Avicii, J.Cole, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa,  Kendrick Lamar, Bob Marley, T.I., Linkin Park, Queen, and rappers Kanye West and 50 Cent. 

But then things get crazy: You might think that, after his troubles with Rihanna, Chris Brown would score higher with guys but, in fact, Brown rated No. 11 among women and No. 15 with men. Rihanna is the queen of the ladies’ chart at No. 1, but guys also love her, putting her at No. 8.  Katy Perry, Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga, and even Miley Cyrus are also enjoyed by both genders.  

Guys’ favorite pop performer? Mad rapper Eminem.  And while Kanye got no love from the ladies at all, nice guy Bruno Mars landed in the top 5 for both sexes.

At MyMusicCloud, we don’t judge, we just recommend great new music for you on our Albums page based on whatever your favorites are. So you can enjoy the freedom of listening anywhere on any device, regardless of brand.

 

10 New Albums to Download for November

Now, that Drake, Katy Perry, Celine Dion and Paul McCartney’s chart-toppers are out of the way, and because you’re busy having a life, we’ve rounded up 10 new November albums for you to keep an ear out for. Included are new music from The Killers, Daughtry, M.I.A., Kelly Pickler and Lady Gaga, plus wild cards like the delicious-sounding new Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack and wacky new tracks from Erasure and Garth Brooks.

Plus an update for you U2 fans: Put your Bono shades at half-mast. The supergroup has (sadly) pushed its anticipated new November album back to April 2014. On with the show …

Eminem – Marshall Mathers 2 LP  (out Nov. 5): The mad rhymer’s back with Beastie Boys samples, a Stan sequel and more vicious riffs.

M.I.A. – Matangi (Nov. 5) Our favorite Sri-Lankan rapper’s fourth album finally arrives with more dance tracks and a mesmerizing performance of “Y.A.L.A.” on “Conan” after reportedly delayed a year for being “too positive.”

Lady Gaga – ARTPOP  (Nov. 11): At last, the diva’s incredibly hyped new music is finally here.

The Killers – Direct Hits (Nov. 11): Sort of a greatest hits collection, it also boasts two brand new tracks  “Shot At The Night” and “Just Another Girl.”

Erasure – Snow Globe (Nov. 11) A Christmas album from the synth pop boys? Kinda. “Silent Night” and “The Christmas Song” are here along with new dance songs “Brooklyn” and “Loving Man.”

Kellie Pickler The Woman I Am (Nov. 12): “Hopeful” and a “breath of fresh air” is how critics are describing the country cutie’s latest music.

Lady Antebellum ‘Golden’ (Deluxe Edition) (Nov.  12): Includes three previously unreleased songs plus three acoustic versions of their hits from the pop country trio.

Daughtry – Baptized (Nov. 19): More soulful vocals and rock licks from the “Idol” runner-up.

Garth Brooks – Blame It on My Roots (Nov. 19): A 4-CD boxed set covering everything from James Taylor and Gladys Knight to Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Each disc tackles a different genre like classic rock, soul and a “melting pot” category. (Through Walmart only.)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Soundtrack (Nov. 19) With tracks by Coldplay, The National, Christina Aguilera, Imagine Dragons and Lorde, we’re already salivating for this soundtrack, which comes out before the film’s Nov. 22 release.

Check out the MyMusicCloud store for these albums and more from your favorite artists, and listen to your music anywhere, anytime from our cloud.

Eminem Yodels, Teams with Rihanna & Imitates Yoda on His New Album

 

May I have your attention please? May I have your attention please? The Real Slim Shady is unleashing his seventh solo album next Tuesday and the hype is about to reach ear-blowing proportions. MMLP2 is the long-awaited follow-up to The Marshall Mathers LP  released 13 years ago, and like the rapper himself, it’s riding a wave of silliness.

Case in point: Did you know Detroit’s “8 Mile” bad boy likes cupcakes? It’s true, according to the LOL promo for his guest performance this weekend (Nov. 2) on Saturday Night Live (Watch it below.).

Hopes are high for Em’s latest album, which includes more of his big beats and hilariously twisted rhymes, along with collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Nate Ruess and female fave Rihanna.

This time around, he and Rihanna team up for the bouncy “The Monster” in which Eminem yodels (!) while Rihanna sings, “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed/ Get along with the voices inside of my head/ You’re trying to save me/ Stop holding your breath/ And you think I’m crazy/ Yeah, you think I’m crazy.”

Marshall also finds inspiration in some unusual places. On “Berzerk,” he borrows from Billy Squier‘s “The Stroke,” as well as the Beastie Boys‘ “The New Style” and “Fight for Your Right.” He even finds inspiration in the 1968 Zombies’ song “Time of the Season” and channels jedi master Yoda on “Rhyme or Reason.”

So if you’ve been missing the clown prince of rap, like we have, it’s time to break out those old Eminem CDs and play lists and get pumped for MMLP2. It’s about time rap got stoopid-fresh again.

 

 

Music for Your Morning Commute

 

Is your morning commute a chore filled with stop-and-go traffic, obnoxious fellow drivers, or jam-packed trains or buses? Here at MyMusicCloud, we want to enable you to hit the mute button on those pesky distractions, and transform your commute into a pleasant, dare we even say – joyful? — experience.

With MyMusicCloud, you can shut out the traffic and noise wherever you are, and bliss out to your favorite songs. MyMusicCloud streams your favorite pop tunes, dance singles and workout mixes wherever you are, even offline. Your music library is always at your fingertips with our cloud-based music delivery service. So you can pump up the jams anywhere from any device—mobile phones, Macs, PCs, tablets and more – without fumbling for CDs or worrying about interruptions.

Start your day at home with a cup of coffee and your favorite get-up-and-go jam, then utilize our smart queue to seamlessly pick up the same song in your car or on your mobile phone at the gym. It doesn’t matter whether you take the subway or the bus, your music is always with you: online or off.

Now that you’re excited for that morning commute, what will your morning playlist look like? Here are some mood-boosting tunes from our MyMusicCloud staff:

10. It’s a Beautiful Day [U2]

9. Walking on Sunshine [Katrina and the Waves]

8. Fantasy [Earth, Wind and Fire]

7. Get What You Give [New Radicals]

6. Sing for the Moment [Eminem]

5. Good Morning, Good Morning [Beatles]

4. Gonna Fly Now (“Rocky”’s Theme) [Bill Conti]

3. Wake Up and Live [Bob Marley & the Wailers]

2. Titanium [David Guetta featuring Sia]

1. Make It Happen [Mariah Carey]

Post a comment about your favorite adrenaline-pumping morning songs!