Thursday, November 1, 2012

iPad Mini - Very good things come in small packages

Not being a rabid Apple fan girl I can usually resist the Apple hype.  But the iPad mini - it really hits so many of the features of my ideal tablet I had to try it.

I do own a "new" iPad, occasionally known as the iPad 3 to everyone except Apple.  Calling the third in a series of products the "new" iPad has to be one of the most ridiculous naming decisions I have ever heard.  It  almost seems like Apple wants people to be confused about what they are buying.    And what accessories are compatible with what.   I am happy to have a retina display, and the last version  of iPad with a 30 pin connector which connects to EVERYTHING.

But the size of the screen keeps me from truly loving it.   I just can't take it everywhere like I can my Kindle Fire.    Plus doing simple things like putting my photos into folders requires an app.  (at least there is one now  available)   And putting a mixture of files like documents and powerpoints and music and pdfs in to a folder so you can access them together - very complicated.    I would like to occasionally to use the iPad as a large USB drive with screen attached, and editing capability.    All those cutesie apps and games are not where the value is for me with the iPad.

Enter the mini iPad.   Now I have something I can hold in one hand.   Unlike the Kindle Fire, 3G access is available (at cost of 125 bucks, but at least I have a choice).    As much as I like my Kindle Fire, I hate that the smaller version has no 3G, and I am always searching for wifi to move content to the device.   It is better than having to use iTunes to move content, but still a hassle.    The original Kindle was the first tablet style device to let me buy or down load a book anywhere.   The Fire was a throwback to the bad old days having to plan ahead and load the device with content.      I hate having to track free wifi in strange cities.    Airports and hotels have wised up - data access is as big a moneymaker as dessert and soft drinks at a restaurant.   (And you though they really cared that you saved room for dessert!)

So my new mini is on order . . . the 3G version doesn't ship til mid-November, and I can't wait.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Binders full of women - is this so bad?

Mitt Romney has been the butt of many jokes for his turn of phrase "binders full of women" as a solution to workplace equality.

Maybe I'm too much of a geek, but I didn't see anything wrong with the comment.    Based on this turn of phrase, I am thinking that

  1. He and/or his organization are researching competent women as part of a hiring plan for his administration.  
  2. He recognizes that you should be planning ahead and assembling sufficient information to be able to provide a solution.  
  3. He and/or his organization groups  the information into meaningful units for better analysis 

How is a bad thing?  Wouldn't we want a future president to do this?

As for the comment about a binder being "old technology",  I still think of my electronic groups of files "folders" in "binders."   Hey, Mitt . . . put me in your binder.     I need a job . . .


Monday, October 22, 2012

Making a List, Checking it Once - the Christmas rules

Though I am not ready to start hearing carols yet, I have started the list.    Actually it started last Christmas, so you know I am way ahead of the super moms

As I simplify to reduce stress, I realize we have evolved to a few Christmas rules that totally streamline the process.
  1. Three or less presents a person.  For kids, they can't play with that many items, and only one will be the favorite.   The others might as well not be there.  Of course, there is the pressure to hit that one, so . . .
  2. Fund a family outing as a present to all of you.  And sell that it is a present.  For example:
    • a favorite waterpark hotel that is kind of pricey
    • go to the movies at the most expensive time and buy anything you want for snacks
    • see a live show at a local theater
  3. Let the stockings flaunt rules 1 and 2 as needed. Big things can come in small packages, and don't underestimate the power of a gift certificate.
And new pajamas for Christmas Eve.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christmas List OneUpManship

Do you have that friend who always has their shopping done earlier than you?   And no matter how early you finish, they are still done first?

Do you ever exaggerate how soon you got your shopping done ?  (done a week early, a month early, mid-July, or even, last year?) 

Do you wonder it's a contest to get done first?   And why you care?

I wonder.   I need me some Christmas rules to reduce the stress. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Buying toys for the Tween-ager

I was informed by my tween last Christmas that Christmas without toys is not her vision.   She does not feel ready to give up My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop.   She smiles at the clothes, but the toys are what she is looking for.

