Tag Archives: GMG Tech Talk

Are You Backing Up Your Digital Life? I Just Bought This 2TB External Drive For a Steal.

Here’s the link to this crazy good deal

My last 500GB external drive filled up about a year ago and I was searching for a larger external hard drive to save all those photos, videos and music that you see on the blog but the prices were insane.  The reason was because of the Earthquakes in Japan had knocked all these manufacturing plants offline.  now that they are back operational the costs for safeguarding your data against failure has never been cheaper.

And when you think about those precious photos of your children or grandchildren or those vacations to special places that you took and have saved on your computer how can you not get on it and back up your digital life.  I was naked for the past year without having the past year’s data backed up.  Not any more.

I highly suggest you get one of these external hard drives and set up your computer to automatically back up your essential files.  Think about your baby or grandbaby’s first steps in video.  Can you honestly say that $120.33 is too much to pay to insure that?

Anyway, prices have come down.  Your computer WILL fail eventually. They all do.  Back it up or lose life most precious moments, the choice is up to you.

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Compatibility
Formatted NTFS
Windows® XP, Windows Vista®, Windows 7
Mac OS® X Leopard®, Snow Leopard™

Bottom Line The Camera You Should Buy- The new Sony RX100

They did what no one else has done.

Stuffed a huge sensor in a small camera that can fit in your front pocket.

No one researches new cameras like I do.  No one, because what I do on this blog makes me appreciate what a large sensor and super fast Carl Zeiss 1.8 lens in a camera body that can fit in your front pocket can produce.

How many times have I told you the best camera is the one you have with you? A large DSLR that you don’t lug around with you because it is just too cumbersome is USELESS TO YOU if you decide to not bring it along with you.  But now there is no tradeoff.  they put that huge DSLR sensor into a camera that can fit in your pocket. #Boom!

This is the camera I’ve been screaming that camera makers should make and that people WOULD pay up for.  Something that would deliver excellent results in a small form factor.

I resigned myself last year to chalking it up to it not being possible because I figured I couldn’t be the only person that wants to be able to carry around a camera THIS CAPABLE IN LOW LIGHT in their front pocket.

NOT AROUND YOUR NECK, NOT HANHING OFF A STRAP OVER YOUR SHOULDER!

IN YOUR FRONT POCKET TUCKED AWAY FOR THE MOMENT SOMETHING AWESOME HAPPENS AND YOU WANT TO CAPTURE IT IN AWESOME DETAIL.

THIS IS THE CAMERA.  DON’T THINK- JUST BUY IT. 

It’s a premium constructed, premium picture quality Hi Def Video Monster in a small form factor.

They took what was really good about the Canon Powershot series S95 and S100 which are both very good cameras and blew it out with a sensor that is over double the size of those two cameras which are good performers in their own right but the RX100 crushes them in terms of performance.

NO ONE HAS DONE THIS BEFORE.  IT IS NOTHING SHORT OF REVOLUTIONARY.

Here it is-

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and the reviews-

First of all the RX100 sales success never stops. It still sells more than any other mirrorless or DSRL or High end compact camera at Amazon US (Click here to see the ranking) and slowly climbing the rankings at Amazon UK and Amazon Germany too. So let’s take a look at some of the most recent new tests:

The well know filmmaker and blogger Philip Bloom  usually tests heavy and expensive video stuff only but he could not resists to take a look at the Sony RX100 too: “This is aVERY small camera with a crap load of stuff in it and it does most of it, from what I have so far, very well. The best pocket camera I have used to date, beating my beloved Canon S100.” You can see some videos on his website (one of them I embedded on top of this post).

An enthusiastic review has been posted by the guys from The Verge (Click here): “Sony’s RX100 is nothing short of the best all-around compact camera I’ve ever seen. Where mirrorless cameras made waves by downsizing DSLR-quality photos into a package you could throw into your coat, the RX100 does the same for your jeans. It’s really no exaggeration to say that it produces images roughly on par with an average DSLR and kit lens combination, making this a revolutionary camera that means you’ll always be in a situation where you can take genuinely high quality pictures.

You can buy it herehttp://astore.amazon.com/gmap-20/detail/B00889ST2G

Apple’s Next Generation MacBook Pro is a Hardware Beast at a Price

The hardware apple pumps out is without parallel.  The specs on the new MacBook Pro makes it a dream machine.

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I am a fan of the iPhone, I am a HUGE fan of the iPad, I am a ginormous fan of Apple hardware.  What I know though is that for editing my blog quickly and for creating video clips with titles and credits and transitions and getting them published to the web I can do all of this faster on my windows 7 based PC for 1/4 of the price of the MacBook Pro.

I’ll challenge anyone, anywhere to a blog content creating competition- them using the new MacBook Pro and me using my 3 year old Gateway with an Intel i3 processor and Windows 7 with the free Windows Live Essentials suite of software which includes Live Writer and Live Movie Maker.

Keep in mind that I paid $550 for my gateway and the new MacBook Pro starts at $2200.

from Gizmodo

The "MacBook pro with Retina Display," the starship’s official name, starts at $2200 with a 2.3 GHz Ivy Bridge processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 SSD. Ships today. If you want to max it out—2.7 GHz processor, 16 GB of RAM, and the 768 GB SSD, it’ll hit you $3750.

The pricetag is a whole lot of dough and you get what you pay for if you are only concerned about having the very best hardware available.  But I believe when Microsoft introduced Windows 7 it introduced for my uses an operating system that allows me to do things way faster.  Ask Kim Smith when she needs to render a movie on her iMac and it takes half a day what would take me 30minutes on my PC.

Hardware is only part of the equation.  if you don’t have the software for what you want to do because they don’t make it for Apple it’s tough luck for you.

