Jan 11

Creative Zen PMC – number 2

my replacment PMC is working very well up to now..at least it’s passed the 30 day mark which is more than the first 1. Subscribing to a few feeds via iPodder gives me some great random videos from all over the web -keeps me entertained onthe commute home. Just have to be careful to remove the random blue movie that creeps in…..especially before taking it home and letting the young cousins play with it 😉

Dec 02

MSN and Blogging

Saw on the Scobleizer that MSN have moved into providing a blogging service – MSN Spaces. BuzzHit has a great review of the goods and bads. What’s fun at the moment is clicking on the continuous updated list of new spaces and seeing how many blogs are being set up…find a blog that has one of the lists and just follow the trail. At the moment, every new blog opened adds a ‘new’ one to the top of the list, so take up rate, or at least trying rate, looks fast. Even if most of them are along they lines of ‘MSN’s got a blog space – here’s mine’ 😉

But did find a good post from Tony with an intersting comment about the increasing number of offerings out there, with everyone trying to lock you into their service so that youy do not look elsewhere.

Nov 29

Zen Portable Media Centre

Downloaded my mp3s/podcasts this morning to load them up for the commute. Got 2 minutes down the road and it just stopped. Looked at it and it was displaying a pretty generic, non-language based error screen that basically told me that the hard drive is shot, put it in it’s box and take it back to the shop – don’t pass go, don’t collect £200. So called on the support line who have now arranged to collect it and replace it with another (once I’ve dug up a receipt and prove I own it!). No fuss, no messing around – good support

So that’s a product I’ve had less than 30 days completely down the tubes. Let’s see how the next one is!

I’ve pulled off a very bad picture of the error page.

Nov 28

Apple Store

I wandered down to the new Apple Store on Regents St at lunch time on Friday. I was strangely underwhelmed by it for some reason. I’ve never used a Mac and don’t have an iPod, so the first thing I did was walk round trying all the stuff. The layout is great, with plenty of machines set up – even thought there were many customers around, there was plenty of opportunities to try things. However, what I wanted was something to tell me what these machines did – there was nothing except a name lable, with no description of the features. I know I’m supposed to ask the store personnel, the shear number of them gave the game away but I prefer to shop on my own, not to be talked to – read, get some comparisons and then ask, not to have no information to start with. Alhtough I did spend a lot of time just wandering and playing – the design aspect is wonderful, especially on the speakers

On the iPod front, I’d never actually seen one in action, so played around and did not find them too intuitive. The wheel thing did not work for me, I’ll stick to my Creative Zen – i can play videos as well and controls were easy enough

Apart from the informatiom (lack of) aspect, the rest of the store is brilliant. The upstair lecture theatre with the wide ranging list of seminars, the peronsal tuition/Genious Bar (although it had a 5 hour wait!) and the studio sessions all combine to make this a great store. Just needed better labelling – I ended up going back to work and looking the laptops up on the web to work out which one I like. Take a look and take a visit – find it here.

Nov 08

Portable Media Centres – the Zen Way

For the past week I’ve been playing around with a new toy, a Creative Zen Portable Media Centre. I hadn’t bought an iPod, the amount of music I normally listen to in any journey easily fits onto one or two CDs so did not see the need – and I don’t jog so a jog-free system was not important. But in this case, the ability to carry a lot of my other media in the one package attracted me.

I first saw it at a local Advertising/NewMedia conference and had been looking out for one since. In this case I had picked it up in Singapore so if I get an issue with it returning it to the vendor may be a wee problem. Especially as when I first plugged it in, the batttery light did not want to show – so there was no indication it was charging.

The first thing that went on it were all the holiday photos – great for taking into work and showing friends and colleagues. Far more easier for me than getting photos printed; I;ve still got films that are 5 years plus old, for some reason never something that I get round to, so digital is far easier. Next were some videos I had on the PC, to check for quality and then finally, a variety of MP3 downloads – mainly podcasts. Everythings works great so far with some minor problems.

  • The screen is far too shiny, so looking at in any kind of glare is a problem – plus it quickly picks up many curious fingerprints.
  • One of the earlier problems noted in reviews about lack of stand has been rectified, partly, through a case with a hard cover that acts as a stand – but does not offer enough positions to anchor in it on anything but the flattest of surfaces.
  • The menu and categorisation can sometimes get confusings – at time seem to go round and round the choices instead of up and down the directory. This will go with time and practice.
  • Interface to WMP10 works well; the only little issue I had was accidently shutting down the PC whilst still connected seems to freeze the software. Only removing the battery got it working again.
  • the volume resets it self to 0 when switching between headphones and speaker – very annoying habit

So far though, I’m loving it. Next wish – a remote control on the headphone cord. The connection point is there, just can’t find the device.