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If there is one thing that I constantly struggle with in my life, it’s waking up. I’ve tried everything from putting my alarm clock across the room, to using alarm clocks with some of the most annoying, loud alarms you can imagine.
Truth is, I just kill the annoying alarm and jump back to bed. Putting it across the room just makes my half-asleep self walk further to do it. It doesn’t dissuade me from going back to bed. It’s a constant struggle that I battle through with myself.
The advent of laptops and tablets have helped, because now computer devices are easier to put next to the bed and use as an alarm clock. In fact, you could always use an old computer to create a Star Trek alarm clock like I wrote about a while back. But if you’re not really interested in running some old beast by your bedside, then you’ll need a browser-based solution that can run on either a laptop or a tablet.
Go To Sleep & Wake Up With The Onlive Clock
I’ve tried most, and just like with real alarm clocks, I’ve been disappointed. However, I’m pleased to announce that once and for all I’ve stumbled across a full-functional online alarm clock application that not only will help you go to sleep faster, but it really will help you wake up faster too. The solution is called Onlive Clock.
There’s no registration or setup required. Just go to the website and there’s your clock. However, if you really want to integrate this with your browser, for Chrome you can just click on the Google shopping bag and add Onlive Clock as an add-in for Chrome.
Now when you open up a new tab, it’ll be right there to click on and open up. The bar graph on the bottom of the window is the link to the online radio. This is a feature that connects your clock to free streaming online radio in any genre that you like. If you’re the kind of person that likes to go to sleep to music, this is a nice feature to have. Just select your genre, and the category of music within that genre, and press play.
Don’t like the station? Just click one of the “Change Station” buttons to try another. Content for this online radio comes from RadioTuna.
Of course, the whole point of having a full-screen clock is for the view, not to see some pop-up box radio player. So, just click the pop-up box link next to “Online Radio Player” and the radio player will break out into it’s own window. You can move this to the side or just shove it behind your full-screen clock.
When you click on settings on the bottom toolbar of the clock, you’ll be able to completely change the look and feel of your new online alarm clock. You can make it automatically hide the control bar or alarm settings when the page launches.
You can also make it display a digital clock rather than a mechanical clock.
Personally, I think the mechanical clock display looks a lot classier, but I know a lot of people really prefer digital. Not to mention that the digital text looks really cool overlaid on top of some of the available backgrounds. One of my favorite backgrounds is this one – probably because I’ve always loved nature travel so much, and an open road in the country is always very nostalgic for me.
How did I find that awesome backdrop? That’s in the Background settings – there, you’ll find a decent sized list of some of the most impressive photography available for your own clock background. There are landscapes, beaches, mountains, a golf course, a cityscape and a lot more. The odds are good you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Another really sweet feature for getting to sleep is that under the backgrounds there’s a “sound” setting. This lets you enable the sound-effects feature that will play a fireplace, forest sounds, rain or the sea tune with different variations per setting. If you’re a “white noise” kind of person, where soothing background noise just makes you pass out, then this is the clock for you.
The only thing missing, in my opinion, would be a video backdrop rather than static photography. While it might consume a lot of computer resources, watch the trees sway or watching the clouds roll by in the sky while listening to nature noises would be a very cool way to get the simulation that you’re camping out or sleeping some place very calming. With that said, the photography and sounds are almost just as good.
Then of course, there’s waking up. This is where most alarm clocks failed for me, especially any online sort of alarm clock. This is actually where Onlive Clock excels. In the settings menu, you can go to the Alarm clock tab and select any combination of alarms. Classic is an annoying ringing sound, but then you can also have the clock auto-launch a web page when it’s time to wake up.
Why does this help? Well, consider the scenario that I set up. I enabled the classic alarm clock sound, which is a really loud buzzing/ringing noise that will definitely wake you up. But when it does that, I’ve also set it up to launch a YouTube video of “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine. So now as that YouTube video opens, I will wake up, reach over, and click the big X that turns off the alarm buzzer.
However, by that time Rage Against the Machine is just getting warmed up. I find the song inspiring, loud, aggressive and invigorating. So, while my half-asleep self will probably try to find a way to turn it off – by the time I figure it out, I’ll be wide awake. Some mornings I might even just let the song play. You can choose any song that will have an invigorating, inspiring affect on you, enough to get you out of that semi-dream state where you are illogical and completely unreasonable.
Yes, it’s like a battle between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but at least with Onlive Clock as part of my arsenal, I’m able to overcome the Edward Hyde that is my morning persona. Maybe it can also help you overcome yours?
Have you given Onlive Clock a try? What do you think? Can you think of any other creative ways to use the web page launcher or the text-speech features? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Smashing Alarm Clock via Shutterstock