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Customer Reviews: 27
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Monoprice 105616 USB 2.0 Video Grabber with Audio
Monoprice 105616 USB 2.0 Video Grabber with Audio
Offered by Monoprice
Price: $16.80
11 used & new from $15.34

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Issues, July 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Recently needed to transfer some training videos off VHS for work over to a format that everyone in the office could watch on there own computer. Instead of taking this to a professional or paying Walmart $10 a VHS to transfer I figured there had to be an easy enough way to do it myself. This little device is pretty awesome, and most importantly cheap. I had no issues getting it to work properly on a Windows 7 64bit machine, except for initially getting the audio to play, which was addressed in the instruction booklet that directed me to a PDF file on the installation disc and told me how to easily adjust the computer "recording device" settings to get the audio to work.

Installation of the playback and recording software was a breeze and I was starting my first recording within a few short minutes. Quality was very good in terms of both sound and video, some tapes looked better than others, but I assume that's just due to the condition of the tapes themselves. The program automatically records in to a video file that's instantly playable on any PC, and it a very manageable size. A 1 hour 45 minute tape only came out to about 500mb. Also was able to use my computer to do other things and it did not affect the recording. Of course when it comes to computers everyone is likely to have differing results. My computer is fairly high powered with a lot of memory so, maybe some of the issues others ran into were due to their setup. But for me this is an easy recommendation.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2013 9:33 AM PST

Amy Winehouse: The Best Of Amy Winehouse (Pink Vinyl) LP
Amy Winehouse: The Best Of Amy Winehouse (Pink Vinyl) LP
3 used & new from $68.80

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for Winehouse completists., July 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I recently switched over from CD to vinyl and started repurchasing some of my favorite modern day artist, this was my last album to complete my Amy Winehouse conversion and I'm more than pleased. To address a few previously stated concerns, it's true this is not an "official" release, but anyone whose collected vinyl very long ought to know that really doesn't matter as long as the pressing is good. You'd be amazed what unofficial or as one reviewer called it "bootleg" vinyl records can sell for on the after market. These aren't like bootleg CD's or DVD's where anyone with a computer can make them, these have to go through the same pressing process as any official release which is not something anyone can do. Also I have no complaints about the quality of this album, it's not noisy or distorted at all as some have complained. These people's issues are most likely related to the quality of their record player and/or needle, sometimes average components have issues playing certain vinyl, as I've experienced with one record player I have that skips on thin vinyl and produces noise on heavy vinyl, when I put the same record on my more expensive turntable there's no issues. This is a heavier vinyl so that could be what some people are experiencing if they have a low budget turntable. Overall, this is a great record, a must have for Amy Winehouse fans, with nearly half the album containing songs or versions of songs not previously released on vinyl.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2013 5:00 PM PDT

Goldmine Record Album Price Guide
Goldmine Record Album Price Guide
by Dave Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $21.86
39 used & new from $13.99

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A "price guide" to be taken with a grain of salt... or maybe the whole shaker!, May 11, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Let's face it, price guides are essentially a scam. A great big money grab on collector's of almost anything. Anything that's collectible are like stocks in the stock market, constantly fluctuating based on the whims and desires of the collectors at large (aka the market). You wouldn't buy or sell a share of stock based on a static price out of a book that's updated MAYBE once a year, taken from who knows where, collectibles are no different. That's not to say price guides don't have some use, it's just unfortunate that their use really has little to do with what people mainly buy them for in the first place... the prices.

If you've ever used a price guide before normally the prices stated in the book are for the top condition specimen, and even if you had a perfect item that's typically a bloated price that you'd probably never get, because no one wants to pay the top dollar. Usually it's the price you could expect to pay if you were to buy a perfect item from a retailer. So with that in mind you can at least check your prices knowing it's likely to be below the stated price. Goldmine appears to be an entirely different bird, its prices are all over the place really making the advertised use of the guide useless. Not only are a lot of their prices highly overstated, but highly understated as well. Out of a small sample of records I looked up, about half came out priced too high (like a $40 record that normally sells for $10 or less online in NM condition) and half too low (like a record that consistently sells online for $500-600 in VG-NM condition they have listed for $200 NM, lower than a repressing they have for the same album sells for less than that!).

