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MP3 Audio Books - Here Is What You Get

In today's world, it is not that difficult to convince someone about the merits of purchasing mp3 audio books.

When you buy mp3 audio books, you get a number of things that just aren't available with the purchase of conventional audio books. This is because mp3 format audio books have a lot going for them. Take a look at some of the benefits available when you buy books on mp3.

1. You get a usability factor that is unparalleled by any other audio books.

MP3 files, in general, are very easy to use and to transfer to friends and relatives for the simple reason that so little equipment is required. All you really need is a computer. You don't even technically need an mp3 player to play them.

This means that you can listen to the audio books yourself, and then allow your friends to listen to them as well. If you were using a CD or a tape, your friends would need equipment of some kind to listen, and while it might seem equipment like that is standard, you would be surprised at how few people still own tape decks or CD players and even more surprised at how few people have portable versions.

When you purchase mp3 books on line, they are far more usable than if you purchased them on tape or CD.

2. You get a reasonable price that is much better than formats not part of the mp3 books category.

Audio mp3 files cost a lot less to create than books, tapes or CDs, and this is because there is no packaging, no shipping, and virtually no overhead for the companies involved. You simply download the mp3 file directly from the website after you make your purchase.

Because the format is much cheaper to produce, you might even be able to get the best deal on mp3 books by purchasing two or three of them online at once. For the same price that it would cost you to buy one in the bookstore, expect to have several mp3 audio books at your disposal.

3. You get a convenience that is unmatched anywhere else in the audio book industry.

This is because when you buy mp3 audio books online, what you are doing is making the purchase directly from your computer in your home.

There is no need to drive to the store, deal with traffic, other customers, or a store's current inventory listing. With a few clicks of your mouse, the best deal on mp3 books can be yours.

4. You get a selection that is absolutely impossible to beat.

Whether you are looking for childrens' mp3 audio books or any other mp3 audio books on any subject, you are guaranteed to have a better selection when you purchase them online.

This is because downloading mp3 audio books means you are ultimately choosing from a digital library, and digital libraries are cheaper and easier to maintain than a store's inventory.

Even ordering physical products online from websites like Amazon will be a tedious process if you are looking for a hard-to-find title, and that is exactly why going with the digital mp3 purchases and downloads is the easiest way for you to proceed.

With better quality, a lower price, higher convenience and better choices, mp3 audio books are much better than the competition.


Finding a Great Convention Band

Are you seeking corporate event entertainment for an upcoming business convention? Whether you intend to reward employees or entertain important clients, there is certainly a primary objective for your evening social event. It's important to select a band that can match your objectives and help you create a successful corporate event.

So, what should you look for in a band? Here are 6 tips to get you started.


A good place to start is checking the band's song list. Most bands post a list of songs on their website, but the question to ask yourself first and foremost is "what kind of music do I want at my party?". Check out the organization of the song list. Does it make sense? Is it grouped by artist, by genre, by decades? Is it focused on the band's original music? For most corporate events, original music is probably not what you have in mind. You probably want a band that covers the popular genre(s) that appeal to your wide range of guests. You might be having a blue-collar good time country music party which can include old and new country songs along with cajun and zydeco music, or maybe you're imagining classy jazz for a sophisticated affair.


You might be thinking of taking your corporate event to the next level. One way to do so is to host an upper-end awards banquet that rewards top sales associates or divisions. In this case, you might want a Broadway style or Academy Award type theme music. Some companies will really go for the "theme night" (such as James Bond themed entertainment, Dixieland jazz band with classic second line parade, etc.), which can really be a fun way to make "just another business convention" turn into a pretty fun party! The point is matching the band to appropriate circumstances. You may want to consider a band that can provide a wide variety of entertainment. These types of groups are known to play just about anything, anytime and anywhere.


