I’ve been debating whether or not to ditch my last.fm account or keep it. It’s cool to track all the music you listen to, and share it with others, But I found myself not listening to some music so others wouldn’t see it, or over playing to a certain song or artist just so that it would show higher in my ratings. Which makes the information on there pretty much useless and false due to me forcing spamming it. Also I ended up being weird and obsessed with scrobbing the music I listened. So I didn’t want to listen to any song if it couldn’t be logged on my account, which was kinda weird.
I also love the native iPod app on my iPhone, which doesn’t scrobble to last.fm. There are third party apps that you can download that do it, but they aren’t as cool, and have huge ugly ads.
I found the software I use to play my media on the computer to be limited. I LOVE the Zune software. I think it’s the best and most visually appealing media player for the computer. But there is not a plugin for it that lets you scrob to last.fm. There are tweaks and hacks that you can get that’ll do it, but its not seamless, and very buggy.
Yesterday morning I decided to just hit the delete button on my last.fm, and erase it all. Over 13k plays erased! But I’m happy. I feel free and liberated, ha.
I suppose I looked at last.fm the wrong way. Maybe it’s just a tool to find better music, I don’t know, but I got tired of my obsession.
Now I’m using the Zune Software full time and LOVE it! I find new things the more and more I use it. No I don’t own a Zune player or an Windows Phone 7 which most people have to use Zune player for (I am happy iPhone user, but i’m force to use the dreadful and horrible iTunes crapware to sync to it ).
Even without the a Zune device, the software is still a stand alone media player, and it is so beautiful and visually stunning. It also plays back all my media without a hiccup.
I’m not writing a review, just giving everyone a heads up to this awesome piece of work.
click thumbnails for the full images.
When you load the Zune software for the very first time, it lets you choose 3 of your favorite artists. For mine i selected Michael Jackson, Marilyn Manson, and Green Day. I think this just pins them to the quick play screen as you see in the above screenshot. This helps by providing you with the latest news and music on them. I haven’t really messed with the Zune online music. I just play my local media (mp3 and such), so I’m not sure how good all that is.
As you see in the above screenshot, it shows you the latest media on your pc, this includes pictures, movies, and music. As you can see it shows also my recent history. Yes for some reason i was just listening to a 98 degrees song.
What you can also see is that the software tracks your plays to the online Zune service. Which i think others can see on your profile. This is kinda like last.fm, but I’m not really using this feature. It’s there, but I’m not thinking about it, and wont ever even mess with it.
If you don’t want to see the Quick play screen, you can tell the Zune software to open up to your collections on start up.
It also calls your 3 artist as "pins". I’m not sure if you can manually add more "pins" if you choose.
A cool thing about this software is that it also searched the Zune Market place, and lets you Demo songs. I personally don’t like this feature most of the time because i simply want to listen to my local music, and when i search for a song it shows both the music in my collection in one column, and then from the market place in the second. You can drag the window on the Market place results to make it smaller. So far I haven’t found a way to disable the market place.
If you want to play music while you throw a party, or do something off your pc, you make the player full screen, and it shows info related to that artist on the screen. It displays random HD pictures of the artists, text related to the artists, including facts, and track names, and some bio info. The colors are beautiful as well, and change often. As you can see in the above picture, there is a light spot at the top, which was slowly moving lighting up different areas of the screen. The text and pictures slowly scroll/float, and its really beautiful how its done.
If you want to do other stuff on your pc while you listen to music, you can switch the player to mini mode, which stays on top of all your apps, so you can easily change song without leaving the the stuff that you’re currently doing on the computer. It’s small and takes up barely any room. It looks like one of those shiny cool widgets some people get and place on their desktop.
This program is just really cool! I haven’t used it much to play movies, and other video files, so I’m not sure if it has cool special effects for those as well, and im still exploring the program. Like i said, i find new stuff with it every time that i use it.
I just wanted to give a shout out to other music lovers. and let them know about this amazing program if they haven’t used it already.
You can download the program for free from Microsoft’s Zune site.
Damn Canon got me again. I said back in June of 2010 that I’d never get a Canon camera again, At least not a compact one due to dust magically getting into the lens of the two cameras that I had. You can read that here http://www.joshx.com/ah-never-buying-canon-again-warning/1036/.
