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Modern Warfare 2 Best FTAC Recon Build

Best FTAC Recon Build for Modern Warfare 2

Our Modern Warfare 2 Best FTAC Recon build guide will help you master an excellent Marksman Rifle. For the first time, this weapon class is viable in multiplayer, arguably a first for the series.

If you’ve not dug into these weapons before, they might be a bit challenging for you.

Let’s take a look at our build guide.

Modern Warfare 2 Best FTAC Recon Build

Marksman rifles are an actually viable choice now, something we didn’t feel was an option in CODs past.

So if you like to hang back during battle and plink enemies from afar, then consider this build for the FTAC recon marksman rifle.

BUY NOW: Modern Warfare 2 – Vault Edition (Xbox) – Green Man Gaming

Equip the following attachments:

Optic – Forge-Tac Delta 4

Stock – Ordnance Ravage-8

Rear Grip – Sakin ZX Grip

Ammo – .458 Overpressure +P

Muzzle – Shred CP90 Compensator

Throw it all together, and you’ll get something that looks like the image above.

Modern Warfare 2 Best FTAC Recon Build Best Strategy

This is not an up close and personal type weapon. With its small magazine size, you won’t be charging around the battlefield doing 360 no-scopes. The rifle does offer both semiautomatic and full automatic fire options, but if you plan on going spray-n-pray, be sure to pack the 15-round magazine.

We recommend you stick to the back, to the corners, and any rooftops or high ground and let it rain lead on anyone foolish enough to wander into your crosshairs.

The sight picture on the Forge-Tac scope is crystal clear and provides a 4x zoom, perfect for all of the maps in the beta.

Pack the deployable cover as your field upgrade and find a corner in an open area. You can sit there, mount to the cover, and take potshots for easy kills.

And even if someone does come back to your spot for revenge, you can weigh your one death against the 5-6 enemies you put down for dirt naps.

What other FTAC Recon Attachments are Good?

The customization options are just plain nuts in the new COD, so go ahead and mix and match what feels right to you.

For instance, if you want to squeeze a little more range and stability out of this rifle, swap in the 419MM EXF Barrel and dial long distance on your enemies.

Besides that, you can try longer-range scopes if you really want to keep your distance or slap a 15-round mag on and a short barrel and try to run and gun. Use your imagination.

If you’re interested in any other weapons, you can check out some of our other build guide pages.

Why You Should Use the FTAC Recon

When you first look at the FTAC Recon you might ask why you’d even use it. After all, it’s just an M4 with worse capacity. Right?. Wrong!

The FTAC Recon, in the right hands, is easily one of the best rifles in the game, and that’s all thanks to a few key benefits it has over other weapons.

Firstly, it’s the only .485 Socom weapon in the game, meaning it has almost unparalleled stopping power and means you won’t have to work through a bunch of other weapons to unlock stuff for it. On that note, it’s also based on the M4 platform, meaning you should immediately have a bunch of attachments you can use.

There’s also an x7 Thermal Rifle Scope for this gun, which isn’t super unique but does make it even more incredible than before.

Modern Warfare 2 Best FTAC Recon Build FAQs

Is the FTAC Recon the Best Marksman Rifle in Modern Warfare 2?

For our money, yes, the FTAC is our favorite marksman rifle.

Is the FTAC Recon a real gun?

Yes, it’s based off of the M4 assault rifle.

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Best Gaming Monitor For Modern Warfare 2

Best gaming monitor for Modern Warfare 2

You’ll want to go to war over these monitor selections for Modern Warfare 2


Best monitor for Modern Warfare 2

Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X

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Next best monitor for Modern Warfare 2

Alienware AW2723DF

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Modern Warfare 2, the adrenaline-pumping first-person shooter that has been making tsunamis in the gaming world since 2009, requires a gaming monitor that can keep up with its swift-paced action and incredible graphics.

It doesn’t depend if you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the series, you want to experience every aspect of Modern Warfare 2 in the best way possible, and that means having a gaming monitor that can produce the imagery and performance you deserve.

Best monitor for Modern Warfare 2: Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X

Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X

Refresh Rate


Response time

0.3ms (MPRT) / 1ms (GTG)

Screen size



2560 x 1440 (QHD)

Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X is our number one pick for the best Modern Warfare 2 monitor. This gorgeous display boasts a 27-inch IPS panel with a native 2K resolution, and a scorching 240Hz refresh rate, giving you everything you need to handle the intensity of Modern Warfare 2. The huge refresh rate enforces that every shot, explosion, and action sequence is displayed in real-time without lags or blur. With a lowly 0.3ms response time, each firefight is poised to be walking in the park for you.