After you've seen the song list and decided on the genre of the party, but what does the band look like? Or, what do they sound like? Check their photos and video pages of their website. Do they wear various costumes? Costumes is a term borrowed from the theatrical world, but in band lingo means a wide variety of things. Do they show up in boots to a black tie affair? Do they wear suits and long dresses, or do are they bluejeans/flannel/t-shirts to a formal event? There's nothing that says you can't mix and match these concepts in contemporary entertainment, but don't forget that 1) it's your decision, and 2) you should be aware of these variables as you book the entertainment.


Remember, the band is a major driver in the night's atmosphere. The band is often on stage all night, and will at some point have the focus of every event attendee (including co-workers and your boss) at some point throughout the evening. The band you choose will also invariably drive the energy of the evening, which is something else you can check out secretly in the videos. You'll want to watch for the general "feel" of the band, but also check out how the crowd is reacting to the band. Is this the one time each year when your company gets to let loose (Sue from accounting can dance all night, Joe from sales will of course get pulled up on stage, Chris will be orchestrating group line dances) or the only chance to have meaningful conversations outside the office (where Bob from the mail center can finally have that one-on-one conversation with the CEO)? It's your choice, but remember that the band makes all the difference!


You're right, no body uses press clippings any more. What an archaic term that has become. But most bands also have their online equivalent called "comments" or "reviews." This is that peer review process that has come to work so well. Are they drawing good reviews on their website? How many followers do they have on Facebook? Are they on other social media sites? Do they have comments or subscribers on YouTube? This is not a tell all or end all decision maker for the band but it will offer you some guidance.


Be sure to ask the band if they are flexible in terms of set up, break time, green room accommodations, and, most importantly, volume levels. There is nothing worse than a band that won't turn down the volume while people are trying to chit chat and have meaningful conversations over dinner. On the other hand, your party can be a dud if the band can't take the evening to the next level once the crowd has finished dinner and is ready to finally hit the dance floor!

In conclusion, here is a checklist when picking corporate entertainment. Does the band have a profile that includes: photos, video, audio, and song list? Do they have recommendations or reviews from recent customers? Do they seem able to provide exactly the kind of evening you were imagining in terms of dress, dancing, and logistical flexibility? If you take care of all of these variables in advance, you're all set to have a great party that will keep business flowing all year long. Good luck!


Relax With Some Soothing Music

All of us like listening to music and each one of us has an individualistic preferences. We have at times listened to the Go-Gos in a car or sang the Melody; ourselves at our graduation. We may have listened to Ode to Joy at a wedding and heard Bruce Springsteen or Madonna while in college. Even though tastes differ, each one of us listens to music and has a favorite type of music and a favorite singer or band.

Music is not only fun but also gratifying. It has a soothing effect on the listener and calms the nerves. Music touches our lives in various ways that are sometimes conspicuous and sometimes subtle. And that is the reason why it is uncommon to find someone who does not listen to any kind of music.

Dentists play music in their waiting rooms and clinics. Many operation theatres have channel music running. Drivers prefer to drive through a maze of unending traffic while listening to music and even baseball players have been known to hum along during warm-up. These days most corporate houses have unobtrusive instrumental music playing in their offices all the time. This reduces job stress.

It seems that the reason why music has a comforting effect on us is because it reminds us of the first time we heard it in our mothers womb. Thus it provides us with a sense of security and well being. Many researches have been done on the physiological aspect of music and it has been discovered that Celtic or Native American music wherein the flute dominates is most relaxing. The serotonin in the body increases with the effect of music and this provides us with a feeling of elevation. Music also is known to reduce the heart rate and increase body temperature. In fact it has also been found out that any kind of music performed in person helps to put the left and the right brain in sync. Those performing also go through a cathartic effect and get a sense of accomplishment.

There are ways in which one can enhance this effect of music. The best way to de-stress yourself is to lie back with a pair of headphones and become a part of the music. Select music that has a pace slower than 72 minutes per minute. This will ease your heartbeat and relax you. Combine music with your morning walk and you will feel doubly rejuvenated by combining the goodness of exercise and music.

