Monthly Archives: October 2008

Flip Mino is a No No…

Sometimes I like to inform those around me how to save a buck or too. OK, I am known for being downright cheap. So, you can imagine I am pretty upset when I sink $250 on a pair of products that should play together but end up ignoring one another completely.

First we have the Flip Mino. Now you might remember that Oprah listed this little device as one of her favorite things for 2007. Well, back in June Flip came out with an updated version that is a smaller and more elegant design. The Flip Mino is practically idiot proof in that it has only two true button, one for power and another for recording. There are some secondary controls for zooming, viewing and deleting clips but these are surface touch controls and not buttons. In order to upload your captured video to your PC, all you do is ‘flip’ out the USB connector, slide it into your USB port on your PC and the Flip does the rest for you.

Second we have Adobe Premiere Elements. The Flip Mino comes with some bundled in software, but the second you want to do anything even a little bit fancy you realize how limiting the bundled software really is. Adobe Premiere is widely considered to be one of the best video editing programs available for the PC and plays nicely with almost any video format. I says almost because as you may have guessed by now Premiere and the Flip don’t recognize one another.

The problem boils down to the video format that the Flip Mino uses to store an hour worth of video footage, MPEG-4. Because this is a compressed video format it doesn’t take to kindly to being edited. Sure it will play in Quicktime or your Microsoft Media Player, but actually trying to edit your video inside Adobe Premiere is one long dead end.

Now, I took it upon myself to write both Adobe and Pure Digital Technologies (the makers of the Flip), but after an initial response saying they were looking into the issue no future contact has been made. So, my recommendation is save yourself the $150 for the Flip Mino and $100 for the Adobe Premiere and instead put that money towards a Sanyo Xacti HD700.

The Sanyo Xacti HD700 cost about $150 dollars more, but comes with the Adobe Premiere software. Additionally it can not only record video, but also be used to take still digital photos. It has a viewing screen that can rotate 180 degrees in order to take self portrait, uses standard SD cards for memory and best of all no compatibility problems with your editing software.

We all have heard the old phrase you get what you pay for, well in this instance it couldn’t be more true. Just say no to the Flip and yes to the Sany Xacti HD700.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Why Apple’s iPhone… “Greatest Bathroom Device Ever!”

Now I am not an early adopter.  Early adopters are those tech junkies that will go out and buy the latest gadget rather than pay their monthly rent.  No friends, I am what some would call a fiscal conservative.  It was only when my wife washed my old T-mobile phone did I make the jump over to AT&T and the iPhone.

In the two months that I have been using the iPhone I have noticed that the amount of phone calls I make with my phone has greatly decreased.  At the same time that amount of time I am on the phone has increased, the difference is now I am using my phone to check SMS, eMail, Social Media sites and the net in general.  This has lead me to a revelation… the iPhone is the greatest bathroom device ever.

If you are one of those people who like to camp out once a day in the bathroom because it is the only place in the world where you can be alone, then this phone is for you.  Using the iPhone you can now have a discrete device that allows you to check up on all your favorite sites while taking care of your biological disposal.  It is very easy to route your personal email to your iPhone and thus you can now easily send short replies.  

Need to find a few minutes to juggle your fantasy team.  No problem, just grab you iPhone and head for the nearest porcelain.  

Want to write your mother who you haven’t written back in over a week.  Again, just take a seat in your favorite rest room and have at it.  The keyboard does take a few days to develop your technique, but it is way better than the standard 1-9 keys that we are all getting tired of.  The best part is because there are no actual keys to press, just a glass screen to type, you can run super silent with no one next to you being the wiser.

There are many other things you can now do thanks to your iPhone.  How about purchase items right off Amazon’s site.  I was sitting on the couch watching TV with my wife when she got upset that the Tivo hadn’t been set up since we moved.  No problem, grab my iPhone, log into Amazon and purchase the wireless adapter for the Tivo that we were missing.  Even better you can cross shop next time you are in the mall the price of gifts verse Amazon in real time.  Buy all your books, electronics, games, diapers, etc. tax free with free shipping (if you puchase straight from Amazon and the price is over $25).  This works great in cities where the sales tax rates can reach 10%.

So, take some time for yourself, hit the head and take a few quiet minutes.  If will change your life.

Tagged , ,