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Free Fun Online


A lot of people are looking for affordable entertainment these days. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen Online Global Consumer Survey, 56 percent of us are cutting back on out-of-home entertainment.

Books, movies, video games and music are great ways to relax and have fun at home, but their costs can be hard to justify. Fortunately, there are websites where you can get these items for free.

CafÈ.com is a free online service dedicated to casual gaming. There are dozens of fun, easy-to-play online games suitable for any age group. There's also a social element for those who enjoy connecting with others through multiplayer games and networking options.

Hulu.com is a free video service that offers unlimited streaming of hit TV shows, movies and clips. There is a large selection of videos from more than 100 content providers, including Fox, NBC Universal, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros. and more. Users can choose from more than 900 current primetime TV hits and access them any time from anywhere.

Pandora.com is a free online music service. Enter the name of one of your favorite songs or artists to create your personal music station. Pandora will search a vast collection of music to find songs with musical similarities to your choice. Then you get to enjoy a unique listening experience created just for you.

Swaptree.com is a site where you can trade books, CDs, DVDs and video games that you don't want, for the books, CDs, DVDs, video games that you do want. Unlike other e-commerce sites, on Swaptree all the items are free and you only pay for shipping, which is typically around $2.

Greg Boesel, Swaptree co-founder, says "You simply list the items that you are trading and the items that you want, and the system sets up trades for you with other users. One of the great features of Swaptree is that when you list an item for trade, we instantly show you thousands of items that you could receive in trade for that item."

To make the trade transactions even easier, you can print accurate postage and mailing labels right from the site.

The site provides relief for parents who are frustrated by how quickly their children get bored with new video games or when they no longer have any interest in the DVDs that they used to watch constantly. Once you are finished with an item you've traded for, you can list it again and get something else for free.

"In this economy," says Boesel, "Free makes a lot more sense than shelling out full price for media items."


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