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Apple promotes child-friendly TV shows and movies available to watch on Apple TV+

Apple's new 30-second ad pitches Apple TV+ as a kids-friendly streaming service, showcasing shows and movies such as "Helpsters", "Ghost Writer" and "Snoopy in Space."
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Netflix Will Now Cancel Your Account Unless You Use It

If you pay for Netflix but don’t actually use the streaming service, you should probably cancel your subscription. After all, that’s several dollars leaving your account each month for nothing. Just like a gym membership for people who no longer work out.

However, even if you don’t cancel your own Netflix you may have it cancelled for you. This is because Netflix has announced it’s going to start cancelling inactive accounts automatically in order to stop people spending money on something they don’t use.

Netflix Cancels Inactive Accounts

In a post on the Netflix Media Center, Netflix announced that it’s going to automatically cancel the subscriptions of people not using their accounts. Inactive accounts represent “less than half of one percent” of its userbase, or “a few hundred thousand”.

Netflix considers an account inactive if it hasn’t been used for two years. Or, if you’re a newer subscriber, for one year since signing up. And anyone with an inactive account will be asked to confirm that they want to keep their membership.

“You know that sinking feeling when you realize you signed up for something but haven’t used it in ages? At Netflix, the last thing we want is people paying for something they’re not using…”

— Eddy Wu, Product Innovation at Netflix

This will be done by email and in-app notifications, which will begin appearing this week. If you see one you’ll need to confirm that you want to keep your Netflix subscription or Netflix will automatically cancel it. Saving you a few dollars each month.

Netflix insists that it’s easy for lapsed users who have their memberships cancelled to restart them again. And the company will be happy to have you back. If you rejoin within 10 months of cancelling, your profile and watchlist will still be as you left them.

How to Renew Your Love for Netflix

We’re big fans of Netflix here at MakeUseOf. So, the notion that you can’t find anything to watch on Netflix is beyond us. Still, maybe you’ve got better things to do than binge-watch endless TV. In which case, Netflix is doing you a massive favor here.

However, if the threat of Netflix cancelling your account makes you want to take a fresh look at the streaming service, check out our exhaustive guide to Netflix. It contains tips and tricks, tutorials and troubleshooting, and recommendations of what to watch.

Read the full article: Netflix Will Now Cancel Your Account Unless You Use It

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The 7 Best Music Streaming Services for Audiophiles

Music streaming services haven’t traditionally targeted audiophiles by focusing on audio quality. Spotify and Google Play Music both boast maximum bitrates of 320 Kbps, while Apple Music comes in at just 256 Kbps.

This might sound like a lot, and for most users, it’s certainly enough. However, when you compare the quality of most streaming services to CDs—which typically offer 1,411 Kbps—there’s no contest.

If you’re an audiophile, this poses a problem. You demand the clearest and most refined music available, and don’t want to put up with low-quality audio. As such, your options are rather limited. However, here are the best streaming services for audiophiles.

1. Tidal

tidal logo

Tidal is the best-known high-definition music streaming service around right now. Operated by global rap star Jay-Z, the service’s entire reputation has been built on its high-quality audio offering.

Tidal offers users two different plans. The Premium plan costs $9.99/month and provides a music bitrate of 320 Kbps. If you’re an audiophile, you need to focus on the Hi-Fi package. It offers lossless, CD-quality 1,411 Kbps music for a monthly fee of $19.99. Both packages have family plans available.

And just because Tidal doesn’t have the same allure as the big three—Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music—don’t worry about not being able to find something to listen to. At the time of writing, Tidal boasts more than 60 million tracks.

2. Qobuz

qobuz playlist

Another of the leading audiophile streaming services is Qobuz. Based in France, entrepreneur Yves Riesel launched the company in 2007. In addition to streaming services, it also offers music downloads.

Unfortunately, the app does not have the international reach of some of its competitors. While Tidal is currently available in 54 countries worldwide, Qobuz operates in just 12: the US, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and Austria.

Today, Qobuz holds the largest catalog of lossless CD and hi-res albums in the world. The library, which spans 50 million songs, has both new releases and niche genres.

Two subscription plans are available, Studio Premier ($15/month) and Sublime+ ($250/year). The audio quality is the same on both plans, but Sublime+ allows for cheaper music purchases.

3. Deezer

deezer hifi

If you live outside Qobuz’s supported countries but don’t want to subscribe to Tidal, Deezer might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Although it’s not known for as an HD audio music streaming app, the $20/month Deezer Hi-Fi offers 16-bit, 1,411 Kbps FLAC audio. In comparison, the regular Premium plan only offers 320 Kbps and the free tier just 128 Kbps.

The lossless plan was originally introduced in 2014 thanks to the company’s partnership with Sonos. At the time, it was only available on Sonos speakers. Today, however, the Hi-Fi subscription works on most smart speakers, including Bang and Olufsen, Harman/Kardon, Sony, and Google Home.

4. Primephonic

primephonic playback

Primephonic launched its streaming service for classical music fans in 2014. It was instantly popular, as users praised the app for its reimagined approach to cataloging tracks, its impressive artist biographies, and its ease-of-use.