READ NOW: best gaming monitor for PS5

Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X also boasts HDR support with VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification. You’re to have a much greater assembly of colors, deeper blacks, and more luminous whites compared to traditional monitors. And, with its slim bezels, the AORUS FI27Q-X leaves room only for the highest immersion, with no distractions. It’s also designed with a fully adjustable stand, allowing you to adjust the monitor’s position in whichever way you wish. You can mount it on a wall if you like – the choice is all yours.

To complement its blistering performance, Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X is just a beautiful piece of hardware. with elegant style and looks that will look great in any setup, and in any place to be honest. A display made by the best for the best, that’s Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X in a nutshell.

Next best monitor for Modern Warfare 2: Alienware AW2723DF

Alienware AW2723DF

Refresh rate


Response time


Screen size



2560 x 1440 (1440p)

Alienware AW2723DF is a close runner-up to the AORUS FI27Q-X, and it’s another fantastic choice if you want to enjoy Modern Warfare 2 in its full might. With its 27-inches big display, 95% DCI-P3 color gamut, and a resolution of 2560×1440, you’ll experience sharp, clear visuals that make every pixel breathe. This monitor also has a 240Hz refresh rate, and with a 1ms response time, Modern Warfare 2 won’t be able to hurt you in any way from lack of technical capabilities.

READ NOW: Best gaming monitor for Xbox Series X

Another unique feature of Alienware AW2723DF is its AlienFX lighting system, which creates a one-of-its-kind gaming experience. The system syncs with your game, lighting up according to the happenings on the screen. This creates an incredible effect that really makes you wonder if you’re in the game itself personally. Alienware AW2723DF is an amazing monitor overall, and your Modern Warfare 2 gameplay would be greatly enhanced, choose you to commit to it.

Fix Puget Altus Error In Modern Warfare And Warzone

Are you experiencing the PUGET ALTUS error in Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2? Several MW2 and Warzone 2 users have reported getting this error when playing the game. When triggered, you will get the following error message:

Connection Failed, Unable to access online services. [Reason: PUGET – ALTUS]

What does PUGET ALTUS mean in Modern Warfare 2?

The PUGET ALTUS error in Modern Warfare 2 means a connection issue when trying to connect to an online gaming service. It could be caused due to either an ongoing server problem or a client-side issue. You are likely to face this error when your game is not up-to-date or when you are facing internet connectivity problems.

Fix PUGET ALTUS error in Modern Warfare and Warzone

If you are experiencing the error PUGET – ALTUS in Modern Warfare 2 or Warzone 2 on your PC, you can use the below fixes to resolve it:

Check for server issues.

Check your internet connection.

Make sure your game is up-to-date.

Power cycle your PC and router.

Switch to a wired network connection, if possible.

1] Check for server issues

Before trying other fixes, we recommend you check the correct status of the Activision server. You are likely to get the PUGET – ALTUS error if the Activision servers are experiencing an outage issue or in case the servers are under maintenance. Hence, find out the server status of MW and Warzone first using a free online server status detector tool. If the servers are facing downtime, wait and try connecting to online game servers after some time. However, if the error still occurs when the servers are up and running, move on to the next solution to fix the error.

2] Check your internet connection

As the error message says Connection Failed, it could very well be facilitated due to an internet connectivity issue. Hence, make sure your network connection is stable and is working fine. Check your internet speed and ensure that it is good enough for heavy-duty games like Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.

If there are a lot of bandwidth-hogging applications running on your PC, close them and then try playing the game. Open Task Manager using Ctrl+Shift+Esc and close all such apps using the End task button.

3] Make sure your game is up-to-date

It might be the case you haven’t installed a pending update which is preventing you from connecting to online game services. Hence, if the scenario is applicable, update your game and then see if the problem is resolved or not.

To update Modern Warfare 2 or Warzone 2 on Steam, use the below steps:

First, open Steam and navigate to LIBRARY.

After that, move to the Updates tab and choose the Always keep this game up-to-date option under the Automatic updates drop-down menu.

It will download the pending update. You can now relaunch Steam to install the updates.

You can follow the below steps to update Modern Warfare 2/Warzone 2 on

First, open the chúng tôi game client and find the game you are facing this error with.