So if you have money to burn (and I mean if you have the kind of money where you light your cigars with $100 bills) and are already happy with Apple’s operating system and basically use your computer for surfing the web 99% of the time, knock yourself out and buy one of these gorgeous, powerful machines.

But if you want something to blog on and do a fair amount of power using, save your money and buy a slick windows based Ultrabook which might be spec’d out  a little less but will cost you anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 of the price and will allow you to create content much quicker.

I wish that MacBook Pro was introduced a little cheaper, not so I could buy one, but just so the Windows based Ultrabook which it competes with and will be the next family computer would come down in price as a competitor.  At that outrageous price of $2200 I think the Ultrabooks won’t even budge down in price a little and actually might have a little better pricing power.

7 Ways Ultrabooks Beat the New MacBook Air

The New Camera Gets Camera of the Year from “The Verge”

I’ve been loving the new camera.  As you all know I constantly bang the drum of keeping your equipment on the smaller side so you are more likely to bring it with you.

The Sony NEX-5N to me has been the best compromise of price/size/image quality/build quality/features

Here’s what “The Verge” had to say about it-

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SONY NEX-5N

The door that Sony cracked open with the NEX-5 has been blown wide open by the NEX-5N. Besides making the body marginally thinner and adding a touchscreen, Sony endowed the NEX-5N with a truly supreme image sensor. Its 16-megapixel CMOS sensor competes with the Nikon D7000 and Canon 60D (each company’s latest and greatest midrange DSLR) for noise performance, while delivering image quality that leaves other mirrorless cameras in the dust. If the NEX-5N had a universal microphone input and a more generous battery, it’d be a formidable DSLR replacement for professionals as well. As it stands, it’s the top choice for any hobbyist looking for the best image-quality-to-camera-size ratio.

I’ve been absolutely loving mine.  Soooo much fun to shoot with.  I highly highly highly recommend this camera for anyone from the person that wants the image quality of a large chunky DSLR in a much smaller form factor.

I’ll say it again though my mantra is if you only own one camera it should be one that you feel comfortable carrying around with you.  This won’t fit in your pants pockets like the Canon Powershot s95/s100 or Sony HX9V but it will blow away their picture quality with it’s larger sensor.

Click here for the shots I’ve taken with mine

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Love it!

GMG Tech Talk: Lifehacker Pretty Much Sums Up Online Music Services

This article from Lifehacker sums up online music purchases well.  I actually have used and continue to use all three and agree pretty much with everything in this article.  I used to buy everything through iTunes but now buy my music through the amazon store and then import them to iTunes because the music is usually about 10-30% cheaper on Amazon MP3.  Check out Amazon Music here

It’s a great article to get you up to speed. 

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Google Music vs Amazon MP3 vs iTunes: Which Online Music Store is the Best for You?

Google opened its new music store to all comers in the US this week, touting its partnerships with music labels and indie musicians, and its broad reach thanks to the Android Market. The new store has millions of songs for sale, but whether it’s a game changer, serious competition for iTunes and Amazon MP3, or the best online music store out there is another question entirely. Let’s take a look at each service based on its features.

Each music store is a little different. This showdown is all about the music stores that these companies offer—not their respective players, applications, or services. We can’t help but mention them in terms of usability and integration with the store and the user experience, but we’re going to try and focus on the features of the stores and steer clear of the bugs or quirks of each player.

Click here for the whole story

ZDNet Today: 7 reasons the Kindle Fire is better than the iPad But I Wanna Hear From Our FOB’s That Got Theirs (Are You Listening Mr Morrison?)

By David Gewirtz | November 16, 2011, 5:39am PST

Summary: To be fair, I’ve only had a few hours to tinker with the new device, but I can already say that there are a bunch of ways the Kindle Fire is better than the iPad.

My Kindle Fire arrived last night. I was surprised to find myself excited, waiting for it to arrive. This was especially surprising, because in September, I detailed 12 reasons you might NOT want to buy a Kindle Fire.

To be fair, I’ve only had a few hours to tinker with the new device, but I can already say that there are a bunch of ways the Kindle Fire is better than the iPad.

For the rest of the article click here and read his review

Now when I recommended people get this I never dreamed anyone would come out and say a $200 Kindle Fire would be better than a polished excellent device as the iPad at almost 3 times the price.  I figured it would be pretty damn good and the thing about it that would be killer was that $200 price point.

This is quite the coup.  I’m really eager to hear from those of you who got one yesterday or today in the mail from my initial recommendation

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I’m dying to hear from you guys.  How do you like it?????

Paul Morrison I have some specific questions-

How is the screen?

Did you watch any youtube videos on it?

Did you access email on it?

Is it a value at $200 and who is it the perfect gift for if so?

Kindle Fire first impressions: Wow!

By Ed Burnette | November 16, 2011, 11:59am PST

Summary: I have the new Kindle Fire from Amazon in my hot little hands and I’m not letting go. It’s going to take the tablet market by storm.

I thought about posting an article consisting of a single word to describe my first impressions with the Kindle Fire. The word is:

Wow

Figuring this might be a lacking a little in the detail department, I decided to write something longer. So here you go:

Wow!

Kidding aside, the Kindle Fire arrived at my doorstep in an unassuming brown cardboard box yesterday afternoon. I’ve spent several hours playing with it, trying different apps on it, and hooking it up to Eclipse to see if I could write and debug programs for it. And let me just say, I’m impressed.

The Kindle Fire is a sweet little tablet, exceeding my expectations in almost every way. Especially considering the $199 price. Where do I start?