Classical music-loving audiophiles will be delighted to learn that Primephonic streams all of its content in 16-bit, 1,411 Kbps CD-quality if you are happy to pay for the $15/month Platinum plan. A cheaper $10/month plan is available with 320 Kbps MP3 streaming. Primephonic also lets you buy music. Again, all of your purchases will be downloaded in high-definition audio.

The use of FLAC audio for classical music makes sense. It’s the music genre that has the most to gain from high-definition audio. After all, you don’t want your Mozart masterpieces to sound like something your school orchestra has thrown together.

5. Amazon Music HD

amazon music hd details

Amazon Music HD is one of the newest audiophile music streaming services on the market following its launch in the second half of 2019.

More than 60 million HD songs are available on the platform. Around 50 million of them are in 850 Kbps and 16-bit/44.1 kHz, with a further 10 million available in 3730 Kbps and 24-bit/192 kHz. That’s more than 10 times the quality found on most rival music streaming apps.

Before you sign up, make sure your device supports 24-bit songs. If you own a pre-2015 Android or iOS gadget, you will probably be out of luck. Amazon’s Fire devices are all supported.

A subscription to Amazon Music HD costs $15/month (or $13/month if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber).

6. YouTube Music

youtube music videos

YouTube Music initially launched with a maximum bitrate of 128 Kbps, though that has since increased to 256 Kbps. But that’s still way behind some of the other apps in this list, so why have we included it as one of the top streaming services for audiophiles?

Well, for the music videos. Music as an art form is about more than the audio. Ever since Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles became the first music video to air on MTV in 1981, artists have been falling over themselves to produce more and more extravagant video content. As you can see in our brief history of music videos.

If this side of the music world appeals to you, YouTube Music is king. Not only is there a vast selection of music, but you can watch the videos, concerts, and recording sessions that accompany your favorite tracks.

7. Spotify

spotify playlists

Spotify offers its users a maximum audio quality of 320 Kbps. However, despite the lesser quality, Spotify is still worth considering if you’re an audiophile purely for the vast library. More than 50 million tracks are already available, with a further 40,000 being added every day.

The service’s music discovery tools are also unrivaled. Even if you have niche tastes, Spotify will still be able to find new music that you’ll almost certainly love. For music lovers who want to embark on an audio journey, there are few better ways to broaden your horizons.

And remember, Spotify is one of the most device-agnostic services. There is a Spotify app available for just about every operating system and smart speaker on the market. Some of the lesser-known services don’t offer such widespread support.

Interestingly, in 2017, Spotify announced that it was planning to enter the world of high-definition audio streaming. Branded as Spotify Hi-Fi, the company started testing it around the world. Since then, the trail has gone cold and Spotify has offered no further updates.

It is still one to keep an eye on though; Spotify is already one of the world’s top music streaming services. If it did enter the HD music arena, its vast library and powerful music discovery tools would make Tidal vs. Spotify a more interesting battle.

Keeping Even the Pickiest Audiophiles Happy

These music streaming services for audiophiles should be more than enough to keep everyone satisfied. Yes, even the pickiest audiophile. And if you don’t already own one, here are the best digital audio players for music without your phone.

Read the full article: The 7 Best Music Streaming Services for Audiophiles

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12 Discord Tips and Tricks All Users Should Know

Discord has become one of the leading chat platforms on the web. What started life as a service for gamers has built an impressive list of features that have helped it grow into other areas. Today, the app is used by everyone from businesses to crypto investors.

Using Discord is simple, but if you know where to look there is more to Discord than meets the eye. With that in mind, here are some Discord tips and tricks that all users should know.

1. Special Discord Integrations

discord integrations

Discord has some built-in integrations with other common apps. You just need to enable the connections to reap the benefits.

In total, nine different apps are supported. They are Twitch, YouTube, Blizzard Entertainment, Steam, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and Xbox Live. The features of each integration vary from app-to-app. However, they all provide a way to sync the data from the linked app directly into your Discord server.

To set up Discord integrations from your desktop app, go to User Settings > Connections and click on the apps’ icons.

2. Control Your Discord Notifications

discord notifications

If you are a member of lots of Discord servers, your notifications can quickly spiral out of control. Opening the app to discover thousands of unread messages isn’t helpful; you can’t possibly parse that amount of information.

Thankfully, Discord lets you take a granular level of control over your notifications. You can edit your preferences at the server level, the channel level, and the user level.

To edit your general notification settings (such as unread notification badges and desktop messages), go to User Settings > Notifications. If you want to turn off notifications for an entire server, right-click on the server’s icon and select Server Mute. Finally, if you only want to turn off alerts for a particular channel, right-click on the channel’s name and choose Mute [Channel Name].

3. Use Server Folders in Discord

In July 2019, Discord added support for server folders; it was a feature that users had been requesting for years. By using server folders, you can organize your list of servers on the left-hand side of the screen into more manageable groups. For people who are members of dozens of different groups, the folders make the app much easier to use.