Next, tap on the Check for updates button and follow the instructions to update the game.

See: Fix COD Warzone 2 Dev Error 6345 on Windows PC.

4] Power cycle your PC and router

If the above methods didn’t work, perform a power cycle on your computer and networking device to fix the error. Turn off your PC and router, unplug the devices, and wait for a minute or so. After that, plug in your router and computer and switch them on. Once done, connect to the internet and open the game to check if the error is fixed or not.

5] Switch to a wired network connection, if possible

If possible, you can try switching to a wired network connection. It is faster and more reliable for gaming than a wireless connection. You can achieve a smooth gaming performance through it and might get rid of this error.

That’s it.

How do you fix Puget Lakes in MW2?

The “Puget Lakes” error in Modern Warfare 2 basically indicates a server issue. So, you can check the server status of Activision and make sure its game servers are available at the moment. You can also try closing the game and then restarting it to check if the error is fixed. Additionally, ensure that your internet connection is active and stable.

Now read: Fix HUENEME CONCORD error in Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.

Cod Modern Warfare Dev Error 6068, 6065, 6165, 6071

This post offers the most suitable solutions to DEV ERROR 6068, 6065, 6165, 6071, DirectX encountered an unrecoverable error in Modern Warfare Call of Duty in Windows 11 or Windows 10. PC gamers usually encounter any of these 6xxx series error while playing the main campaign, or when the player gets kicked from the game; forcing COD MW to close down abruptly.

Why does my Modern Warfare say DEV ERROR?

Whilst there is still no official word from Activision about what causes the problem, investigations reveal that DEV ERROR 6034 happens when Modern Warfare files become corrupted or unreadable. A quick fix to the error is to perform a clean reinstall of the game. See below for detailed solutions.

Modern Warfare DEV ERROR 6068, 6606, 6065, 6165, 6071

PC users that are faced with Modern Warfare (CoD) DEV ERROR 6068, 6065, 6165, 6071 issues while gaming on Windows 11/10, can try our recommended solutions below in no particular order and see if that helps to resolve the issue.

Check Activision Server status

Update graphics driver

Run Modern Warfare with admin privilege

Set Call of Duty’s Priority Process to High

Turn Off Crossplay Feature

Scan and Repair game files

Change Video Memory Scale

Uninstall and reinstall CoD Modern Warfare

Let’s take a look at the description of the process involved concerning each of the listed solutions.

How do I fix DirectX encountered an unrecoverable error?

Before you try the solutions below, check for updates and install any available bits on your Windows 11/10 device and see if any of the error reappears when gaming.

Keep in mind that these DEV ERRORS can appear in CoD Warzone and not just only in Modern Warfare. In any case, the solution presented in this post applies.

1] Check Activision Sever status

You can begin troubleshooting the Modern Warfare (CoD) DEV ERROR 6068, 6606, 6065, 6165, 6071 issue while gaming on Windows 11/10 PC by checking Activision server status at chúng tôi where you can see if the game is currently experiencing server issues. If you managed to find evidence of a server problem, the issue is entirely beyond your control and you’ll have to wait for the game developers to fix the problem and get the server back online.

Additionally, check your internet connection on your side to make sure there are no connectivity issues on your Windows 11/10 gaming rig.

2] Update the graphics driver

This solution requires you to either update your drivers manually via the Device Manager, or you can get the driver updates on the Optional Updates section under Windows Update. You may also download the latest version of the driver from the graphics adapter hardware manufacturer’s website.

If the issue is still unresolved, try the next solution.

3] Run Modern Warfare with admin privilege

This solution requires you to run the Modern Warfare game with admin privilege. If your CoD MW game installation is located on the system drive, it might require some additional admin permissions of the computer to execute some functions on the storage device.

4] Set Call of Duty’s Priority Process to High

This solution requires you to set Call of Duty’s Priority Process to High on your Windows PC.

Do the following:

Open Task Manager.

Exit Task Manager.

Check if the issue at hand is resolved. If not, proceed with the next solution.

5] Turn Off Crossplay Feature

For most users, they reported they encounter any of the DEV ERROR with the Crossplay feature for CoD Modern Warfare turned on. In this case, to fix the issue, you need to disable this feature.

Do the following:

Launch CoD Modern Warfare.

Go to the Account tab.

Next, set the Crossplay option to Disable.

