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Customer Reviews: 426
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Helpful Votes: 4357

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OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel 3-Tier Shower Caddy 2.0
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel 3-Tier Shower Caddy 2.0

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a keeper, December 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like this shower caddy. More importantly, my wife likes this shower caddy. I'm happy with something that will keep the soap out of a puddle of water and that's about it, but she has much more strict requirements.

* The shelves are easily removable and can then go in the dishwasher so this is really easy to clean
* There is an actual hook that can hold a loofah and/or a razor. Razors are always tricky in shower caddies, from my experience, and this one does an excellent job on that
* It's big enough to hold 2 large (like costco-sized) bottles side by side on the top 2 shelves. It can easily hold them right side up or upside down. That's nice because I use different shampoo than my wife and she uses shampoo, conditioner, and a face wash so that's a total of 4 bottles. When it comes to shower caddies, size matters.
* It has a 3rd shelf for soap. Since we filled it up with the stuff mentioned above, the 3rd shelf comes in handy here! It easily holds 2 bars of soap.
* The hook grips the shower pipe tightly enough to keep it sturdy, but isn't difficult to wrestle on or off. Being able to slide it on from the side makes putting it into a shower with a hose (like ours) MUCH easier. (In case it's not clear, when I say "shower with a hose", I mean you can pull the shower nozzle down from where it is mounted and then put it back).
* A swiveling, plus-shape suction cup thingy keeps the bottom secure. The shape is good if you have tile and the swiveling action is good to help make it work anywhere.

Um.... I guess it would have been nice if the 3rd shelf were a little bit wider... but then it may interfere with upside down bottles on the 2nd shelf...

We've gone through many shower caddies and I think we may have finally found one we can stick with long term.


C2O Baked Coconut Chips, 1.4 Ounce (Pack of 12)
C2O Baked Coconut Chips, 1.4 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Price: $22.52

5.0 out of 5 stars The way to enjoy coconut, December 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love coconut. I have to admit, though, that if I'm going to just eat plain coconut, I really want it to be sweetened. I've gotten the plain (unsweetened) coconut before, but that's like eating a baked potato without any butter or sour cream or some sort of fat. Healthier without? Sure, but not really worth eating, in my opinion.

On the other hand, I hate the fact that they put glycerol in the sweetened coconut that you get at most supermarkets. The glycerol is there to keep the coconut soft and pliable. But... ew; first of all you're eating glycerol, and second it changes the flavor slightly.

C2O decided to skip the soft an pliable "requirement" and give you crunchy coconut chips, and I applaud them for it. The only ingredients are "Coconut pulp, cane sugar and sea salt". The coconut flavor is unadulterated and I don't miss the softness in any way. The coconut chips are baked, not fried... although really, coconut is full of oil so when you bake it, it sort of fries itself which is why when you eat them, you would think they probably were fried (that's a good thing--it tastes great). Please don't get me wrong, though--it doesn't feel oily in any way.

I let each of my 4 kids try some and they all kept hounding me for more until the bag was gone. We all love it.

But they are even better with chocolate. Try this: melt 3 parts dark/semisweet chocolate chips with 1 part cream (by weight), then let it cool. Scoop the cooled chocolate ganache into a ball and roll in these coconut flakes. Holy cow!


Roxio Creator NXT 3
Roxio Creator NXT 3
Price: $85.23
14 used & new from $83.66

3.0 out of 5 stars Simple to use, but pretty limited, December 19, 2014
This review is from: Roxio Creator NXT 3 (Software)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 2:04 Mins

As is common with Corel, when you install this, you will also be installing "Protexis Licensing V2" which I have proven in the past to have a detrimental effect on my computer. The good news is that thus far I have been able to leave the service disabled with no adverse effect to the program, so I'm willing to overlook that... for now... However, I do find it sad that so many video production related software packages are all under the Corel umbrella now. What about healthy competition? ... but you want to know about how this piece of software performs, right? On to that...

The first thing I noticed when I fired up the program is that there is an advertising banner along the bottom. That would lose a star except that they give you an option to turn it off in the Tools->Preferences menu. It's slightly tacky, but we'll let it slide since you can turn it off.

Personally, I found Roxio Burn to be more of an annoyance than a help. My main beef was that I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it--checking the box to disable it didn't get rid of the "gadget" or "icon" or whatever you want to call it. I had go kill the process through task manager to get rid of it (-1 star). Also, when I explore the contents of a disc, I would like my normal context menu choices, but this was a very stripped down set of choices. I won't be using that.

The screen capture is just about identical to the one that comes with Pinnacle Studio 18 (and it makes sense since they are both Corel).