Pricing on mono vs stereo seems entirely out of whack too. I understand it's a commonly held belief that up to say 1967 stereo is actually worth more than mono releases because in the early years of stereo they were actually priced at a $1 more than mono and didn't sell as many, then in the late 1960's when mono was being phased out it actually flipped and mono was more expensive to buy so anything release 1967 and later in mono is worth more, but the current market doesn't reflect that. If you look a sites like Discogs or search albums on eBay you'll notice albums released in both stereo and mono at any time are much rarer and go for higher prices in mono. So Goldmine reflects a trend in this area that seems to no longer be the norm.

So is there any point to buying a price guide that's essentially all over the place compared to actual market sales and still following trends that are no longer happening? It depends. If you're someone whose not a collector, say you inherited someone's collection and your looking to sell it off and need an idea of value I would not look here, or any price guide for that matter. Your best option for current value is current sales, and Goldmine is far from that on all accounts. Look to eBay sold listings, and sales history on sites like Discogs. It's not going to take any longer to do an album search there than in would searching through this book and trying to figure out if Goldmine's price is over or under stated, and by looking at actual sales you can price your items to sell, not sit around forever or the even worse scenario sell them for less than their currently going for.

If you're a collector of modern day artists and releases I wouldn't bother with this book either. It's pretty clear the author is in some regards more familiar with the rarity of pre-1990's releases. Take for example the Alternate Rock group Maroon 5. Goldmine has only one of their LP's listed (Song's About Jane) and it's listed at a whopping $15.00!! A simple eBay search will lead you to discover just how high in demand Maroon 5 LP's are. The group only released very small pressings of their albums through their website, not through retail stores or other websites so on average their albums sell for $150 in VG+ condition. A NM or unopened copy of Song's About Jane recently sold for over $200. So I don't think you'd be able to find even the cover alone for $15!

So now that I've pretty much talked you out of buying this book, let me tell you why in the end I'm still not disappointed with the purchase. Aside from the fact Goldmine's prices might have well have been randomly pulled out of a hat on 75-80% of their listings, the book is still well put together and while the prices may not be worth putting much stock in the other information can be helpful. If you're into the big artists like Elvis, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, etc this book would be helpful in delving through the numerous versions and pressings and while I would't put much stock in their prices you can get a fairly decent idea of what might be rarer at least as the book seems to be somewhat correct in the pricing range within an artist, meaning a high priced Elvis album might be over or under priced but it's still worth more than their listing for the $10 LP (even if it's going for $40). It's confusing I know, but if you look up enough albums and compare them to the actual market price you can somewhat crack the glaring inaccuracies of the prices and at least determine some useful information.

Overall, if you're looking for an additional source this book might help out, for me it's basically my last resort which sometimes you'll find is better than nothing. If nothing else it's probably worth just flipping through the pages and finding albums you never knew existed. I wouldn't use it to sell anything, and I wouldn't use it to determine how much I should pay for something unless I couldn't find prior sales anywhere else, which has happened a couple times with some less popular artists, but you have to have done enough comparing between the book and online sales on other albums to kind of be able to estimate a more realistic price. Also as a side note the book only contains info on full length albums, no 45's or singles. That was fine with me as I'm not into those, but I was bummed to find no soundtracks either, or albums with various artists unrelated to soundtracks.

Amy Winehouse: Back To Black LP
Amy Winehouse: Back To Black LP

5.0 out of 5 stars Love The Record But Beware Of Items Sold By Turntable Labs Under The "Vinyl" Section, May 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
5 Stars for Amy Winehouse's album, absolutely no complaints, love the album and sounds great on vinyl. But I just wanted to write a review to warn buyers of purchasing this item here on Amazon from the seller Turntable Lab. If you scroll to the top of the Amazon listing you will notice there is a "format" box which lists the various formats you can buy this album, (CD, Vinyl 2007 and Vinyl). Vinyl 2007 is the re-pressing of the album the option right below it which just says "vinyl" has a product picture of the original pressing (where the parental guidance label is in the right hand corner of the cover, on the re-press it's in the left hand corner). I wanted the original pressing (I don't know if there's a difference in quality, I just always like to get the original pressings) and the only seller is a 3rd party seller Turntable Lab, who ships through Amazon. Well what Amazon has in their possession from this seller is not the Black to Back LP, it's an Amy Winehouse 45 single with one song on each side and it's not even related to Back to Black. Amazon, or whoever sent these to Amazon mislabeled them, the label on the item does say Back to Black LP, but it's a yellow 45.... Luckily Amazon's return policy made this a no hassle fix. When I brought this up to the customer service rep they said they'd look into it, but I wouldn't put too much stock that they did, so just a warning to anyone else buying from that seller hoping to get the original pressing or just the LP in general, you might get something else. I ended up buying the original pressing at my local record store.

