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Florence & The Machine - CD
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With so many bland manufactured image based acts around this album stands out a mile and still manages to be commercial without comprimising it's dark themes. It reminds me at times of PJ Harvey with a massive drum machine instead of guitars, not that there is anything gloomy about this. Even Girl With One Eye has a jolly sing along vibe.. 'get your filthy fingers out of my pie'. My only gripe is that The Bird Song really should be on here and the deluxe version release is a touch cynical imo as after buying the standard cd you will want it.
Status Quo - CD
This is one of the most atmospheric live albums I have heard and is my favorite Quo recording. It has aged better than many of their studio albums and has everthying from epic versions of their best tracks to a messed up medley. The only cheese on this is the banter between tracks but that only adds to the experience. Recommended to any indie fan, everyone i've played this to likes it.
Belkin iPod Cable Audio Bundle
I bought a set of these over a year ago and they have served me well, apart from the extension lead. The problem with the extension is that the female end seems to be too loose fitting, so when a 3.5mm jack is plugged in the sound comes from one side only, pulling the jack out very slightly gives stereo sound again. Irritating, but the set is worth it anyway as the cables are nice quality, sound quality is fine for mp3 and they have a floppy feel and ceramic white plugs, slightly prone to getting grubby but nothing a sponge won't fix.
Sennheiser HD 25 Headphones
If the picture is the actual product then these are the full blown '25s as the cut down version lacks the single sided cabling, which is designed to make them more dj friendly (although the single cable is on the right side which is actually the wrong side for many mixers which have the headphone output on the left).
Whether mk1 or mk2 the price is fantastic for industry standard cans, you will see these used by soundmen, tv reporters etc the world over and for very good reason. The sound is incredibly clear, neutral and balanced, they also go much louder than consumer grade cans would dare and do not lose any of the finer reproductive qualities when pushed. The silence when putting these on is uncanny and they are very comfortable to wear for long periods and despite their monitor design are very enjoyable to listen to, but will ruthlessly show up any deficiencies in the source or playback device. They are not really mp3 player fones but my Zen can drive them to listenable levels (just) which it can't with my AKG 181's, to be frank though these would be wasted listening to mp3 and when doing so it is easy to hear the limitations of the compression, even at 320kb CBR. Recommended to anyone who takes their music seriously and doesn't want to have to upgrade, ever! To really hear what these can do I would suggest listening to a dvd through them and if you have PowerDVD and a half decent soundcard then try the Dolby Headphone setting, it will blow you away. I first experienced this with Channel 4's Green Wing and had to keep checking that I hadn't left my surround system on.. :D
Philips SPC610NC/00 Portable Laptop SVGA Webcam
This webcam seems very good value at the discount price, it is well built, easy to install and performs adequately for chat purposes. But only three stars because imho the design is flawed. Great care is needed once this is plugged into a valuable laptop USB port, effectively it is a 12 inch lever working on breaking the plastic 'tongue' in the port! If you've got children then my advice is to look at more traditional clip on cams, and if you really want this then don't be tempted to adjust the gooseneck whilst it's plugged into your pc. And if at all possible plug it into a usb hub or extension cable, definitely not the comp itself, a hub with a top mounted socket is probably best.
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My advice to anyone, male or female, straight or gay, would be to see this film asap if you havn't already done so. The sheer escapism of the way of life depicted is worth it alone, and no product placement, logos or jarring script to detract from the experience. Obviously the homosexuality is challenging for some, but hey, that is your problem;) The moment when the late Heath Ledger's character breaks down in the shed, is one of despair, powerlessness and frustration that anyone who's been in love can relate to.
Verbatim 43549 Blank DVD-R 16x 4.7GB 100pk
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Firstly, I must admit to being a Verbatim fanboy, as until this spindle have never had any issues with Verbatim media, their Taiyo Yuden disks are always spot on. Have been unable to get these to verify with the latest version on Imgburn, nero seems to write to them ok though, but it is slightly worrying and I am wondering what has changed since these have come back in at Play.com. For those that care the dye is MCC 03RG20, Mitsubishi dyes are usually highly reliable and certainly much more robust that the Ritek F1 now found on the Maxell DVD-R's. Personally I hope to see Play stocking the TY03 Maxell disks again, as they were some of the best I have had the pleasure of burning:)
Razer Diamondback 3G Gamers Mouse (Blue)
Have been using a Microsoft Wireless Optical 5000 for two years,and after recently being found to have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my mouse hand, I decided to look into getting a more responsive rodent. Settled on a Razer, and opted for this model over the Deathadder (more expensive) and Krait (cheaper but smaller with less buttons). The speed and accuracy of this mouse are astonishing on first use, there is a learning curve but it is short and rewarding. Once I had the sensitvity set and had got the hang of holding the mouse, on the silicone grip, with the thumb and index finger doing the moving, the results are much quicker windows use and significantly less getting bullied online;) After the crummy bendable shell buttons on the MS 5000 it is extremely pleasing to use proper micro-switched buttons again. This is also the first mouse I have had that I don't feel the need to be gentle with during gameplay, you just know it will last. It never switches itself off either and responds instantly on all surfaces that I have used, entirely ambidextrous as well. A mouse of this calibre is one of the best pc upgrades for those that use their comp a lot, it's easy to overlook and scrimp, but this is just in another league. If you have large hands, and are right handed the Deathadder may be more natural, and the Krait is good value for little'uns, but I for one am sold on the Razer brand when it comes to rodents.
Animal Men's Fly Bucket Hat (Black)
Went for this after seeing Mikey from BB wearing the pop brim animal hat that I bought from Play.com last year.. lol. As usual for animal the materials and maunfacturing are first rate, the hat is fully lined with branding embroidered on the left side, and there are nice distressed touches at three points around the brim. The interior band provides good grip as the top edge is not sewn down. Due to the height and colour (very deep black) It does look a bit like an undertakers top hat and is too tall for my taste. This is not helped by the width of the hem between the crown piece and the body of the hat, the body does not taper towards the crown either. The picture shows the crown popped, but for most people this would require the hat to be pulled down too far for comfortable wear, when worn further up on the head the crown looks rather like a bucket but one that is the wrong way up for headgear. May improve with age.
Animal Men's Hanalei Track Top (Night)
This is a real bargain in my opinion. The trackie is really well made (in india) from very thick soft cotton, ideal for these cold summer evenings. The orange band is vibrant and the garment has nice piping detail along the seams, the zipper is heavy gauge metal and thankfully does not have the double catches that some other brands use. Is also easy to wear in that it will go with camo's, cargo's and jeans. Well pleased.