As a broke college student, it’s hard to legally get a hold of the digital products I want. Luckily, over time I have stumbled across ways to get these products legally and free or very cheap. This article discusses how I currently get my digital products.
I have always preferred online streaming services like Last.fm and Pandora over purchasing albums or songs. However, the one thing I hated was the audio quality. When I listened to music in my car, the bass was painful to listen to. Additionally, deafening screeches or squeals commonly appeared when I turned up the volume. Luckily, I stumbled upon an application called HitBliss a couple weeks ago. HitBliss is an application that gives you rewards for watching ads. It took me just a few minutes after downloading the application to my phone to get a month subscription to Pandora One absolutely free–the high quality, ad-free version of Pandora. I’ve been using Pandora One for a couple weeks now, and it has been wonderful. Now I am able to turn up the volume in my car without the deafening screeches or squeals and pretty decent bass.
TV Shows & Movies
Between school and work, I rarely have a chance to watch a show or movie when it airs on TV. Additionally, I don’t want to pay to stream something online if I’ll probably only watch it once. HitBliss saved me again. Not only can you order a Pandora One subscription on HitBliss, but you can also rent movies (including new releases) and purchase TV shows (usually the day after they air). It took less than twenty minutes of watching ads (I was actually watching YouTube on my computer while HitBliss ran on my phone) to earn enough credit to purchase three episodes of Suits and rent a movie. The application links to your Amazon account to make the purchases and rentals. One downside is that you are limited to four Amazon purchases/rentals a week. However, I’ve decided that there is no reason for me to watch more than four shows/movies a week, so I’m currently okay with this limit.
Honestly, most of the applications I use are either freeware or free web apps. However, this doesn’t help for my phone. For that, I use Google Opinion Rewards. Google Opinion Rewards is a free app in the Google Play Store that gives you Google Play credit for taking short surveys. About once a week a notification will prompt you to take a one to ten question survey. Afterward, credit will be applied to your account. I’ve bought several Android apps this way. Additionally, this credit works for anything in the Google Play Store, including movies, TV shows, comics and books.
I’ve never been much of a casual reader. If I read, it tends to be technical books that are hard to read digitally to start with. I’ve noticed that I can read these books much faster and comprehend a lot more when I have a tangible copy. Now I take advantage of my local library if I decide it’s not worth paying for. Furthermore, if my library doesn’t have the book I am looking for, they have a lending program where they can borrow books from participating libraries. I just tell them what I’m looking for, and they will have it shipped from a library that carries it at no cost to me. It is definitely work checking to see if your library participates in a program like this one. Not only is this program available for books, but also audiobooks and movies.
Audiobooks are very important to me. I commute to work and school, so I like to listen to them during my drive. This wouldn’t be a big deal, but I listen to audiobooks at twice the normal speed or higher just because the readers talk so slow. Doing this allows me to listen to two or three full Audiobooks a week during my commute. However, there is no way I could pay for over a hundred audiobooks a year. The library has become my best friend again. Additionally, if I ever find myself waiting for an audiobook to come in, I just listen to public domain content through ezPDF Reader’s read aloud feature.
Console gamers, I can’t help you. I’m a PC gamer and always will be. One of the reasons I’m a PC gamer is because it is so cheap. I’ve decided that I have no problem waiting for a new release to come on sale. I never buy a game if it isn’t on sale or in a bundle. After all, my Steam library is packed for of games I haven’t even downloaded yet. If I feel tempted to purchase a game at full price, I just get myself sucked back into TF2 and forget about the other game.
Overall, I’m happy with my methods for acquiring these products. Some of these methods have worked great for me for a long time.
Have another method not listed here? Let me know in the comments below.