ION Vinyl Alive Professional Vinyl Cleaning Kit
ION Vinyl Alive Professional Vinyl Cleaning Kit
Price: $12.22
9 used & new from $10.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Item For A Light Cleaning Of A Couple Records, May 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As a "vinyl virgin" I turned to this item to help clean my newly acquired finds. Absolutely no complaints, the brush and the cleaning solution works great for basic dust and dirt removal. I typically put 5-10 drops all around the record then move the brush along the direction of the grooves threes times one way and three times the other, then dry off with a mirco-fiber cloth, no scratches, no mess. For a light cleaning of a couple records at a time this is the way to go, but once I really started buying I did upgrade to the Spin-Clean Record Washer which is a little faster and easier to do a deeper clean with. But I still use this occasionally when I only buy a record or two that I want to play right away.

Eccolo Made in Italy Leather Barocco Album In Brown With Gold Foil Detail With 50 Ivory Pages, 9 x 12-Inch
Eccolo Made in Italy Leather Barocco Album In Brown With Gold Foil Detail With 50 Ivory Pages, 9 x 12-Inch
Price: $170.01
4 used & new from $160.64

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Described., May 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Looking for something nice to protect and display some vintage photos, I settled on this photo album mainly based on looks and price. But when I received the item not only was it not brown, but instead a deep red which was dyed and poorly so, but it also had no gold foil detail. Sent the item back to Amazon for a full refund. I purchased it from Amazon's Warehouse deals section so maybe this was just a defective item. I instead turned to eBay and bought some nicer albums directly from a seller in Italy at a better price. Aside from the fact this item wasn't brown, had no gold trim, and was poorly dyed red the rest of the item was okay. But if you're going to buy this item make sure to buy it directly from Amazon so you can take advantage of the return policy if you are unfortunate enough to get a different quality item as I did.

Sea Battle
Sea Battle
Price: $1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars You Sunk My Battleship!!, August 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sea Battle (App)
Battle Ship, it's sort of bingo with violence or reverse minesweeper. This application takes a game that at times could seem tedious and long and makes it quick and enjoyable. Would I have paid $1.99 for it? No, while as a whole the game is thoroughly enjoyable it's limited. You play against 3 different AI characters who aside from profile pictures are exactly the same. I've played the game over 10 times on expert level and never once lost. It's not difficult in the least, and I could see replay value growing extremely low in the future. This is the type of game you really need to play against another person whose likely not to make the same moves over and over. But aside from those obvious issues everything else about the game is extremely well done. As a recent free app of the day, it was well worth it. If I'd paid $2 for it I might think differently.

First Manufacturing Men's Updated Driving Gloves (Black, Medium)
First Manufacturing Men's Updated Driving Gloves (Black, Medium)

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vroom! Vroom!, August 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have to admit the idea of buying some driving gloves didn't enter my mind until after I watched a campy 1980's comedy were the main character was driving around in his little sports car with the top down and his leather driving gloves on! I thought those looked cool, and actually they would have some use for me as I have a stick shift Mustang with a stainless steel knob that not only gets hot from the sun, but also after a lot of driving my hand starts to get sweaty and dead/dry skin on the palm of my hand starts rubbing off and it's a mess. So having driving gloves have essentially resolved all those issues. Amazon has a lot to choose from in the way of driving gloves, I took a chance on these as there was no current reviews, I liked the look and I liked the fact there was gel inserts in the palm of the glove for extra support. I was not disappointed. These gloves are very comfortable, and appear to be made from quality leather, there's holes on the top where your knuckles are which help air them out and keep your hands from getting hot or sweaty. A lot of issues with other gloves I've noticed from reviews is size. I just bought the size I usually buy in most clothing I buy, which was medium, and they fit fine, they're not tight but also not overly loose just the right fit. Overall, I'm definitely pleased, makes griping the steering wheel easier, makes shifting easier, makes driving more enjoyable and they look awesome.

