Monthly Archives: April 2012

Best Free Music Websites

Record Player

Image Credit: Ferrari + caballos + fuerza = cerebro Humano 

So you spent all week listening while you worked, right, like we talked about in Monday’s post, “Why You Should Allow Music into the Office”?

No? Why not? Maybe listening while working isn’t for you, or maybe it isn’t a habit yet. Or maybe you just don’t know where to turn to listen to free music all day long.

Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of our favorite music websites. We love these sites because they’re free, the ads are minimally obtrusive, and the services just plain rock in general.


As a throwback to the mix-tape era, 8tracks provides user-created playlists composed of eight tracks or more (hence the name).  By using listener-based playlists, 8tracks can provide a wide and diverse range of music, and connect songs and artists together organically, in ways that feel natural to the listener.

However, be warned that the pictures accompanying playlists aren’t always safe for work, so if your office has policies against the viewing of nudity or pornographic materials you may want to stay away at work, or at the very least hide the browser.

You can access playlists for free online, or through their mobile app.


If you are in the mood to listen to something specific, then use Grooveshark. (Spotify is a similar service.) Grooveshark allows you to search for artists and create your own playlists. You can even save playlists for later, which is great because if you’re picky, it can take a while to queue up the perfect playlist.

They also have a radio feature where you can listen to music by genre, but their genres are loosely defined so you end up listening to a lot of junk too. If you’re looking for a radio-style service, there are better options out there.

Grooveshark is free to use online, but costs money for the ad-free version, or to use the mobile features.

This free web-based radio watches, or Scrobles, what you listen to, and then recommends similar songs and artists, allowing you to learn about great new music. You can even customize your radio stations by artist or genre, and can mix and match, choosing up to three to mash together.

You will have to watch a short add anytime you start a new station, or switch between stations. Additionally, if you’re listening for a long period of time, the music may stop playing. If this happens, check the browser window, they are checking to make sure you are still listening, and stop the music to avoid playing to an empty room (a great work feature). Simply click ok and playback resumes.


This free music service is software based, not browser-based, so you will have to download the program to be able to listen to the service. Spotify is a good option for some, depending on your music needs.

There are some limitations and restrictions on the number of free listening hours you’re allotted, although they allow unlimited listening for free for the first 6 months. Click here to read about how much music you can listen to with Spotify.

What’s your favorite place to go for free music? Leave us a comment and tell us about it.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys helping you do enjoy your work. Email:

Why You Should Allow Music in the Office

Teddy Bear Music

Image Credit: shankar, shiv

Are you a whistle while you work kind of person? How about a listen while you work kind of person, as in you have to have sound or music otherwise the silence is maddening?

You are not alone. A study from Spherion found that approximately one-third of their employees listen to music at work. What’s more, these employees claim that listening to music while working improves both job satisfaction, and productivity.

While Spherion is just one workplace, they are

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not the only workplace experiencing these findings. Some findings suggest that music even helps workers with ADD focus better.

Do you allow your employees to listen to music while working? If you don’t, you may want to re-think this policy, particularly if you have many younger employees, as this trend is strongest with employees aged 20-39.

Some Simple Rules

Music in the workplace works best when a few simple rules, like these, to follow. This will ensure that everyone can listen to music comfortably, without having the next “speaker-wars” in the office.

Keep the volume down. Whether you use headphones or speakers, make sure the volume is low enough so you can still hear the phone ring, hear other employees if they need something, or hear emergency signals, such as the fire alarm.

Turn the volume extra low for phone calls. If you do use speakers, make sure to turn the volume down even more when you’re on the phone. It’s mortifying to be on the phone with an important client and have inappropriate music blaring in the background.

Keep it appropriate. Music at work should be work appropriate. You may like cussing and gansta’ rap, but others around you don’t. Keep your music tastes office friendly, and save the rap for the car ride home.

If you don’t allow music in the workplace now, and want to do something nice for your employees, consider changing the policy. It’s an easy change that will show your employees that you care, and will boost morale and increase job satisfaction. Besides, who doesn’t want a happier office?

What are your thoughts on music in the office? Leave us a comment below, telling us why you agree or disagree with these findings.


Spherion Research

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys helping you have a better work environment. Email:

Stop Missing Status Updates on Facebook

Facebook Like?

Image Credit: birgerking

Have you ever had a sinking suspicion you were missing someone’s posts from your Facebook feed? Or maybe you notice a friend comment on a mutual friend’s post, and you realize it was the first time you were seeing the status update.

Whatever the reason, you are not paranoid. You probably are missing updates in your feed.

There are settings that allow you to manage what shows on your feed and from whom, but sometimes they get a little out of whack and cause problems like this.

Luckily, there’s a pretty easy fix.

First determine whose posts you’re missing. Unfortunately, there’s no real quick way to determine this so go with your gut – think of the people you know you don’t see posts from often.

Then, go to their Facebook page. Look for the Friends button located at the top, to the right of the person’s name.

Click on the Friends button, and make sure Show in News Feed has a check mark next to it. If not, select this option. Then, click on Settings, and select the type of updates you want to see from this individual.

One way to avoid this problem is to check the user settings when you first friend someone. That way, you know that they are set correctly from the beginning, and you shouldn’t have to worry about it again (but you never know with Facebook, sometimes they change settings for the fun of it).

Similarly, if you would like to block particular types of posts, like Game Notifications, from your feed, this is where you find the setting. You can also choose to not receive posts at all from a person, or even a Page.

These settings are available to help you manage your feed, so that you only see only what you want to see in your feed, and nothing more. So next time you think you’re missing someone’s status updates, check their Friend settings. You might just be surprised how it’s setup.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys helping you have a better social media experience. Email: