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The Best Apps for Listening to Music On the Oculus Rift

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Listening to Music On the Oculus Rift

While there are dozens of VR apps that come out almost every day, finding the best among these can be quite the challenge. Here are three of the most popular and innovative interactive music apps around, the ones that we think provide the best complement to your favorite music in virtual reality. Never forget, though, that VR is a fast growing industry – before you know it, there will be even more VR music experiences available. Start with these, by all means, but don’t stop exploring.

VRTIFY

VRTIFY is ‘virtually challenging’ all comers to become the dominant platform for music in VR. It has a lot of features that give it the edge over other music apps out there. First of all, it allows for an extremely immersive experience that virtually puts you ‘on stage’ right next to your favorite performers. With a high-end headset like the Oculus Rift, this is truly an unforgettable experience. VRTIFY has also become a sort of hub for 360 degree music experiences, and allows you to access hundreds of music videos that you can then view in 360 degrees.

So, what makes VRTIFY special?

The answer is, nothing. And everything. There is very little that is new in VRTIFY, but what actually is interesting about the app is that it combines everything that is best in VR into a single package. VRTIFY allows you to not only experience music in VR in the best possible way, but also to explore a vast range of options that are lots of fun for the owner of a new VR headset.


Audioshield

Audioshield is an interactive Virtual Reality game that lets you play with your favorite music in a rather unique way, rather than merely listen to it. When you start up the game, the notes of your favorite songs fly out at you, and you need to deflect them with your controllers. This is rather like another similar game called Audiosurf, where you have to reach the notes of a certain song.

Audioshield creates a far deeper experience of your favorite music than other apps do, since you are, in effect, interacting with your music with your entire body. When you usually listen to music, you’re just engaging the audio centers of your brain, but when you listen to music using Audioshield, you’re bringing a whole new level of engagement to the experience, using your motor reflexes and muscle memory.


Space Dream VR

This is perhaps one of the most innovative and brilliantly original Music Visualizers for the Oculus Rift. Space Dream VR is like a visit to another reality, or another dimension, filled with strange objects and stranger life-forms. While this visualizer is quite heavy resource-wise (look at the video below and think of all the polygons being drawn), and really is in need of a bit of optimization, it is still a unique experience. Just lower the anti-aliasing if you have any problems and it should run smoothly. The program will automatically ensure that the surroundings are in harmony with what you’re listening to.

You can browse the net for music while remaining immersed in VR. As you listen to your favorite music, you can either teleport around the worlds of Space Dream, or even fly through space freely. Or you can let the program take you along on a trip across this strange alternate universe.

There’s perfect support for a range of controllers. The app is free, and is actually a demo for a game being developed by Justin Davis, the one-man team behind this whole experience. When you see those space-whales fly by, you’ll know that trying out this app was worthwhile.

As I said at the beginning of the article, there are new apps coming out every day, each more innovative than the other. Your journey into VR music applications may start here, but it will eventually have to be a journey of exploration.

Get the Best VR CPU for Under $200

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VR low cost

If you’re searching for a CPU that can handle VR within a budget of $200, you might be surprised to know that there are a good many of them out there… and we’ll be listing most of them right here in this article.

You need to understand that most of these will only be compatible with the Oculus Rift, which has the ASW feature. This method of ‘smoothing frames’ allows you to view VR at lower frame rates, and on less powerful computers. Since the HTC Vive lacks this, the low-cost CPUs below will only work with the Rift.

There’s another thing you should remember when going out to purchase one of the CPUs below, and that is that a CPU is hardly a stand-alone component. You’re going to have to check which of the CPUs is compatible with your motherboard. We’ve listed a lot of CPUs, so there should be a compatible option for everyone. But if there isn’t, you’ll have to get a motherboard and RAM that’s compatible with the CPU. Another thing that’s important to check is whether your power supply can support a new CPU.

Besides upgrading your hardware, you can also learn more about optimizing your computer for VR, and for the Oculus Rift.

VR CPU Cheap Low Cost

Let’s talk about a system that could work, to start with.