So I am out there trolling for the latest and greatest, such as the My Little Pony Wedding.  And the Littlest Pet Shop has DVDs and a show coming out on the Hub in November, which I'm sure I will see turn up on the DVR recording schedule.  (Too young to give up toys, but old enough to program the DVR so it fills up with cartoons and can't record my shows.)

My older one in her twenties said adult Christmas sucks, because her list has to include new tires, a vacuum cleaner, and a mixer.    She also said thanks. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Totally Useless Waste of Brainwaves aka My Dancing with the Stars Predictions

Even though I know applying logic to Dancing With the Stars is like painting your front door with gold leaf, I cannot resist.   With incredible Spockian use of logic and analysis, I am predicting the final three couples for the all-star season of Dancing With the Stars.

My powers of observation have told me that all former champions are going to eliminated before the finals.   Deep down, the public feels they had their turn, and the runner-ups deserve another chance.  What's more, couples with a professional dancer who has never won will have even more support.    SO, in no particular order, here are the final three.

  • Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel -  Sabrina was totally robbed and Louis has never won.  Louis is an awesome choreographer, second only to Derek Hough.
  • Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani -  Melissa is cute and a good dancer, but Tony is the partner who brings all the karma.   He suffered through many marginal partners, and most famously, Kate Gosselin.   Kate couldn't manage to shut up and follow directions that made her dance better.   Tony has been to the final but never taken the trophy home.   Melissa is the best partner he ever had, though not necessarily the most interesting.
  • Kirstie Alley and Maks - Everyone loves watching a train wreck.   You never know what will come out of either of their mouths.  Maks has been so close to winning but never quite made it.  I was most disappointed when he and Scary Spice didn't make it. 
Sorry, Bristol, but Mark's former championships doom your prospects.   Same for you, Gilles, because Peta, even worse, is last season's champion.  And the rest of you former champions - pack your bags, your red light is coming.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Amazing les miz promo

For days I have had Anne Hathaway's voice in my head singing Fantine's song from Les Miserables. I saw the promo on the big screen today and was moved to tears. If the rest of the cast is only half as good as she is, it will still be amazing.

So I'm making a date with my hankie for December. Until then, I need to find a more cheerful ear worm. Maybe a little mindless Mbop will do the trick

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kindle Giveth, and Kindle Taketh Away - Paperwhite is an Epic Fail

Amazon has come out with their new models of the Kindle.  My sister gave me my first Kindle (the original!) and I have been hooked every since.   I go everywhere with Kindle - even reading on my iPhone, or computer when I don't have the Kindle with me.

The yearly announcement of new Kindles is like Detroit bringing out the new models of cars.  New styling, some new features, maybe some colors - and a bigger faster engine are typical of both announcements.  Usually I want to test-drive all the models to see what to put on my Christmas wish list, and shopping list.

Instead of one nifty model with all the bells and whistles, there are five , and none of have all of what I want. The Kindle Paperwhite added a light, increased the price, and removed a great features of Kindle Touch - the audiobooks.   With more money, you can get 3G and no ads, but still no audio.  Epic fail.

Based on this, I am shopping eBay for the now defunct Kindle Touch (with audiobooks and no ads and 3G), and keeping my first generation Fire.    Hurry and get yours before only new models are availalble

Monday, September 17, 2012

Amazon FIre HD - is it for me?

I love ebook readers.   I always carried a book everywhere with me, and the ebook readers made possible to do that with an endless supply of new content.  (Endless until my budget ran out.)

I am avidly reading the reviews to see if I should put the Fire HD on my Christmas list.  Gadget Girl and a few others comment on the new Fire.   Comparing the Fire HD to the Titanic is not such a good thing . . .

Sunday, September 16, 2012

iPhone 5 the Accessory Killer

Gadget Girl has given her assessment of the iPhone 5, saying the feature-weak announcement almost put her to sleep.

The holiday gadget wars have begun, and I am a very interested spectator.  I'll be watching each announcement to see what goes on my Christmas list, and what I leave on the shelf.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fire and maybe Apple

Gadget Girl has started posting her reviews/predictions of the best gadgets out for the holiday season.   The first covers the Amazon Fire HD.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What a Boomer Wants, what a boomer needs

At Blogher there was a special sponsor party for bloggers of a certain age.   The company and conversation was simply awesome, and the space (called OffSite) much more comfortable than the crowded hotel suites of some of the other parties.