  • The screen is bright and colorful, a pleasure to read and play.
  • The size is perfect; much easier to carry around than a 10 inch tablet. It even fits in my big pockets.
  • The Fire’s screen has true independent two-finger multi-touch. Games like Pew Pew 2 have no problem at all with their joystick-like controls.
  • All the Amazon user interfaces are beautifully designed and color coordinated.
  • Integration with the Amazon ecosystem of books, movies, and apps, is airtight and natural.
  • The Fire is fast! App switching, page turning, video watching, no matter what you throw at it, it just purrs along. I’ve read reviews about it being sluggish, but that hasn’t been my experience at all.
  • It uses the latest version of Android for which source code was available (2.3.4 API level 10). This is important because it’s the first version with decent APIs for native gaming. According to a source at Amazon who asked not to be named, they are working to port Android 4 to the Fire now that the code is available.
  • Amazon did a great job handling navigation with no hardware buttons without taking up a lot of the screen (better than stock Android 3.x or 4.x IMHO).
  • The Fire allows side-loading of apps, so I can install apps from web sites or email attachments (great for developers and enterprise users).

Paul Morrison Chimes in with a short review and answers to my questions–

I’ll write a longer review as soon as I get feedback from Sue who is an avid Kindle reader. But in answer to your questions:

How is the screen?
The clarity is amazing.

Did you watch any youtube videos on it?
Yes, within moments of thinking of youtube and typing Tim Minchin I had a selection of his youtubes, selecting Prejudice I was watching a crystal clear video in the right format. Nicely done. You don’t even have to think about it.

Did you access email on it?
Even though it is Sue’s I checked it out. Took about 30 seconds to put in some settings for one of my gmail accounts. Very simple and well laid out .

Is it a value at $200 and who is it the perfect gift for if so?
As I was messing with it just now and getting hooked on listening to the audio book of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (gotta buy that now) I think the answer is easy. This Kindle is for someone who wants to ingest input from the outside world. Movies, (the trailers look awesome) TV (samples look great), books (That is Amazon’s ecosystem), audiobooks. The layout to consume that stuff is simple, easy, elegant. I tried to think of myself as a grumpy old person born before the internet was invented and I could easily see figuring out the bookshelf and how to go get all of this stuff. Amazon is the perfect portal to all of that stuff. Buying stuff from Amazon.com also looks way to easy. 1 clickety click and the boxes show up.

I need to have Sue read a book to compare to the Kindle Reader. The fact that the screen is lit and not passive might be a dela breaker. Battery life might also be since the Kindle Reader lasts a month to the 8 hours on the Kindle Fire.

My last word: This thing is great because competition is what makes for good stuff. The iPad has some competition. They may lose the chunk of people who want to consume some good text/video. The iPad2 just has a lot more stuff. For the geek who wants everything this falls short but fortunately most of us aren’t geeks.

Kindle Fire’s Are Shipping!!!

This just in from Patrick Ryan-

Fw: Your Amazon.com order of "Kindle Fire, Full Color 7"…" has shipped!

Greetings Patrick J Ryan!
We thought you’d like to know that we shipped your items, and that this
completes your order.

Your estimated delivery date is:
  Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If you ordered one let me know if you got your shipping confirmation as well!

And Gizmodo Raves About It!-

Kindle Fire Review: The iPad Finally Has Serious Competition

The Kindle Fire is stuck between e-ink minimalism and gleaming iPad decadence. That could either make it the goofy middle child in the tablet family, or a singular wunderkind. But the Fire will not be overlooked. Apple: Be afraid.

Why it matters

Amazon isn’t just a bookstore. Nor is it a music store, shoe store, video streaming service, or newsstand. Amazon has wrapped all of these things together into a rich, easy way to suck down almost every conceivable form of media with one key: Prime. But Prime has been stuck behind the tangled butterface of Amazon.com—the site is a mess, a cage. This Kindle is meant to change all that, to not only be a Better Kindle, but a direct conduit to all of Prime’s awesomeness: the missing piece.

And what a piece it is, right? It’s hard to believe it sprung from the same hatchery as the Kindles of yore, with its dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, and a gorgeous 7-inch, 16-million color display beaming a custom Amazonian Android build, made specifically for Kindle’s essence.

If the Fire succeeds, everything changes for Amazon. And for Apple as well.

Using it

The Fire doesn’t feel like any other Android tablet—and that’s a very, very good thing. From the minute you turn it on, the device is puzzlingly simple. Where’s the home screen?, someone might ask you. All you see is a shelf, stacked with whatever you’ve looked at recently: novels, magazines, apps, TV episodes—everything. The emphasis is squarely on picking out stuff to stimulate your eyeballs (and ears) with—all else is secondary. This makes for a UI that’s not only simple, but intuitive. You don’t have to think about how to use the Fire, because unlikeApple’s dodgy attempts at interface metaphors, Amazon’s works perfectly: here’s my shelf of things. Which thing will I choose?

Of course, there’s more than the shelf. A search bar at up top does the obvious across everything you own, and small organizational tabs inconspicuously span the upper boundary of the screen: newspapers and magazines, books, music, video, docs, apps, and a web browser. Need more to consume? The Store is always at most two clicks away. Tap Books. Tap Store. Here’s the entirety of Amazon’s catalog, neatly organized, easily downloaded.

The reason Apple should be afraid isn’t because the Kindle Fire is going to blow away the iPad based on spec.  The iPad is $600, the Kindle Fire is $200 though and the reason apple should be worried is because tehre is finally some serious competition price wise.

That $200 price point for a great tablet (Kindle Fire) is going to put a lot of units in the hands of the population and those are people who won’t pony up the huge dough for admittedly a great product (the iPad) but at three times as much cost.

For those of you who ordered one for yourself, I can’t wait for you to write in and give me your impressions! Patrick Ryan this means you!  The 16th is just two days away!

Here’s your link to order ‘em and get some Christmas shopping done!