To create a new server folder, drag one server’s icon on top of another server’s icon. And if you right-click on the newly created folder, you can rename it, change its color, and tweak other settings.

4. Use Markdown in Discord

One of the cool Discord tricks that not many people know is the app’s support for markdown. For the uninitiated, Markdown is a lightweight markup language created in 2004. It has many applications, but it is most commonly used to create rich text using a plain text editor. It means you can use markdown to format your messages the way you want.

Here are some of the most common markdown writing tips you should know about:

  • Bold: **[TEXT]**
  • Italics: *[TEXT]* or _[TEXT]_
  • Underscore: __[TEXT]__
  • Strikethrough: ~~Strikethrough~~
  • Code: `[TEXT]`
  • Hyperlink: [Hyperlink!]([URL])
  • Remove embeds: <[URL]>

Use these codes liberally, and you’ll be able to make your messages stand out from the crowd.

5. Set Up Discord Hotkeys

Discord hotkeys—called Keybinds—let you set which keys activate certain in-app actions. You can either set up a single key or a combination of keys.

They are available for the following actions:

  • Activate Overlay Chat
  • Push to Talk (Normal)
  • Push to Talk (Priority)
  • Toggle Mute
  • Toggle Deafen
  • Toggle VAD
  • Toggle Streamer Mode
  • Toggle Overlay
  • Toggle Overlay Lock

To set up keybinds, go to User Settings > Keybinds. Click on Record Keybind to enter your preferred combinations.

6. Use Discord Keyboard Shortcuts

As you’d expect, Discord offers a bunch of keyboard shortcuts. Expert users rely on them a lot; if you’re involved in lots of simultaneous chats, you need to be able to bounce between them quickly.

Some Discord shortcuts that are worth knowing include:

  • Switch servers: Ctrl + Alt + Up/Down
  • Switch channels: Alt + Up/Down
  • Cycle through unread messages: Alt + Shift + Up/Down
  • Mark channel as read: Escape
  • Mark server as read: Shift + Escape
  • Jump to oldest unread message: Shift + Page Up
  • Toggle emoji window: Ctrl + E
  • Toggle deafen: Ctrl + Shift + D
  • Answer a call: Ctrl + Enter
  • Edit your last message: Up

Keyboard shortcuts differ from hotkeys in that you cannot edit or remove them; they are hardcoded into the Discord app.

7. Install Discord Bots

discord bot example

Bots play an increasingly important role in lots of communications apps. You’ll find them in everything from Facebook Messenger to Telegram.

Discord is no different. There are hundreds of community-developed bots available—each of which is designed to fulfill a specific role on the server. For example, GAwesome Bot can be used to conduct polls and giveaways, GameStats lets you rank gaming stats and profiles against your buddies, and there’s even a quiz-themed bot called TriviaBot.

The bots are almost all free to install and use. You will only be able to add new bots to a server if you’re an admin, but you can add as many as you want to your personal rooms.

8. Buy Discord Nitro

discord nitro

If you find that the basic version of Discord is not meeting your needs, you should consider upgrading to the paid pro version, called Discord Nitro.

Discord Nitro introduces some cool additional features. For example, you can set up a custom Discord tag (for the duration of your subscription), share your screen in either 720p (60 FPS) or 1080p (30 FPS), increase the maximum file upload size (from 8MB to 50MB or 100MB), upload your own GIFs, and enjoy support for global custom emojis.

Discord Nitro costs $50/year or $5/month. There’s also a more expensive plan that introduces “server boosts”. The boosts are mostly gimmicks and don’t warrant the price of $10/month or $100/year.

9. Type Discord Chat Commands

Discord offers several in-app chat commands. They are only available on the desktop app and iOS; unfortunately, Android users are out of luck.

Check out some of these popular commands to get started:

  • /nick: Lets you change your server-specific nickname (assuming the permission is turned on). Enter your new nickname after the command.
  • /tenor and /giphy: Allow you to search the web for animated GIFs.
  • /spoiler: Hides your message so other users don’t see your spoilers for TV series and games.
  • /shrug: Gives the common ¯_(?)_/¯ output in the chat window.
  • [emoji]: Typing a before an emoji will enter the Unicode emoji picture rather than the Discord version.
  • s/[text]/[new text]: This command is a simple way to edit typos in your previous message. For example, s/bananna/banana would replace the misspelled word (bananna) with the correct version.

10. Edit Voice Processing Settings

discord voice settings

One of the most underused Discord tricks is to improve your own mic’s audio output by using the app’s powerful voice processing features. Settings you can toggle on/off include Echo Cancelation, Noise Reduction, and Automatic Gain Control. You can also use a beta noise suppression tool for your microphone.

If the person you’re chatting to is struggling to hear you, you should have a fiddle with these settings. They are all enabled by default, however, if you have a decent mic, they could prove to be more of a hindrance than a help.

11. Enable 2FA on Discord

discord 2fa setup

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be a member of dozens of different Discord servers across a wide range of topics. You don’t want someone to gain unauthorized access to all that information—it’s a window on your life, hobbies, and friends that needs to be kept out of the wrong hands.

