Many who move to the Czech Republic and settle down soon find themselves longing for certain websites and services that they were used to abroad. Although many internet servers are international in nature, there are options on the Czech market that deserve attention as well. Many are strikingly similar in concept and design, while others provide innovative and localized options to their services. Let’s have a look at some of the most significant website alternatives available on the Czech internet scene.
Itunes, Napster, Amazon MP3, eMusic, Beatport are just a few of the most famous websites that have become synonymous with downloading music legally from the internet. Most of these have been around for years and have all established stable and growing fan-bases. The Czech Republic has a couple of alternatives available, especially if you are looking for something Czech or Slovak, which might be find hard to find elsewhere. One of the most significant options would be Supraphononline.cz, run by Supraphon, which is one of the largest Czech music publishers. The website is categorized into pop music, classical music, and even spoken word. You’ll be able to find anything from gypsy music, rock, country, jazz, all the way to folk music.
Another alternative for (streaming) music could be Musicjet.cz. You’ll have to install an application similar to iTunes, which allows you to listen to millions of tracks from all over the world without having to download or purchase the tracks. The subscription price is set at 149 CZK/month, and the first month is provided free for new users. On the international level, this service would be comparable to Last.fm, Spotify, and other well know sites that allow you to stream music and create customized playlists.
With the internet virtually omnipresent in our lives, we have become increasingly connected and have built up an increasing demand for data, be it photos, programs, music, videos, movies, and so on. With the faster and faster pace of life, we require means of downloading at an ad-hoc basis. Globally, there are countless download sources. Perhaps the most popular and well known international servers would be Download.com and tucows.com for software downloads. The Czech Republic offers similar services such as Stahuj.cz and Slunecnice.cz, which offer a very wide scope of software for download. Many Czech servers offer localized editions of popular software like ICQ, for example.
Downloading and sharing data
When considering sharing and storing data online, there are countless servers available to do just that. For sharing and downloading various types of data, torrent networks such as thepiratebay.se, Isohunt.com, or Kat.ph are worth considering. The Czech Republic offers cztorrent.net or besttracker.cz, for example. While many of the international servers do not require registration to download data, many czech torrent websites work on a community basis and require registration. All of these servers share extraordinary potential for dissemination various data. However, they have also been used for illegal downloads, and users should always be aware that some data available on these servers may be illegal.
Data sharing and back-up
In terms of servers which allow you to upload data to back-up or use to share with your friends, one could consider uschovna.cz or uloz.to, which serve as data banks for personal use. You can upload your data and share it with friends, be it your photos from vacation or parties. The size limits are generous for the standard user, and will provide a great means of storing data elsewhere than just your computer. One may recall the international dropbox.com and other similar services, allowing users to store data on the cloud, i.e. not on the computer accessing it.
Videos have captured us ever since the introduction of the TV. We now watch movies online, download them and purchase them through various online outlets. Perhaps the most famous website that is synonymous with streaming video would be YouTube.com. Many documentaries, short movies, trailers, music videos, interviews etc. are available to virtually anyone. The Czech market, despite its minute size compared to the rest of the world, indeed has a very worthy equivalent, namely Stream.cz. Stream.cz is the exclusive outlet for some TV programs and has been used heavily by music producers and for viral video distribution, much like YouTube.com. It allows for user interaction and user uploads. Stream.cz also produces its own series of documentaries and reports, which have gained in popularity.
We all read, be it on the internet, in print, or on e-readers. With the internet, books and information have become easier to view, download, and purchase online. Much of the market is synonymous with Amazon.com and its local variations offering eBooks and printed books. Apple’s iBookstore is also worthy of a mention. The Czech market, although comparatively much smaller, offers local alternatives such as Neoluxor.cz, Kosmas.cz, palmknihy.cz, and eknihy.datart.cz. They all offer interesting titles in Czech and other languages, including English. The prices are often comparable to their international competitors, making the argument for downloading locally more viable.
We all love to take pictures at vacations, at events, or with friends. We also like to share these pictures with those around us. This is why an abundance of photo sharing servers have sprung up over the years. Internationally, you have probably come across Photobucket.com, Flickr.com, Picasa.com and other giants. The Czech Republic has some nice alternatives to offer, such as Rajce.net, which has become synonymous with photo sharing here. You may also require photos to use for your business purposes. You can consider purchasing professional stock photography from istockphoto.com, gettyimages.com, and others. If you want to use local sources, you can consider Fotobanka.cz or Profimedia.cz as an alternative. All of them offer high quality, professional photos that you can purchase, with prices depending on the resolution of the image you desire.
Online Auctions and Marketplaces
With more and more commerce and trade taking place over the internet, internet marketplaces and auction-based servers have gained considerable popularity. Large players like eBay.com and ebid.net offer the chance for users and business to sell items as auctions, i.e. allowing multiple users to bid for items before they purchase them. The Czech Republic offers Aukro.cz as the leading bidding system server on the Czech market. Aukro.cz has diversified extensively in terms of its offering and user base, listing a countless amount of items. Both Aukro.cz and eBay.com offer the option of listing a fixed price. For such classified-style sales, one could consider Expats.cz, Bazos.cz, or Annonce.cz as great resources for virtually anything worthy of selling, all categorized for ease of use and navigation.
A phenomenon of recent years, there are very few computer savvy people who haven’t heard of group buying and the leading servers that offer such services. Essentially, users can try services or products at significantly discounted prices, acting as a marketing tool in attracting interest and actual visits/purchases. Internationally, Kolektiva, Groupon, and other key players are synonymous with the industry. In the Czech Republic, Slevomat.cz, Zapakatel.cz, Vykupto.cz, and other similar servers have enjoyed exponential growth within a very short time, with most of them starting in 2010. Currently, some 140 group buying platforms operate on the Czech market. The benefit of the aforementioned is often their quality of offering, their presence in multiple Czech cities, and a guarantee many of the small players simply cannot match.
What other Czech websites do you use and how do they compare to similar ones abroad?