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The $200 Kindle Fire Gets The Nod From Tech Blog Engadget

from engadget-
Amazon adds Hulu Plus, ESPN ScoreCenter to Kindle’s Android apps, Nook Tablet loses its edge

By Joseph Volpe posted Nov 11th 2011 7:04PM

Not sufficiently amped up for the impending release of Amazon’s first tablet? That could very well change as the Seattle-based company’s just made its thousands-strong app pot a little sweeter. After reminding the product-buying populace a few days ago that the newly birthed Kindle Fire is, indeed, atablet with access to a boatload of Android apps, Bezos and co. are now upping the slate’s ante by announcing the availability of Hulu Plus and ESPN ScoreCenter. It’s an obvious swat at the Nook Tablet’s two greatest lures and could sway indecisive customers back from the brink of Barnes & Noble’s beguiling clutches.

It’s becoming more and more apparent that the Kindle Fire Color Tablet is going to sell like hotcakes.

The Amazon Fire Tablet is going to be this year’s Zhu Zhu Pet and past year’s Cabbage Patch Doll.  

It’s brilliantly priced for people who don’t have to do everything an iPad can do or as seamlessly.  Also there are more pixels than the already fantastic iPad screen?
This will sell well, really well for all those folks who can’t justify an iPad at the same price of a decently spec’d laptop.

You can and should pre-order one for Christmas presents if you don’t want to spring ALL the money for an iPad.

get on the list here

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Technical Details:

Display
7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.

Size (in inches)
7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).

Weight
14.6 ounces (413 grams).

System Requirements
None, because it’s wireless and doesn’t require a computer.

On-device Storage
8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.

Cloud Storage
Free cloud storage for all Amazon content

Battery Life
Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.

Charge Time
Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.

Wi-Fi Connectivity
Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.

USB Port
USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

Audio
3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.

Content Formats Supported
Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.

Documentation
Quick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User’s Guide (pre-installed on device)

Warranty and Service
1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warrantyavailable for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Kindle is subject to the Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use.

Included in the Box
Kindle Fire tablet, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

$199.00 Free Super Saver Shipping

Pre-order now to reserve your place in line

Our all-new Kindle Fire will be released on November 15, 2011. Orders are prioritized on a first come, first served basis.

Ships from and sold by Amazon Digital Services. U.S. only.

Movies, apps, games, music, reading and more, plus Amazon’s revolutionary, cloud-accelerated web browser

  • 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
  • Amazon Appstore – thousands of popular apps and games
  • Ultra-fast web browsing – Amazon Silk
  • Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle
  • Fast, powerful dual-core processor
  • Amazon Prime members enjoy unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows

This thing has more pixels than the iPad at less than half the price?  If anyone has seen the iPads gorgeous screen you know that’s a big deal.   The thing will play windows videos as well as mac videos and best of all it supports Flash, so all those flash based sites you can’t access on an iPad, you can on the kindle Fire.

If they were both the same price I’d buy the iPad all day long but when you take that $200 price into account it’s tough to beat for value.

Best move is to put in a pre-order for one ASAP and even if you change your mind you can cancel the order before November but best case scenario is you sell it for double on eBay to someone who desperately needs one to give as a Christmas present.

A laptop and/or pc replacement for $200 and will do everything that 90% of people need it to do.

Is it a replacement for a power user?   Obviously not, but power users only make up 10% or less of the marketplace IMO and the  Kindle Fire will capture the other 90% of the marketplace’s needs.  This would be PERFECT for my mom, my wife, my nephew or niece, my sister, just about anyone whose computing use is 90% Facebook and 10% web browsing.

No-Brainer as my boy Patrick Ryan said to me.

GMG Tech Talk- the Official Gloucester MA Hashtag- #Gloucester #MA vs. #GloucesterMa

Bill O’Connor writes-

Hey Joey,

I started this topic on Twitter, but I thought it would be fun to include your audience in the discussion.  This isn’t about trying to get something to trend on Twitter – its more about creating an exclusive Twitter channel for Gloucester, MA.  I just ran into a similar situation with Salem this month.  There’s all kinds of Salems out there but only one Salem, MA. Going to #SalemMa to find info on their busiest month (Salem = Halloween) is much easier than visiting #Salem #MA.

I noticed that #Gloucester on Twitter is totally cluttered with other Gloucesters – mainly Gloucester, England & Gloucester, New Jersey.  It’s enough to make someone have to dig for info on Gloucester MA, and not very user friendly.  

I then checked #GloucesterMa and noticed that @GDTnews started it and think it’s a great idea. It fine tunes the aggregation of our collective data and makes finding Gloucester Mass info on Twitter so much easier.  If we follow a pattern of posting to #GloucesterMa, we can collectively Tweet occasionally on #Gloucester #MA something like – ‘Looking for info on #Gloucester #MA? Try #GloucesterMa!’

I’m with @GDTnews on this and my vote is for #GloucesterMa in all Gloucester-centric tweeting!

Thanks,
~Bill O’Connor
North Shore Kid, @kidns

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Joey writes in response-

Well it’s a great topic Bill brings up and I should just state that there shouldn’t even be a debate.  The official Gloucester MA hashtag for twitter should be #GloucesterMA and not two separate #Gloucester #Ma.  The answers should be plain as day when you click on those respective hashtags on twitter. 

When you click on #Ma you’re going to get anything and everything that anyone has used for the #Ma including  everything in Massachusettes as well as a bunch of mother tweets. That alone defeats the purpose of the hashtag which is intended to drill down your results.  On top of that with #Gloucester #Ma you use 15 characters as opposed to 13 characters with #GloucesterMa  Those two characters are valuable real estate in a 160 character max tweet.

To make it more clear-

Click here for  twitter search results for #Gloucester and then here for #Ma and take note of what it returns (you don’t need to have a twitter account to do this)

as opposed to the far better option-click the link-  #GloucesterMa

That should make things crystal clear as to the far superior option.