The snacks were tasty.   I tried lavender popcorn for the first time.   I would not have thought a scent combined with popcorn, but it was delicious.    We also had fun trying out different scents from Demeter.   It's funny that "white linen" smelled to me like my grandma's closet (kind of musty), but "clean skin" was awesome.   I could have spent the whole evening at that table trying out fragrances and connecting them to memories.   Sharing those memories and stories with my fellow bloggers made it even more fun.

What surprised me was which sponsors were not there.   For example, no toys.  As I mentioned in No respect from the Toy sponsors, bloggers of a certain age are often grandparents and purchase some big ticket items for major occasions.   How about fashionable accessories?    We may not wear 5 inch heels because we already ruined our feet at a younger age, or we may have foot problems like heel spurs and bunions.    But we still like a fashionable, comfortable shoe like Birkestock Papgallos.   And Alegria.   I pay bigger bucks for these shoes than I ever did for fashionable shoes.    Pretty shoes that don't hurt my feet are so rare I buy them in multiple colors when I find them.  (If there is more than one color)

 We like a nice bag and we're always looking for our next favorite.  Nowadays I carry a computer and probably tablet and like lots of compartments.  When I was young I couldn't afford to buy nice bags, but now designer bags are one of life's little pleasures I no longer do without. 

How about clothing for the lady that is stylish and age appropriate that doesn't look like my grandmother's curtains?    For example, Coldwater Creek is one of my favorite brands, and has sizes that fit my less than perfect body.  

So thank you Boombox Network for a lovely evening.   And let those other sponsors know we have income to dispose of, and haven't given up on fashion.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Looking for some respect from Toy sponsors

Though I didn't get an actual invite to the Big Toy Book Sweet Suite during #blogher12, I did get some of the give-aways  from the swag exchange.  It fascinates me that some bloggers have so much stuff that their castoffs look awesome to me.     Makes me wonder what's back in their rooms that made the cut.  

It also amazes me that the toy sponsors do not seem to be interested in the older blogger.  Those big ticket items for birthday and Christmas often arrive courtesy of - grandparents.  So if you want to educate someone about the fancy little kitchen that plays a song about pizza, consider reaching out to the that demographic.  I purchase as many toys as a grandparent as I did as a parent.    And, yes, we baby boomers do use social media to share, as well as old-fashioned word of mouth.

The Kinect 360, for example, is a great example of grandparent-friendly toys.   We can use it when the kids aren't around to view Amazon Prime videos.    And we can't lose that controller in the couch.

One of a series of posts about Blogher 12.   

Cell phones and middle school

The begging has begun for a cell phone.   Apparently everyone else in the class has a phone and my child is completely out of the loop.   Of course they aren't supposed to be texting (but they do) and definitely not sending pictures (even though they are taking them), but they have phones.

At this point I am still looking for the cell phone that has enough protection on it that I feel comfortable putting it into my child's hands.   The service providers have some programs, but it seems to err on the side of tracking rather than preventing.

At Blogher 12 I saw an app from NQ Mobile that looks like it takes parental controls seriously.    Most apps are more concerned with security than usability, but this one starts to address them in a parent-oriented manner.    Instead of a phone being a way to get unsupervised access to the Internet, the app has the ability to block apps.

Like texting, and blogging.

The kids in my child's class won't be happy when I get the word out on this protection.  But their parents -- will be.   Now if only I could get it on the Kindle Fire, too.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Distracted walking can be hazardous to your health

I read a story in my local newspaper (yes, we still have newspapers here in the small towns of the Midwest) about a guy who fell onto a subway train track because he was too busy texting.   Fortunately there was no train for long enough for him to get back onto the platform.

The phenomena of distracted walking has been entertaining me for years.   I have seen people (usually college students) literally walk into street signs and telephone poles, and then apologize to inanimate objects.

As an April Fools day stunt one city set up e-walking lanes, so that people could text and other people would get out of the their way.   When they took the lanes down the next day, people complained.

My mother had a very simple way to address this.   She always said "look both ways before you cross the street."  (She also told me I had another think coming, but I never got my think)  No e-lanes, no laws about distracted walking, just follow good old-fashioned advice from kindergarten.

