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banebou "banebou"

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Cowon iAudio 10 32 GB MP3 Player - Black
Cowon iAudio 10 32 GB MP3 Player - Black

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely wrecks some of my music!, 15 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've owned this mp3 player for about a year now. It replaced my old iPod nano, which my music collection had outgrown. I was determined to try a non-Apple mp3 player, and with its high capacity, interesting design and sensible price, the Cowon i10 looked like the right choice. After this experience, I will probably go back to Apple in future.

One thing I really cannot stand about this player: it interferes with your music! It uses some sort of equaliser or something, which somehow seems to separate out different sound sources in the music and make them more distinct. My music sounds completely different when played through this device - some sounds are clearer, but others are completely gone. It has a tendancy to make the background sound like the foreground and vice versa, which can be quite grating. I wouldn't mind, if only it were possible to turn the feature off, but even when I use a custom setting with none of the equaliser features enabled, it makes no difference.

Worse still, it gets completely flummoxed by certain songs and KEEPS SKIPPING BITS OF THE MUSIC COMPLETELY, presumably because the equaliser process can't keep up. This seems to happen most often with choppy, spiky music like Interpol, which is a pain because I like that kind of music. Some songs are just completely unlistenable as a result - it skips several seconds ahead, every few seconds, repeatedly. This happens consistently every time you try to play an affected song - it doesn't matter how often you try it, or if you try winding back; it will always skip over the same parts of the song each time. No other player I've used has any trouble with these songs.

Also very bad: the battery doesn't hold a charge for long. I don't mean it runs down quickly when you use the player - it certainly doesn't play for anywhere near as long as my nano did, but that doesn't bother me as I only need it for a few hours at a time. What I mean is that the battery runs down quite quickly over time even when you are not using the player. Whereas my nano would hold a charge for weeks on end if I wasn't using it, if I leave the i10 alone for a fortnight, it's guaranteed to be dead when I try it again. This is a pain, but once you're aware of it you can work around it if you think ahead.

A related issue: you can't turn the backlight off completely. If the screen is on, the backlight is on. In practice, this means you can't keep the screen on all the time, or you'll waste all the battery charge. I'm used to my nano, which kept the display on all the time it was being used but allowed you to turn off the backlight to save power. It's a pain having to keep turning the screen on to see what is playing.

One reason I wanted this player is that it is supposed to be Ogg Vorbis compatible, and I was hoping to switch my music collection to that format as it is more space efficient than mp3. However, in practice, only a tiny fraction of my Ogg files play on this device. Although they've all been encoded and tagged with exactly the same software and everything else can still play them, all but a handful cause the player to stop playing and you have to manually tell it to skip the track. A real pain! I've reluctantly returned to mp3s, and I'm glad I have most of my music in both formats.

The player also occasionally jumps to the next song for no discernible reason, or just flips out and switches itself off without warning (and I don't mean when the battery is low).

I don't really have anything good to say about the device. The colour therapy thing means you can customise the display a bit, which is nice, but I would much rather have an ugly player that actually works!

Dancing Stage Euromix and Dance Mat Bundle
Dancing Stage Euromix and Dance Mat Bundle

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Healthy Computer Game?, 16 Jan. 2003
This is possibly the only computer game ever made that will help keep you fit. It seems to appeal to people of all ages, both men and women; even my grandpa had a go! The Playstation version is almost identical to the arcade version, with the addition of a useful Workout Mode and a *very* useful Training Mode (where you can intensively practise the bits you find hardest). I've heard that some songs are missing from the Playstation version but if that's true then it must be some of the more boring ones, because all my favourites are there.
This game is great fun and very addictive. Most people find it quite difficult at first but there are plenty of songs which are easy when you play on the easiest setting. There are three other difficulty settings, however, and lots of harder songs, so there's plenty here to keep an expert occupied. It is well worth practising as the harder difficulty levels are usually much more fun - not that you will need any encouragement once you become addicted! And you certainly will be.
My only criticisms of this game are that the commentator gets a bit annoying when you've been playing for a while, and you can't turn him off completely, and the mats have a reputation for wearing out too soon (perhaps because people play this too much - there are plenty of alternative brands of mats, some of which come with guarantees). Also, there's a sort of bug in that the corner squares are mapped to arrows when you're playing, meaning that if you accidently step on one, leave your foot there and don't realise, the game will not notice when you press the real arrow. That gets annoying. Even so, this game still deserves five stars!
There's quite a bit of variety in the type of steps you have to use for each song. My favourites are La Senorita (extremely fast), Keep On Movin' (just as you'd expect it to be), Video Killed The Radio Star (fun patterns) and Mucho Mambo (repetitive, so easy!). I Will Survive on expert mode is fun too because it looks impossible but is actually quite easy! Practise it and you can impress the crowd in the arcade!