Thanks Bill @kidns and @GDTnews for bringing it to our attention.  No need for a poll, this is case closed, from now on I’ll be using #GloucesterMa unless of course I need those last two characters in which case the Ma gets the ax.

Oh and BTW, you can follow your boy Joey here- @Joey_C

GMG Tech Talk- Where I Buy My Online Music and Why It Isn’t iTunes

I have an iPad, I love it.  I am not an apple hater, they make fantastic hardware.  You pay for the luxury of using apple products dearly.  I happen to think that I can create my blog way faster and efficiently using Windows 7 than a Mac but that isn’t what we’re talking about in this post.

Right now I’m going to tell you why I don’t buy my online music through iTunes any longer.

For a cell phone I have an android HTC EVO.  The thing can do a crazy amount of things way better than an iPhone because android’s operating system allows it to be customized way more than what you can do with an iPhone.  This is good AND bad.

For most people (read non geeky tech folks) I would recommend an iPhone over an android one.  The reason being that because android is SO customizable there are often little quirks that pop up like battery drainage if you are running some rogue app and other things that occasionally drive me nuts but because my android phone lets me do certain things for the blog way more efficiently, that’s why I’ll be sticking with android and the android platform.  Google basically pumps out a stupid number of awesome applications that integrate so well with it and they charge nothing for them but for people that don’t need all those bells and whistles the iPhone works great.

Anyway, here’s my second attempt to get back on track.  Online music purchases.

Amazon has an mp3 store and app for amazon which allows you to buy any music and it stores it in the cloud AND allows you to download it and sync it wirelessly with all of your devices. 

It bothers me that when I pay $1.29 for a song in my iTunes account, I can’t just find it in my iTunes music library and drop it into my android music folder for listening on my cell phone with headsets or through bluetooth.  I have to go in and convert the file over. 

With the Amazon mp3 store you click to buy the song on your desktop or your phone and once and it downloads it to the cloud for listening anywhere, then it syncs it with your desktop computer and cell phone AND here’s the kicker….. wait for it…….. syncs it with my iTunes account.  So you buy it for cheaper and you can instantly listen to it on all your devices using Amazon Cloud Player or you can pay more for it on iTunes, have to manually convert and then add the song to each of your other devices.

On top of that Amazon’s Cloud Player is free and will store 5GB of your music to the cloud instead of having to store it on your cell phone which leaves free space on your device for applications.

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Here’s a video explaining it

 

Here is the music I’ve recently downloaded-

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For those of you who are gonna get the Kindle Fire  this is a great way to buy and store your music.  Once you fire up that Kindle Fire your music will sync right to it.  Brilliant, the way it ought to be!

 

GMG Tech Talk- Google Plus Photo Albums Are Pretty Slick

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Paul Morrison hosted his pictures from The Cape Ann Artisan Tour on Google Plus.

The layout of how the photos are displayed in album and slideshow formats are probably the nicest I’ve seen.  So I gave it a whirl creating one from The Bean’s soccer match last weekend. Click on either hyperlink above to see what I mean.

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Super easy to create as well. You simply select the photos you want to add and give the album a name.  It allows you to share it by hyperlink as well and people can comment on them.

If you haven’t tried it yet, get to it (it’s free too)

If you don’t have an Google Plus account here is an invite

Hint to GMG contributors- You may want to try this out, it’s an easy way to share stuff.

Kindle Fire Tablet and Why It Will be Wildly Successful

The Kindle Fire Color Tablet is going to sell like hotcakes.

The Amazon Fire Tablet is going to be this year’s Zhu Zhu Pet and Past year’s Cabbage Patch Doll.   The thing where everyone will be killing themselves to get and there won’t be enough to go around creating a frenzy to get them.  you heard it here.  Sepember 28th, 2011.  Write it down.

It’s brilliantly priced for people who don’t have to do everything an iPad can do or as seamlessly.  Also there are more pixels than the already fantastic iPad screen?
This will sell well, really well for all those folks who can’t justify an iPad at the same price of a decently spec’d laptop.

You can and should pre-order one for Christmas presents if you don’t want to spring ALL the money for an iPad.

get on the list here

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Technical Details:

Display
7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.

Size (in inches)
7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).

Weight
14.6 ounces (413 grams).

System Requirements
None, because it’s wireless and doesn’t require a computer.

On-device Storage
8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.

Cloud Storage
Free cloud storage for all Amazon content

Battery Life
Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.

Charge Time
Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.

Wi-Fi Connectivity
Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.

USB Port
USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

Audio
3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.

Content Formats Supported
Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.

Documentation
Quick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User’s Guide (pre-installed on device)

Warranty and Service
1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Kindle is subject to the Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use.

Included in the Box
Kindle Fire tablet, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

$199.00 Free Super Saver Shipping

Pre-order now to reserve your place in line

Our all-new Kindle Fire will be released on November 15, 2011. Orders are prioritized on a first come, first served basis.

Ships from and sold by Amazon Digital Services. U.S. only.

Movies, apps, games, music, reading and more, plus Amazon’s revolutionary, cloud-accelerated web browser

  • 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
  • Amazon Appstore – thousands of popular apps and games
  • Ultra-fast web browsing – Amazon Silk
  • Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle
  • Fast, powerful dual-core processor
  • Amazon Prime members enjoy unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows

This thing has more pixels than the iPad at less than half the price?  If anyone has seen the iPads gorgeous screen you know that’s a big deal.   The thing will play windows videos as well as mac videos and best of all it supports Flash, so all those flash based sites you can’t access on an iPad, you can on the kindle Fire.

If they were both the same price I’d buy the iPad all day long but when you take that $200 price into account it’s tough to beat for value.