An i3 6100 can run VR, if it’s backed up by a GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. The graphics card is a must.. I emphasize here that this will only do for the Oculus Rift, due to the ASW feature I mentioned earlier. This system will not work well with the Vive. In any case, this processor-card combination matches the minimum specifications for VR. You’ll need at least 8 GB of RAM.

Here’s how the i3 processors can fit into your budget, in different variations.

The i3 6100 is quite cheap as you can see. The i3 8100 is even better and only a bit pricier. The i3 8350 is at the absolute end of the budget spectrum. However, that’s the best processor for VR from out of these. Which one you buy depends on what is compatible with your motherboard. These processors were Intel.

How about AMD?

AMD processors also do, but we don’t recommend them, as they’re unstable. Also, AMD processors are not compatible with NVIDIA’s graphics cards, and will instead require an AMD Radeon. Having used Radeon cards, I can say that they draw a great deal of power, and will probably require a very much more powerful power supply. And don’t even think of overclocking an AMD. AMDs are not heat efficient. So don’t overclock. Or you might end up like the adventurous guy below…

amd processor and heat

Could that really happen?

Well, probably not, but if you overclock and your AMD processor can’t properly radiate heat, it could ruin the processor. And of course, you don’t want that.

So let’s list a good number of processors that could handle VR well, within their specifications.

All of these would come within our budget of $200. All are Intel.

Two core Processors:

i3 6098P3 MB Cache

i3 61003 MB SmartCache

i3 6100T3 MB SmartCache

i3 63004 MB SmartCache

i3 6300T4 MB SmartCache

i3 63204 MB SmartCache

i3 71003 MB SmartCache

i3 7100T3 MB SmartCache

i3 73004 MB SmartCache

i3 7300T4 MB SmartCache

i3 73204 MB SmartCache

i3 7350K4 MB SmartCache

 

Four Core Processors:

i3 8100

With four cores running four threads, and a 6 MB Cache, this is probably the best bang for the buck

i3 8350

With four cores running four threads, and an 8 MB Cache, it’s edging the budget constraints.


So what games will you be able to play in VR with CPUs like these?

The CPUs above will run almost any reasonable game. Here’s a nice selection of VR Sword Fighting Games. Or perhaps you prefer Star Wars in VR? The fact is, these CPUs will handle just about anything out there. The main thing to watch is the frame rates – VR requires frame rates above 60 fps, or it can cause nausea in many people. If you’re not susceptible to this, that’s all right, of course. But if you are susceptible to nausea, you’ll need to lower the graphical settings of the game in various ways so that you achieve better frame rates. This is perfectly possible – people have been playing high-end games on low graphical settings on low-end PCs for years.

 

robo vr

VR at a reasonable cost

Don’t let anyone tell you that VR isn’t possible with a processor that costs less than $200, because it is. The problem is compatibility with the mother board – that’s why we’ve given you so many options here.

You need to investigate whether a processor is actually compatible with your motherboard before making a purchase.

There’s no point in buying a better CPU if you have an old dinosaur of a computer that’s incompatible with them all.

Cheap VR PC

Above all, you need to try avoid the necessity of buying a complete processor-motherboard combination. Not only will this considerably increase costs, but the new combination may not be compatible with your present RAM. And if it isn’t, you’ll have to buy new RAM as well, further increasing costs.

Your goal is to purchase a processor from the lists above that is compatible with your present motherboard, thereby not making it necessary to buy a new motherboard and RAM as well.

The 3 Best 360° VR Cameras Under $500

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Samsung Gear 360 best 360 degree VR camera at the lowest price

If you’d like to take 360 degree VR videos, the good news is that there are some great cameras available at a relatively cheap price. This wasn’t the case even a little while back, when they were far more expensive. So here are three best cameras available today that you can get for less than $500, and which can create great 360 degree videos.

The Samsung Gear 360

Are you surprised that the Samsung Gear 360 is listed here? Well, this is the 2016 model, not the 2017 one, and it’s selling at a fraction of the original price. And if you really look at the specifications, there’s not much difference between the two. If you’re searching for a 360 degree camera in under five hundred dollars, you’ll love to have this one, which the best deals on Amazon offer at less than a fifth of that. That makes this camera the finest camera on the market today – it was already the best retail camera for quality – now it’s the best deal for price as well.