Sublime Magic Of...1994-1995
Sublime Magic Of...1994-1995
Offered by Smaller World Future
Price: £73.89

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An early gem from Catatonia - simply sublime!, 27 Nov. 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the CD which finally completed my Catatonia CD collection. It is a compilation of some of the band's EPs and singles from 1994 and 1995 - the old version of the Bleed EP, the Whale single and the Hooked EP, with Dream On thrown in for good measure. Many of these tracks are hard to find; Bleed is readily available on the excellent indie album Way Beyond Blue, but although the next four tracks are also on that album, these are older versions. You Can is very hard to find apart from on this CD; the last 3 tracks comprise the Hooked EP, which is also available in the 1993-1994 collection. All in all, it's likely that even enthusiastic Catatonia fans will be missing at least a few of these.
It's hard to pick standouts here as every track is brilliant. My favourites are Hooked, Bleed and Dream On, but the others are all excellent too and anyone's choices would be as valid as mine. The old versions of the Way Beyond Blue tracks all offer something different from the album versions, particularly Dream On. If you already have Way Beyond Blue, consider buying this anyway if you are missing any of the other tracks, since even the ones you'll duplicate will be sufficiently different from the versions you have to make the collection worth buying. If you don't have Way Beyond Blue then buy it, or this, or both, immediately! Bleed is one of Catatonia's fastest and loudest songs; great fun! The next four tracks are slower and quite interesting. You Can resembles You've Got A Lot To Answer For; it's not amazing but not too bad. The last three tracks are all quite odd but extremely catchy: you *will* be "Hooked". Fall Beside Her is particularly likely to stick in your head for hours after hearing it.
This really is a great CD. None of the tracks are bad, and some of these songs are rare tracks which many people will sadly never hear. From the beautiful Hooked, to the racey Bleed and the shopping mall-esque Dream On, this collection showcases Catatonia's early talent, and is worth the price for any indie/Brit-pop fan. Although very different from post-Mulder And Scully material, all of these tracks are good.

Storm the Palace
Storm the Palace
Offered by The London Lane Company
Price: £52.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Catatonia fans MUST buy this!, 13 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Storm the Palace (Audio CD)
This is a rare EP released only in Japan. Storm The Palace leads the collection; this was the only form in which it was released as an A-side. It was never my favourite song from the album (it's from Equally cursed and Blessed), but I guess it's strong enough to lead an EP if you like Catatonia's louder songs. The rest of the collection is an assortment of old live tracks and B-sides from singles taken from International Velvet and Equally Cursed and Blessed. The live rendition of Painful lives up to its name, but the other two (Road Rage and Do You believe In Me?) are quite good; it's nice to hear the full lyrics for Road Rage. Do You Believe In Me? is one of the group's best songs and not easy to find. Although the studio version is better, this live rendition is certainly not bad. Another highlight is That's All Folks, a B-side from the Strange Glue single. This song is over six minutes long and very powerful. It took me a while to get into it but now I know it well I absolutely love it. The other two songs, Apathy Revolution and Branding A Mountain, are Bs-ides from singles taken from Equally Cursed And Blessed. Frankly, I don't think they were good choices - some of the other B-sides were much better. Apathy Revolution isn't bad, but it's not particularly brilliant either. Branding A Mountain is probably my least favourite Catatonia song. There's a certain charm to Cerys' drunken rambling but all the same I can't really recommend this track. At least it's short. That said, I do like the random giggle at the end.
On the whole, this EP is well worth buying, if you can find it. There are two other Japan-only Catatonia EPs, and both are better, but even so this is worth the money too (buy all three!). This is a great chance to experience some of this fantastic group's more offbeat offerings (NEVER pass up a chance to hear Do You Believe In Me?). Apart from Branding A Mountain and the live version of Painful, every track is good. The only real complaint I have is that it would have made more sense for That's All Folks to be the last track. Oh well, I guess as long as it's on there somewhere - it really is a great song!