One of the best ways to ensure the security of your Discord account is to turn on 2FA. When enabled, you’ll need to add an extra numerical code generated by a phone app or dongle every time you log in. You can enable 2FA on Discord by heading to Settings > My Account > Enable Two-Factor Auth.

To learn more about 2FA, check out our article explaining the pros and cons of various 2FA methods.

12. Enable Discord Developer Mode

discord dev mode setup

The Discord Developer Mode is primarily aimed at, well, Discord developers.

However, if you run your own server it’s worth turning on for one reason: you can use the tool to easily grab the unique multi-digit ID of users, individual messages, and servers. You can use them to further customize the Discord experience for your server’s members.

Turn on Developer Mode by going to Settings > Appearance > Advanced > Developer Mode.

More Discord Tips and Tricks Worth Knowing

In this article, we’ve discussed some of the best Discord tips and tricks everyone should use to squeeze more out of the app.

However, these are just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to learn more about using Discord, here’s how to find the best Discord servers and how to set up your own Discord server.

Read the full article: 12 Discord Tips and Tricks All Users Should Know

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Civilization VI Is Now Free on the Epic Games Store

You can now get Civilization VI for free from the Epic Games Store. One week after Epic gave GTA V away for free, Civilization VI is available. However, as with all of the free games Epic gives away on the Games Store, it’s only available for a limited time.

Since launch, Epic has given away dozens of games on the Games Store. However, the quality of titles in recent weeks has taken an uplift. And while Civilization VI may not be the cultural phenomenon that GTA V is, it’s still well worth playing.

How to Get Civilization VI for Free

To get your copy of Civilization VI for free, head to the Civilization VI page on the Epic Games Store and sign into your account. If you haven’t got an account yet, you can sign up for one for free. Civilization VI is free until May 28, 2020.

Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy 4X game. The idea is to expand your empire across the map, advance your culture, and build a civilization that will be remembered. There’s also several multiplayer modes allowing you to go up against your friends.

Civilization VI was released on Windows in 2016, and has since been released on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. However, despite its age, Civilization VI has aged well. And it’s still receiving new content, with a season pass available for some extra money.

If you’re new to the Epic Games Store, please be aware that you may need to enable two-factor authentication on your account in order to download free games. However, as you should enable 2FA on all of your online accounts, this is a positive thing.

Is Civilization VI the Best Version?

As you may have guessed from the number in the title, Civilization VI is just the latest game in the Civilization series. And while some people may think it’s the best version, others prefer the older titles. So, here’s every version of Civilization, compared.

Read the full article: Civilization VI Is Now Free on the Epic Games Store

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‘Little Voice’ will premiere on Apple TV+ on July 10

Apple TV+'s coming-of-age drama "Little Voice" will launch on the service on July 10.
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Apple TV+ shares a trailer for the docuseries ‘Dear…’ before its June 5 debut

Apple TV+ has shared a trailer for the new docuseries "Dear..." ahead of its June 5 debut.
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The upcoming ‘Mythic Quest: Quarantine’ episode was shot using 40 iPhones

Rob McElhenney, co-creator of the Apple TV+ series "Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet", talks about the upcoming quarantine episode ahead of its debut.
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How to Identify Deleted Videos in YouTube Playlists

It’s incredibly frustrating to open your painstakingly crafted playlist on YouTube and see the dreaded message: “One or more videos have been removed from the playlist because they were deleted from YouTube.” How are you supposed to remember every video that you added to a playlist?

Thankfully, there are a few ways to find the title of a deleted YouTube video. Let’s look at how to see what the deleted videos were, and a few ways to help when this happens in the future.

How to See the Title of a Deleted YouTube Video

As you know, when you open a deleted video, the page doesn’t give you much information on what it was. You can’t see the video title, channel name, upload date, or anything else that would help you identify it.

Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can hopefully recover this information.

See Deleted Video Titles via a Google Search

As it turns out, the most reliable way to see a deleted video’s name is by simply performing a Google search for its URL. Since you still have access to the URL via your playlist, you can use that to see what else the internet knows about it.

Start by opening the playlist containing the deleted video. Open the video that you can’t view, and you’ll get a URL like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VrsIEYZHys&list=WL&index=41

The unique video identifier is the content after v= and before &list, so in this case, you’d want to copy _VrsIEYZHys. Then, simply paste this into a Google search and see what comes up.

Google Find Deleted YouTube Video

Hopefully, you’ll be able to see what the title of the deleted video was (or perhaps an image result for the video thumbnail). If this brings up too many results, try putting the video ID in quotes so Google only shows exact matches for it.

Google may have a copy of the page in its cache, in some cases. In the above example, the video was re-uploaded to another video sharing site, where you can actually watch it in its entirety.

You won’t always be this lucky, of course. If you find the video title, try Googling that to see what else comes up. There’s a chance someone re-uploaded it to YouTube or somewhere else.

