Monday, 16 March 2009

Links: useful and otherwise

A couple of posts planned for later this week, but first it's time for a link dump (to borrow a phrase from a round-up of useful links I've collected over the last few weeks but which haven't until now made it onto the blog.

Firefox extensions

First up, Read It Later, a Firefox add-on for all those times you come across an interesting link but don't have time to read it or don't want to break your concentration. With one click you can simultaneously bookmark a URL and save it for offline viewing. Read It Later can save Google reader items too, and there's a handy search function, for when your Read It Later list is getting on the long side.

A not wholly dissimilar option is, which gives you a brower sidebar in which to write sticky-notes. Perfect for those ideas you have while trying to do something else, or for noting things you need to look up later.

Prism lets you turn web applications into separate desktop applications (though they still need a web connection). Handy for things like webmail, or Songza - simply ALT+Tab to a different window rather than keep navigating through all your open tabs.

Writing stuff

A game to improve your typing skills.

Find words that are on the tip of your tongue.

Prompts to combat writer's block.

101 essential resources for freelancers (via @adambateson).

A few stripped down to basics, distraction-free word processors for Mac and Windows.

Music stuff

Useful sites and add-ons for Spotify users.

Zap ghost tracks and duplicate files from your Songbird music library.

A tool for identifying duplicate files, music or otherwise.

MP3Tag lets you retrieve and edit the details of your MP3s.

Miscellaneous usefulness

Ever wondered whether it's just you who can't get into a particular site? This site will tell you whether it's down for everyone else too. claims to be able to be able to find alternatives to anything you type into the 'dooble' box.

How to open more or less any file you might receive or download without buying new software.

Locate and recover your laptop should it get stolen, by first installing free tracker software.

Distraction fodder

ThruYou: a jaw-dropping display of sampling and editing of YouTube videos to create genuinely listenable songs. Simply describing it really doesn't do it justice. So here's song one of the seven:

A band playing that MGMT song Nicolas Sarkozy used without permission using only iPhone/iTouch apps:

And finally, here's a daft synth-pop drum set to qwerty away at:

(Click the image - image taken from here).

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