Why is the Gear 360 so cheap at the moment?

It’s because the manufacturer is selling off its 2016 production line at a song, but if you compare the 2016 and 2017 versions, you’ll actually find very little difference in video resolutions and output. This low-cost deal is only likely to last so long as stocks of the 2016 production line last, so get yours right now.

It’s a great opportunity to get the Gear 360 at a throwaway price

GEAR 360 is very cheapNot only can it take still pictures at 30MP, but also movies in 4K. The photos are actually preferable, since the videos can be quite large, and the still pictures give one virtually the same impression of a place.

In still mode, you can take hundreds of still pictures with this VR camera of all the places you’ve been to, while still capturing momentous moments and gatherings with friends and family in 360 degree video.

Check the best deals on Amazon


LG 360 CAM

This is a great camera if you want to take stunning still pictures in 360 degrees, and there are some great deals on it. The pictures are taken in a resolution of 5,660 x 2,830, which is certainly adequate to capture most scenes. The camera’s two thirteen megapixel sensors can also capture 360 degree video in a resolution of 2,560 x 1,280. Best of all, this camera retails at just over a hundred and fifty dollars, and for the price it’s a steal.

LG 360 CAM

Superb app controls

Do bear in mind that this camera is designed to be used with a smartphone, and it is the smartphone app that is actually used to control the device. As a stand-alone unit, you will find that you cannot access a great many of the device’s advanced features, though you will, of course, still be able to take 360 degree photos and videos even without a smartphone.

However, if the camera lacks all but the most basic controls, the app more than makes up for this, allowing you to control such subtle things as which of the camera’s two lenses should be considered the one facing ‘forward’, as well as allowing you to take 180 degree images and videos with a single lens.

You can also choose between four operational modes, designed for different situations

There’s landscape, for daylight shoots, sports for fast action capture, and indoor and night for less brightly lighted situations. The camera switches between these modes automatically, allowing you to access them even when the camera is being used without a phone, but with the app, you can set these modes manually, if necessary. You can also set exposure and ISO settings manually,  so that you can tweak your images and videos considerably to get the optimal shot.

Check the best deals on Amazon


360Fly 4K Action Camera

This is another good 360 degree camera that is a little more expensive than the other two options, since you can get it within about three hundred and fifty dollars, unlike the 2016 model of the Gear 360, which offers a better field of view at less than a third of the price, as of the moment. Nevertheless, this is a good camera, offering high detail, and at a reasonable price. It takes pictures in a resolution of 2880 x 2880.

360Fly 4K Action Camera

An excellent image sensor

It has a 16MP sensor, which gives it slightly better quality than other options on the market. It is also very sturdy, and very water-resistant, which makes it a great option when traveling or going hiking. The only possible negative is that it has only one lens, rather than two, like some of the other options we’ve mentioned. This means that, while it does give you a 360 degree field of view, that field of view is limited to 240 degrees in the over-under range.

What this amounts to is that you will be able to look all around, and overhead, but not at the ground at your feet. On the other hand, this arrangement creates seamless videos in better quality without the ‘stitching artifacts’ often evident in other 360 degree cameras. The camera has an on-board 64 GB storage that will allow you to save three hours of video at the highest resolution. The camera’s battery will keep it recording for one and a half hour.


When looking over 360 degree cameras, pay attention to resolutions

There are actually a lot of cameras on the market, and while the ones we’ve mentioned above are excellent options, you can explore others. There are a great many around, that offer a host of features at a reasonable price. Pay very close attention to the still and video resolutions that a camera you’re considering offers, however, because there are a lot of cheap ‘VR’ cameras on the market that do offer 360 degree video, but at such a low resolution that it defeats the purpose. Balance price and resolution to find just what you need!

GEAR 360 is lowest cost deal

Though I honestly believe that the Samsung Gear 360 is the best offer you could possibly find at the moment, and the deal that offers the best quality at the lowest possible price.

I don’t think we’re going to see that combination of price and quality any time in the immediate future, and I honestly recommend that you take advantage of this price right away.

It’s not often that you can really call a product ‘a steal,’ but at the price it’s presently going for, this one definitely is.