Posts filed under 'General'

Buxr Android App – New Features

Did you know Buxr has an Android App? Yes, it does! If you have an Android smartphone you can install it from Google Play Store here, and take Buxr with you everywhere you go. This can be very useful when you are in a store and need a printable coupon at checkout. If you missed the original launch announcement, please read this blog post. It describes why we chose Android rather than Apple (iPhone), and answers many more questions.

Today we are rolling out a new update to our Android app. It is actually the second update however since I didn’t cover the first one I will summarize in this blog post the features added with both of the updates.

So, what is new?

First of all, you can now login to your Buxr account and leave comments to deals and discussion topics. Image upload is also supported, so you can take a photo with your phone and embed it into your comment. Your comment is editable for a period of time after it is posted.

Second, the app will now contact Buxr periodically to pull the latest deals. This guarantees that the deals in your app are always up to date. Go to the ‘Settings’ view to configure refresh frequency or disable refresh altogether if you like how the app worked before this update.

Here are several screen shots that demonstrate the new functionality. Feel free to drop us a note if you have any questions about the app, or have problems using it.

1. Select “Profile” menu 2. Login to your account 3. Click “Leave a Comment”
Select Login to your account Leave a Comment
4. Type your comment 5. Your comment is posted 6. Open “Settings” view
Type your comment Your comment is posted Open

Add comment December 29th, 2014

Tips for Planning a Ski Trip on a Budget

ski_liftNow that winter’s almost here, many people like to plan ski trips. But skiing on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. There are many smaller, lesser known resorts that can offer all the benefits of a great ski holiday at a fraction of the price you’d pay at a larger ski resort. We have some tips to help you get the most out of your trip and still save money.

Plan ahead. The best way to get a good deal is to book early. If you start planning your trip before ski season opens, you have more time to compare prices and get the best rates. Choosing a package with lift tickets and lodging together will cost you a lot less than finding a place to stay at the last minute and buying daily lift tickets.

Find the discounts. Lots of ski resorts offer family-friendly ski and snowboard vacation deals. Resorts in North America where kids can ski or ride for free when accompanied by a full paying adult are listed here and here. The readers of Ski Magazine ranked these the top 20 family-friendly resorts in 2014. Ski.com claims to be the largest provider of mountain vacations, discounts are listed by state at SkiCoupons.com, and Intrawest Passport offers the first multi-mountain pass that includes free skiing for kids 12 and under at six resorts.

Avoid the crowds. The ski season runs from Thanksgiving to April, but winter holidays and peak weeks when school is out are the most expensive and crowded, with long lift lines. You’ll pay top prices for everything from lift tickets to your ride from the airport. The peak dates can also vary greatly by location. In general, January is the best time to go, when the rates are cheap and the slopes are quiet, but the weather is cold enough for good snow.

Rent the gear. Consider renting some of your gear, you can rent nicer skis, snowboards, and boots at places like REI or RentSkis.com for less money than buying entry level equipment. You’ll also travel lighter and save on baggage fees. Renting gear gives beginners an opportunity to get a feel for the sport and compare different products to decide which ones they would prefer to use. You should bring your own goggles, thermals, gloves and a hat or helmet, as well as a rucksack to carry snacks, water, sunblock and an extra layer of clothing. Snowboarders also need wrist guards or gloves with built-in wrist protection and a special pair of padded pants.

Save on travel and lift tickets. There’s a ride-sharing social network to help winter enthusiasts carpool to save gas while reducing traffic and emissions. Discount lift tickets can be found here, although the new tiered pricing from Liftopia is the most economical. Their Value tickets offer the greatest savings, up to 85% off walk-up window rates, but they’re date-specific and cannot be changed. Value Plus tickets are slightly more expensive, saving 40% or more, but allow a one-time date change. Flexible tickets are the most expensive, though still reflect a discount off walk-up window rates, and allow for unlimited date changes during the season. Tickets in all three tiers are non-refundable and must be used during the 2014/2015 season.

Our 6 Picks:

Jay Peak, VT – Vermont has the most ski resorts east of the Mississippi River, and Jay Peak consistently gets the most snow. It sits on the Canadian border, located the furthest from major cities, so it’s cheaper because more driving is required to get there. It has modestly-priced hotels, inexpensive cuisine, and cheaper lift tickets than its nearby competitors.

Ogden, UT – Skiing at 3 hidden gems near Ogden, Utah may offer the best combination of low prices and truly great skiing. The proximity to Salt Lake City makes the air fare cheaper, and the excellent shuttle service means you won’t have to rent a car. Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Wolf Mountain are ranked among the best and most affordable resorts in the West.