A few months ago I was able to trade that one in for a new 14mp SD1400 is, which was great and awesome at first. No spots on the pictures, or anything. But there was some glow in certain lightings, and also some major distortion to the pictures on the sides at the top. But, I was okay with that.
I was really hoping that my previous problems were related to that certain model/batch of canon cameras.
The other day I went to take pictures of family and was snapping one of my niece, and noticed a big black spot. and then I realized, that the same problems I had before were happening with this model as well. AHHH!
This time is much worse than the previous Canon cameras that I had. There were tons of spots, and even fibers as you can see here:
The dust is inside the lens, so you can’t clean it off. The only real way to repair it is to pay a company to take it apart and clean it, which costs more than the camera itself. So these Canon’s are pretty much unusable, trash, ruined, etc. Unless you don’t mind spots here and there, but the spots can cause other problem. With my last canon I was unable to focus on areas due to light shining on the spot, and the camera trying to focus on it instead of the object I was trying to take a picture of.
Some said that this is caused by the lens sucking in air when you turn on the cam and the lens extends out. Which makes sense, but its so lame that Canon never thought of maybe putting a filter or something in there from blocking the dust.
This sucks for me because I take so many random pictures of everything, and blah!
I used to recommend Canon to everyone, and sold so many of them when I worked at a Photo Lab. Now I see them as super low quality, with a aged good name. I had a Fuji digital camera for 4+ years, and never had any problems like this til after 4 years, and even the spot it developed over the years was barely noticeable, and half the time it didn’t even seem to exist.
So I think for my next camera I’m going to go with Nikon or Fuji. Maybe just fuji since I can trust them, but I know Nikon is another great brand. and I’d like to test them out.
I suggest to everyone to stay away from Canon compact cameras. I’d still recommend their high priced SLR cameras, but it ends there.
I didn’t do anything crazy with these cameras, just had them around the house, in my pocket, and snapped photos here and there, exactly what they were designed for, so this isn’t a user error. Unless the user is supposed to keep their camera in a tightly sealed zip lock back at all times.
I sold cameras for a few years, and always suggested Canon cameras to the customers. I used to think that they were solid, and returned much better results for the customers. I now think that i was so wrong.
A few months ago I bought a SD780 IS 12-mega pixel Canon camera. I bought it because it was super slim, and took great pictures.
Soon after I bought the camera i noticed spots on the pictures. I knew instantly what this was because I had the same problem with a Sanyo camera that i actually replaced with the Canon.
Some how dust gets inside the camera lens, and onto the sensor, which cannot be cleaned yourself, because there is no way to actually take apart the lens to clean the sensor, and if you attempt to you risk ruing the entire camera.
Having spots, and crap all over my digital pictures really ruined the want for me to even take pictures with the camera.
I was actually shocked that something like this could happen to a Canon camera. I wasn’t around dusty or dirty areas with the camera, and i hadn’t been throwing it around or anything. I’ve been protective of my Cameras since I LOVE taking pictures.
The Sanyo camera had it worse. I mean there were about 10 spots on each picture. I just assumed it was because Sanyo is a cheap discount like brand.
Never even thought I’d have any related issues with the Canon.
So, I immediately returned the camera to the store and exchanged it for another one. I should’ve got a whole different brand, but I just figured that i was unlucky and got a bad camera.
Instantly when i started taking pictures with the brand new replacement, I noticed a spot on the left side of the screen. Luckily this one didn’t show up in the pictures. Maybe it was just a screen defect.
A little bit ago i went out to take pictures, and guess what?!? A big huge piece of dirt on top of the image sensor. AH!
I was able to finally get it off the middle of the picture by flicking the side of the expose lens barrel.
I contacted Canon via email, and they said I can mail them the camera, and they’ll attempt to repair it. Which i think I may do. Usually I don’t bother with that sort of stuff, but i spent a couple hundred dollars on this camera, and Canon owes me a perfectly fine working camera that produces beautiful clear pictures. AHH!
Im just so annoyed and let down.
You can kinda see the spot in this picture. imagine trying to take a picture of a bright blue sky, or anything with a solid color. It shows up clearer in those pictures, which is horrible.
Just watch out for these slim compact Canon Cameras. I can’t imagine that i just got unlucky twice.