More than at any other period in our history, humans have become exceptionally skilled at wasting time. Whether it’s scrolling through our social media feeds, binge watching entire seasons of our favorite TV shows, or spending hours in online matches across our favorite games, there are more options than ever before to ensure that the laundry doesn’t get done, the lawn won’t be mown anytime soon, and a pizza delivered right our door certainly sounds better than cooking right now.
So why not celebrate it? After all – if our ancestors had had anywhere near the number of conveniences and distractions that we enjoy, you can bet your next paycheck they would have taken advantage of it. (You know it’s true – look how much your grandma is trying to creep on your Facebook.) Technology is developed to make things quicker, more efficient, and easier for people so that we can enjoy the things that make us laugh, cry, and come to binge-watching to relax. It would be very wasteful if we didn’t enjoy it to the fullest.
The market is flooded with different devices, services, and platforms that you can take advantage of. In particular, you wouldn’t believe the sheer amount of apps and programs that have been developed over the last few years geared completely towards keeping you entertained (and unproductive). To help you cut through all the white noise, here are three of the best entertainment programs that you need to be using right now!
A truly different way to discover and enjoy music, Spotify is a freemium service, meaning that you can enjoy a wide range of different music for free, with options to upgrade to a paid subscription if you want to enjoy no ads, more recently released music, and with better quality streaming.
What sets Spotify apart from other music software is the diversity of artists you can find, and how you can find them. While other music programs often require that you’ve “made it big” before they’ll showcase you, Spotify welcomes and encourages new artists to upload their music and music videos directly to the platform.
Spotify is catered to providing users with a truly immersive music experience. There’s plenty of awesome features that other music services simply don’t provide. Spotify keeps a backlog of every single song you’ve ever listened to through the service, included those streamed from radio stations and other user-generated playlists. This means that if you had a song you loved, but didn’t know the name or artist, you search through your music history and find it again. It has the ability to create private sessions that hide your listening activities (so you don’t have to explain to your buddies why you’re listening to NSync), and even allows you to turn your laptop or TV into a karaoke machine for parties, family gatherings, or even for those moments when you just want to be a rock star in your pajamas.
One of the most comprehensive media viewing platforms available, Kodi will allow you to watch all of your favorite media in one spot. If you’ve tried downloading movies, TV shows, songs, and the like in the past, you may have found that the media viewer on your computer or TV wouldn’t play it. That probably leaves you frowning while your office mates talk about the funny cat videos that you couldn’t download.
Kodi eliminates that problem. Developed by a team hosted under the umbrella of the XBMC Foundation, Kodi is an open source media organizer and player that allows users to consolidate all of their media in one location. No matter the format of your video, pictures, or music, Kodi can play it.
It’s also very customizable, giving you a wide range of options for setting up your interface, installing the apps and players that you want to use, and even the appearance of your layout. Troy Point can guide you to instal Kodi on your other streaming devices, like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, very easily. This means that you’ll be able to view all of your favorite TV shows, YouTube videos, and music downloads, all from one location, without ever having to worry about getting the dreaded “file type not supported” message again.
Kodi is also completely free, and any money you choose to give will be in the form of a donation to the XBMC Foundation, which will be used to improve Kodi, as well as develop other software in the future.
For you comic book nerds and otaku out there, Comixology is the go-to app for downloading the latest and greatest in comics and manga from across the world. With an ever-growing list of publishers and titles, Comixology has grown to become the #1 digital viewer and publisher of sequential art.
There are two primary things that set Comixology apart from other vendors who deal in digital sequential art: selection, and accessibility.
Comixology has arrangements in place with the most prominent American publishers, including Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse, as well as smaller and indie publishers like Oni, IDW, Dynamite, and Zenescope. They also work with famous publishers of Japanese and other Asian publishers, including Viz, Kodansha, DMP, and Vertical. Finally, they also publish famous and emerging comics from the European market, both in English and their original languages, through publishers like Boom!, Titan, and Humanoids
Comixology is also one of the most accessible, and easy-to-use, applications for reading comics digitally. All of their comics can be read online, and a large portion of their titles can be downloaded in a .rar format, making them easy to ready with a wide range of apps on phones and home computers.
With the app, you can buy individual issues or collections, and with certain titles, even download them to your computer or phone, so that you’ll always have them. Comixology also offers a subscription service called Comixology Unlimited, where you pay a monthly charge and get access to thousands of different titles for unlimited viewing and downloading.