My prediction, when you want to buy one, for Christmas present’s they will be so backordered you probably won’t be able to get one.

Best move is to put in a pre-order for one ASAP and even if you change your mind you can cancel the order before November but best case scenario is you sell it for double on eBay to someone who desperately needs one to give as a Christmas present.

There’s no way they produce enough for the demand at that price point.

A laptop and/or pc replacement for $200 and will do everything that 90% of people need it to do.

Is it a replacement for a power user?   Obviously not, but power users only make up 10% or less of the marketplace IMO and the  Kindle Fire will capture the other 90% of the marketplace’s needs.  This would be PERFECT for my mom, my wife, my nephew or niece, my sister, just about anyone whose computing use is 90% Facebook and 10% web browsing.

No-Brainer as my boy Patrick Ryan said to me earlier.

GMG Tech Talk- Revising My Recommended Camera List

I have been a huge fan of the Canon Powershot s95 and have not hesitated to recommend it to our readers time and time again for it’s compact size and oversized sensor.  The Powershot s95 is easy to recommend to people but I should let people know that it isn’t necessarily the best camera for those who want big time zoom range and before I go any further I should tell you that just recently they announced the successor to that camera the Canon Powershot s100.  

The powershot s100 was recently announced and you can read about what they added to the specs from the s95 here at one of my favorite tech gadget blogs, Engadget

Canon unveils PowerShot S100 and SX40 HS high-end point-and-shoots

For the condensed version of the article in Engadget, -

The S100 features improved low-light performance thanks to its f/2.0 lens and new, larger 12.1 megapixel CMOS censor (gone is the CCD of yore). It also has a GPS receiver for embedding location data in your photos.

Both cameras will cost $430, with the S100 set to ship in early November

Right now you can buy the Powershot s95 for $359 which I still would do because I don’t consider the bump up to 1080p video and a slight increase to the sensor worth the extra $70.  Either camera will be the best performing camera you can own that you can still comfortably keep in your pocket and take great pictures indoors in low light.  Basically this is the perfect carry around camera for 80% of the picture taking population.  The only negative with the Powershot s95 or upcoming powershot S100 is that they are limited in zoom range.  To date, and believe me when I tell you that I’ve done the research, there is NO camera that will give you that large sensor with a long zoom range so the trade off you are making with the Powershots are if you plan on trying to zoom in across a harbor and want that type of ability you can’t get that far but they excel in dimlit lit situations.  It excels indoors and around town.

You can get the Powershot s95 on sale here for $359 

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and preorder the Powershot S100 if you want the slight bump up in specs here

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Now I’d like to offer some suggestions for alternatives for folks that want a great camera that still has the ability to be pocketed but offers a great zoom range.  Many of you know that I’m a huge fan of Sony Cameras and have bought every two years or so the latest in the same line of Sony zooms.  When I started the blog I used the Sony DSC-H3, then bought the updated Sony DSC-H20 and just recently have upgraded to the Sony DSC- HX9v which I paid $359 but just this past week they dropped the price to $319 on Amazon  Now I will tell you that in very poor lighting the Canon Powershot s95 or S100 will outperform my Sony HX9V but for the type of shooting and for lots of the subjects that I need to be able to capture, the 5 times zoom just isn’t enough for me.  It’s plenty for the soccer mom but not someone that is trying to capture a seagull from 50 yards away.  So I am willing to sacrifice some low light performance in the name of being able to just about always get that shot of that thing that happens to be just out of photographic reach of the Powershot.  If they made a camera that had a ten times zoom, a sensor the size that the Powershot’s have and the size that is still being able to comfortably carry in your front pocket I’d buy it in a second, for three times the price but they don’t, trust me I research cameras every single day.  If they made one I’d own it.

The Sony HX9V, my current walkaround camera-

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The HX9v specs are fantastic.  The ones that matter to me most -

Full HD 1080/60p with dual record of stills and movies

Sony G lens with 16x optical zoom in a compact camera body

3D stills and 3D Sweep Panorama mode: change the way you view your world.

So if you like my photos and want to buy what I would buy if you want to be able to zoom in on subjects it’s the Sony HX9V, if you do mostly indoor shooting and family pictures it is the Powershot S95 or preorder the Powershot S100

Here is a Flickr group with photos from users that own the Sony HX9V-

click pic for slideshow-

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Here is a link to all my top picks fro camera gear.  Anything on this list is what I use or want to use and represents what I consider the best intersection of price/performance/portability.

as always if you have specific camera questions, email me at goodmorninggloucester@yahoo.com and I can help you make a decision on which camera to buy for your budget and needs.

Navigating GMG- Some Tools You May or May Not Know Are Available to You

Some of you access the Blog directly through the webpage address- www.goodmorninggloucester.com some of you through our Facebook page, some of you get the nightly feed in an email by subscribing to Good Morning Gloucester.

I’m happy whichever way you come back to us, so long as you indeed , come back to us. I’d like to explain for the folks that follow along with us through Facebook and through the nightly email subscription about some features you may want to utilize.

Number one of all features that resides in the left hand column of the blog at www.goodmorninggloucester.com -

THE SEARCH BOX!!!!!!!!

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So if there is something that someone tried to tell you about that they saw on GMG say last week and it doesn’t happen to be on the front page any more, just type in the topic in the search box.  If we wrote about it, chances are you can find  it in the search box.

Below the search box in the right hand column when you access the blog directly at www.goodmorninggloucester.com There are options to email me, Follow our posts on facebook, follow along with recent comments and below each posts there are little buttons you can click if you care to share a post you like.  the options offered are sharing on facebook, twitter, share by emailing the post, you can print the post, share in google circles, and more.