I made a video with Roxio Creator NXT to demonstrate the points I listed above. I'm SUPPOSED to be able to insert royalty free music using a feature called "Scorefitter", but I couldn't get it to work. After a bunch of searching, I found someone else that had the same problem and they claim that they had Pinnacle Studio installed as well and the fix was to uninstall it (Pinnacle Studio) and then do a repair (reinstall) on Creator and it started working. I'm not willing to uninstall Pinnacle--I think it's a better program than Creator so if one is going to go, it's going to be Creator. Sorry, but I'll have to take a star away for this (esp. since both programs are under the same parent company). Anyway, so I wound up inserting music from Bon Appetit! Cafe Classics. Hopefully this counts as fair use...

One thing I noted while making the video is that you can only have 1 music track and 1 sound effect track. If you wanted to do any layering of songs, you're pretty limited. The same appears to be true for video--you have the main video, 1 overlay and a text layer and that's about it. I'm sure for 95% of users, this will suffice 95% of the time, but there is that remainder to worry about (this is one way Pinnacle is better).

The video editing aspect of the program was pretty easy to use--I figured out how to do most of what I wanted within an hour (although if there is a way to zoom in on parts of the screen, I couldn't find that). There are many limitations, however I can't get too hung up on that because it is an inexpensive suite.

Then there's the CD ripping, authoring, etc. I'll admit I didn't play with that much mostly because it's not something I do very often and when I do, I use Nero, but my superficial trial seemed to perform just fine.

All in all, this is a well rounded suite for a very reasonable price. For most people, I think it will do fine. The video editing feature set is fairly limited, but at this price I can't complain too much. If you can afford Pinnacle or CyberMedia's Power Director and if you can also afford Nero, I'd go with that, but if price is key, then this is a great suite.

Peeled Snacks Coco Nosh Trail Mix, 6 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Peeled Snacks Coco Nosh Trail Mix, 6 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Price: $63.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet but not oppressive, December 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In my experience, an awful lot of trail mixes are just too sweet. I think this one strikes a very good balance between sugar free and sickly sweet. I like that the coconut is shaved nice and thin so it is easy to chew but still delivers plenty of flavor--one that you don't often get in trail mixes. The bananas are not excessively dry--they are still chewy and carry lots of banana flavor. The peanuts add just the right amount of salt and crunch to keep things interesting and the mango adds a nice complexity to the flavor. The only other ingredient is chocolate chips and in my opinion, the quantity is just about right.

The overall effect is a mix with flavors that balance and complement each other in a very pleasing way. The texture is crunchy/chewy enough to be interesting without being difficult. If you like trail mixes, you should definitely give this one a try.

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Miracle LED 605006 General Purpose Bulb, Low Profile, 400 Lumen, Medium base, Daylight White
Miracle LED 605006 General Purpose Bulb, Low Profile, 400 Lumen, Medium base, Daylight White
Price: $11.32
6 used & new from $11.32

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a keeper!, December 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Fit perfectly and the bright, white light makes my fridge feel cleaner when I look inside now. Love it.

Delkin USB 3.0 Dual Slot SD UHS-II and CF Memory Card Reader (DDREADER-44)
Delkin USB 3.0 Dual Slot SD UHS-II and CF Memory Card Reader (DDREADER-44)
Price: Click here to see our price
3 used & new from $34.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy-peasy, December 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Yes, that's "Delkin" not "Belkin". I had to check. I had never heard of "Delkin" so I wondered just what sort of quality this device would be. I've been pleasantly surprised. This has read everything I've thrown at it and done so just as fast as the card could go. Reading stuff off of a card and on to my hard drive was extremely fast (Flash cards by nature are fast to read but slow to write)--MUCH faster than if my camera was acting as my card reader. I couldn't ask for more there.

Installation was just plug and play. There are no external drivers to have to install--you just plug it in and it's ready within about 3-5 seconds.

And yes--you can have BOTH an SD and a CF card inserted at the same time and it will read both at the same time. This allows you to copy the contents of one flash card to another... not that I think many people will want to do that on any sort of regular basis, but hey--you can!

No complaints at all--everything was as quick and simple as I could have hoped. And as if that wasn't enough, the unit itself is small and sleek and sexy.


Pinnacle Studio 18 Ultimate
Pinnacle Studio 18 Ultimate
Price: $129.53
24 used & new from $120.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent video editing suite, December 6, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Pinnacle Studio was the video editing software suite I first tried and learned on... back in like version 8 or something like that--it was 10-15 years ago. Anyway, nobody showed me how to do anything related to video editing and I was really starting from square one on my own. It took a bit of time, but simply by playing around with it a bit, I figured out how to do most things I could think to want to do. The interface made sense and their documentation was sufficient for me to learn by playing.