Or maybe cell phones are damaging our brains so we don't know when to put them down.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Make me Over, Please!

One of my favorite shows is What Not to Wear.  Fortunately my family has assured me that even though my pants legs are a little too short, and I wear some styles a little too long, I am in no danger of Stacy and Clinton and their cameras ambushing me.     I have issues, but I do not wear copious tie-dye, fairy wings, or all black.  (Well,  a lot of black, but not all.  And navy) .  

After twenty some years in a big company, I am now working in my own business.   I can handle what to wear to interviews, and very uptight meetings.   But the whole casual chic thing is a mystery to me.  My style rules were formed when bell-bottoms and hig-huggers were in the last time, and I am not talking about this century.     I want to look attractive, but age-appropriate.   I don't want to look like I am wearing a sack, a tablecloth, or my grandmother's curtains.   Or my grandmother's clothes, even though they probably fit. 

I've given up on make-up.   I know I'm not supposed to use blue eye-shadow, and thick black eyeliner,  but I don't know what to do instead.  My face gets red in strange places (between the eye brows) and blush doesn't seem to be in the right place.    

So a make-over is what I need to join the new decade.   Being only two years behind instead of twenty should be a massive improvement.   And - it should improve my track record in the job market.    My kids tell me I still look beautiful, but the compliments come with a side order of requests for computer time, allowance advances, and time with friends.   (My kids practice the fine art of well-timed flattery.) 

Spoiler alert:   In writing this post, I’m entering the Microsoft Windows Style Makeover Sweepstakes for a chance to win a head to toe makeover!  My style problems, however, are real and not invented for the purposes of the contest.  Furthermore,  there will be no before pictures until I can find a good angle that does not  involve photography from space.

Getting Gorgeous Gets It Right for a Blogher Party Invite

One in a series of posts about Blogher 12 in New York City

In a previous post I advocated a couple of distribution  systems for the Blogher limited attendance events.  I will have to give Getting Gorgeous credit for a distribution system that really did reach out to a wide cross-section of bloggers.

They issued invites for 2/3  of the slots, and had 200 slots open for the general blogger population.   Inviting 600 bloggers to your sessions - so impressive.   Opening it up with warning, so bloggers did not have to put life on hold to get in - also classy.

Of course I still didn't get in.    I had already wasted too much time Twitter-stalking and had turned Twitter off.    When this extremely humane system was announced I was focused on getting my real life in order so I could attend Blogher.    I am a Coldwater Creek One Creek customer and half my wardrobe is CC, so I was sad to miss out.

On the other hand, my opinion of the Getting Gorgeous crew is extremely positive.  I actually enjoy reading their tweets.    They're still on my list of bloggers I want to meet, greet, and learn from.  So t@verasweeney and @gettingorgeous please tweet me @momisageek.    I am turning the Twitter stream back on for conference week.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blogher 12 - Sorority bidding for party invites

One in a series of posts about Blogher 12 in New York City
After my rant about Twitter-stalking for party invites, several of my blogger friends pointed out I venting and not offering a solution.  How unlike me!   Normally you have to bind and gag me to keep me from telling you how I would solve your problem.

 It seems from the outside that the same 200 bloggers are at all the "exclusive" parties and the  other 2800 are not.   The popular bloggers will be party-hopping, zig-zagging across midtown Manhattan to grab their swag, and run to the next event .  There are so many parties they don't have time to attend sessions, or even stay to the end of the event they are attending.   And there is a massive amount of no-shows when something better comes along.

How about a party bidding system like a sorority rush?   Sponsors would identify bloggers of interest based on a profile provided by the Blogher.      Bloggers would identify parties/events of interest from a list provided by Blogher.      Sponsors would find out about bloggers they may have not known about who are interested in them, and bloggers find out about parties and products they may not know about.    Bloggers would have to indicate their top choices,  and so would the sponsors

Or maybe a party auction?    You have 100 party points.    You could spread them out, and put all 100 on one party.   Sponsors know how much you value them based on how much you bid.   Sponsors could compete to get people to bid on their parties.       If you are out of points, you must give up a party bid to re-bid your points.

