Bren McLean

Tag: iTunes


by on May.21, 2014, under Church Life, Leadership

There are now over 1 million Apple applications available for your devices and surprisingly, many of the best are FREE. Whatever the platform, these apps make life easier, or just more fun.


Below are my top 10 FREE apps, by category:


Dropbox  – store up to 3GB on the cloud for free

Evernote a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving

Feedly – Since the demise of Google Reader, Feedly is the best way to collect the content of your favorite news sites, feeds, tumblr blogs and youtube channels

Hootsuite – Manages all of your social media on the one platform



Olive Tree – a suite of bible reading and bible study tools

Planning Center Online – PCO is the premier tool for planning services and scheduling volunteers



Allmusic – The one place for all information about bands and music artists

IMDb – The world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content

Shazam – Ever heard a song and wondered what was the title and who was the artist? Shazam miraculously has the answer

Spotify – The best radio and free music player on the market


What apps are in your top 10?


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by on Dec.04, 2012, under Church Life

iTunes have recently replaced the ‘Christian/Gospel’ genre with ‘Inspirational’. Music stores have a ‘Christian’ section. Both are such broad and inaccurate classifications.

Why is there a genre for ‘Christian’ music anyway? What makes a song ‘Christian’ or ‘Inspirational’?


The music? No.

The performer’s beliefs? Not necessarily.

The lyrics? Probably, but how many references to God or Jesus does a song need to crossover into this category?

Michael Gungor believes it is odd to have a genre that is based on religion: “no other music is categorised by the content of it’s lyrics. There is no Buddhist or Atheist section of a record store.”

‘The Crowd, The Critic & The Muse’ is a great read, particularly for creative people. I highly recommend this book, which looks at the highs and the lows of an artists journey in a brutally honest way.

‘Christian’ music is labeled as such to target a specific subculture. The music industry is massive, but three record labels represent over 80% of the global market. ie. Universal, Sony and Warner. Most of the other labels are owned by one of these companies, so it’s a pretty incestuous industry. We live in a capitalist society and executives work hard to maximise sales and profits. But in their pursuit of the almighty dollar, the quality of art can suffer.

NOTE: If you work as an artist, what motivates you? Sure, you need to make a living, but if money is your main motivator it will lose something, it’s essence. Great art comes from the heart.

Personally, I would prefer it if musical genre’s were only be classified by a musical style. eg. Rock, Pop, Blues, Classical, Country (for those so inclined), Dance, Jazz, Metal…

Even then, it’s subjective! The musical style of a lot of artists nowadays is getting harder to classify. In an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, artists ‘crossover’ and produce music that could fit 2, 3 or more genre’s. Take IDOL winner Carrie Underwood. Would you consider her as a Country, Pop, Christian artist, or all of the above?

Record companies will even release multiple versions of ‘hit’ songs, to appeal to different audiences. HELP!

What do you think about the whole topic of musical genre’s?


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