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Below that you can check out the podcast, Learn how to get a free GMG Sticka, and listen to the official GMG Theme Song From earl and Arch

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That may be a lot for the technology challenged folks to absorb all in one day so we will revisit more GMG tools available on the blog in installment II tomorrow.

Where’s the moon going to rise? From John Wheeler

John writes-

Joey,

It was nice to meet you tonight. Here is the web site I was telling you about.

Has you can see in the attached picture, I knew when, and where to be to get the moon between the towers. Knowing the time of the moon-rise ,and sun-set helps with the exposure of the Twin Lights. I’m still working on my settings, so I don’t over expose the moon, or under expose the rest of the shot.

I hope the other photographers find this has cool to use has I do.

The other picture is something I found on my way across the rocks, off Penzance Rd. in Rockport. I was told it is where the earth split millions of years ago, and filled in with molten lava.

http://photoephemeris.com/

IMG_5643IMG_5655-1

GMG Tech Talk- Google Flights Kicks Every Other Flight Search Engine’s Ass

Holy Smokes This Flight Search Engine Is Lightening Fast.  I normally use Kayak and have done so for years to research the best flights.  Kayak IMO used to be the best but Google Flights Takes The Best of Kayak and speeds it up by like a bazillion times.  the results are near instantaneous.

Check it out for yourself and bookmark it (and if you don’t use bookmarks on your computer join the latest century won’t you and figure this stuff out)-

Google Flights

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Update: The Gear You Should Buy- Pocket Camera The Canon Powershot s95:Gizmodo Agrees Calling It The Best Pocket Camera

I posted this about a month ago but am editing it because a gadget blog I visit daily just named it best Pocket Camera.

Here is their article that came out today September 1, 2011

http://gizmodo.com/5720794/battlemodo-the-best-point+and+shoot-cameras

The only thing is they say it is around $400 but I see the Powershot s95 on Amazon for $369 here

People ask me all the time what camera I would buy.  As a gadget information freak I feel like I’m pretty qualified to give advice in this arena so instead of answering this question over and over again in private emails I’m going to start a series of my personally approved items that I 100% endorse.  I’ll also give you the reasoning behind why I endorse the products.

The first product up is for a pocket camera.  many of you have read my thoughts on cameras and how important I feel it is to own a camera that you can comfortably carry with you without having to lug a cumbersome bag.

Before anyone should own a DSLR in my opinion, they should own a good pocket camera.

The canon powershot s95 is not like 99 percent of compact cameras in one hugely important aspect- It contains a sensor that is 88% larger than most compact camera sensors.  while most people ask about megapixels, what they don’t realize is that the size of a camera sensor is vastly more important to picture quality than the amount of megapixels packed onto a small sensor.

Photography is all about collecting light and recording it.  A larger sensor allows you to collect more light more efficiently so you get far superior results.

Here is an article in the new York Times from technology editor David Pogue-

A Love Letter to a Camera

Dear Canon S95,

I don’t often write love letters to gadgets. But you, you’re something special.

Truth is, I’ve been searching for someone like you for years.

The Canon S95 has a sensor with 88 percent more area than most pocket cameras’ sensors.The Canon S95 has a sensor with 88 percent more area than most pocket cameras’ sensors.

FDDP
The Times’s technology columnist, David Pogue, keeps you on top of the industry in his free, weekly e-mail newsletter.

See, I love the huge light sensor that’s inside an SLR. It can take sharp low-light shots without the flash. It can blur the background the way professionals do.

I just don’t like how an SLR is big and heavy and obtrusive.

What I’ve always wanted is a little camera with a big sensor. Is that so hard?

Apparently, yes. The problem is covering a rectangular sensor chip with a circle of light from the lens. Bigger sensor? You need a bigger camera. Those are the simple bylaws of physics.

But you, oh, cute little Canon PowerShot S95! I love that you’re a pocket camera, only 3.9 by 2.3 by 1.2 inches. I love your big, bright, three-inch screen, your built-in flash, your H.D.M.I. output for hi-def TV sets. I love that you turn on directly into Playback mode, without having to extend the lens.

I love the unique control ring around the dial, which I can quickly program to adjust whatever feature I want: focus, zoom, exposure, light sensitivity (ISO), aperture, even degree of color saturation (all the way to black-and-white).

I’ve had fun with your special modes, like the tilt-shift-lens simulator and fake fisheye.

I love the wink-driven self-timer. Yes, I set up the camera, walk into the scene, and then wink—the picture is taken two seconds later. Beats hunting around for a remote control. (Or I can ask you to wait two seconds after a new person—that would be me, joining the group—enters the frame.)

But above all, I love your enormous sensor. It’s 0.59 inches diagonally—88 percent more area than most pocket cameras’ sensors. And I love that you have an f/2.0 lens, a rarity among pocket cameras, meaning that you let in a lot more light.

And all of this means that you, little S95, can take amazing, sharp pictures in low light without the flash. Your designers have shrewdly dropped the ludicrous quest for more megapixels—you have 10 megapixels, just right—in favor of something that really matters, like better photos.

click here to read the entire article at The New York Times Website

So if you want to buy it, you can get a great deal on the Canon Powershot on Amazon here-

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My best technically difficult shot of 2010 was taken with this camera-

Here is a video demonstrating how great it is in low light (a true test of a camera’s sensor)

GMG Tech Talk- Google Plus, Google Circles

How many of you are actually using these services?

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When they first appeared around what seems like a couple of weeks ago lots of people were signing up and tech media were predicting that it was going to turn Facebook on it’s ear. ahem (Paul Morrison).

The numbers of people were signing up for the services were enormous as there are already a ton of people who use and trust Google products to begin with.   So the growth was probably from people saying sure, what the hell, I’ll give it a try and with the sheer number of Google users to begin with those numbers of new accounts when reported in the media are staggering.

