Month: April 2014
Ability to listen to music is one of the most basic functionalities of a modern smartphone. As far as Android platform is concerned, there is a huge number of apps designed to play your favourite tunes. While some of them look great, but are extremely simple, others are feature-packed audio powerhouses lacking visual polish. Nonetheless, given their variety and availability, everyone should easily find a music player that will suit their needs. We’ve highlighted a few that – in our opinion – are the most interesting and offer the perfect balance of usability and design.
Note: Apps are in no particular order
Google Play Music is the default music player on all new Android smartphones and tablets. It has replaced the old-and-ugly Music app and everyone is thankful for that. The app’s most important feature, apart from ability to play music stored locally, is integration with Google’s own music shop and streaming service. With Google Play Music, you can browse millions of songs and save them in the device’s memory as well as create custom radio stations and enjoy it without skip limits. While the app itself is free, but for the Google All Access streaming service you’ll have to pay £9.99 per month.
As far as the design and features go, Google Play Music is a simple, yet beautiful app. It blends smoothly with other Google apps and has an intuitive interface in orange-white colour scheme. The player is equipped with handy lockscreen music controls and allows you to create playlists with your favourite songs in addition to browsing music by artist and album.
This player stands out from the crowd due to its incredibly polished user interface and smoothness. It is elegant and easy to use. Features offered by the free version are rather limited, but doubleTwist Player Pro (available as an in-app purchase) offers a great value for the money. In addition to basic functionality you’d expect from a music player, it is equipped with equilizer, high-quality album art downloader, podcast management and wireless music sync with iTunes. Moreover, the app can stream your tunes to numerous compatible devices, such as the Xbox, PlayStation, Sonos audio system oraz Apple TV.
musiXmatch is one of the few music players that can display lyrics. Actually, it was designed with this purpose with mind and other features are just neat additions. The app integrates with your default or third-party player and downloads lyrics for songs in the library. It has, however, interface of its own and allows you to browse songs by artist and album as well as create playlists. Furthermore, musiXmatch supports scrobbling to Last.fm and with a Shazam-like built-in functionality, it can quickly identify that song you’ve once stumbled upon, but can’t recall the title.
This is one of the most powerful music players available in the Google Play Store. It is packed with so many features, that it is easy to lose track of them. Poweramp plays all popular media files and offers support for playlists in a variety of formats. There is also a graphical equalizer with custom presets, separate sliders for Bass and Treble adjustment, dynamic queue, tag editor and built-in Last.fm scrobbler. As far as playback goes, user can apply crossfade effect and set up replay gain. The player can display lyrics thanks to aforementioned integration with musicXmatch.
By default, Poweramp doesn’t look particularly appealing. However, it can be heavily customized with first- and third-party themes that can be applied not only to colour schemes, but also buttons and backgrounds. For instance, with just a few taps you can give it a modern, Holo-ish look or make it mimic the iOS 7 music player. Depending on developer, themes can be both free and paid. Now playing screen background that adopts the colour dominating in the cover art is a nice little touch, too.
Poweramp offers a free 15-day trial. After that period, you’ll have to pay to continue using it. The full version of the app is quite pricey, but after half a month with it, you probably won’t mind it.
PlayerPro is Poweramp’s greatest competitor. Just like it, PlayerPro is equipped with tons of customization options. It allows the user to apply custom themes, change library display layout, download missing album art (either automatically or manually) and lyrics, play both music and video files and filter songs by title, album, artist, album artist, track, year, genre and comment. Furthermore, PlayerPro has support for the most basic playback effects and offers graphic equalizer with customizable presets. Music can be controlled by gestures or with headset buttons, which is a very handy feature. PlayerPro can scrobble to Last.fm and share the currently played song on Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Picassa and other social networks.
There are two lockscreen and five different homescreen widgets to choose from. If that’s not enough, you can skip and play/pause playback directly from the notification bar.
You can download and use PlayerPro for free for 10 days. After that, the app will ask you to pay for the full version.
Wiizm is a newcomer to the game of music players. With its quite unique approach to design, it brings the much needed freshness. What jumps out when we look at Wiizm, is the clean and clear layout with fancy blurred background. Various music categories and favourites can be accessed through a sliding menu and support for OpenGL guarantees fluid experience. The app is equipped with various sound effects, graphic equalizer and shuffle/repeat function. Playback can be controlled with either one of three available widgets or directly from the notofication bar and lockscreen. Support for headset button and sleep/wake up timer aren’t missing, too.