Price: £3.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Standard Catatonia fare, 5 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Londinium (Audio CD)
This is the second single released from Catatonia's third album, Equally Cursed And Blessed. Londinium is not one of my personal favourites but I do think it was a fair choice for a single release, although perhaps She's A Millionaire would have been a better second single. If there is such a thing as an "average" Catatonia track then Londinium is it. Loud and powerful in places, slightly bitter throughout and with Cerys' trademark Welsh accent and witty lyrics, this track is representative of the group's work and the album from which it is taken. However, in my opinion it lacks a real "hook"; most of the group's other singles have had some sort of distinctive feature which sets them apart from most other music, but Londinium's only real asset is its dry humour. However, the tone of this single is raised by the quality of its to B-sides, Apathy Revolution and Intercontinental Sigh. Apathy Revolution is similar to Londinium in many ways, and is quite catchy. Intercontinental Sigh is a little more unusual, with radio-esque beeping noises as an introduction. The first few times I heard it I wasn't particularly impressed, but one day the strong piano scales at the end of the introduction caught my attention and I listened more carefully. Cerys' voice is simply beautiful in this song; it really does showcase her vocal ability. As the song is bundled with the louder Londinium, this disc gives a good overview of Cerys' vocal talents. Personally, I believe that Intercontinental Sigh alone is worth the price of the disc, but it might be a bit too offbeat for some people's tastes. If you have the album and like slower songs such as Valerian, I recommend buying this, and if you don't have the album then the first two tracks on this disc give a good indication of what to expect. If you prefer louder songs such as I Am The Mob, you may like Londinium but probably won't like Intercontinental Sigh.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nine classic tracks, including most of my favourites!, 18 Sept. 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rockbird (Audio CD)
This is Blondie singer Debbie Harry's second solo album, and, in my opinion, her best. Although there are only nine tracks, all of them are good - and most of them are great! Four of the nine were released as singles, which shows how high the overall quality of the album is. The highlights are probably French Kissin and Free To Fall, but there is simply not a bad song to be found on the album. Debbie's solo work is usually quite different from her work with Blondie; most of her songs have very strong beats. The rest are usually a little more slushy than Blondie songs. In this album, Debbie alternates between the two - the odd-numbered tracks have strong beats, even-numbered ones are on the slushy side. But, as I already said, all of them are good! This album easily makes my top ten, despite only having nine tracks - think about what that means. Then buy it! :^)

Greatest Hits  Catatonia
Greatest Hits Catatonia
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! A worthy tribute to a great band!, 8 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Greatest Hits Catatonia (Audio CD)
This 2 CD set is a limited edition, enhanced version of Greatest Catatonia Hits. The first CD contains every hit single by the group (basically, every single from I Am The Mob onwards, plus three older ones). I'll focus on the second CD in this review, since this is what makes this version different from the normal one. The second CD is a special limited edition collector's CD, featuring some B-sides and some album tracks from Catatonia's first and fourth albums, since these albums are not represented well on the first CD (only one single was ever released from the fourth album!). In my opinion, the highlights are Way Beyond Blue, Indigo Blind, Do You Believe In Me? and Acapulco Gold. The latter three are all previously-hard-to-find B-sides, and all three are excellent - almost as good as Catatonia's A-sides, which is saying a lot! There's a nice surprise after Acapulco Gold: two more songs not listed in the index, All Girls Are Fly and Blues Song. I'm not sure why these aren't listed on the box, but they're definitely on the CD. :^) All in all, disc 2 is almost worth the money itself. Factor in disc 1, which of course contains all of the songs picked as singles in the band's final four or five years of existence, and this is a real bargain. If you're a fan of Catatonia, you won't be disappointed. If you only know a couple of their songs (infidel!), this is an ideal way to discover how great they are! BUY THIS NOW!!!