Maybe separate the brand bloggers to several pre-conference days, like the Health minder and Path-finder conferences?    That way invite-only parties don't detract from the official Blogher events.

Of course Blogher has no control over the invite-only.  Maybe by offering information about the bloggers, they can encourage the sponsors to look at a wider range of bloggers, and buy into this system.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blogher 12 Invites - If you have to ask, you're not cool enough to attend

One in a series of posts about attending Blogher 12 in NYC
Blogher is a great conference, but the whole "unofficial" party thing is starting to make me a little nuts.   The official conference parties used to be by ticket.   Once a party was announced it was a race to Eventbrite to get a ticket.    Thankfully those have become open to all conference attendees, so you can get a free drink and some appetizers from 7PM-1AM every evening.   The music is great, there are often massages,I've made some great friends there, and there is no pressure.  

Then there are the "invite-only" parties.  Supposedly if you are the "right" kind of person, the sponsors will know about you and you will get an invite.    All anyone talks about in their blogs is how amazing these are. According to what I read from other bloggers, being the right kind of person involves hanging out on Twitter constantly and watching the feed for Blogher 12 party discussion.    Some parties are announced for a sign-up and in less than a minute, are full.   

I had a few parties I wanted to get invited to. (past tense)   After two months of stalking the Twitter and Facebook feeds, and not getting my request in until 90 seconds after the party opened, I gave up.  Really, sponsors, I have a life and I need to live without my smartphone constantly in hand.    I have family responsibilities and work responsibilities and my effectiveness in both arenas is compromised by too much party stalking.     My life provides the interesting content that sometimes appears in my blog that occasionally discusses a product and how it makes my life and my family's life better.   My work provides the income to buy your products.     

Is the only thing about me that interests you is that I constantly tweet and surf the Twitter stream and monitor my Facebook feed?     Quite frankly, I un-follow the feeds that are constantly blathering on product after product without any content like a social media infomercial.  

There must be a better way, because all the fun people I am meeting at the official parties who are not at the invite-only are the ones I end up following after the conference.  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Smoke break and pump breaks - an update

In my rant on smokers getting preferential treatment over breast-feeding mothers, I got a chance to tell my daughter that she was becoming a great person, and relieve a little of my personal outrage over that treatment.    Blogs have a lot of the advantages of a good therapy session.  

She sent me an update which I encourage you to read because it's funny.   She was right about how she should be treated, and she changed the practice for future nursing mothers.

Someone needs to make a movie about her.  Hello, Lifetime?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sometimes you say the right thing

Talking to an adult child is always a tricky thing.  You have to tell them what they need to hear, but not always what they want to hear.   And you can't ground them. 

I remember one particular time when my mother said exactly the right thing.   I told her I was getting married to someone she had never met.   She said, "I'm sure you made a good choice."   Wow.  Maybe she spent days practicing that, but it sure came out at the right time.

My daughter, also a blogger, did a post on things not to say to a new mother.    Very funny, but a little blue, but totally on point.  Especially the very last section what people should say,but don't.  And guess who said the right thing?

Me,that's who.  I rock!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Smokers get breaks, but breastfeeding doesn't

My daughter is a new mother.  She pumps at work, and at home, and it isn't always easy.   Her employer recently told her she had to clock out for her break when she pump. 

Smokers, however, do not have to clock out, because "it only takes 5 minutes."  First of all, iIf her workplace is following legal regulations
  • the employees must smoke outside.   
  • The smoking area must be at least 25 feet from any entrances and exits.   
So these track stars with the lungs coated with the residue of tobacco smoke are going to make it out of the building (usually about 100 feet), to the designated area (25 more feet),  smoke, and return in 5 minutes with an Average walking speed of 4 ft per second. 

Really?   The Internet says the average time to smoke a cigarette is 6-7 minutes.  Unless they have the cigarette in their mouth and are lighting up on the way, and puffing like the Magic Dragon, that is not a five minute break.  And that does not even consider the health issues.

Well, she's fighting this unfair policy.   I am so proud.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dress up online - My virtual closet of Barbie-ready perfection

Want to put together outfits online?   That's right, you can even plan your wardrobe on the web.  The Fashion Assistant site lets you put together outfits, create a virtual closet, and share the results with your friends.