Turning off this option will stop the abrupt appearance of Dev errors.

6] Scan and Repair game files

It’s possible that the cause of the problem might be tied to the state of your game files. Sometimes, updates or incomplete installations may cause problems which result to corrupted game files. In this case, you can use the Scan and Repair option (only for Windows PC) in the Blizzard client to fix your COD MW files.

To verify game files integrity and repair a broken game, do the following:

Open the Blizzard desktop app.

Wait for the repair to finish.

After the repair, and the issue at hand is still not resolved, try the next solution.

Related: DirectX encountered an unrecoverable error.

7] Change Video Memory Scale

Video Memory Scale allows the Game how much VRAM can be utilized by the game. So, you may experience this issue, if CoD Modern Warfare is loading the VRAM very heavily – lowering this VRAM setting may solve the problem.

Do the following:

Exit the Call of Duty from system tray on Taskbar.

Next, kill all CoD MW-related processes in Task Manager.

Next, press Windows key + E to launch the File Explorer.

Then navigate to the path of your player folder; usually, the path is:

DocumentsCall of Duty Modern Warfareplayers

Find the line of VideoMemoryScale.

Now change the value of VideoMemoryScale to 0.5.

Exit Notepad.

Now, relaunch the Call of Duty Modern Warfare and check if the problem is solved. Otherwise, try the next solution.

8] Uninstall and reinstall CoD Modern Warfare

This solution requires you to uninstall CoD Modern Warfare, clear Warzone AppData folder contents, reboot PC, and then download and reinstall the latest version of CoD Warzone game on your Windows 11/10 PC.

To clear/delete Modern Warfare AppData folder contents, do the following:

Press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog.

In the Run dialog box, type the environment variable below and hit Enter.


At the location, find (you may need to show hidden files/folders) the Modern Warfare folder.

Exit File Explorer.

Hope any of these solutions work for you!

Related: Fix COD DEV ERRORS 6034, 6456, 5573, 5763, 5476, 6635, 6036, 6634, 6066.

Why do I keep getting DEV ERROR on Warzone?

PC gamers that keep getting DEV ERROR on Warzone, simply indicate an integrity issue –  meaning that some of CoD Warzone files within the game folders are missing or corrupted. To make sure there’s nothing wrong with your game files, you need to verify their integrity.

Modern Family Heads To The Emmys

Abraham Higginbotham (CFA’92) is the Emmy Award–winning co–executive producer of Modern Family. Photos courtesy of Higginbotham

In the Modern Family episode “Aunt Mommy,” gay parents Mitchell and Cameron struggle to find a surrogate mother to carry their second child. After a drunken family dinner with Mitch’s sister, Claire, and her husband, the solution surfaces: Claire will serve as the surrogate.

The next day, the two couples are horrified at what had transpired. “What are we supposed to tell the baby?” asks Mitchell. “Say hi to your Aunt Mommy?”

The episode was written by Abraham Higginbotham (CFA’92) and Dan O’Shannon, co–executive producers of what has become one of television’s most popular shows, with Nielsen reporting an average 12 million viewers each week. This episode’s central drama was born out of Higginbotham’s own life: he and his partner wrestled with the question of surrogacy. In that case, Higginbotham’s sister graciously offered to help.

“I was finally the one who said, ‘I can’t do this, it makes me uncomfortable,’ and called it off,” Higginbotham says. “It was tough and difficult in life, but fun and interesting on camera.”

“Aunt Mommy” won a 2012 Humanitas Prize, an award honoring film and television writers whose work explores the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way. It was the second win for Higginbotham, whose work on Modern Family won in 2011. “Aunt Mommy” is one of six episodes that the Modern Family writers and producers submitted in the Outstanding Comedy Series category at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, airing on Sunday, September 23. The show was nominated for 14 Emmys this year.

BU Today: Tell us where you come from and how you got to Hollywood.

So I quit acting and worked in Democratic political fundraising and for gay, lesbian, and AIDS organizations. Then a friend suggested I audition for a play he was in and I did, and out of that I got a second job. Then I moved to Los Angeles, because that was what I had always wanted to do. I got a couple of jobs as ambiguously ethnic bad guys on Aaron Spelling shows, like 90210 and 7th Heaven, and got my SAG card.

