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Creative MUVO 10 Portable Bluetooth Wireless NFC Speaker with Aux-in and Microphone - Black
Creative MUVO 10 Portable Bluetooth Wireless NFC Speaker with Aux-in and Microphone - Black
Price: £49.99

3.0 out of 5 stars An OK speaker but size isn't everything, 16 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Weighing in just short of 1Kg, this is a big portable Bluetooth speaker. The moulded plastic build incorporates a carry handle and it looks quite stylish. The volume goes louder than any other Bluetooth speaker I've used and it really does fill every corner of the room. However, the overall sound although fairly clear (even with the volume turned up) is lacking in depth, even for a Bluetooth speaker in this price range. It's OK, but nothing special.

It seamlessly paired with my iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and laptop (running Ubuntu) and has connected every time thereafter. The Bluetooth range is good - it works around the house, including upstairs, but it cuts out for a fraction of a second more often than expected even when close to the device it's being used with.

It can be used with a 3.5mm audio cable (not included) for devices lacking Bluetooth capability and it's charged using a USB cable (included) and you'll need a USB plug (not included) if you want to use it straight out of the box. The NFC and speaker phone functions work as expected, the battery lasts for approximately 7 hours with the volume turned up high and it has volume Up & Down buttons.

Overall, this is an OK speaker but check out the competition before buying. Compared to similar portable speakers, it's just too big and clumsy for no apparent reason other than to look more impressive. Ultimately, I'll compare this with the competition and the Bolse Bluetooth speaker (that has the same RRP but always seems to retail at £29.99) beats it hands down. It doesn't go quite as loud (it's not far off) but the Bolse sounds better, has a 20+ hour battery life and, like this speaker, it has NFC and speaker phone functions. Additionally, it has control buttons that allow the user to skip backwards and forwards between tracks, a feature this speaker doesn't have. It's also lot smaller, lighter and compact and therefore more portable and the Bluetooth connection is better.


Bolse® N600 Dual-Band Wireless USB Adapter - 2.4GHz 300Mbps/5Ghz 300Mbps, One-Button Setup, Support Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8; Mac OS X 10.5 Greater(*Does Not Support Win8.1*)
Bolse® N600 Dual-Band Wireless USB Adapter - 2.4GHz 300Mbps/5Ghz 300Mbps, One-Button Setup, Support Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8; Mac OS X 10.5 Greater(*Does Not Support Win8.1*)
Offered by T.M. Enterprise
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple installation and a fast connection, 6 Jun 2014
This is an excellent bit of kit that WiFi enabled my desktop PC thereby allowing me to remove the ethernet cable connecting it to the router. This in turn allowed me to re-site the router in a more central part of the home for a better all round wireless reception. Installed on a PC running MS Vista, I had to load the drivers from the provided 3" CD after Windows failed to automatically find and install them. It only took a couple of minutes and there's a very comprehensive instruction booklet with step-by-step instructions and screen shots.

Once installed, I removed the ethernet cable from my PC, restarted it and there were a lot of different WiFi networks showing (a lot more than I see on my iPad which suggests that this adapter has a bigger reach). I selected mine, was prompted to input my password and my PC was connected to my WiFi network. The speed is more or less the same as when my PC was connected directly to the router and it automtaically kicks in to life when the PC is switched on. Happy days. I received this gratis in return for an honest review.


From There to Here [DVD]
From There to Here [DVD]
Dvd ~ Philip Glenister
Price: £12.95

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality TV drama, 5 Jun 2014
This review is from: From There to Here [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very well written three hour drama from the BBC that features some first class acting. Phil Glenister, whose character (Daniel Cotton) shares the arrogance of his most famous incarnation (Life on Mars' DCI Gene Hunt), holds the whole thing together superbly and he's supported by a very strong supporting cast. Covering a period of four years following the IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996 and the events that unfold within the lives and businesses of Cotton and his "families" as a consequence, it's refreshing to watch a drama this good that's neither imported or a crime drama. Funny in parts and moving in others (but never too much in either direction (although I did laugh out loud a few times)), it authentically evokes memories of a not too distant past and it's the best British drama I've seen for some time. Well worth watching if you missed it on TV.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2014 10:19 PM BST


Funny Old Shit - Volume 1, A Trunk Records Sampler
Funny Old Shit - Volume 1, A Trunk Records Sampler
Price: £4.50

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment, 3 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Focussing almost exclusively on their extensive digital catalogue, this is the first in a series of budget compilations from Trunk Records. Highlighting the beautiful, the absurd, the unlistenable, the fascinating, the addictive and all of the other things that make Trunk such an interesting label, this is a quality sampler and given that many of the songs are from the Fifties and Sixties, more than a few have a jazz vibe about them.

