Round up #91: Best books, headphone deal, Flipboard

Round up #91: Best books, headphone deal, Flipboard

Would Spock wear earbuds?

I’m not a fan of earbuds…honestly, I just don’t like the way they feel. I don’t like sticking things in my ear like that.

For quite a while, I’ve had a pair of “ear clips”. Those are light, like earbuds (although not as light), and have a clip that goes over your ear. The speaker is padded, and rests on the outside of your ear…sort of like a tiny earmuff. :)

Since I got DroidTV (a way to easily watch current TV on your Kindle Fire…while not connected to the internet), I felt an increased need to have a second pair. One goes in my laptop case for work, one goes in the “utility vest” I typically wear when not at work.

Well, I’m quite pleased with the new pair I got…and they are on a significant sale right now.

Philips Adjustable Earclip Headphones SHS4700/28 (Black)

Philips is a good brand, and when I put them in my cart sometime ago, they were $19.99. Right now, they are $10.01…that’s a savings of about ten dollars.

They are comfortable, point one. Second, though, the sound is great! I’m guessing technology has changed since I last bought a pair of headphones. I was really pleased with the sound.

My Significant Other and I often see things the same way in life, but we don’t hear them the same way. ;) I used to play conga drum with bands, and they tend to put us in front of the stacks (the big speakers). Suffice it to say, my hearing isn’t the best (although not bad). I was quite surprised to turn the volume setting down to about half with these headphones on.

My SO has amazing hearing, and wanted to try out the headphones. My SO liked them so much, we bought a second pair right away (before the price might go back up).

Headphones apply to every Kindle except the Mindle (the $79/$109 in the USA model)…that one doesn’t have a sound system. Kindles use what is a pretty standard audio jack on mobile devices: 3.5mm, so you could also use them on an iPod and such.

I don’t want to overpraise this…I’m not that picky about the sound, and maybe you’d find something missing if you are used to $200 models. I would recommend them for comfortable inexpensive headphones. We always keep some “emergency” gifts around for the holidays (when someone shows up with a new Significant Other, for example), and this would be good for that.

One last thing on that: the cable that goes to the actual ear clip is asymmetrical…it’s longer for one ear than for the other. I initially thought that was a defect, but it’s designed so you can drape the “Y” over the back of your head, instead of under your chin. That can keep the cord more out of the way.

Do check the price, in case it has changed.

Amazon picks the best books of the year so far

C lose to half way through the year, Amazon has published

Best Books of the Year So Far: 2012 Editors’ Picks

It’s an interesting list, with a different impact for Kindle users.

One of the things about being on the list is that Amazon is discounting the titles.

My first thought was, “Oh, okay…it won’t be for any Agency Model books”. It honestly slipped my mind that they might be basing this on paperbooks as well.

So, the p-books are discounted, but the e-books often aren’t (since Agency Model books can’t be discounted by Amazon).

That might make this list a lot more interesting for Kindleers after/if the Agency Model ends (which I think will happen). A federal judge has set the trial date in the Department of Justice action for June 3, 2013.

Still, it’s worth looking at the list, even if some of the e-books are priced at $12.99. If you don’t want to pay that much, no harm in looking. :)

Flipping the news

When

Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine

first came out, it was for the iPad. It’s just been released for the Kindle Fire.

What is it?

Publishers are looking for the new generation of magazine. There are some great magazines available on tablets (the old media ones do sell there: Kindle Magazine bestsellers). However, is the “once a month” or even “once a week” model the best way to go with the way people consume content now?

One vision is that you would pick up a magazine…and it would be constantly evolving. It would show you new stories every day, based on things that are of interest to you.

Pulse, which comes on the Fire, has been one of my favorite things about that device. It’s an app that lets me choose news sources (like blogs), and puts them together for me.

Right offhand, I’ll say that Flipboard looks better. Pulse is more like a newspaper in appearance: Flipboard is graphic heavy.

Contrary to what’s been suggested, I wouldn’t say I find the navigation that intuitive. Swiping your finger up the screen doesn’t scroll down, but “flips” the screen to something else. That might have been what seemed natural before we were used to touchscreens, but I find it a bit disconcerting now.

I didn’t find it obvious as to how to get into the full version of the story, and then get back to where I was to follow a different path.

I haven’t connected it to any social media, except for Twitter (I really don’t use that much of that…I’m social here and in the forums), which is sort of the point. :)

That said, I can’t deny that it’s captivating. It does look great. It has the information I want…right away.

I think that once I get used to the navigation, I’ll like it a lot better. Right now, it feels sort of like I’m in a hall of mirrors: I keep trying to get somewhere and bumping my nose. ;) However, I do think that’s just a neophyte issue.

I’d also guess it’s a big battery charge drainer. It seems like it is always loading something when it is open.

I was afraid it might be a big storage hog, but it’s not bad…I’m at 5MB right now…although the cache is an additional 8.19MB.

Trying to set it up when not connected to internet didn’t work well. I can clearly read things when disconnected, but I’m not sure how much that limits the experience. On a Fire, that matters.

If you are an experienced Flipboard user, feel free to share your opinion and best tips and tricks. If you aren’t, I would say it’s worth a try.

Kindle Fire, $199

That doesn’t sound like news, right?

That’s what I thought when I got an e-mail from Amazon with that as the subject line this morning.

It also plugged the Mindle, but neither one really had news.

It could just be a periodic promotion, of course, but I will admit to a bit of a tingle that this might be an ad push for the status quo before something new is released. The new thing could be new models or new software updates or both.

Of course, it might have nothing to do with that. If a change was coming in a month or so, though, it might make sense to get the most out of what you had now while you still could.

Just idle speculation, though…it’s probably just an ad. :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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3 Responses to “Round up #91: Best books, headphone deal, Flipboard”

  1. Tuli Reno Says:

    I bought the headphones, so thanks. I’m one of those people with tiny ear openings and not matter what I do, earbuds never fit right and eventually wind up hurting as I keep trying to stuff them in my ears. Amazon also gave me a credit for two MP3 downloads and since I’ve rediscovered 80s music I’m going to go look up Spandau Ballet and Wham.

  2. jennifer cline Says:

    Thanks for the earphone info.I feel the same about earbuds and don’t like the big bulky headphone type.I bought two of the type you recommended.

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