Well Google products have a long history of success and I use many of them daily. Gmail, Google Calendar, Documents, Google Music and Google Listen among a few I use most every day.  There have been a few misses with products that may have been a little ahead of it’s time or too smart to catch on universally.  Among one that comes to mind was the collaborative tool Google Wave which promised real time online collaborations.  I used it once or twice and it was interesting but not enough folks caught on.  Kenny and I edit our podcast shownotes in Google docs sometimes simultaneously and Google Docs seems like it took a lot of things from Google wave and integrated them.

As tech savvy as I consider myself I still can’t get the hang of circles.  It may be just a little too slick and I just don’t have the energy to figure it all out right now.  So my intuition tells me that if I can’t figure it out in a snap that most grandmothers will say fuck it and not bother.  This is a huge difference between Facebook and Google Circles.  Facebook seems just super easy peasy lemon squeazy whereas Google Circles seems like people really need to sort a whole bunch of stuff out to make it manageable.

Google +?  I’ve clicked on that +1 button on a bunch of different sites including this one when there are things that I find interesting and I figure it will share that somewhere but I’ve yet to figure out where that +1 button is visible or who gets to see the post or page that I find interesting enough to click the +1 button for.  Again, I consider myself pretty much a 9.5 on the scale from 1-10 on the tech geek scale so for me not to understand it gives me a strong sense that a good majority of people don’t understand it either.

Maybe once my season slows down and once the winter doldrums set in I’ll have time to get more into it but I’m just not sure the masses will and isn’t that what Google wants to capture with it’s products-  the masses?

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GMG Tech Talk- Don’t Fall For The Megapixel Hype

It seems camera manufacturers are in a race to offer cameras with more and more megapixels.

Here is an excellent definition of megapixels and when they count and when they don’t-

Trying to Define Megapixels?

What is more important than megapixels is sensor size.  the sensor is what collects the light at the other end of your lens and the larger the sensor size the more light can be collected and presumably the better your photos will be.

Here is a sensor size chart-

from wikipedia-

 

Most point and shoot cameras today have sensors that are 1/2.3  APS-C sized sensors like the ones found on your average DSLR are much larger and image quality in low light situations are noticeably better. 

So when shopping for a camera you can go with a larger DSLR for the very best images or a smaller one with an above average sized sensor that will still fit in your pocket like the one I recommend, the Canon Powershot s95.  I think at $369 it is the very best combination of size/price/quality.

Do Not get lured in by megapixels when shopping for a camera.  the Mrs’ Nikon D40 only has 6 megapixels (very few compared to todays 12-18 megapixel cameras) but gets photos like these-

click picture for slide show

If you ever want a camera recommendation let me know and send me an email.  I’ll ask a few questions at to what you will be using it for and give you a recommendation.

goodmorninggloucester@yahoo.com

Recently on Mashable, highly respected tech blogger Charlie white writes about two cameras in which he pits head to head to decide which is best for a blogger.  I conclude that neither are great options.  Read the article for yourself and look for my comments at the end-

Nikon D5100 vs. Olympus E-P3: Which Camera Is Best For Bloggers? [REVIEW]

I say neither.

Gear Joey Loves- The Sony MDR-V6 Headphones

I can understand why portable earbuds are popular, because you can stick ‘em in your pocket and carry them every where you go.  I use them for travel but it doesn’t take too long for them to really irritate my ears.  They are uncomfortable, sound tinny as hell and the wires seem like they always become a tangled mess.

Do you remember back in the early eighties when they made real headphones?  The ones with the nice soft cushy ear pieces that slipped over your ear and delivered that high fidelity music to your ears?  Well there are a classic set of headphones that Sony still makes and they are currently on sale.  Normally they go for around $109 but right now they are on sale on amazon for $64.99 with free shipping.

When I tell you that for $64.99 you will rediscover the way music was supposed to be listened to the price seems negligible.

You can order them here

Here are some of the reviews from audiophiles-

111 of 118 people found the following review helpful.
5My favorite headphones
By M. Chabot
The Sony MDR-V6s were the first really good headphones I owned. After about 15 years of use, the foam padding was a bit run down. After doing the exhaustive search for the best headphones, I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD580s (I also own Etymotic ER-4Ps). Comparing the HD580 to my MDR-V6s, I would say that the MDR-V6s are better for two reasons. 1. The MDR-V6s are more comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and 2. The MDR-V6s have a telephone-like cord, which is easier to deal with than the straight HD580 cord. The sound quality was very good on both headphones, and about equal. I ended up buying new foam pads for my 15-year-old MDR-V6s, which made them feel like brand new headphones. I also bought a second pair of MDR-V6s, and shelved the HD580s for now.

Do not buy the MDR-600s by mistake. I have never used them, but I have read numerous reviews that state that the MDR-600s are inferior to the MDR-V6s. You can still buy the MDR-V6s, but they are harder to find. I bought mine at millionbuy because Amazon did not have them in stock. For some reason, the MDR-V6 product name at Amazon magically changed to MDR-600, even though it is an entirely different product. I am not sure why this happened.

121 of 130 people found the following review helpful.
5A Classic
By Bruce Caines
I can’t recall how long I’ve owned my MDR-V6 phones, but it’s easily been ten years. The sound is excellent, virtually uncolored, and unlike other top of the line headphones like Sennheiser’s (which are VERY nice and well over $150.00) these sound as good used with a portable CD player as with a well powered home system.

It was time to replace them since the cord is finally shorting too much to ignore any longer and my ears are always covered with black stuff and foam from the disintergrating earcups. I asked around and a colleague who is the audio technician on a popular TV show told me without hesitation, these are the ones to buy. It’s what he uses on the set and at home. I’m glad Sony still makes ‘em. Maybe I should buy another pair for ten years down the road…

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