Bernard Cribbins opens proceedings with the amusing (and highly addictive) 'Gossip Calypso' and Jacques Lasry & Bernard Baschet's 'Rapsodie de Budapest' is an eerie sound sculpture from way back. 'Jive Baby on a Saturday Night' by the Jellies is a minimal new wave number from 1981 and, with it's heavy bass, it's very reminiscent of ESG's sound from the same period. The electro-exotica-jazz of 'Waltz in Orbit' is the flip side of the first ever BBC Radiophonic Workshop release and was produced by George Martin

'Rats in My Room' features "the world's best worst singer" Leoni Anderson and she more than lives up to her billing. This is swiftly followed by the utterly gorgeous and mesmerising vocal jazz cover of John Coltrane's 'Naima' by The Double Six of Paris - it's stunning. Elsewhere there are children singing, educational electronics, easy listening vibes, Robert Mitchum singing with a Caribbean accent and Avant-garde wizardry. Yusef Lateef closes the album with the sublime and unforgettable 'Love Theme from Spartacus'.

Clocking in at 43 minutes, the sound has been remastered and is crystal clear. Housed in a cardboard sleeve with concise notes from Jonny Trunk printed on the back sleeve (where he explains that the name of this album comes from the response he gives to people when they ask him what sort of music his label releases), this is another interesting and very worthwhile budget sampler from the ever impressive Trunk.


New York in The '70s
New York in The '70s
Price: £7.49

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The final instalment, 22 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Another year and another concept album from Luke Haines. Including the North Sea Scrolls collaborative effort, that's four within the past three years. A mythical re-imagining of the New York Rock 'n' Roll scene 1972-1979, lyrically this album is reminiscent of his '9½ Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling' album - mostly favourable and sympathetic towards the many people that he sings about but with no shortage of his usual wry observations and razor sharp one liners. Musically, Haines broadens his palette and the synths & keyboards found on his early solo work make a welcome return. Loads of name-checks, including Lou Reed (so good he names him twice and also mimics 1975's 'Lou Reed Live' for the album's cover), Suicide's Alan Vegas, The New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders, CBGB, Max's Kansas City, writer and sometime musician Jim Carroll and even Dorset's very own Cerne Abbas Man. This is the final instalment of Haines' psychedelic concept trilogy and it's the second best of the three, just behind the wrestling one. It'll be interesting to hear what he does next.


Entropicalia
Entropicalia
Price: £12.88

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trippy, pyschedelic, motorik and cinematic wall of sound, 22 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Entropicalia (Audio CD)
Imagine a band that incorporate elements of some of the best sounds of the late Sixties and early Seventies - Krautrock, sunshine pop, Serge Gainsbourg, acid folk, David Axelrod, Tropicalia, psychedelia, European cinema - and combine those influences into a cohesive, original sounding and addictive 48 minute album of genius. The Soundcarriers are that band and this is their best album yet.

The bass guitar sounds amazing and it dominates throughout and together with the percussion it underpins the sound of this album. Add in the keyboards, lush multi-tracked vocals, guitars, flutes, an Elijah Wood monologue, etc and the result is a totally absorbing trippy, pyschedelic, motorik and cinematic wall of sound. If you enjoyed the sound of Broadcast and Stereolab you'll find much to enjoy here but with this album The Soundcarriers take it to an altogether different level. Buy it, play it loud and prepare to be astonished.


External USB Floppy Drive - Black
External USB Floppy Drive - Black
Offered by Storage Depot Ltd
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Plug and Play simplicity, 19 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this after finding some old floppy disks after a sort out. With both Windows 7 and Ubuntu the drivers were automatically downloaded and installed within a few seconds and, in Windows 7, it shows as the "A" drive. There is a 3" CD with drivers and there's also a user manual should you need them. It works just as expected with whirring noises and the LED on the front of the drive flashing intermittently (it's like the 1990s all over again!) and, for the asking price (£9.99 at the time of writing), it's a bargain.