Moments of Pleasure
Moments of Pleasure

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great song but buy it for the B-sides!, 20 Aug. 2002
This review is from: Moments of Pleasure (Audio CD)
Moments Of Pleasure is one of five singles released from Kate's most recent album (as of August 2002, that is). It's a good song, but the real reason I bought this CD was to get the B-side tracks. There are three; Show A Little Devotion, December Will Be Magic Again and Experiment IV. The last two were released as singles back in the days before CDs were used, and it's great to be able to hear them on CD (they are not on any of the albums, although Experiment IV is on the 'best of' collection, The Whole Story). My favourite song on this CD is December Will Be Magic Again - in fact, it's one of my favourite songs by Kate. It's a Christmas song with a great tune, very atmospheric. The other two B-sides are okay, and as I already said, the A-side is also a pretty good song. This CD also has a really cool cover. There are two versions of this CD; this one (with catalogue number CDEM 297) has four tracks whereas the other (CDEMS297) has only 3 (the second is missing) but includes four prints from Kate's film, The Line, The Cross And The Curve. Buyers/sellers take note: this page is for the four track version! There's a different one for the (inferior) three track version.

Catatonia - Stone By Stone [DVD]
Catatonia - Stone By Stone [DVD]
Dvd ~ Catatonia
Offered by Hatherley's
Price: £9.74

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 6 Aug. 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Stone By Stone is quite possibly Catatonia's best song ever (the other competitors being Road Rage, For Tinkerbell and the more obscure Acapulco Gold, in my opinion). You just have to hear it to believe it: Cerys' beautiful voice belting out a powerful anthem (the song will appeal to fans of I Am The Mob) to the accompaniment of violins and backing vocals by other the band members (this song will also appeal to fans of Valerian). Basically, this song has something for everyone and will not fail to move you. This DVD version has the obligatory music video to go with it, which is nothing special but fits the mood of the song well - Cerys stands on the balcony singing to the cheering crowds below in a Velvet Revolution-like scenario. Some other video clips are included as bonus material (why not the full videos? You can't buy them elsewhere anyway!) and these are quite interesting. There's also some bio information and photos of the band, which are good but nothing to shout about. The real hook here is (of course) the song; you have to hear this song! Right now! If you don't have a DVD player, get the CD version, just BUY THIS SINGLE!

Nokia 5510 (Blue) - SIM Free
Nokia 5510 (Blue) - SIM Free

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique - so Nokia get away with a few oversights..., 18 Mar. 2002
There is no phone quite like this one. It plays MP3 files and radio, has a full QWERTY keyboard (allowing much faster messaging, whatever your 3210-owning friends may say) as well as WAP support and all the other stuff you'd expect from a mobile these days. However...unfortunately, Nokia exploit this monopoly position a bit. Overall, the phone is excellent and you won't find another like it, but there are some minor problems which shouldn't really be present in equipment worth over two hundred pounds. You know the noise you get when you leave your mobile near a TV? I think the same thing which causes that acts on the 5510 while you're ripping music directly from a CD - if you have the headphones on, you hear a beeping every few minutes and when you play back the file, it will jump at those points. It's best to send files from a PC via the USB cable, but this isn't perfect either - the software is buggy and has crashed my system several times. Once it forgot it had a driver for the phone and I had to reinstall the whole lot. There is a also a minor problem with naming the tunes - once they're on there, you can't change their names (why???) and when you send them from a PC, often either the artist name or tune name is missing - this gets annoying if you have several tunes by the same artist. You'll have to put up with these irritations though, as this is a great phone in all other respects, and the only one to boast this particular set of features. The faults are balanced out by quality in other areas - the headphones are included with the phone, and feature a microphone so you don't need to hold the phone to your ear to talk while wearing them. You even get a free music CD with the phone, in case you don't have any music of your own! All in all, this phone is great to have and worth the money, even if there are some minor problems with it (you should expect dodgy software with almost any computer peripheral though, no matter how expensive). If you want a mobile phone and an MP3 player, just buy this!

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