I started writing so I could act in theater, here in LA, to get myself seen. And often the reaction was, ‘Why aren’t you a writer? You’re such a good writer.’ And I would get so offended, because I just acted for them for two hours and all they would say is that I should be a writer. Eventually I became tired of eating croutons and salad dressing every night for dinner, because I was that broke. I was a personal assistant to a television comedy writer. I asked if there was a chance he would read my scripts. He read them, told me to cut them by a few pages, and then gave them to his agent. I instantly got an agent at William Morris Agency, a great agency I am still with today. Within four months I had a job, my acting career started going better, and I was getting interviews with showrunners and executives at the studios.

Rich Appell, who was a King of the Hill writer, was creating his own show. When A.U.S.A. got picked up, I was one of his first writers. I got to write two out of eight scripts, which made the studio pay a little more attention to me. When the scripts for Arrested Development came along, I fell in love with the pilot, and felt I had to be on that show. I called everyone I knew at 20th Century Fox, and showrunner Mitch Hurwitz gave me the job. It was the best learning experience in the world. Two years on that show taught me more about writing than any course could have taught me.

Arrested Development is famous for its absurd and wacky storylines. Were you used to writing things like that or did you have to learn?

Absolutely. The writers made a joke that I was the moral compass in the room, that they would pitch something, and I would say, ‘Wait, what planet are we living on, that doesn’t really happen.’ I like when characters are real people who live in absurd circumstances, but when they stop being real people and become insane people living in absurd circumstances, I think you just care less. I was made fun of, believe me. Comedy rooms don’t love the guy who says, ‘What are we feeling right now?’ I was, especially in that room, trying to keep the family grounded.

But I learned from all these genius comedy writers how to maintain that level of comedy, how to pitch outside the box, and pitch whatever you want to pitch. There are terrible writers, but just pitch it, throw it out there, and we’ll see what happens. It could inspire something else. It forced me to be braver, because you have to talk. When you’re in a room with very talented, verbal, and quick writers, you have to talk and hold your own.

What’s a typical workday like at Modern Family?

Most of it is room work. Most of a comedy writing job is sitting in a room with 7 to 11 people, pitching, talking, and figuring out which stories you want to tell, how you want to tell them, and then assigning someone to write the outline. That person brings the outline back, the room decides what works, what doesn’t work, what needs to be punched up, and you go off again and turn that into a script. That’s the “written by” credit, because you have basically written the first draft. But once you bring it back to the room, you all rewrite it together, for the table read and then for shooting.

But a typical day is me hanging out with these people that I adore, laughing my face off, and occasionally getting into tense squabbles about politics.

Does Modern Family’s use of a documentary-style camera help or hinder you when you write? Have you come to think of it almost as another character?

The way that we talk about it is that Modern Family is a television show shot in a documentary style, but it’s not a true documentary. There are certain moments on all those shows, like The Office and Parks & Recreation, when someone is trapped in a moment, where you ask, ‘Why aren’t the camera people helping them?’ In my next episode, Phil is trapped, but because we don’t really employ the camera as a true character standing there to help him, it can’t be done.

Here’s how it helps us—we shoot so much faster. Because it’s a documentary style, there are only two cameras in the room at any time, there are no insert shots or crazy lighting like so much of network television. We shoot so much faster than other shows, you can’t believe it. A friend of mine, Michaela Watkins (CFA’94) is in an upcoming episode this season. She couldn’t believe that she shot 80 percent of her storyline and she was leaving at 11:30 in the morning. The documentary format helps us do that.

Who is your favorite Modern Family character to write for?

I can’t lie. Mitch probably comes easiest to me. I guess that will surprise no one. I love writing Jay because so much of my personality resides in that disgruntled old man place—somehow I got there at 42. I love his reluctance to do anything, his misanthropic tendencies. Phil is a challenge, and I like him for that reason. He is a dopey, straight-guy dad who is kind of innocent, and that’s a fun challenge. Claire I can write easily because she is type-A and high maintenance and I am very much that. Gloria is fun because anything can come out of her mouth.

The best thing about this show is that I love writing all of the characters, which wasn’t true with other shows I’ve worked on. With this show, there is no scene or character that I don’t want to write. They are all fun to inhabit.

What episode or scene you wrote is your favorite?

I think the favorite episode I’ve written is a tie between “Baby on Board” and “The Kiss.” “Baby on Board” was the season finale last year, when they had the Spanish soap opera and Gloria found out she was pregnant. I was invested in that because my boyfriend and I had called off a baby quest that we were on. I wanted to write the Mitch and Cam version of that story. I also loved cowriting “Aunt Mommy.”