Sounds of nature are music to the ears and they can have a similar effect. Sit back on the garden bench and hear the music of the birds, the cricket, the wind and the rustling leaves. You can also find the sounds of the woods or the ocean captured in a CD these days.

Choose any kind of music that you like for relaxation. It is important that you enjoy the general hum and beat of the chosen music to be able to extract the maximum benefit. In our normal lives, we tend to get too busy in our past paced lives to take enough advantage of this cathartic effect of euphony.


Make Sure Your Wedding Jazz Music Really Swings!

Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life, which means that it's important to get every detail just right! In order to make sure things run smoothly it's helpful to appoint someone to follow through on each and every aspect of your day so you can focus on the fun with family and friends. So after the ring, the shoes, the dress, the ceremony, the cake, the limo, and all those other details - the music is the key component that determines whether your reception is a dance party or a nice dinner party. Nothing beats a live band with a fabulous singer playing your favorite songs!

It's the swing and sophistication of current popular jazz that has such a strong appeal now-a-days. So with that in mind, take a look at these ideas:

Music Playing As Your Guests Arrive - The Style of music will absolutely set the tone for the evening's parties. Jazz from the 1920s and 40s are often cross-generational, popular hits. Music made famous by great musicians such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, or Louis Armstrong and re-made popular today by Michael Buble, Diana Krall, and Harry Connick Jr. can make your party popular for the kids and grandma, and everyone in between. This genre, known as the "Great American Song Book," will set the mood as your reception begins.

Plan for the Flow of the Party, plan (or How To Avoid The Low Points) - The best advice for avoiding low points is to plan ahead. Events such as toasts, bouquet and garter toss and of course the cake cutting should be listed on the timeline and the musicians' breaks can be scheduled to coincide with all of this. Of course it's should be a given that the band will be able to play background music during their intermission.

Don't hire the band for too long (or short) of time - most weddings average between 3 and 4 hours. The fact is most musicians are hired for 4 hours or think of it as a "half-day" rate. So whether it's a trio or an ten pice band with horns, it's basically a labor cost on a per musician basis. Most bands are five to eight musicians and that's can depend on the number of guests, the size of the venue and how much dancing you anticipate for the evening.

Picking the Playlist in Advance - Seasoned professional musicians can play hundreds of songs from memory, but a four hour event will usually mean about 50 songs. It's a good idea to give the band a list of songs you like in advance (roughly 25 or so will usually do it) so they can get an idea of your taste and style. A list of songs you DON'T want played can also be helpful and help the band from making an unintentional faux-pas at your special occasion. Give this list to the band 4 to 6 weeks in advance in case they need to work up a special arrangement of a tune. That's also the time to pick the song you want for your first dance or any other special dances in the evening.

Encourage Dancing - It usually only takes one or two couples (don't count on children) to get others to the dance floor. You may want to suggest to close family or friends to consider helping out here by getting on the floor first. You know better than anyone which of those people are not shy and even a little bold to show off their moves on the dace floor. Another way to encourage dancing is to consider the placement of the band in the room. It's a good idea that food, beverage and the music is in the same room. (You'd be amazed how many times people think about putting the music in "the other room" for dancing. That almost never works!)

Finish Big - Think about the last dance of the evening when working with the band on your playlist. For example, a slow song such as "What a Wonderful World" or a salsa swing version of "Save the Last Dance For Me" are two very different versions of a last dance based on your preference. Of course, the south traditionally does second line parades and a separate brass band to lead everyone out the door has become very popular in the past few years.


The Essentials of Music Healing Therapy

There are four basic, essential principles to using music in healing and sound therapy. These four principles are: brainwave entrainment, intention, sympathetic resonance and pure tone. While these terms may sound complicated, they are very simplistic in nature. Each is necessary in the music healing process, although they function independently of each other.

Not much is known yet about brainwave entrainment, which is alternatively known as brainwave synchronization. Because very few studies have been performed regarding the phenomenon, it is usually associated with parapsychology and pseudoscience, and is not given much credit within the scientific community. However, it has been proved that this phenomenon does exist and is a plausible alternative to modern medicine.