Find Out What Video Was Deleted on Archive.org

You might already be familiar with Archive.org, a site dedicated to preserving content on the internet. It takes snapshots of websites so you can see what they looked like at a certain point in the past.

While the service can’t archive every single page on YouTube, there’s a chance that it saved a copy of the video page you’re interested in before it was deleted. To check, head to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and enter the URL of the video you want to check.

Make sure to strip any extraneous info at the end, such as playlist codes. Thus if you have:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlDRNtlVKlQ&list=WL&index=102

Enter this instead:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlDRNtlVKlQ

After you enter the URL, if the service has it saved, you’ll see Saved X times between certain dates. Click one of the dates on the calendar at the bottom to see how the page looked at that time. If one date doesn’t work, try another.

Archive Machine YouTube Saved

For most YouTube videos, Archive.org won’t have the actual video saved, so you can’t watch it. However, as long as it archived the page, you can see the title, channel, upload date, and even the description. As above, try using this information to see if you can locate the video elsewhere.

You’ll have the best results with this method if the video was available on YouTube for some time. Videos that were quickly deleted after uploading probably didn’t have time to archive.

Why Do Videos Get Deleted From YouTube?

Unfortunately, YouTube videos become unavailable all the time for a variety of reasons. These include the following:

  • The owner makes them private: Private videos still exist on YouTube, but are only accessible to their owner and people they specifically invite. Channels often set videos as private when they don’t want people to watch them anymore, but also don’t want to delete the video and lose the stats associated with it.
  • The owner deletes the video: Sometimes a channel owner deletes a video in cases where they need to re-upload a copy with corrections or additional edits.
  • The channel no longer exists: If the owner of a channel deletes their own account or has it terminated due to violating YouTube’s rules, all of its videos disappear with it.
  • The video received a copyright claim: If a video contains large amounts of copyrighted content, the intellectual property owner can file a claim on the video and potentially make it unavailable.
  • The video contains inappropriate content: In some cases, YouTube will remove a video if it breaks the site’s terms of service. This can happen for explicit material or videos containing illegal content.

How to Avoid Losing YouTube Videos in the Future

Of course, there’s no way to prevent a channel from deleting its own video. However, you can take a few steps to make it easier to remember what a video was if it does get deleted.

Add Notes to Videos in Playlists

One method for this involves a YouTube feature that allows you to add your own notes to videos, which is buried behind several menus. It uses the classic YouTube interface, and works as of this writing but could disappear in the future.

To use it, open one of your playlists on YouTube. On the left side underneath the playlist title, you’ll see a three-dot Menu button. Click this and choose Playlist Settings. Note that you won’t see this option for default YouTube playlists, such as Watch later and Liked videos.

YouTube Playlist Settings

On the resulting dialog box that appears, select Advanced Settings. This will open the classic YouTube interface with a settings page for your playlist. You don’t need any of the options here, so click Cancel to close it.

Next, mouse over a video in your playlist and click the More button that appears on the far right. Choose Add/edit notes from the list of options and YouTube will provide a box where you can enter your own notes for the video.

YouTube Add Notes to Video

Once you save the note, the page will refresh and you’ll see your note next to the video in the playlist. Unfortunately, this note only appears on the classic playlist view, so you won’t see it on the modern YouTube interface. Still, if you take the time to do this, it could come in handy down the road.

Use RecoverMy.Video

If you don’t want to use notes, there’s a dedicated service called RecoverMy.Video to help you keep track of deleted videos from your playlists. Click Recover now, sign in with your Google account, and it will take a snapshot of all the videos in your playlists.

When you return and click Recover now again, the service will tell you the names of any videos that were deleted in the meantime. You can even have it send you an email when it recovers a video.

RecoverMyVideo Home

This is a great way to keep track of videos without having to manually take notes. You won’t have to guess what a video was any more! Just make sure to check in occasionally to update your database if you add more videos to your playlists.

Recover Deleted Video Titles With Ease

Now you have several methods to figure out what video was deleted from your YouTube playlists. It’s definitely a frustrating problem, but due to YouTube’s ubiquity, the information from its videos is usually available elsewhere.

We’ve focused on finding the video title here. But if you want to keep a copy of the YouTube videos so you can watch them even after they’re deleted, check out the best way to download YouTube playlists.

Read the full article: How to Identify Deleted Videos in YouTube Playlists

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New to PC Gaming? The Essential PC Gaming Accessories You Should Have

PC gaming is different from console gaming. Console gamers typically spend money on specific gaming accessories, making sure they’re device compatible. Whereas, PC gamers can go wild with a huge range of options. Once you invest in a cockpit simulator or full sim-racing rig, there’s no turning back!

Whether you’re new to PC gaming or looking to level up your battle station, you should check out this guide to the best PC gaming accessories. Let’s start from the top: what are the essential PC gaming accessories that no gamer can do without?

Entry-Level Gaming Mice

When it comes to gaming, both your mouse and keyboard are essentials. A decent, responsive mouse can vary in price significantly. Plus, you don’t always get what you pay for. That said, your lousy trackball Dell mouse just won’t do for gaming. Here is a selection of decent budget mice that pack a punch.