Big Sky, MT – Big Sky shares a border and interconnected lifts with Moonlight Basin, so getting a ticket good for both provides a 5,000-acre ski span. There are affordable condos and economical, but limited, dining choices and non-skiing activities.

Jackson Hole, WY – This is the nation’s best choice for advanced skiers, with the greatest vertical drop in the U.S. There’s dining and lodging at every price point, with rental condos, affordable packages, and specials that include free air.

Heavenly, CA/NV – This unique resort straddles the California-Nevada line, offering visitors nearby cheap casino lodging and dining amenities, along with the ability to walk to the ski lifts.

Steamboat Springs, CO – Famous for deep powder snow and tree skiing, this area offers moderately priced lodging, an Old West town, and an elaborate bus system connecting it all.

Add comment November 24th, 2014

Buxr Android app is Live!

Today is the day which many people in the Buxr community and I personally have been waiting for some time. After several months of hard work and sleepless nights, we have just released the first version of Buxr app for Android phones.

The app is fairly simple at the moment; it allows you to browse deals and look up coupons by store, but this is just a start. I plan to add more functionality, things like posting comments on deals and browsing coupons by popular tags (all printable Grocery coupons in one list anyone?).

Why do I need an app?

Doesn’t the website have everything I need? You are right, you can open Buxr.com on your mobile phone and do everything you can do with the app. However the website doesn’t scale well on the small phone screen and it can be hard to navigate it to find what you want.

As smart phones become more popular, the need for an alternative becomes more pressing. Many of my friends spend more time with their smartphones than at a computer. And so, last January I challenged myself to program an app by the year end and this is what I have been doing during my work commute.

Why Android and not iPhone?

I am not very familiar with programming for iPhone, and I personally have always had an Android phone, so the decision was a fairly easy one. Will there be a Buxr iPhone app? Absolutely! I am making it my New Year’s resolution for 2015! :-)

If Android app turns out a success, if you use it and find it helpful, then it will give me motivation to work on the iPhone version. How do I know you use it? Please go the app page on Google Play store and leave feedback!

How do I get started?

Let’s say you are shopping at the Party City for a Halloween costume and would like to find a printable coupon. Here is a series of screen shots that shows how you can do it using the app:

1. Select “Coupons” tab 2. Click “Search” icon 3. Select “Party City”
screen-03 (WinCE) screen-06 (WinCE) screen-07 (WinCE)
4. Go to “in-store” tab 5. Choose coupon you like 6. Click coupon title to open it
screen-13 (WinCE) Open the coupon Click to the coupon at Partycity.com

In conclusion

I would like to thank my friends and Buxr members who helped me test the app, and everyone else at Buxr for your support. This is your day as well, and I am grateful to you for your help!

Add comment October 12th, 2014

August Contest Results

The month of August is over and it is time for our usual monthly wrap-up when we look back at what happened during the past month, announce our contest winners, and also give you a heads up at what is coming.

Monthly Contest Results

CouponNut is the winner of this month’s contest followed by anand and djhciskoski in the second and third place. Congratulations guys! Here is the complete list of this month’s winners and prizes:

1. CouponNut (674 Points): $70
2. anand (641 Points): $50
3. djhciskoski (632 Points): $50
4. onkarkulkarni (616 Points): $35
5. clover (614 Points): $35
6. siggy38 (563 Points): $35
7. laaya (504 Points): $35
8. Version (480 Points): $25
9. 2kidsnuts (471 Points): $25
10. mdshopper1 (458 Points): $25
11. midget (440 Points): $25
12. lootango (431 Points): $10
13. mommy25 (425 Points): $10
14. psplove (417 Points): $10
15. sandyshore (213 Points): $10


Here are the remaining top 20 winners:

16. edithem (162 Points)
17. dealhunter11 (135 Points)
18. roxytang (125 Points)
19. ramadass (66 Points)
20. gabyperu (40 Points)

Thanks to all of our contributing members! No one gets our swag this month since we only mail it once to each monthly winner and everyone above by now has already received a Buxr coffee mug and mouse pad. If any of you haven’t then please do let us know.

Friends Contest Update

We don’t have a friends contest winner this month. Remember, you only need to refer 5 friends to qualify for the prize and we award up to 3 members each month! Help Buxr grow, tell your friends about our little community and win $50 next month. Click here to find more about how this contest works and how you can refer your friends to Buxr.

Add comment September 2nd, 2014

Is New Amazon Prime Music Worth It?

Amazon_Prime_MusicSince 2012, the music streaming market has been growing at the expense of digital downloads. The Neilsens Soundscan annual report noted a 32% increase in music streaming last year while downloads of albums, singles, music videos and digital tracks declined 6.3%. Now the streaming market is the future of music, and Amazon is the latest company to announce their entry into the crowded field.