Back then, Pinnacle was pretty buggy. Several times I would want to throw something at my computer because the program would crash and lose the last hour of my work. That was a big deal, however, everything else about Pinnacle made me very happy. Since then, I've tried my hand at several other video editing suites including (and I don't even know if some of these are around anymore) Roxio Video Wave, Cyberlink Power Director, Corel Video studio, Ulead Video Studio, and even Adobe Premier Pro. There are pluses and minuses on most of them (I say "most" because some are all "minus" and no "plus"). For example, while Adobe Premier Pro is super powerful, I can never figure out how to do what I want to do on it (not to mention it is super expensive if you don't know somebody who works for Adobe and can get it for you for like 10% of the original cost).

So, what is a budding video editor to do? What suite should they buy?

I still love Pinnacle Studio and from my experience (not that I do this every day or anything), they have really polished their software and it is not buggy like the old versions used to be. If you choose this suite, you'll be able to do most anything you want. As a side note, I also really enjoy using PowerDirector for the same reasons--powerful and easy to use. However, this version of Pinnacle Studio comes with a bonus that I got excited about: live screen captures! There have been many times I've wanted to be able to record what I was doing on screen, but when last I seriously looked into it (a while ago, I admit) all the software to do it was expensive and I didn't want to spend money on it. Now I get it as a free bonus to an already great program.

I was sad to learn a few years ago that Corel bought Pinnacle. I'm not a fan of Corel, primarily because I don't like their tendency to use the Protexis licensing service due to the fact that I have noticed system stability issues from it (Corel Video Studio lived on my computer for about 1 day before I uninstalled it and threw it out). This is why I was thrilled to learn that even though Pinnacle is owned by Corel, it did not install Protexis. YAY!

As I continue to use Pinnacle Studio 18, I'll update if I find any issues, but so far I'm very happy with it.


Honestech Video Conversion Suite 2.0
Honestech Video Conversion Suite 2.0
Price: $79.36
10 used & new from $68.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Significant degradation of high quality input, December 6, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
OK, to be fair, let me start by saying that I didn't use this with a VCR to convert a VHS tape to digital format--it's primary intended use. I wanted to use this to record game play from my Xbox so I could share game play snippets with friends. Since I was going to upload a compressed (lossy) file format, the drop in resolution in going from HDMI to a composite connection wasn't a huge deal to me. HOWEVER, after doing a test run with it, I noticed a significant drop in quality between going from the Xbox directly to the TV over composite vs Xbox to the Honestech device over composite. The recorded video quality was really quite bad. Like I said--since I'm just sharing disposable clips with friends, it isn't a huge deal, however, if you are trying to preserve priceless memories from yesteryear, I think you're going to want the quality of those converted videos to be as close to the original source as possible (improved would be awesome, but let's be realistic). This doesn't seem to be doing that at all. Like I said--the difference was *quite* significant.

Again, to be fair, perhaps if I was coming from a VHS tape with all of 333×480 resolution, the device would perhaps capture the (dismal) quality of the original in a near perfect copy. ...or maybe not... I'm pretty sure the Xbox puts out a 480i signal over composite. Either way, I think there ought to be just a bit more headroom in the device to ensure that all analog signals (to a reasonable resolution) are correctly captured and encoded. I notice that the device uses USB 2.0. I can't help but wonder if it instead used USB 3.0 if that wouldn't help at all? Then again, the bottleneck may be within the device itself. I don't know. What I *DO* know is that if your original quality is too good, then your converted copy is going to look pretty bad when you compare the two. That's a pretty darn big deal considering what this device is meant to do and so I'm going to have to remove 2 stars.

On the plus side:
I've tried several of these VHS to DVD capture devices and pretty much all of them feel very clunky and inevitably wind up crashing at some point during the recording. The Honestech software was streamlined and never so much as hiccuped during my recordings, so huge plus there!

Another good experience: the installation process was a piece of cake and so was hooking everything up.

As a side note--if you were planning on using this to capture gaming like I was, you're going to be stuck gaming on whatever your computer outputs to (that is, you will be gaming on your computer monitor, not the TV that you normally hook your console up to). There ARE other devices that overcome this limitation, but as noted above, that really isn't the intended purpose of this device.

A small, sleek device that's very easy to use, but make sure your source material is a very low resolution, or the converted video will be significantly degraded.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2014 7:07 AM PST

Cyberlink PowerDirector 13 Ultra
Cyberlink PowerDirector 13 Ultra
Price: Click here to see our price
20 used & new from $49.99

4.0 out of 5 stars PowerDirector 13, level 2 is an easy to use, full featured video editor, December 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
OK, let me start off with a slight beef I have with marketing in general. There's a pizza place near me that doesn't sell "small" or "medium" sized pizzas (this has a point, I promise). It DOES sell "large", "huge", "gigantic" and "enormous" pizzas. I can usually remember that the 12" is called "large", but I can never remember if it's the 14" or the 16" that is "huge" or if the 26" is "enormous" or "gigantic". In the end, I just say either "your second smallest" or "the 14-inch one" because that makes much more sense and I'm certain to get what I'm expecting.