Proselect Deluxe Thermostatic Pet Crate Fan, Ice Blue
Proselect Deluxe Thermostatic Pet Crate Fan, Ice Blue
Price: $24.99
9 used & new from $23.28

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take the Negative Reviews With A Grain of Salt, July 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is one of those occasions as the buyer it's extremely important to read the negative reviews and discern just how valid they are, because a lot of times they are written by people who simply don't read the description and therefore are angry when they don't receive something that the product description never promised in the first place. Such is the case with this item as a majority of the reviews seemed to have thought they were getting the cooling system add-on along with the fan, that's not the case, not really sure where those people even got that idea.

Personally, I'm pleased with the item, both in terms of price and performance. I'm using it in probably a little more different fashion than it is supposed to be used, but I can only imagine it gets the job even better when used the way it was made for. Typically this item is meant for pet carriers, the ones you typically take your pet to the vet in, and on a hot day when your car has been sitting in the sun I can see how this would help very well as it takes a while for the car's air conditioning to really cool down a vehicle so this would definitely accommodate your pet in those situations and also provide them with a steady stream of air flow that they might not normally get.

Now how I'm using this fan is in combination with the cooling system add on, which is essentially a round plastic case filled with gel that you stick in the freezer, and then snap on to this creating colder air. I am using this fan on a large outdoor enclosure (cage) which our outside cat is put into every night. We have owls in our neighborhood that have carried off cats in the and even attacked our cat in the past, so it's not safe for him to roam at night. Of course in the summer months where we live it gets quite hot and stays rather hot until the very late evenings. I've attached this fan with the add-on cooling system to the area of the cage where he usually sleeps, and he loves it, he moves right up to the side of the cage, right next to the fan and falls asleep. The fans range isn't great, but that is to be expected from a small battery powered fan, it won't cool and entire large enclosure like I have but it will give our cat a decent amount of cool air for him to enjoy until the evening cools down.

The fan has a thermostat, I can't speak on how well that works, I've used it a couple times and every morning the fan was had turned off, don't know if that was responsible or the batteries just ran out of juice. Battery life tends to be about 2 nights on 4 C batteries on the high speed. But to save money I switched to using rechargeable batteries and those only last one night on the low setting, which is fine for me, I simply recharge them during the day and they're ready to go by the time I put him to bed. Again not certain how many hours they last, they don't last the whole night but the seem to last a couple hours that the least and that's really all I'm looking for as the temperature does start to get cooler later on. You could also purchase an adapter and simply plug it in and have no trouble running it constantly.

So for my uses the price point is very good, it gives our cat a cool area to go to while it's still hot in the evenings and he clearly has enjoyed it, so no complaints here.

The Ring [Blu-ray]
The Ring [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Watts
Offered by 1dandy1
Price: $14.12
25 used & new from $1.98

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She Never Sleeps!, April 2, 2012
This review is from: The Ring [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Ring took lovely Aussie Naomi Watts career from a no name artsy independent film and TV movie actress to an A-list Hollywood celebrity. The film's success also launched the fad of porting more 90's Japanese horror films over for American audiences, unfortunately none of what followed really matched the quality of The Ring or their Japanese counterparts. Ten years later, and even after a half a dozen viewings The Ring still delivers, even when you know when the scares are about to come it still succeeds in delivering the chills. Simply put it's textbook suspense and horror done right from the creepy locations, the haunting music and the bizarre video that curses all who watch it with death in 7 days! This blu-ray release is an excellent catalog transfer both in video and audio, while it's likely to see a wider retail release in the future, if you're a big fan it's definitely worth picking up now at your local Best Buy for $14.99 as undoubtedly it will be the same price when it gets a full release and probably will be the exact same disc minus the pretty cool slip cover.

A few of my other personal Naomi Watts favorites (which never got much press but in my opinon are worth a look)
1. The Painted Veil (love to see this get a blu-ray release)
2. Stay (this mind-bender will give you a migraine)
3. Ned Kelly (small part)
4. Undertaking Betty (small part)
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 30, 2012 11:20 AM PDT

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