No one likes hearing about back to school before it actually arrives, but being well equipped can make a major difference in your experience. We made some suggestions for affordable Ultrabooks that would be great for students, and now we’ve got some software suggestions with which you can adorn your Ultrabook. Step inside to learn about two excellent free programs to enhance your school experience.
Finally your out of the house with no parents around to tell you to “turn down that silly music!” If you don’t already have Spotify, go get it right now. This free ad supported music player has been described as being “like a magical version of iTunes in which you’ve already bought every song in the world”. With more than 15 million songs available and deals with the big four record labels, Spotify will make you the ultimate party DJ. There’s even a great selection of classical and chiptune!
Not only is Spotify significantly easier to use than any of the illegal music downloading techniques you may have been using, it is also 100% legal. It works by occasionally playing an ad between songs to support the artists and the rights holders. I’ve been using the service for more than a year now and can readily attest that the ads are not overly intrusive. Even if you don’t take advantage of the library of millions of songs, Spotify would still be worth using because it can easily play your existing songs and is far faster than the bloated iTunes that you are likely using.
For students on the go you might consider subscribing to Spotify Premium; in addition to higher music quality for $9.99 a month you also get access to the entire Spotify library on your Android, iOS, Symbian, Windows Phone, Palm, or Blackberry device with the ability to sync music from Spotify onto your device for local playback.
Once you download Spotify you can easily log in with your existing Facebook account. The cool part about this is that you can see all of your friends who are using Spotify and easily share tracks and playlists with them. You can even let your friends be the DJ by listening along with them through Facebook. Spotify will also share with Facebook what you’re listening to so that friends can comment or join in on the music — if you aren’t feeling particularly social you can always disable the Facebook functionality.
Evernote is the ultimate digital notebook and has been my note-taking companion for several years now. It is tremendously useful. Evernote is completely free and is great because it allows you to access your notes from pretty much anywhere, online or off. There’s a desktop app, a webapp for access through any browser, and mobile apps for accessing your notes on all major platforms.
With Evernote you can easily make digital notebooks for all of your subjects. All notes are automatically dated, and best of all they are fully searchable. This does wonders for exam studying when you can sort all of your notes by date or search the words to find what notes you took down about a particular topic. With the mobile apps you can easily keep terms fresh in your head by going over your study notes on the way to class!
Evernote also supports rich media. You can attach photos to notes and even search words in the photo! You can also take audio notes which is handy for recording lectures and being able to reference them later.