Software companies often do the same thing. In this case the most stripped down version is known as "Deluxe". "Deluxe" is defined to mean "luxurious or sumptuous; of a superior kind" and yet that's the exact opposite of what you get when you buy the "Deluxe" product (just like when you buy a "large" pizza, you are really getting the exact opposite--a small pizza). The next version up is "Ultra" (that's the one I have) which means "extreme", "at the edge", or even "beyond", when in fact it is a mid-level product. Then you have "Ultimate", "Ultimate Suite", and finally "Director Suite". Having this many versions is bad enough, but the naming is downright confusing and drives me nuts... to the point that I'm going to have to remove a star. Sorry guys. Now cut it out.

<pauses for a breath... trying to find a happy place... sigh...>

As for the software itself, I have used PowerDirector 12 for a while now and have appreciated it's user interface and feature set. A year or two ago, I was working on what appeared to be a very simple project--I imported a movie I had gotten online (legally downloaded, I'll have you know) and was trying to edit it for time so a co-worker could use it in a presentation. The effects were all very simple: fade in/fade out, etc. but even though I spent a couple of hours with various video editing programs, I could not get it to work for me. As I recall, Adobe Premier Pro CS5 couldn't understand the input file format so first I converted it with an AVS4You program. Then I had it all edited the way I wanted, but Premier had a zillion and fifty output format settings and I couldn't seem to find the magical combination that would work on my co-worker's Mac and still be a reasonable size (either the file was HUGE, the quality was TERRIBLE, or it just wouldn't work on the Mac). Next I switched to Pinnacle Studio 14, but it had issues, too--I don't remember what they were, but it was obvious that Pinnacle was a no-go. Finally I tried PowerDirector. It was more or less the first time I had used the program, and yet in under an hour, I had a fully rendered video that was a good quality, reasonable file size AND it played on my Windows PC and my co-worker's Mac.

As a side note, I'm pretty sure that Premier Pro can do all the things I've used PowerDirector for, but the darn program has such a learning curve that I often spend a good deal of time just trying to figure out how to do something as simple as fading from one clip to another. Oh, sure--once you know how to do it, it's easy and once you have been working with the program for a long time, you'll probably find features much faster, but for a novice like myself, it's usually just a frustration. PowerDirector, on the other hand, has an interface that to me is very intuitive.

You can go to Cyberlink's web site to view all the new features in 13 from 12, but in my opinion, the most noteworthy change is the addition of 2 new formats, XAVC-S and H.265/HEVC. As noted previously, I'm no video editing expert and I don't use these programs often, but from what I can tell, the look and feel has not changed in any significant way.

If you are reading reviews trying to figure out which video editing program you want to get, I would highly recommend one of the flavors of PowerDirector. Just go to the web site first so you know what it is you are getting (and what you are not) with the version you pick--the name sure as heck ain't gonna' tell ya!

Conair 1875-Watt Cord Keeper 2-in-1 Styler
Conair 1875-Watt Cord Keeper 2-in-1 Styler
Offered by Highflyer214
Price: $49.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 and 1/2 stars, November 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At the beginning of the year I reviewed another Conair blow dryer here:
As noted in that review we were pleasantly at how good that hairdryer was, but my wife didn't like the placement of the buttons. When I saw this model that had a different style of buttons and in a different place, I thought she may like it more. However, what I really liked was the retractable cord feature--too many a hair dryer has met its demise from the everyday wrapping of the cord around the body. I figured this would eliminate the problem (time will tell, and I intend to post back later with updates).

I don't dry my hair with a dryer--there is no need since it is so short. My wife, however does on a daily basis. It is important to me that she not have to hold a whirring jet engine right next to her ears each day, so for me, a quiet hair dryer is the only kind worth considering. This dryer is extremely quiet, so I'm happy there. In fact, it may be the quietest hair dryer I've ever seen. Note, however, that the fan doesn't blow as hard as the other dryers. She has shorter hair, so it isn't a big deal to her, but I suspect there will be many who disagree. I've taken 1/2 a star off for lack of power. Unfortunately, you can't do 1/2 a star, so I had to round my rating down to 4 stars.

Unlike the other Conair I reviewed, this model comes with a diffuser. Some people may find that a huge plus, I don't know, but I did notice that both the diffuser and the concentrator (which also comes with it) snap on the front and they are just a little bit difficult to pop on and off--I felt like I was going to break it. I'm sure they will loosen up a bit with use, however.

Like all the hair dryers I've seen recently (but unlike any from yester-year), this model has a removable filter so that when (not if) it fills up with junk, you can easily take it off and clean it to keep the blower goin' full throttle.

As my wife and daughters use the dryer more, I'll update with anything of note that they find, but for now, everyone is perfectly happy with the dryer... and I even like the color.


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