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How to Set Up Bluetooth in an Older Car (or a Newer, Fussier Car) How to Set Up Bluetooth in an Older Car (or a Newer, Fussier Car)

Maybe you bought a brand-new phone; maybe your phone just went through a major OS update. Either way, the result is the same: you can’t connect it via Bluetooth to your older car anymore, which means you’ve lost the ability to rock out, enrich yourself with podcasts, or make hands-free calls.

Learn the Basics of Beatmaking with This Open-Source Synthesizer App Learn the Basics of Beatmaking with This Open-Source Synthesizer App

iOS: One of the best parts of any science-fiction game or movie are those ominous tones that suggest a conversation or discovery is about to head south—a quintessential part of the soundtrack that adds a lot of atmosphere (and tension) to an experience. And now, thanks to an open-source iOS app, you can make your own…

How to Calibrate Your Computer Speakers Without a Fancy Microphone How to Calibrate Your Computer Speakers Without a Fancy Microphone

Most audio receivers worth their salt come with a tiny microphone that you can use to automatically calibrate your speakers to your room’s specific setup. Easy.

How to Privately Play WhatsApp Voice Messages  How to Privately Play WhatsApp Voice Messages 

WhatsApp Messenger (iOS, Android) is a free messaging platform that you can use to send messages, voice notes, and photos to your friends; ring them up for a quick video call; or send secrets.

How to Listen to Audio Files You Receive via Text Message on Your iPhone How to Listen to Audio Files You Receive via Text Message on Your iPhone

iOS: You know what’s easy? Sending your friend an audio file via iPhone text message. You know what’s not easy? Listening to that audio file via iPhone text message. Well, there’s a better way.

Let Ben Folds Teach You How to Rock in Garageband 10.3 Let Ben Folds Teach You How to Rock in Garageband 10.3

Mac: GarageBand, Apple’s free virtual music studio, recently updated its Mac version to include free lessons from your favorite singers, songwriters, and rocking-outers. With these Artist Lessons, as Apple calls them, you’ll be able to learn a new instrument from some of the best around—including piano legend Ben…

How to Get Started in Google's New Podcasts App How to Get Started in Google's New Podcasts App

Android: There are plenty of people who don’t need bells and whistles when an easy-to-understand, well-designed app will do. And that’s my impression of Google’s new Podcasts app—teased for some time and finally made available for download as of yesterday.

Turn Your Mac into a Simple Sound Recorder Turn Your Mac into a Simple Sound Recorder

Mac: Sometimes, an app doesn’t have to do a lot to be incredibly useful. And that’s exactly why I like Simple Recorder. As its name implies, it allows you to turn your Mac into a miniature sound-recording machine, whether you’re looking to capture the noise blasting out of your speakers or the sounds of wherever it is…

Five Best Audiobook Services Five Best Audiobook Services

If you’re looking for a great way to fit more books into your life, try picking up an audiobook. You can listen to it on your commute, on vacation, or just at home while you’re doing other things. Or, better yet, sign up for a service that gives you access to a ton of books at once, which we’ll be exploring in this…

We’re Mission to Zyxx, and This Is How We Work We’re Mission to Zyxx, and This Is How We Work

Mission to Zyxx might be the best podcast. This science fiction comedy—a mix of Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—that leans on original jokes instead of references, is definitely the best of the current wave of fictional podcasts, partly because of its unique process. The cast improvises…

Which Audiobook Service(s) Do You Love? Which Audiobook Service(s) Do You Love?

Minor confession time. I have never listened to an audiobook. Music? Of course. Podcasts? When I’m driving, definitely. But an audiobook? I’m a bit of a speed reader, and I feel like I would just get bored hearing someone narrate text—even Benedict himself.

The True Story of How Laurel Became Yanny The True Story of How Laurel Became Yanny

In the beginning, the laurel-or-yanny clip said laurel and nothing but laurel. Here is the original version of the clip, recorded by an opera singer working for Vocabulary.com. Chances are, you’ll hear it as laurel too. Let’s compare it to the viral clip and we’ll see exactly what changed, and why half of us hear the…

How to Customize Whether Windows Uses Speakers or Headphones for Each App How to Customize Whether Windows Uses Speakers or Headphones for Each App

For many of you, a single pair of speakers or headphones is all you probably need for your desktop or laptop system. For others, rocking out, gaming, and listening to movies is a constant battle with Windows over which connected audio device the operating system should use to blast noise.

Listen to These Auditory Illusions When You’re Bored With Laurel and Yanny Listen to These Auditory Illusions When You’re Bored With Laurel and Yanny

A sound clip of the word “laurel” sounds like “yanny” to some people (people who are wrong) in a new, auditory counterpart to The Dress. Already heard it? Great! Here are some more mind-bending audio clips you should listen to.

The Best Way to Unmute Web Games and Apps Silenced by Google Chrome's Latest Update The Best Way to Unmute Web Games and Apps Silenced by Google Chrome's Latest Update

Google’s latest update to Chrome came with big changes about how the browser treats autoplaying videos, but it’s now causing lots of audio issues with various web apps and games.

Download Over 16,000 Free Sound Effects From This BBC Archive  Download Over 16,000 Free Sound Effects From This BBC Archive 

Here’s the bad news: If you’re an aspiring sound designer or you’re looking for some random noise to insert into a big project you’re working on, the BBC’s new archive of more than 16,000 free sound effects won’t help you much. They’re all bound by a RemArc licence that prohibits using these files in commercial work.

Noted Syncs Your Lecture Notes and Audio Recording Noted Syncs Your Lecture Notes and Audio Recording

As a reporter, I end up taking a lot of notes pretty much everywhere I go. Audio recordings are great for not missing anything, but one thing has proved true for me pretty much across the board: the part of the interview I want to find is always the part where I was paying so much attention to the person talking that…

Bring Your Own Sound Effects With This Soundboard App for Mac Bring Your Own Sound Effects With This Soundboard App for Mac

There are plenty of existing soundboard apps (and sites), but the new app Farrago may be the best. Like most apps from Rogue Amoeba, it’s a fairly powerful tool with a smart and friendly interface, and you can try it out free before you shell out $49 for a license (currently on sale for $39).

How to Listen to Your Favorite YouTube Tracks Offline How to Listen to Your Favorite YouTube Tracks Offline

Broadway superstars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt dropped a bomb for theater geeks early this morning, remixing two songs from their always-sold-out musicals into a lovely duet you can purchase or stream for free across a number of different online services, like YouTube.

Try Out Podcasts With This App Try Out Podcasts With This App

iOS: Not everyone has a list of favorite podcasts like the nerds at Lifehacker. If you’re new to podcasts, the available apps for managing them can feel needlessly complex—especially if all you want is the latest episode of that one show your friend mentioned. If you don’t want to worry about things like storage cache…

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