Wiizm music player is currently at the beta stage. 15-day trial version enchanced with new features and functionality is expected to be available soon. Until then, you can enjoy it for free, but reckon with possible bugs here and there.
While many of us live our lives in a small hovel we call home, there are plenty of others at the opposite end of the spectrum, living in some of the world’s most fantastically expensive houses. Some of these properties are available on the open market—if you have enough money. Some are not. But all of them join a unique club of some of the world’s costliest places to live.
7. The Penthouse, One Hyde Park, London – $220,000,000
A two-floor, six bedroom apartment overlooking Hyde Park may well be, per square foot, the most expensive property in the world. Those living in The Penthouse (as it’s often called) at One Hyde Park are presumed to be keen to protect themselves: One of the notable elements of the apartment is that every window is fitted with bulletproof glass.
6. No. 6 Palace Green, Kensington Palace Gardens, London – $222,000,000
This property, bought by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, one of the world’s richest men, set him back $222 million in 2008. Mittal knew what he was buying: He also purchased two other houses on the street known to locals as Billionaire’s Row. No. 6 Palace Green went back on the market in 2012.
5. Fairfield, Sagaponack, NY – $248,000,000
The Hamptons is known as an expensive neighborhood at the best of times. The estimated value of Fairfield, Ira Rennert’s 29 bedroom beachfront property, proves that. The place is so big that it has its own power supply on site.
4. The White House – $320,364,354
According to real estate website Zillow, that’s how much 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20500, would be worth on the open market. Of course, having been the official residence of every President of the United States since 1800, it’s unlikely to come up at auction any time soon.
3. Villa Leopolda, French Riviera – $506,000,000
The Villa Leopolda is Europe’s most expensive house (that you can possibly hope to buy; some properties, like Buckingham Palace, will likely never reach the market). Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the Brooklyn Nets, now owns the French Riviera property, which sprawls across 20 acres.
2. Antilla Mumbai – $1,000,000,000
Another 27-floor tower in Mumbai is—believe it or not—one single home, built by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani. Ambani spent around 5 percent of his fortune to build the house, which has garage space for 168 cars. Six hundred people are employed to keep it running on a day-to-day basis, including preserving Ambani’s collection of antique sewing machines, the largest such collection on the planet.
1. Buckingham Palace – $1,560,000,000
That’s right—$1.56 billion. Buckingham Palace was estimated to be worth that by the Nationwide Building Society in 2012, a significant increase from its worth of $17 million in 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II first ascended the throne. Likewise, as the official residence of every monarch since Queen Victoria in 1837, it would take a revolution to ever see this property up for sale.
1. 50 Cent
Rapper 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) was photographed in August 1994 while serving time in a New York State Department of Correctional Services shock incarceration program. 50, then 19, had pleaded guilty to felony charges of peddling heroin and crack cocaine.
Akon (real name: Aliaune Damala Thiam) opted for a preppy look when he posed for the above mug shot in upstate New York in December 2007. The 34-year-old R&B singer was photographed by Town of Fishkill police after he appeared in court to enter a not guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. The arrest stemmed from a June incident at Dutchess Stadium where Akon tossed a 15-year-old fan off the stage after the boy was apparently fingered for throwing something at the performer.
3. JAY Z
Rap star Jay Z (real name: Shawn Carter) was arrested by New York City cops in December 1999 for allegedly stabbing a record executive at a Manhattan nightclub. Originally charged with felony assault, the performer pleaded guilty in October 2001 to a reduced misdemeanor count and was sentenced to three years probation.
4. LIL WAYNE
The rapper Lil Wayne (real name: Dwayne Carter) was arrested in January 2008 on drug charges in Arizona. The 25-year-old performer was nabbed in Yuma County on felony possession counts and booked into the local lockup, where the above mug shot was snapped.
5. RICK ROSS
Rapper and former Florida prison guard Rick Ross (real name: William Roberts) was arrested by Louisiana cops in March 2011 and charged with pot possession. Shreveport police responded to a hotel where Ross was staying after someone complained about smelling marijuana. The gangster rapper, 35, was issued a misdemeanor summons and released after posing for the above mug shot.
