In the past, sharing your music with the household meant turning up the living room stereo to 11—a gesture the neighbors didn’t always appreciate. In recent years, wireless digital technology has made it possible to pipe your tunes to any room, at any volume (11 is still an option, provided you’re willing to risk the neighbors’ wrath).
Whether you’re engaged in work, chores, spring cleaning, or just want to feed some gentle music into a toddler’s bedroom as the day winds down, there are plenty of easy and relatively inexpensive ways to stream music throughout your house. Here are five.
AppleTV – AppleTV is a handsome little box that lets you stream music (and other media, including video and pictures) from your iTunes account to household televisions. It’s easy to set up, it’s user-friendly, and you can rent or purchase digital movies when the mood strikes. AppleTV is compatible with Macs and PCs.
Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 – Video game consoles like the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have become major media hubs across the past few years. You can use both to wirelessly access media in other rooms of your house, though doing so with the Xbox 360 requires a wireless adaptor, sold separately (the latest model of the Xbox 360 has built-in Wi-Fi).
Sonos Multi-Room System – Sonos’ Multi-Room System pretty much delivers what it promises. Sonos is easy to set up, and you can use it to stream one song through the house—or different songs to different rooms. Sonos’ music menus can even be controlled with your iPhone following the download of a free app.
Rocketfish Wireless Speakers – Rocketfish’s speakers are an easy, cost-effective way to place your household music where you crave it the most. The speakers operate via a wireless transmitter, and plays music from almost any MP3 player.
D-Link Media Lounge – The D-Link Media Lounge is a popular streaming option thanks to its affordability (you can typically find it for under $200 USD) and performance. The Media Lounge can stream music, video, and still pictures.
For more tips on how to stream music throughout your house, read:
How to Stream Audio and Digital in Your Home at DigitalTrends
Make Your House Rock from Any Room at PCWorld
How Can I Stream Music Around my House? at PopSci
When you run your own business, organization is key. Your clients won’t be impressed if you lose their commissions under a tangle of files, and your employees especially won’t be impressed if you forget to pay them. Luckily, the best tools and programs for keeping your business organized are cheap. Even better, many of them are free.
From accounting software to social media to task management to plain ol’ foolscap and ball-point pens, here are five of the best tools for organizing your small business.
Outright.com – Need help corralling your finances? Outright is there to help you. You can use Outright to import bank and credit card statements, and generate reports outlining profit and loss. Even better, Outright can provide a running estimate of how much you may owe the taxman at the end of the fiscal year.
GroSocial – Communication via social media is an increasingly effective way to put your business in the public eye. GroSocial can help you spruce up your company’s Twitter and Facebook pages with campaigns, including contests, giveaways, and more.
Google Calendar – Google Calendar provides the ultimate in time management—and it’s free to use as long as you have a Google account. You can use Google Calendar to mark appointments, share event dates, and much more. All your plans and data are stored to the cloud, so you can access it anywhere, anytime, even if your own hard drive decides to have an unfortunate meltdown.
HootSuite – HootSuite lets you manage your social media applications from one dashboard. Keep tabs on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, FourSquare, Google+, and much more with one program. You can also use HootSuite to track your site’s social stats and analytics.
Pens and paper – Sounds a bit silly and primitive, right? Not in the least. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you can’t slap down your ideas or the important points of a phone call on a computer or a smartphone. Always make sure you have a pen and paper nearby. You don’t know when inspiration is going to strike, nor do you know when an especially important bit of information is going to come sailing your way.
For more suggestions on tools and programs that will keep you and your business organized, visit:
10 Helpful Social Management Tools at Business Insider
270+ Tools for Running a Business Online at Mashable
In this tricky economy, it feels like the average worker is constantly teetering on the precipice—a mere shove from falling into a pit seething with wolves. There honestly hasn’t been a better time to consider giving up your corporate obligations and striking out on your own. Of course, talk is cheap and the real world is merciless, but there really are a lot of good reasons why you should start your own business.
Working for yourself and/or starting up your own business can be tricky, but when you hold up the advantages to the current state of your life, you may discover that the benefits actually outweigh the risk. Besides, controlling your destiny is immensely rewarding. Here are five good reasons to start up a business.
A relatively flexible schedule – When you work for yourself, you’re in command of deciding how your time gets spent—especially if you work from home. This makes running your own business ideal if you have a family. Mind, that’s not to say that you work fewer hours when you run your own business; rather, it means that you can shift your day around to suit your social needs, though that might be a little trickier if you run something like a small store. Regardless, you will no longer be beholden to the typical 9-to-5, a nice change of pace if you dislike predictability.
There’s no motivation like being your own boss – People that work in the corporate world often complain about being a “cog in the machine.” They’re not often granted a sense of accomplishment, and they don’t always recognize their work in the final product (provided a final product even comes into fruition). But when you work for yourself, you’re directly in charge of what you do, and what you make. It’s extremely fulfilling to finish up a product or an assignment, then lean back and recognize it as your very own work.
Save money on commuting – Running your own business usually means falling outside the 9-to-5 day, which, in turn, means no more lurching along the highway twice a day during long commutes. You’ll save money on gas and car maintenance—and you’ll feel a lot less stressed out, too.
You’re responsible for your own security – Full-time jobs and job security are shrinking like so much arctic ice. You can’t depend on your employer for a pension, insurance, or bonuses anymore (certainly not for years at a time, as was the case fifty years ago), so you may as well take your fate into your own hands and run into the fray with all of your passion.
Do what you love – You’re presumably not going to start a business just to do something you despise, so there’s your number one motivator: If your run your own show, you can do what you love day in and day out. That’s not to say you’ll never have your off days, but running your own show will go a long way to making you a happier camper.
Need more convincing? Here are more reasons to start up your own business:
10 Reasons to Start a Business This Year at the Wall Street Journal
Top 10 Reasons to Run Your Own Business at Inc.com
10 Reasons to Start Your Own Business at The Business Insider