Download dozens of free holiday MP3s

Those of us who celebrate Chanukah may get eight nights of presents, but you X-mas folks get all the good music.

Thanks to Mrs. Cheapskate, who tinsels with the best of 'em, I've really come to enjoy Christmas songs over the years. Consequently, I'm always on the lookout for new (and cheap, natch) tunes to add to the holiday playlist.

Amazon has quite a bounty this year. For starters, check out these 29 free holiday tunes from artists like Tori Amos, Lady GaGa, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Over at Dealnews you can find 11 more holiday freebies from Amazon, … Read more

Hands-on with Vestax Spin

There's never been a better time to get into DJing. Gone are the days when DJs had to break their backs hauling turntables, record crates, and heavy analog mixes. Today, just combine a laptop, a USB DJ control surface, and a hard drive full of MP3s, and get ready to set the roof ablaze.

That said, professional DJ control surfaces aren't exactly cheap. Two of my personal favorites, the Vestax VCI-300 and the Numark NS7, hover around the $1,000 mark.

For those looking to dip their feet into digital DJing, but not quite $1,000 deep, the … Read more

Over-the-air downloads come to BlackBerry

Online music provider 7digital is bringing over-the-air music downloads to recent BlackBerry phones, such as the Storm, Bold, and Tour. The rumors have been circulating for several months now. On Tuesday the company is set to launch its application--developed by DevelopIQ--on the BlackBerry App World store, as well as on the 7digital Web site.

After installing the free app, BlackBerry users will be able to buy and download more than 6 million songs from all four major labels and all the big independents, all in unprotected MP3 format. The app adapts automatically to the speed of the user'… Read more

Free All Music to offer free MP3s, new ad model

Free All Media, an Atlanta-based start-up, is the latest company to propose an ad-supported music downloading service. The company, which just announced its first seed round of funding Wednesday and expects to begin public beta testing by December, hopes to differentiate itself from flameouts like SpiralFrog with a unique advertising model that asks users to participate more directly in choosing the ads they'll see.

The company's CEO, Richard Nailling, explained how the company's Web site, Free All Music, will work. Users will select an MP3 they want to download and a sponsor they'd like to "… Read more

Free: Big Kahuna Reef (PC) and $5 Amazon MP3 credit

I'm back! Miss me? I missed all y'all so much that I'm kicking off this week with two, count 'em, two great freebies.

Amazon is offering a free download of Big Kahuna Reef, a Bejeweled-style puzzle game for Windows PCs. (The product page shows only XP, but it's running fine in Vista.)

Better still, when you "buy" the game, you'll receive a $5 credit good for any Amazon MP3 purchase(s). In other words, you get five free songs or $5 off any album. (I highly recommend Brendan Benson's new one, "My Old, Familiar Friend.&… Read more

Get 1,000 free song downloads from Microsoft

Like music? Like free music? You may remember my previous post about the mammoth library of free MP3s at Amazon (which is now nearing 1,000 tracks).

Don't stop there. Music-marketing and -discovery site ReverbNation is offering 1,000 free song downloads. No strings, no software to install, just a big fat library of free tunes.

Though sponsored by Microsoft, the giveaway makes tracks available in both M4A and MP3 format--there's not a WMA in sight. Certainly no DRM.

The songs span seven genres, including alternative, pop, jazz, and hip-hop. You can filter the list by genre or … Read more

Cowon S9 wants you back, updates wardrobe

Long before the Sony X-Series stole the OLED portable media player spotlight, 2008's Cowon S9 blew us away with its gorgeous 3.3-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth audio, and extensive audio and video codec support. But the gadget's fanatic attention span can only last so long before a perfectly good MP3 player just feels like yesterday's news.

In an effort to rekindle our collective fascination with the S9, Cowon has announced a new "ceramic white" color option, currently available only in Korea. To be fair, Cowon has also released a steady stream of firmware updates for … Read more

Top 5 free iPhone music applications

In a world teeming with increasingly similar tech products, Apple is one company that seems to have no problem churning out standout products. This might be attributed to sleek designs, fun features, and friendly interfaces--or maybe you want to chalk it up to good ol' marketing tactics. However, in the case of the iPhone and the iPod Touch, there's one attribute that undeniably separates these devices from the masses: the ever-expanding cadre of third-party applications. You can find everything from cookbooks and weight-loss trackers to games and productivity tools, but the area in which the iPhone and iPod Touch … Read more

Top tech for real DJ heroes

With the upcoming release of the video game DJ Hero set to retread the path of the Guitar Hero phenomenon, you can bet on seeing a surge in amateur DJing. But unlike guitars, most people are pretty clueless when it comes to DJ tools. Strings, frets, and whammy bars are one thing, but crossfaders, EQ kills, and cue points are a different beast.

Local music stores have been doing a brisk business selling electric guitars and drum sets to ambitious Guitar Hero and Rock Band prodigies, but the game-to-reality upgrade path for DJ Hero isn't as cut and dry. … Read more

Friday roundup: Dirt-cheap Netbooks, MP3s, 802.11n, Peggle

I couldn't pick just one deal today, so here are five to jump-start your weekend:

Much as I'm loving the iPhone version of Peggle, I think it's a little pricey at $4.99. Good news: Right now it's on sale for just 99 cents [iTunes link]. No-brainer. Buy it. Thanks to reader Harold for the tip!

I'm not loving Amazon MP3's current selection of $5 albums, but there's one standout: Holst's The Planets, one of my all-time classical favorites. ("Mars" gets all the attention, but "Jupiter" is really … Read more