Amazon Prime = Free Books and Magazines = Yay!

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-13-23-pm Even though I’m not a big magazine reader, I do enjoy them when I have one in hand. However, I buy them rarely (sticker shock!).

But now, to my delight, with your Amazon Prime membership you can enjoy a good number of magazines … for free!

I just downloaded one of my favorites, Real Simple, to my iPad, and it is a wonderful experience. (I prefer the iPad over the Kindle for a magazine because of the color screen.) Easy to navigate, to read, to enjoy.

Only a few clicks!

Just sign into your Amazon account, and roll your cursor over “your account.”

You’ll see a drop down menu, and click on “your Prime membership.”

This will bring you to a page full of information, and there you will see “Prime Reading” and a link marked “learn more.”

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-7-47-50-pmYes! Learn more! After that click you will see many magazines. Select one that interests you. At that point, the same window will pop up that you always use for buying Kindle books. Just select the device that you want to use to read your FREE magazine. These are CURRENT magazines, and you may read as many as you like!

Now here’s even BETTER news….

You can also select from many BOOKS … unlimited and also FREE.

and you don’t need a Kindle. A Kindle app will do.

Prime just got SO much better! Unlimited books and magazines. Wow.

From Amazon: “Prime members can now read as much as they want from over a thousand books, magazines, comics, Kindle singles and more. With fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, shorts works and magazines right off the newsstand, you’ll always find something to read.”

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How to View Movies on your iPad or iPhone OFFLINE, with Amazon Prime, for FREE

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 9.33.06 AMAnyone who travels has faced the situation. You want to load up your device with some content to watch while you are offline (not streaming). Anticipation of a long airplane ride will send most people to iTunes or Amazon with the intention of grabbing some movies or tv shows to help pass those long hours in flight.

Until now, your best option was to rent a movie (or tv show).

But recently Amazon has announced a new feature for its Amazon Prime members: Free offline watching of (some) videos. This is great news for travelers who subscribe to Amazon Prime. This feature had previously only been available for Amazon’s own Fire tablets, but now this is a new expansion to include iPhones and iPads. Yay!

Although Amazon has made it clear that this feature is not available for everything in their Prime library (I’m sure they have to pay for the right to do this) …… they claim that “thousands” of videos are available for off-line viewing.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 8.55.19 AMSo, I decided to give it a try, since “easy” is not always easy for us un-techy folks. (Remember, you must be a Prime member to take advantage of this feature.)

Your first step will be to download Amazon’s free video app to your iPhone or iPad.

What follows here are several screen shots from my iPad as I downloaded a video to watch off-line.

After downloading the app, I was greeted with this screen, informing me of this new off-line watching feature.

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Opening the app, I tapped on several programs that were available free for Prime members. The first one I found that also offered the download option was “Curb your Enthusiasm”. Notice the download icon next to each episode.

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I tapped the download icon and the program started downloading immediately.

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After the file downloaded, I closed the app, and went off-line, putting my iPad into airport mode.

I went back to the app to see if I could watch the program. I wasn’t sure how to access it, but sometimes the ‘easiest’ way is the one that works. I simply went to the same screen where I did the downloading, and tapped on “play.”

Instantly, the show began, and played flawlessly, while my iPad was offline. Hurray!

Your movie or tv show will not stay on your device forever, it will “expire”. In this case, you can see that I was told that the program would be available offline for me for 48 hours.

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Cable or no? What do you do?

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.36.13 AMThere are now so very many sources of video entertainment that the options are many.

Netflix, Hulu plus, HBO to go, Amazon prime and others all offer the opportunity to stream your programming rather than connect to cable the (now) old-fashioned way.

( gasp!! Am I really calling cable “old fashioned”? I remember when it was the exciting new alternative to the antennae!!!)

In my house, we are still connected to cable and pay a monthly fee for the privilege. We “bundle.” Cable, internet and a land line phone. The phone, (a now nearly-useless relic) is basically free in the bundle, so we keep that. But if we cut the cable cord, the phone would go, too, and we would only pay for the internet….

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.49.49 AMHowever, my husband is a sports fan, and loves to spend his weekends channel-flipping through the football games. This ability is not available through streaming, so we will keep cable until the sports options increase.

We also have a DVR, so we capture programming from all hours, and watch on our own schedule. However, most of the programing we “catch” is also available through apps or streaming.