Tefal BL142A42 Fruit Sensation Blender - Silver
Tefal BL142A42 Fruit Sensation Blender - Silver
Price: £37.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed juicer / chopper / grinder combo, 15 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The main part of this blender is a juicer - chuck in any fruit and it will give it a smoothie finish. It's ideal if you want to jazz up, for example, a glass of fresh orange juice with banana - half fill the blender with orange juice, throw in a couple of bananas, give it a 10 second blast and you have a perfect orange and banana smoothie. The mini-chopper copes fine with fresh parsley and coriander and the mini-grinder comfortably grinds almonds (for a curry topping!).

None of the three jars have a handle and that's a bonus. If you juice something in the large jar, you can simply unclip the cutting element and replace it with a secure lid (there's a couple supplied) and store the jar in the inside of the fridge door shelf next to the milk until you're ready to use it. It works the same for the Mini-chopper and grinder too and they both take up next to no space in the fridge. Well made, easy to store and easy to clean too, it has two speed settings - fast and faster.


Dylan's Gospel
Dylan's Gospel
Price: £12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gospel celebration of the words and music of Bob Dylan, 7 May 2014
This review is from: Dylan's Gospel (Audio CD)
Conceived, produced and recorded by legendary producer Lou Adler in Los Angeles and originally released on the Adler owned Ode label in 1969, this is a very welcome reissue. Recorded over four days, the raw energy, spontaneity and enthusiasm from the recording sessions is perfectly captured and presented on this disc.

The Brothers & Sisters consisted of 20 female and eight male vocalists and they were not an established group in any shape or form - they were brought together by Adler solely to record this album. All of the lead vocals are undertaken by female singers who, amongst others, feature Merry Clayton who sang on The Rolling Stones 'Gimme Shelter', Edna Wright and Carolyn Willis who went on to sing in Honey Cone and Gloria Jones of 'Tainted Love' fame.

Musically and lyrically the Dylan songs Adler chose to record lend themselves really well to a gospel makeover and, unexpectedly, this is at times a very uplifting and joyous listening experience. Beautifully arranged, both the lead and backing vocals are immaculate throughout and some top session musicians provide the music. There are many highlights but 'All Along the Watchtower', which starts as a sensual soul number and builds up to something very powerful when the backing vocalists join in, is truly outstanding. Nothing here is better than the Dylan originals, they're just different interpretations with a more spiritual vibe.

Remastered from the original stereo tapes and with a playing time of 36.50, the sound quality is perfect. The CD is housed in a digipak (near) replica of the original vinyl release and includes a booklet with newly-commissioned liner notes and some archive photographs. Whether you're a Dylan aficionado or a fan of soul and gospel music, there's much to enjoy here and this is another first class reissue from Light in the Attic Records.


Bowie Heard Them Here First
Bowie Heard Them Here First
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: £10.03

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Johnny Mathis, The Velvet Underground, Eddie Floyd, Iggy Pop..., 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
...they're all here, along with The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Pixies and many more. Consisting of 24 tracks covered by Bowie between 1964 and 2002, the most noticeable thing is how similar many of Bowie's versions are to these. It seems that he liked these songs so much that he mostly (but not always) recorded straight-forward facsimiles. In a few instances his versions are better but overall I'd suggest that the songs on this compilation have the edge but, given the similarities, there isn't too much in it.

I'll take Martha & The Vandellas 'Dancing in the Streets' over Bowie & Jagger hamming it up any day and I'd have included Scott Walker's English language cover of Jacques Brel's 'Amsterdam' given that Bowie is a notable Walker aficionado (and possibly heard Walker's version first). Nonetheless, Brel's live recording included here is the ultimate version. I do prefer Bowie's cover of 'Kingdom Come' (he sings it better than Tom Verlaine and the backing vocals are superior) and his version of 'Wild is the Wind' will forever remain definitive. The Legendary Stardust Cowboy's 'I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship' from 1969 sounds like a B-side by The Fall and Iggy Pop's 'Don't Look Down' is almost unrecognisable from the song that appears on Bowie's Tonight album and is reggae free.

There are omissions - The Beatles 'Across the Universe', Lennon's 'Working Class Hero', Morrissey's 'I Know it's Gonna Happen Someday', The Beach Boys 'God Only Knows', The Rolling Stones 'Let's Spend the Night Together', etc - but I suppose you'd need a 2/3 CD set to include everything and in the case of the former it's probably due to copyright restrictions.

Featuring a diverse range of artists and songs, whether you're a Bowie fan or not there's something for everyone to enjoy. Clocking in at 76 minutes and housed in a jewel case, the liner notes feature a biography of Bowie's career from 1972 onwards and reproduction photos of record sleeves.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2014 2:38 PM BST


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