So Modern Family’s writers do lift storylines from their own lives?

So, so many. More than any show I’ve ever been on. Arrested Development was such a heightened, rarified world that was so much broader than real life. This show is truly built on the lives of the writers, and occasionally the actors. If we’re searching for something to write about, we come in with stories and dig through our past. Like, ‘When this fight happens in my house, this is how it plays out,’ and often we can find a comic point of view based on something idiotic one of us said. And Mitch and Cam have a lot of my relationship in their relationship, probably more so than my boyfriend would want.

The show has been hailed for its positive and normal portrayal of a gay family. A lot of network television shows are now following suit. Did you expect that to happen?

I guess you always expect that when something is working; every network is going to try to do the same show. Then they’ll discover something brand-new and out of the box, and everyone will start to copy that. So yes, I expected it, and I definitely like it because there are more gay relationships on television.

I wish they were a little more varied than they are. I hope that they can be as flawed and broken as straight relationships. I think that’s what is fun about Mitch and Cam, and sometimes we get shit about that from the gay community, that they quarrel too much, that they’re not affectionate enough. But what I want to say is that true equality is that we, the gay community, are just like straight people. That’s the point we’re making—that gay relationships are just as flawed, just as broken, just as loving, nurturing, and winning as straight relationships.

Why do you think Modern Family has been such a success?

It is that magic that happens sometimes when a cast gets together and the writers know how to write for them; there is a great marriage there. It’s inexplicable, but our actors are so talented, and I do believe the writing is good and solid and consistent. I also think the family is so varied that there are a lot of ways in for an audience. You have your liberal gay guys, your traditional straight couple with three kids, and this older man married to a young Latina who is hot as shit; it’s like every old man’s fantasy.

When it came out, it was a fresh take on a family show. And weirdly, and simultaneously, it’s traditional. A simple family show about relationships, instead of all the high-concept stuff that we had kind of been doing for a while on television. People can relate to Modern Family.

Any hints about the upcoming season?

Shelley Long is coming back as DeDe when she discovers that Gloria is pregnant, we are going to deal with Cam finally going back to work, now that they are not having the baby and Lily in kindergarten. We are going to discover a hidden talent of Gloria’s from her days in Colombia. She is extremely funny with it. And Michaela Watkins and Wendi McLendon from Bridesmaids play a lesbian couple who become Mitch and Cam’s rivals. We’re doing a God of Carnage episode with the lesbian couple.

What do you think of your chances of taking home the Emmy?

I think we have an OK chance. I wonder if people are a little tired of us, frankly. People are still watching the show, which helps. There’s a lot of talk about HBO’s new shows like Girls and Veep—that they’re going to knock us off the block. So it’s hard not to buy into that a little bit and think maybe we won’t win.

I’ve been really lucky. I’ve been to the Emmys twice, once for Arrested Development, when we won, and then for Modern Family, when we won, so I’ve never had to go and lose. If I have to go and lose, I promise you I won’t stay so long at the parties. It’s a long day, and winning helps you get through it.

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards air Sunday, September 23, on ABC. Modern Family returns Wednesday, September 26, on ABC. Check your local listings for times.

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Groove 2: The Best Universal Music App For Ios

Groove 2 by Zikera is a perfect blend of beautiful design and enhanced music playback functionality. The developers describe it as “a music player that studies your listening habits and creates a wide variety of instant mixes like your own personal DJ.” I have found this claim to be highly accurate and I haven’t had to manually create an iTunes playlist since.

This universal app brings both a gorgeous visual design and an impressive set of features for listening to synced music on your device. If streaming radio isn’t your thing, then you will be very satisfied by the Groove 2 experience. It’s definitely worth downloading. Read on to discover why…

Groove 2 is a most welcome improvement of Groove 1 (a freemium iPhone app). In essence, the app serves as a controller for the stock iPod or Music apps with an enhanced smart playlist generator and the power of chúng tôi To say Groove makes great playlists is an understatement. Playlists can be generated at random or from individual artists, albums, songs, and genres referred to as “Tags”.

The power of Groove comes from a clever two-part syncing functionality. The first sync checks your on-device music library and creates a database of every synced song, excluding album artwork. The second sync queries chúng tôi for metadata for every track and creates a database of spelling corrections, proper formatting, album art, and tags. This process is lengthy on first launch, but creates an experience for music lovers that no other app matches.