We do subscribe to Netflix, and stream some of their programs with regularity, and we also have Amazon Prime with more streaming options.

Our television watching habits have changed in that we rarely watch programs as they are broadcast. We never watch “live.” Except for those sports events, we choose our entertainment from the DVR or streaming options.

Now I’m looking at Hulu Plus. They have programming that I know we would enjoy and that is unavailable on the other services. ( UK readers: Hulu Plus has Miranda 🙂 )

But $$ add up. We pay for Netflix, now. I don’t really want to add another $$ without decreasing something else. (and …I must have my Amazon Prime, so that’s not an option to lose 🙂 ).

If it weren’t for the sports, I’d cut the cord. But for now we stay connected.

Hulu Plus is beckoning me, though. Anyone have experience with that service?

and…

What do you do? I’m guessing that older people are hanging on to their cable out of habit and younger folks are cutting the cord.

Care to share?

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Do you have Amazon Prime? If so, you also now have FREE music!

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.36.28 AMThis was a surprise! Announced last week, Amazon has added a new perk for Prime members.

If you are a Prime member, you’ll want to download this free app: Amazon Music with Prime Music

And then? Listen to Music, FREE. Lots and lots of music.

With NO ADS.

I enjoy Pandora, and use it quite a bit. However, the ads can be annoying, and to purchase it without ads has gotten rather pricey.

But now … enter Amazon Music.

From their description:

“Your music collection just got a lot bigger. Amazon Music now includes Prime Music. Amazon Prime members can listen to or download over a million songs and hundreds of expert-programmed playlists with Prime Music.”

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As soon as I learned of this new way to listen to Music, I downloaded the app immediately. I’ve been experimenting with it ever since. They have provided a large group of playlists, from “50 Great Epic Classic Rock Songs” to “80’s Dance Floor Fillers” to “Feel Good Country” to “Indie workout” to “Hipster Hits”….. you get the idea. Many, many, MANY prepared playlists for you to enjoy.

If you are a Prime member, just download the app, sign in with your Amazon password, and select “Prime Playlists”. Tap your choice and away you go. Streaming music. Turn up the sound and enjoy. With NO ads.

You can also select “Prime Music” and enjoy tons more. Oodles of music is available for you to download (for free) and then enjoy when you are not in your wireless streaming environment.

I’m still learning my way around this app. Since I’ve used Pandora for so long, there is a bit of a learning curve. (Especially the ‘saving to library’ part)

BUT … “PRIME MUSIC” and “PRIME PLAYLISTS” are clearly marked and easily found. Once you download the app, you can select a playlist and be listening to music within minutes.

I’m delighted with this Pandora alternative and kudos to Amazon for giving this additional perk, FREE, to Prime members.

Amazon Music with Prime Music is available for FREE in the iTunes store for your iPhone and iPad.

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More Snow = Binge Watching

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 8.07.36 AMOur local headline summed up the impending storm: “Midweek storm? The chances just went from slim to Doomsday”

Doomsday? Here we snow again. Of course, with piles of snow lining the streets already, there is no place to even put this snow. Oh, well. Nothing to do but join the masses at the grocery stores, help them strip the shelves and then settle in for some binge-watching.

The term “binge-watching” exploded in 2013. According to Wikipedia: Binge-watching, also called binge-viewing, is the practice of watching television for longer time spans than usual, usually of a single television show. Binge-watching as an observed cultural phenomenon has become popular with the rise of online media services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime with which the viewer can watch television shows and movies on-demand

With ‘doomsday’ snow in the forecast, we’ll be binge-watching for sure. But what to choose?

Since this has become such a popular phenomenon, it has gotten much attention on the internet.

Newsday recently made a list of the 45 best shows to binge watch.

Huffington Post supplies 8 Binge-worthy TV Shows You’ve (Probably) Never Heard of to Get You Through the Blizzard. (this list includes Absolutely Fabulous. One of my all time favorite guilty pleasures. 🙂 )

The New York Post offers Your definitive guide to binge-watching TV

I just noticed that Amazon Prime Instant Video is offering the entire first season of “The Americans”. I heard that this series is worth watching, so that is my personal binge watching plan.

That is …as long as the power stays on. 😯

Do you have any favorites to share? Have you binge-watched? All suggestions welcome!!!

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