Rapper T.I. (real name: Clifford Harris) was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff in September 2010 and charged with felony drug possession after officers smelled marijuana coming from his vehicle during a traffic stop in West Hollywood. He was released from jail after posting $10,000 bail.
7. TUPAC SHAKUR
Tupac Shakur was photographed by the New York State Department of Correctional Services in March 1995. The rap star, convicted in December 1994 of the felony sexual abuse of a female fan, spent a few months upstate before being bailed out by producer Suge Knight. Shakur, who was sentenced to 1-1/2-to-4-1/2 years in the can, was murdered in September 1996.
8. T PAIN
Rapper T-Pain (real name: Faheem Najm) turned himself in to Florida cops in November 2007 after the issuance of an arrest warrant charging him with driving with a suspended license. The performer, seen above in a Leon County Sheriff’s Office mug shot, had twice previously been busted for driving with a suspended license.
9. SNOOP DOG
The rapper Snoop Dogg was booked on a felony charge of possession of a dangerous weapon in November 2006. Snoop (real name: Calvin Broadus) posed for the above mug shot while being processed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The performer, 35, was charged in connection with an incident at John Wayne Airport during which security personnel discovered a collapsible baton in his luggage.
10. JUSTIN BEIBER
Pop singer Justin Beiber was arrested by the Miami Beach Police Department in January 2014 and charged with drunk driving, resisting arrest, and driving without a license.
According to cops, the 19-year-old performer was drag racing while behind the wheel of a yellow Lamborghini when he was pulled over. Investigators noted that he reeked of booze, had bloodshot eyes, appeared in a stupor, and was uncooperative with officers.
The Canadian native then failed a series of field sobriety tests before being booked into the Miami-Dade lockup, where he posed for the above mug shots.
Dubai: Dubai Police have added a Bugatti Veyron to its already luxurious fleet of vehicles.
Dubai Police Chief Major General Khamis Matter Al Mazeina said the new sport car will have print on its doors that represent the hashtag #myDubai, the initiative of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai crown prince, on social media.
Major General Al Mazeina said Dubai police is looking to give its best to the people and to the country.
The Veyron is the most expensive in a fleet that already includes two Ferrari FFs, a Bentley Continental GT, a Lamborghini Aventador, a Mercedes SLS and an Aston Martin One. Total combined value: around $4 million.
Bugatti Veyron is one of the more valued vehicles in the super-car world, the Bugatti Veyron carries a top speed of 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) and was named “Car of the Decade” (2000–2009) by the BBC television show “Top Gear.” The Bugatti brand is owned by Germany’s Volkswagen Group, which has a dedicated manufacturing plant in the French town of Molsheim.
The ex-Barcelona coach was hospitalised following a drastic downturn in his health which required emergency surgery, but was tragically unable to survive his battle with cancer.
The ex-central midfielder was admitted to hospital on Thursday following a downturn in his health which required an operation on his stomach on Thursday, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirming the trainer was “fighting” for his life.
However, Vilanova, whose post-playing career has been tragically plagued by cancer, was unable to battle any longer and passed away on Friday afternoon.
Vilanova’s public health problems began during his final season as Pep Guardiola’s assistant when he was diagnosed with cancer of the parotid gland.
He took over from his long-time friend for the 2012-13 season but suffered a relapse just six months into his tenure as head coach.
He underwent surgery in December 2012, with Jordi Roura taking his place on the bench while he recovered in New York, before returning in March 2013 to see out the rest of the reason and guide Barca to La Liga victory.
However, his continued health problems saw his step down as coach of the Catalans last summer, with Gerardo Martino taking the reins in his place.
Vilanova has largely – and understandably – been out of the spotlight since he left his position at Camp Nou but rumours of his ill health have sadly been revealed to be true. He is survived by a wife and two children.
Following confirmation of his death, Barcelona president Bartomeu said in a statement: “Tito will be reference as a man and in terms of football for Barcelona forever. We thank him for everything he taught us. Rest in peace.”
The Catalans, whom he worked under for years before being promoted from within to head coach in 2012, also sent their condolences to the family of Vilanova.
“The club wishes to express its most heartfelt sympathy to his family, who are being joined in these moments of mourning by Barcelona members and fans all around the world, as well as the rest of the footballing and sporting world.
“The Vilanova family has asked for respect for their desire for the strictest intimacy in the moments after his death.”