Llais Ifanc Reloaded

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday morning amazement or why do TV boxed sets still exist

I was bored Sunday morning. To cure this, I decided to watch a few informercials. I saw one for a eight CD set of songs from the 50's called Oldies But Goodies. The informercial was hosted by a guy named Bowzer (who was annoying to say the least) and Julie Lancaster. (BTW, if anyone is reading, who are these people?). The deal offered throughout all of this was 158 tracks on ten CDs for "five easy payments" of $29.95. While watching all of this I began to wonder if this was really a good deal.

Most digital music services, such as iTunes, Napster, or Amazon offer individual songs for 99 cents or in Wal-Mart's case 88 cents. If I were to buy this with the "five easy payments" of $29.95, the entire price would come out to $149.75. Dividing the to total of the set by the number of songs reveals that each songs costs 94 cents each! This is five cents cheaper than iTunes, Napster, or Amazon and six cents cheaper than Wal-Mart. The offer also promised free shipping and handling to the first 500 callers. The S&H was 16.99 which combined with the price after the five easy payments is $166.94. Doing the math again, each song costs $1.05 which is more six cents more expensive than iTunes, Napster, or Amazon and 17 cents more expensive than Wal-Mart. With the S&H included, the savings costs you save before the S&H is gone!

This all leads me to ask why these these box sets still exist. While you save per song, it seems there is a high cost of admission to get the savings. Also, while these songs were hits, how many would the average person like? Not all of them, I think. If the world does move to digital downloads, I wouldn't mind seeing these sets go the way of the Dodo.

Bottom line: research and then spin the bucks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Yesterday Apple released new iPods. On the whole this is a part of the natural progress the iPod has made for all of these years.

First off is the new iPod nano. Its now available in nine (flashy) colors and compared to previous model it is rounder and thinner than before. On the color end, I like these choices better. While last years colors were sober, this year I can actually tell which color is which. Interface wise, the nano has has its biggest change. Like the iPhone and iPod touch the screen rotates when watching video or looking at photos. There is also a "shake" feature that shuffles songs in a playlist. This appears to be the most interesting feature of all.

The new iPod touch, is in my view, the model that should have been released last year. It has gone through a redesign giving the device a curved back, a less conspicuous Wi-fi patch, and finally an internal speaker and volume buttons! There is also support for the Nike+iPod running sensor.

The iPod classic now only has 120GB of space with the previous 80GB and 160GB models dropped. This to me, seems like we are nearing the end.

Also new in both iPods and iTunes is a "Genius" feature. According to things I have seen via the Keynote, "Genius" is designed to create playlists using a song (such as this one) that is based on the songs it thinks you would link. At the Keynote it was said that this requires this to connect to Apple to update preferences; they have promised this mined data will be anonymous. I have my doubts about this.

When all is said and done, this was a small bump and a very meaningful one at that. As for the nano, its gotten a few new features that keep Apple ahead for a longer time. As someone who got a touch recently (more on this later), I'm excited to finally see the device become the best PDA and iPod ever.

We are in for good times.