Their selection is small and lacks current hits, but that may not matter. For existing Amazon Prime members, the music service is a completely free benefit that enhances the value of their $99 Amazon Prime Service, which already provides them free 2-day shipping, Prime Instant Video, and a Kindle e-book lending library. They can stream the ad-free service on the web, listen on the go, or download music to enjoy offline.  U.S.-based members can try it out at this link; or non-members can sign up for a free 30-day trial here, but must cancel to avoid an automatic charge for annual membership. Amazon’s music library has only about a million songs and hundreds of playlists. This is a lot less than the selection offered by Spotify, for instance, which has more than 20 million songs and adds 20,000 more each day. So how does it compare, and is it worth a look? Here’s our review of Amazon versus the most popular services.

  • Amazon Prime Music includes music from Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and independent labels, but has not reached a licensing agreement with Universal Music Group. So there are no titles from performers like Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga or Kanye West (read more about that here); and a search revealed that the choices they do offer are all older than 6 months. It’s possible they could come to an agreement and add Universal later; you can still buy tracks from those artists. While it’s compatible with many devices, you can only stream to one at a time. You can combine the playlists with your own music library, and offline tracks can be stored on a maximum of four devices simultaneously. Connecting at least once every 30 days is required in order to keep Prime Music active, and they will be adding new music every month. An update to the Kindle Fire HDX/HD will add a music section. You can access Prime Music on the web right from Amazon’s home page or new iOS and Android apps. You can add the free tracks and any music you’ve bought to your own digital library all together in the cloud.

  • Spotify has the largest and most comprehensive selection that runs best on Macs, PCs, and tablets, with diminished quality for mobile apps.  Unlimited ad-supported streams are free for 6 months; for $4.99 per month the ads are removed, and the $9.99 monthly subscription offers better quality and the ability to download songs for offline play. They have 40 million active users with 10 million paid subscribers, and offer exclusives like Led Zeppelin.

  • Google Play All Music Access lets you link up to 10 devices and stream ad-free music simultaneously to all of them. Try it free for 30-days; at $9.99 per month, it’s great for families with multiple devices. There are curated playlists, and the ability to start a radio station from any song is a nice feature. Add your iTunes library of songs and playlists to Google Play for free, and access it from any device without synching.

  • Rhapsody doubled its playlist by acquiring Napster, and Android users can stream their favorite music on any of 70 compatible devices, including throughout their homes with Google Chromecast. The ad-free unRadio plan for $4.99 per month allows access to music on 1 mobile device, while the $9.99 per month Premier plan gives access on up to 3 mobile devices. Both plans have a 14-day free trial and include the online and desktop interface, but only one person can listen at a time. New releases are added every Tuesday.

  • Pandora lacks depth and offline playback, but runs on most media streaming devices, including Roku, and even in select cars. Most hit songs are available, but very few indie tracks are included. There are 500 genre stations, with access to full song lyrics and artist biographies. The premium ad-free version is now $4.99 per month, but most of their 250 million registered users choose the ad-supported free version. Sound quality is the poorest of the services listed here, with only 192 Kbps bitrate even with a paid subscription.

  • Beats Music analyzes your musical tastes and tracks your listening habits to make recommendations, a feature that some feel is excessive. The service for one person with up to 3 devices is $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year with a 14-day free trial. A family plan for up to 5 people and 10 devices is available through AT&T for $14.99. Beats is the only service to offer the new Jay Z Remix, and everything you listen to will stream at a 320 Kbps bitrate, the highest audio quality possible.

  • Rdio has a catalog of classics to hits available on the web for free with ads. Get full ad-free access, including mobile, for $9.99 per month, with a 14-day free trial. There are 25 million songs available in a simple interface, with links to social media for following friends or artists. Listen on your computer, phone, iPad, or tablet; play throughout the house with Roku, Sonos, wireless speakers, or Chromecast.

A final word

For the purpose of comparison, the cost of Amazon Prime Music and number of selections are really irrelevant, because it’s unlikely anyone would become a Prime member just for the music. In fact, they may listen to multiple music services. It’s really a free benefit for those Amazon shoppers who already have Prime or those who want to sign up for the free shipping.

Now there’s another way to try out Prime Music – for a limited time, Amazon’s new “Fire” smartphone announced last week in 32GB and 64GB models will come with a year of Amazon Prime included for both new and existing members, as well as unlimited cloud storage. It’s definitely worth a look, even as an additional source for those who already use another music service.

Do you have Amazon Prime? Have you tried the new music streaming service? Please share your experience in the comments to this discussion in our forum.

Add comment June 23rd, 2014

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