by Tyler Hayes

Tyler is a music and technology enthusiast, so this is a collection of items related to music and technology.

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The Best Ways To Create Gifs From Your Phone

There’s no excuse needed to go over some of the best apps for creating gifs from your phone, but if you do need one: iOS 11 will natively support gifs in the camera roll. 🎉

Here are some of the apps I use. Type any of these app names into the App Store and you’ll be set.


 From scratch: Giphy Cam

Looking to make your own gif from scratch? Giphy Cam can help with that. You can also upload existing images and add plenty of effects.


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 Quick fire fun: Giphy Stickers, Sticky

Using Giphy Stickers, take a photo, trace an object, and then pick an animation to add to it. The app leads to super quick turn around when you come across good photo opportunities.

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Sticky is a cool new app that will auto-detect the main objects in a photo and cut around them for you. Put it through Giphy Stickers, or another app, and you’ll have a gif in no time.

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 Live photos: Motion Stills, ImgPlay


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The BPM Game

Here’s a causal game inspired by playing in a band, listening to a click-track. The tempo and beats per minute are the heart of a song, in the sense that it breathes and pumps blood at a certain rate, in order to sustain it. (The obvious comparison is The Bee Gees live-saving song “Staying Alive”.

While hopefully playable to some degree in its current state, this mostly serves as reference to an app or full feature implementation in the future.

BPM Game Objective:

The goal is to be able to correctly identify or articulate how many beats per minute a song plays at. The player (or team) with the most points at the end of the second round wins.

Song collection: 500 most listened to songs on Spotify during 2016.

Round one: Guess that BPM range

During the first round, a randomly selected song (out of the collection) will play and the player or team whose turn it is must guess the range

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2016 Is Officially The #Yearofwireless

 On Wireless Earbuds

A few years ago I thought that tiny earbuds, wireless and independent of each other were science-fiction. They were impossibly small and unrealistic in all their depictions.

At a certain point they were a tiny bit bigger, slightly poking out of ears, but at least they were real. The Motorola Hint Bluetooth headset, a mono device made for calls and voice commands was the first time I remember thinking, Maybe this could happen. Then there was Earin in 2014. The stereo earbuds which wirelessly connected to each other and a device.

There was no wire to be found anywhere.

Those, along with The Dash from Bragi, sparked my interest so much I decided to ask why (and how) they were able to create them now. What was the catalyst to bring independently wireless earbuds into the real world at this time?

Turns out it was mostly software — the hardware being used was from

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PSA: The Microphone Is On The Earbuds, Not The Phone


It seems obvious, but there seems to be some confusion: if you have earbuds or headphones plugged into your phone that have a microphone built-in, then you don’t need to hold the phone up to your face.


The other person can not hear you better if you do that. Think about it like this: when you have earbuds with a microphone plugged in, the microphone has been moved from the phone, next to your face.

Also, fyi, you probably don’t need to hold the microphone close to your mouth either, but at least that makes more sense.


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Ranking James Bond Theme Songs

Just as memorable as a James Bond film, is usually the theme song which accompanies it. Here’s a top 10 list of my favorites in order.

10 - Chris Cornell - “You Know My Name”

9 - Ike and Tina Turner - “Goldeneye”

8 - A-ha - “The Living Daylights”

7 - Shirley Bassey - “Diamonds Are Forever”

6 - Garbage - “The World Is Not Enough”

5 - Jack White & Alicia Keys - “Another Way To Die”

4 - Sheena Easton - “For Your Eyes Only”

3 - Paul McCartney - “Live And Let Die”

2 - Carly Simon - “Nobody Does It Better”

1 - Adele - “Skyfall”

Other notable mentions: Madonna’s “Die Another Day” is a decent song, but sticks out horribly as a James Bond movie theme.

Sam Smith’s “Writing’s On The Wall” is probably my least favorite James Bond theme ever.

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The Best Streaming Music Service in 2015?

The Sweet Setup is a site that aims to help the average person decide which apps and services are best suited for them.

I wrote a post for the site in 2014 which I picked Rdio as the music service people should be using. In 2015, that recommendation no longer holds true and I wrote a follow up post for The Sweet Setup which now recommends Spotify.

Spotify is the go-to choice right now because it has nearly every feature other services have, it has the most users (your friends,) plus it’s gotten really good at what it does.

Apple Music is a very close second and is extremely promising, but lacks some features and has some software bugs out of the gate.

Once Apple Music gains an Android app, Sonos support, and more stability and consistency, it will be a force in the music industry.

Not only is Spotify the best option, but it’s the service least likely to call it quits on music

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Poncho Troubles During MLB Games

I had no idea ponchos were creating so many problems for fans during baseball games, but after seeing these videos keep popping up in MLB’s feed, I’m starting to see a trend. No matter how many times it happens, it’s still hilarious.

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The Early Morning Sonos Hack

Recently my four year old son has been waking up really early and getting out of bed around 5:30 am. My wife and I thought about getting a clock for his room and trying to explain when it was okay for him to get up. But the idea of explaining the numbers on a digital or analog clock seemed too daunting with a young kid waking up early in a still mostly dark room.

Then it hit me. There’s already a Sonos speaker in his room which we use, among other things, to play lullabies when he’s going to sleep and the speaker also has an alarm feature.


Instead of using the alarm in the traditional way to wake him up. I set it to 6:45am and told him that he couldn’t get out of bed until he heard the music. Here’s another benefit of the Sonos alarm: I can set it to any song using Rdio’s on-demand service. So I let him pick the song he wants to hear in the morning that tells him he can get out of

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Music To Write To

There’s nothing magical about these albums, but they’re ones that help create an atmosphere conducive to writing–for me at least. If I’m not careful with my musical choice when I need to get something written, I could end up down a rabbit hole searching for new music or focused on lyrics and get lost day dreaming.

The secret sauce these particular albums have is an ability to blend into the background and become a familiar texture over everything else around. They aren’t painfully dull or bland, but they also aren’t distracting. There’s movement, like a lazy river, which is enough to carry you, but won’t give you reason to pause.

If you looking for music to listen to while you write, study, sleep, or any other type of work, give these albums a spin. You may find something that works for you as well.

  • Hem - Departure and farewell (Folk)
  • Ben Webster - Soulville (Jazz)
  • Youth Lagoon - A

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Best Music From 2014

Instead of making a full top 10 list, I decided to highlight a few of my absolute favorite albums from 2014. I also added a single word which I feel describes the album as a whole–something that immediately comes to mind when I think of the songs.

 Copeland - Ixora

Word: Consistent

This is the one album on this list which doesn’t immediately draw any word or image to mind. It’s an album fairly predictable by Copeland standards. Meaning, there isn’t any distinctively new direction the songs collectively take on. Most borrow parts of the past to make up something new. It’s consistent in the best way possible.

Part of it too is still the shock and awe of a new Copeland album–after the band disbanded years ago. Ixora births a few surprises like “Like A Lie” which breaks into a sultry chorus, one with a thick groove. Or the acoustic and muzak-like “World Turn” which adds a saxophone and

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