The easy explanation of brainwave synchronization is that the brain constantly sends out many different brainwave "pulses" of varied states simultaneously, instead of one at a time. One singular brainwave state with become dominant, contributing to your current state of mind. With brainwave synchronization utilizing binaural beats, one can actually influence the brain as well as your current mental state.

H.W. Dove, a German Scientist, discovered binaural beats in 1839 when he presented two different frequencies of sound to each ear. The brain then detects the difference between the two frequencies of sound and produces a third, new signal, a binaural beat which is equal to the difference between the two frequencies. For example, if you played a sound frequency of 85Hz in your left ear, and 90Hz in your right ear, the brain would create it's very own frequency signal of 5Hz to make up the difference of the two presented frequencies. Using this method, one can actually induce the brainwave state that they desire.

As both the left and right hemispheres of the brain start to resonate to a binaural beat in synchronization, you now have brainwave entrainment, which research has indicated contributes to extreme creativity, pronounced clarity and inspiration. EEG patterns recorded from different test groups comprised of highly successful individuals also displayed an extraordinarily high level of brainwave entrainment.

Intention is the next essential part of music healing therapy, which is most easily explained as the motivation behind the sound being played. If you think of this in terms of a lullaby sung to a child, which is intended to soothe and relax, versus a heavy metal song intended to vent anger and frustration, you can see how very influential intention is. Having the intention to heal, soothe, and repair can carry from a singer's voice or musician's instrument to the person or persons receiving the sound.

Sympathetic Resonance can be best described as a harmonic phenomenon where one sound will cause a "sympathetic" response or reaction. This can be achieved in many ways, for example when a loud sound will cause windowpanes to rattle, or when a C tuning fork is is struck, a different C tuning fork nearby will also begin to vibrate. When applied to music healing therapy, there must be a resonance between the musician and the listener.

Pure tone is also very important in this process and is a single-frequency tone with no harmonic content (no overtone). You may be most familiar with pure tone if you have ever had a hearing test, and they played pure tones into headphones. Obviously when applied to music healing, harmonic content will most likely be added, but pure tone allows our bodies to heal. When our bodies receive a pure tone our muscles will relax and tension will be released.

These are the four basic building blocks of healing with music. Many other aspects are very important as well but these essential parts of not only sound, but sound and music in healing therapy, must be present in order for healing and relaxation to take place.


Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?

How many times have you turned to music to uplift you even further in happy times, or sought the comfort of music when melancholy strikes?

Music affects us all. But only in recent times have scientists sought to explain and quantify the way music impacts us at an emotional level. Researching the links between melody and the mind indicates that listening to and playing music actually can alter how our brains, and therefore our bodies, function.

It seems that the healing power of music, over body and spirit, is only just starting to be understood, even though music therapy is not new. For many years therapists have been advocating the use of music in both listening and study for the reduction of anxiety and stress, the relief of pain. And music has also been recommended as an aid for positive change in mood and emotional states.

Michael DeBakey, who in 1966 became the first surgeon to successfully implant an artificial heart, is on record saying: "Creating and performing music promotes self-expression and provides self-gratification while giving pleasure to others. In medicine, increasing published reports demonstrate that music has a healing effect on patients."

Doctors now believe using music therapy in hospitals and nursing homes not only makes people feel better, but also makes them heal faster. And across the nation, medical experts are beginning to apply the new revelations about music's impact on the brain to treating patients.

In one study, researcher Michael Thaut and his team detailed how victims of stroke, cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease who worked to music took bigger, more balanced strides than those whose therapy had no accompaniment.

Other researchers have found the sound of drums may influence how bodies work. Quoted in a 2001 article in USA Today, Suzanne Hasner, chairwoman of the music therapy department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, says even those with dementia or head injuries retain musical ability.

