Today I want to defend one of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet: the teenager. Teenagers get a bad rap, but as I shall demonstrate today, they - or at least their spirit - deserve a lot more credit than we normally give them.
Teens are creative and artistic, especially when it comes to music. It's no coincidence that popular music of all genres is generally written and performed by teens, or those barely out of that much-maligned life stage. Teens - ya gotta love 'em! Or maybe you just gotta love Teen Spirit (http://www.artificialspirit.com/), a great free music management program for Windows computers. Teen Spirit provides all the tools you need to make your computer into a virtual jukebox, enveloping you in a total experience, with words, music and even pictures.
True, there are plenty of media players out there - your computer came preloaded with one (Windows Media Player or iTunes, depending on platform). Aren't those good enough? Maybe - but they are usually pretty complicated, full of bell-and-whistle commands stored on esoteric menus. Windows Media Player is at its 11th version, and iTunes its seventh, so you have to figure there is some unnecessary bloat - making them more complicated to work with for many users.
Teen Spirit has lots of advanced features, too, but it's much easier to use, and much more intuitive, than the "big boys." You can have it search for folders with music and add them to your library; the program supports most video and audio formats, including mp3, ogg, mp4 and many others. You can build playlists based on genre, group, album, how much you like a song, etc. With a click, you can display a picture of the artist or group, as well as a biographies and album art. You can even add a video - either one on your PC or from Youtube and others - which will run as a song is playing, letting you create your own "music video."
And then there's Teen Spirit's lyrics download feature. With a click, you can download (from one of several sources) song lyrics, which then get associated with that song and get stored locally on your computer, so you don't have to reacquire them each time you load a song. The lyrics (like the album art, or any other item in the main display window) can be displayed alone. Karaoke, anyone?
And Teen Spirit is fast; it finds, downloads and displays quickly. There are almost no menus, with all major functions clearly labeled as buttons on the main screen. You can rename mp3 id tags, cross-fade songs and set Teen Spirit to begin playing music at the spot where you left off (song and/or elapsed time) when you reopen it. Teen Spirit doesn't burn CDs, but it does everything you need to turn your PC into a first-class stereo. See? Teens aren't all that bad, after all.
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