Essentially, developers took the iPad app, added more features and made it universal. If you had Groove for iPhone you will need to buy the new one. iPad users will be happy to know that there is no additional cost to upgrade.

Where it Excels

Groove 2 is the first app I’ve seen to get iTunes Match done right. I’m not exaggerating. This app handles iTunes Match better than the stock Music app. Where Apple’s Music app is slow and lags, Groove 2 is quick and responsive. I can specify a maximum playlist length in the library so that Groove doesn’t download too many song over cellular connections. Since Groove syncs with the music library, it searches somewhat quicker than the Music app does. Songs seem to download and start faster. Without Groove, I doubt I would renew my iTunes Match subscription.

The beauty of Groove 2 lies in the app’s stability. Groove doesn’t actually play music in the app; it controls the Music app. When you view the player controls in the switcher bar, you’ll find the icon of the stock Music app instead. The implications of this are huge. Groove doesn’t have to be running in the background for your music to keep playing. Yet it picks up exactly where it should when you open the app again. Additionally, whatever equalizer mode you choose in the iPhone’s Music settings apply to tracks played through Groove. You can change tracks just by swiping left or right on the Now Playing bar, which is a feature I used to have to jailbreak to get.

All metadata and album art is pulled from chúng tôi Those of us with over 10,000 songs on iTunes Match will feel the full extent of this feature; the initial sync takes a long time for large music libraries. Still, every song receives tag treatment from chúng tôi data, so smart playlists are smarter than iTunes Genius. This functionality gives Groovy Mixes the accuracy of Pandora and chúng tôi Radio.

Artist information is also synced from chúng tôi When you open details for an artist or genre the chúng tôi summary appears at the top. You can scroll through the information and read more about what you’re listening to as you’re listening to it. I have learned a great deal about the genres I like from reading as I listen. If you like to scrobble your tracks to chúng tôi you can enable scrobbling by tapping the album icon in the Now Playing bar and then tapping the action arrow.

Groove 2 can generate a variety of playlists. A Groovy Mix is the equivalent of a Genius Mix. Tapping the icon from the main window will generate a random Groovy Mix based on a randomly selected artist from your music. In addition, a Groovy Mix can be made from any song or artist in your library. Other smart playlist options include Favorites, Surprise Me, and Three of a Kind, which puts together three songs each from three artists that go well together.

This app is great for finding a forgotten album or a random playlist. The Featured section of the app picks out different albums, artists, genres, and playlists that you might want to hear. Every time you launch the app, a new selection appears in the Featured section. Here you may also see Artist Duos, a smart playlist of tracks from two complementary artists.

What if you already have playlists from iTunes? What if you have many saved Genius Mixes? Good news! Groove 2 will let you listen to those too. The Playlists section displays every playlist found in the Music app as well as every playlist available on iTunes Match. Groove also keeps a history of every playlist, smart mix, or surprise mix that you’ve listened to, so you can easily pull it up again. You can easily save mixes as favorites to display them in a different tab.

Room for Improvement

While I love this app, I have a few complaints. The big one is that syncing with my library takes a long time. I understand that with 20,000 songs, getting metadata and artwork is going to take a while. I just wish they’d let this process continue as a background process so I can keep using my iPhone or iPad while the sync continues. Instead, the sync stops when the app is in the background or the screen is locked, and only resumes when the app is open again. The only way I was able to let the sync complete was to disable auto-lock on my iPhone and leave it charging while the sync finished.

Second, I’d like to see iCloud integration. Since both my iPad and iPhone use the same iTunes Match library, why not cut the sync times in half and allow me to use the same data in both places? Also, I’d like to have my playlist history and saved playlists available on both devices, regardless of which one I added it on.

Finally, I’d like to see more chúng tôi integration. The app is powered by chúng tôi but doesn’t allow you to mark tracks as Loved. There are plenty of other social integrations for sharing song titles, but there needs to be more chúng tôi specific features. The scrobble option is hidden away in the Now Playing screen, and I’d like to see that added to the Settings pane as well. It took me a long time to find out where the switch was for scrobbling.

Regardless, whether you’re someone with hundreds of songs on your iDevice or thousands (especially if you use iTunes Match), Groove 2 gets the job done. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is the best music app for iOS.

Groove 2 is a universal app and is just $1.99 in the App Store.

What is your favorite music app?

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