The article reported results of an experiment in which researchers from the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, Pa., tracked 111 cancer patients who played drums for 30 minutes a day. They found strengthened immune systems and increased levels of cancer-fighting cells in many of the patients.

"Deep in our long-term memory is this rehearsed music," Hasner says. "It is processed in the emotional part of the brain, the amygdala. Here is where you remember the music played at your wedding, the music of your first love, that first dance. Such things can still be remembered even in people with progressive diseases. It can be a window, a way to reach them."

The American Music Therapy Organization claims music therapy may allow for "emotional intimacy with families and caregivers, relaxation for the entire family, and meaningful time spent together in a positive, creative way".

Scientists have been making progress in its exploration into why music should have this effect. In 2001 Dr. Anne Blood and Robert Zatorre of McGill University in Montreal, used positron emission tomography, or PET scans, to find out if particular brain structures were stimulated by music.

In their study, Blood and Zatorre asked 10 musicians, five men and five women, to choose stirring music. The subjects were then given PET scans as they listened to four types of audio stimuli - the selected music, other music, general noise or silence. Each sequence was repeated three times in random order.

Blood said when the subjects heard the music that gave them "chills," the PET scans detected activity in the portions of the brain that are also stimulated by food and sex.

Just why humans developed such a biologically based appreciation of music is still not clear. The appreciation of food and the drive for sex evolved to help the survival of the species, but "music did not develop strictly for survival purposes," Blood told Associated Press at the time.

She also believes that because music activates the parts of the brain that make us happy, this suggests it can benefit our physical and mental well being.

This is good news for patients undergoing surgical operations who experience anxiety in anticipation of those procedures.

Polish researcher, Zbigniew Kucharski, at the Medical Academy of Warsaw, studied the effect of acoustic therapy for fear management in dental patients. During the period from October 2001 to May 2002, 38 dental patients aged between 16 and 60 years were observed. The patients received variations of acoustic therapy, a practice where music is received via headphones and also vibrators.

Dr Kucharski discovered the negative feelings decreased five-fold for patients who received 30 minutes of acoustic therapy both before and after their dental procedure. For the group that heard and felt music only prior to the operation, the fearful feelings reduced by a factor of 1.6 only.

For the last group (the control), which received acoustic therapy only during the operation, there was no change in the degree of fear felt.

A 1992 study identified music listening and relaxation instruction as an effective way to reduce pain and anxiety in women undergoing painful gynecological procedures. And other studies have proved music can reduce other 'negative' human emotions like fear, distress and depression.

Sheri Robb and a team of researchers published a report in the Journal of Music Therapy in 1992, outlining their findings that music assisted relaxation procedures (music listening, deep breathing and other exercises) effectively reduced anxiety in pediatric surgical patients on a burn unit.

"Music," says Esther Mok in the AORN Journal in February 2003, "is an easily administered, non-threatening, non-invasive, and inexpensive tool to calm preoperative anxiety."

So far, according to the same report, researchers cannot be certain why music has a calming affect on many medical patients. One school of thought believes music may reduce stress because it can help patients to relax and also lower blood pressure. Another researcher claims music allows the body's vibrations to synchronize with the rhythms of those around it. For instance, if an anxious patient with a racing heartbeat listens to slow music, his heart rate will slow down and synchronize with the music's rhythm.

Such results are still something of a mystery. The incredible ability that music has to affect and manipulate emotions and the brain is undeniable, and yet still largely inexplicable.

Aside from brain activity, the affect of music on hormone levels in the human body can also be quantified, and there is definite evidence that music can lower levels of cortisol in the body (associated with arousal and stress), and raise levels of melatonin (which can induce sleep). It can also precipitate the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkiller.

But how does music succeed in prompting emotions within us? And why are these emotions often so powerful? The simple answer is that no one knows yet. So far we can quantify some of the emotional responses caused by music, but we cannot yet explain them. But that's OK. I don't have to understand electricity to benefit from light when I switch on a lamp when I come into a room, and I don't have to understand why music can make me feel better emotionally. It just does - our Creator made us that way.


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