It's like playing Barbie and never having to pick up those tiny shoes out of the carpet again

Friday, June 8, 2012

How Sharing Computers is like Sharing a Toothbrush

Techmama's article on families needing a tablet and a computer got me thinking.  Is there really a need for a family computer any more, or has tech in the family progressed so that the shared computer is a dinosaur.

In my family, as the title suggests, I wouldn't share a computer with the other members any more often than I would share a toothbrush.   Computer settings and preferences can be a very personal thing, and I hate trying to figure out who has been messing with my stuff.

Conversely, if I don't touch the computers of the less technical members of my family (who shall remain nameless to reduce the threat of possible retaliation - to me)  they can't accuse me of doing "things" to their computers.   And I don't get frustrated having to use a computer that has issues.

It reminds me of getting in the car after my husband has been driving.   I have to raise the seat, straighten the back, move it forward - and then start driving.    Sometimes I am too lazy and just stretch and point my toe to accelerate.    What is the best time save is - he drives when it is his car, and I drive in mine.

Just like the computers.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

App-Tastic - Wikihood

One of the challenges of travel is finding out local information.   Finding a guidebook for a major city like London, New York, or Berlin is easy.   But there are treasures in many cities that even a local might miss.

My new favorite is Wikihood - a smartphone app that finds wiki articles about points of interest near you.  It's like the lovechild of my Garmin and the AAA guidebook in tablet interface.  

You let the app find you, and you will get a map with those red dots that indicate a place to visit.   Tap on the dot brings up the wiki article.    Often it will give you times the attraction is open, or a link to the official site. 

And it's free.  Don't want to miss it

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Facebook Turns Your Likes into Ads

Think it is harmless to push that "like" button on Facebook?   Well, your face and comments are being turned into ads for the products you like.  This article gives more detail on how Facebook has the right to do this.

Your friends will get ads for products with your face and comments formatted as an endorsement.   Many companies have been encouraging "likes" to get discounts, or as sign-ups for contests.   Personally, I found the begging someone to "like" you was a little demeaning.  I feel almost like a middle school mean girl, deciding whether I like something or not.  But turning my feeble like into an ad is like going to third base when I thought we were maybe shaking hands. 

So now along with an "un-friend" button, we really need an "un-like."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The cloud in your pocket

Every once in a while I browse Amazon and find things I didn't even know existed. Today I found a thumb drive that has Wi-fi. I thought to myself - who wants that?

Then I read the comments on the reviews. The wi-fi thumb drive is a way to add storage to devices that do not have SD card slots, or USB ports but DO have the ability to connect to wifi. And the answer to my question was - I want that. Now!!

Both my iPhone and Fire could play movies, except I have to keep downloading the media to the devices. (I hate downloading) I could stream from the Internet, but I am not always in free wifi. With these devices I can stream movies from my own local mass storage to these two devices that have no USB ports.

I have 64 gig iphone which is nifty except for the the fact I had to use iTunes to transfer. As I mentioned before, I find using iTunes as pleasant as sticking needles in my eyes. So now I can watch on the iPhone without transferring, and the Fire - at the same time.

Can't wait til it gets here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Burn CDs and record music with your computer - from a thumb drive

Every few years the tools for burning CDs and recording get better and better. Since I seem to switch computers every few years whether I want to or not, I spend a lot of time re-installing software.

My new preference is to use "portable" apps that run from a thumb drive. These do not need to be installed, so you can carry them with you. You simply unzip the applications to individual folders on your drive, and then execute (run) them from the thumb drive. I carry an alternative to Acrobat Reader (PDF-Xchange), portable Skype, and a few music tools. Here are some of my favorite music tools.
  • Cd burning Click here to down load Tinyburner.
  • Record audio Click here to down load Streamosaur, to record anything playing from the Internet or coming through your soundcard.
  • Tag and rename audio Click here to down load Tag Scan, which will help you rename your files and tag them with track and album information. The tag information helps you choose which songs to play on your portable device.
  • Edit audio Click here to down load Wavosaur, which allow you edit audio. This can be used to combine tracks, shorten, or create clips.