VicTsing MM057

VicTsing MM057 VicTsing MM057 Buy Now On Amazon $15.99

There are plenty of cheap mouse options available. Few are as highly favored as the VicTsing MM057. I prefer the minimal profile gaming mouse model (read: no lights), so this mouse was a cinch, style-wise. It has five adjustable DPI levels (2400, 2000, 1600, 1200, 800), an ergonomic design, and two customizable side-buttons, which are staples for any gaming mouse.

If you’re interested in a flurry of flash as well, check out VicTsing’s Wireless Gaming Mouse. It’s essentially a fuller size with an extra DPI button, and red LED lighting.

ROSEWILL NEON M55

ROSEWILL NEON M55 ROSEWILL NEON M55 Buy Now On Amazon $19.99

If RGB lighting is more your thing, check out the ROSEWILL NEON M55. The M55 is a highly rated budget gaming mouse with a decent ergonomic design. It features six adjustable DPI levels; 6000, 4000, 3000, 2400, 1600, and 800.

There is also an optical gaming sensor to give you an edge in first-person shooters (FPS) and other fast-paced games. The NEON M55’s RGB lighting is customizable, as are the buttons on the mouse itself.

Entry-Level Gaming Keyboards

For beginner gaming, a decent keyboard is absolutely necessary. While all keyboards generally work the same, aspects like build quality, input lag, and customization all play important roles. Backlit keys, for example, are typically considered extraneous until you’re playing in a dark room. For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on all-around keyboard models.

Redragon K552 Kumura

Redragon K552 Kumura Redragon K552 Kumura Buy Now On Amazon $38.99

The Redragon K552 Kumura is a mechanical keyboard that often surprises users with its quality. With a classic red backlight, Cherry MX Blue-style key switches, spill-resistance, and a minimal decal, few other keyboards match up to this one at this price point.

Redragon K502 Karura

Redragon K502 Karura Redragon K502 Karura Buy Now On Amazon $28.99

The Redragon K502 Karura is a quiet keyboard that uses island-style Chiclet keys (rather than the clunky switches found on mechanical keyboards). The keys have less travel distance than a mechanical keyboard, too. Could that help your gaming performance?

Gaming performance aside, the K502 Karura has six different RBG lighting modes, four backlight lighting levels, plus other adjustable lighting features. The keyboard itself is splash resistant (think spills, not plunging into the bathtub), and has some handy rollover media keys, too.

Recommended PC Gaming Mice

The first section covering mice was for standard though effective models. Honestly, you’ll do fine with one of those. However, you can always want more and aspire for a more exciting model with extra features.

With gaming mice, you do tend to get a little extra when you splash a little more cash. Faster connections, more in-depth acceleration settings, higher-quality sensors, and a comfortable, ergonomic feel are absolutely necessary for a gaming mouse.

Think about it; you’re going to use this mouse for thousands of hours’ worth of gaming, plus any other work you do on your computer. Why not grab a comfortable, powerful model?

Razer DeathAdder v2

Razer DeathAdder V2 Razer DeathAdder V2 Buy Now On Amazon $69.99

The Razer DeathAdder V2 is the second iteration of the wildly popular DeathAdder gaming mouse. The DeathAdder V2 remains one of the top-selling PC gaming accessories, at least three years since its release. You can customize the DeathAdder V2 with Razer’s Chroma RGB lighting, supporting millions of color combinations.

The mouse also has multiple sensitivity settings, ranging up to 20,000 DPI. The switches use Razer’s optical mouse light-based actuation, which means button presses register with extreme speed.

Logitech G403 Hero

Logitech G403 Hero Logitech G403 Hero Buy Now On Amazon $49.99

Logitech continues to make fantastic, durable gaming mice. The Logitech G403 Hero is no different, carrying on that strong tradition. One thing to really like about the G403 Hero is the removable weights. The mouse weighs in at 87g, but also comes with 10g removable weight. If the mouse feels slightly too heavy, you can customize the weight to your preference.

Aside from the weight, the G403 Hero uses Logitech’s Lightsync RGB system to provide a massive gamut of color, which you can extend across your other Logitech hardware. There is also up to 16,000 DPI, six customizable buttons, and a handy 2.1-meter USB cable.

Corsair M65 Elite

Corsair M65 Elite Corsair M65 Elite Buy Now On Amazon $70.77

The Corsair M65 Elite is built with FPS-type games in mind, featuring an adjustable DPI sniper button. The extra button enables you to toggle between two preset DPI settings, allowing you greater precision for those precision shots.

You’ll also find up to 18,000 DPI with six different custom presets, eight programable buttons, customizable mouse weights, plus a massive amount of RGB color customization through Corsair’s iCue software.

Recommended PC Gaming Mouse Pads

If your mouse pad doesn’t cover most of your desk’s surface, you’re using the wrong mouse pad. Some consider it trivial. That ends when they get one.

LIEBIRD Extended XXL Gaming Mouse Pad

LIEBIRD XXL Gaming Mouse Pad LIEBIRD XXL Gaming Mouse Pad Buy Now On Amazon $10.99

The LIEBIRD Extended XXL’s map graphics and high-quality rubber base make it an excellent choice. A little geography lesson never hurt, either. There are several other options available, including almond blossoms and different world map designs.

Tilted Nation Extended Gaming RGB Mouse Pad

Tilted Nation Gaming RGB Mouse Pad Tilted Nation Gaming RGB Mouse Pad Buy Now On Amazon

Are you looking to add more color to your gaming rig? The Tilted Nation RGB is a massive mousepad with edge-lit LEDs. The mousepad comes with seven different lighting modes or a standard RGB breathing option.

Recommended PC Gaming Keyboards

When keyboards are good, they’re really good. Unfortunately, they’re often also really expensive.  Here are a few essential keyboards which will last, feel incredibly comfortable, and won’t break the bank.

Logitech G213 Prodigy

Logitech G213 Prodigy Logitech G213 Prodigy Buy Now On Amazon $44.99

Logitech’s keyboards are comparable in quality to their mice, and the G213 Prodigy is a trustworthy keyboard. Not only does this provide a classic chroma aesthetic, but keystrokes are also smooth and quick. The added built-in hand rest seals the deal.

Corsair Gaming K55

Corsair Gaming K55 Corsair Gaming K55 Buy Now On Amazon $59.18

Corsair is at the top of the heap for gaming peripherals. It continually creates fantastic, slightly different products to fit particular budgets and interests. The K-Series is always a safe bet, including the Gaming K55 RGB keyboard. Six programmable keys, quick response, and a quiet clack make this one of the best keyboards you can get for the price. It’s highly popular for a reason.

Razer Huntsman Elite

Razer Huntsman Elite Razer Huntsman Elite Buy Now On Amazon $185.89

Just like the Razer DeathAdder V2, the Razer Huntsman Elite is one of the top-selling gaming accessories in the US. The Huntsman Elite is built solidly and comes with an ergonomic arm-rest for extra comfort. The keyboard uses Razer’s optical light actuation to register keystrokes with incredible speed and accuracy

Importantly for gamers, it also features 1000Hz ultrapolling for maximum response time. You can further customize the Huntsman Elite using Razer Hypershift, which lets you remap all keys and keypress combinations into special complex commands. Oh, and you can sync its RGB colors to the games you play through Razer Chroma. We’re big fans of the keyboard-based volume dial, too.

Corsair K63 Compact

Corsair K63 Compact Corsair K63 Compact Buy Now On Amazon $79.99

If you’re building a battle station with limited space, the Corsair K63 Compact is for you. The K63 Compact does away with the Numpad and corresponding area, bringing you a compact but punchy mechanical gaming keyboard.

Powering your games are the Cherry MX Red switches for maximum feedback, and you’ll enjoy the basic red LED lighting. The K63 Compact also features dedicated media and volume control buttons, which is always a nice additional feature.

Recommended PC Gaming Headsets

At some point, you’re going to want to talk to your friends, and maybe even your foes. Multiplayer gaming is all about communication, especially if you want to win. Plus, there is nothing like putting on your headphones and immersing yourself in the sounds of the game.

HyperX Cloud Alpha

HyperX Cloud Alpha HyperX Cloud Alpha Buy Now On Amazon $159.70

The award-winning HyperX Cloud Alpha is an excellent headset to delve into the world of multiplayer comms. The headset comes with dual 50mm drivers for crisp audio delivery, padded ear cushions, and a handy inline audio control.

The Cloud Alpha gaming headset also comes with a detachable noise-canceling microphone. You can position the microphone away from your mouth to stop any Darth Vadar microphone moments, knowing that your teammates will still hear you clearly.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

SteelSeries Arctis 7 SteelSeries Arctis 7 Buy Now On Amazon $149.99

If you prefer a wireless headset, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. Like the HyperX Cloud Alpha, the Arctis 7 is an award-winning headset. It promises up to 24-hours battery life, so should outlast your gaming sessions.

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 also features DTS Headphone: X v2, which is a type of spatial sound technology. When you’re in-game, all of the sounds you hear will come from their actual location, rather than just a left or right channel. It creates an extra level of immersion and can help in games where your position is important.

Adding to that, the Arctis 7 has a brilliant detachable noise-canceling microphone, which is also very highly rated.

Blue Snowball USB Microphone

Blue Snowball USB Microphone Blue Snowball USB Microphone Buy Now On Amazon $47.99

If you already have a decent set of headphones, you could opt for a standalone USB microphone. The Blue Snowball is a great USB microphone with an integrated condenser that looks stylish on your desk.

Recommended PC Gaming Monitors

You might wonder why monitors didn’t feature in the Essentials section. Well, you likely already have a monitor. But you can level up your monitor to something more suiting PC gaming.

You’re looking for two important details for a gaming monitor: savings per inch and IPS (In-Plane Switching). IPS displays will not warp the image on your screen given the viewing angle. Typical TN (Twisted Nematic) displays will.

There is some debate as to whether IPS monitors are better for gaming. Those who don’t agree tend to point to other technologies, such as AMD’s FreeSync, that can also make a difference to your gaming experience. However, few regret opting for an IPS panel, so it is something to consider within your battle station budget.

PC gamers, rejoice! The monitor market is extremely competitive, so you’ll find excellent quality PC gaming monitors for all budgets.

ASUS VP249QGR

ASUS VP249QGR ASUS VP249QGR Buy Now On Amazon $299.95

Why choose between FreeSync and IPS when you could have both? The ASUS VP249QGR is a 23.8-inch 144Hz Full-HD IPS panel. The 144Hz figure means the response and update time for the images on your monitor is fast. The fast refresh rate can help in certain types of games. At the very least, it can help with playback.

Acer R240HY

Acer R240HY Acer R240HY Buy Now On Amazon $169.53

Very few have been disappointed by an Acer monitor. The Acer R240HY IPS monitor provides a high-definition picture, crisp color quality, and 23.8 inches of glorious gameplay.

Behind the scenes, the R240HY has a 4ms response time, a 60Hz refresh rate, and supports HDCP 1.4. Another nice touch is the almost bezel-less edging, using the Acer Zero Frame design.

Sceptre C248B-144RN

Sceptre C248B-144RN Sceptre C248B-144RN Buy Now On Amazon $257.49

If you want something a little special, try the Sceptre C248B-144RN. It’s an entry-level 144Hz 24-inch curved gaming monitor that also features FreeSync. The C248B-144RN uses an edgeless design to maximize your screen real-estate. For the price point and the quality on offer, you could do a lot worse than the Sceptre C248B-144RN.

Recommended PC Gaming Chairs

Gaming chairs are sort of like solid-state drives: they don’t seem necessary until you get one. Then, you’ll wonder how you functioned without it.

Keep in mind that your gaming chair is a matter of comfort, not flash. While some awesome chairs may seem expensive compared to most gaming peripherals, a comfortable $300 chair that lasts you ten years costs $30 a year.

Consider your seat an investment.

IKEA Markus Swivel Chair

ikea markus office chair

If you didn’t know about this chair before, you’re in luck now. The IKEA Markus Swivel Chair is comfortable, ergonomic, and critically acclaimed online. Comparatively speaking, it’s also inexpensive. Your back will thank you.

Furmax Office Chair

Furmax Office Chair

On the lower-budget end, the Furmax Office Chair is almost unmatched. If you can’t spend much and are suffering on a kitchen seat, get this chair. The added gaming colorways also allow for some customization.

OFM Essentials Collection Gaming Chair

OFM Essentials Gaming Chair

The OFM Essentials Collection Gaming Chair is the number one selling gaming chair on Amazon. It combines stylish soft leather with an ergonomic design for maximum comfort. You can spend hours gaming in this chair without experiencing backaches or otherwise.

Useful USB Device Adapters

An adapter is a USB device that allows for wireless capabilities between devices and PCs. That includes both mouse/keyboard options and gaming controllers.

TP-Link Archer T3U

TP-Link AC1300 Wi-Fi Adaptor

The TP-Link Archer T3U is a dual-band USB Wi-Fi adapter. You plug the T3U into a USB slot on your PC, creating the option to connect to your home Wi-Fi network. The T3U is a dual-band Wi-FI adapter, which means you can connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections.

The T3U can provide speeds up to 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 867Mbps on the 5GHz band.

Plugable Bluetooth Adapter

Plugable Bluetooth USB Adaptor

Another best-seller, the Plugable Bluetooth Adapter has been used by thousands of people to add Bluetooth connectivity. After purchase, you can use your PC for speakers, controllers, remotes, mouses, keyboards, and more.

Other PC Gaming Accessories

Now that you’re getting into gaming, chances are you’re going to start taking quality into consideration. The following PC gaming accessories will help turn your gaming hobby into a gaming experience.

Xbox One Controller

Xbox Wireless Controller

The Xbox One Controller is an excellent handheld gamepad for PC gaming. It pairs easily with Windows, and almost all games these days support the Xbox controller out of the box. Furthermore, there’s often retrospective support for older games via patches and other workarounds.

If you don’t fancy an Xbox One controller, you could always opt for the older Xbox 360 controller, which many would argue is the superior option.

Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub

Sabrent USB Hub

USB 3.0 ports at a premium? Try the Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub to increase your connectivity options, at least for your USB PC gaming accessories.

The Sabrent model is great because you have individual indicators for each USB port, letting you know the status of the connection. Plus, the LEDs add another nice level of color to your battle station. Win-win, really.

The Best PC Gaming Accessories, Summed Up

There are oodles of choices between the various mice, keyboards, headphones, and other accessories you can use to game.

You can pick a few unusual gaming accessories, too. Don’t forget to optimize your computer for gaming, and you’ll be all set.

Read the full article: New to PC Gaming? The Essential PC Gaming Accessories You Should Have