Ian Blyth – It's Just a Thought

My thoughts and opinions

Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Waste of an Advert

Posted by Ian Blyth on 19 September 2008

I was intrigued when I initially saw the advert from Ford for the Kuga using the theme of blank canvas. The town is covered in white and people are amazed as if it happened overnight. The ad talks about starting afresh but when you see the car it looks boring. Pity they could not have found a better product for such a brilliant concept.

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Headphones

Posted by Ian Blyth on 17 April 2008

In my cupboard I have stacks of old headphones. My ears must be really sensitive as I am fussy about the type of headphones I use. The ones that are comfortable for me are the ones with headbands. I have tried the ear buds and the ones with “loops” over your ears and have found them uncomfortable.

I few years ago my colleagues mentioned Sennheiser and later at the airport I saw them in a shop. I bought the PXC 250 model. They have been brilliant. Light and comfortable to wear, noise compensation (great for planes) and they fold away to fit in a nice pouch. My brother in law has Bose and while they are definitely better I did not think that they were worth three times the price better.

I was away skiing at Easter and in the airport I was looking at headphones and saw that the bud style came with comfort guarantees and different sized moldings etc for fitting. The looked much better than the old style ones covered in foam. The PXC 250’s are great but when skiing look a bit out of place and hard to use when wearing headbands, hats or hoods. The buds are certainly less cumbersome to wear. Among the range was some Sennheiser models. As I was impressed by them I went for the CX 300 model. I was not disappointed. I could wear them all day which was a revelation. There were light, unobtrusive and very good sound quality.While I still love my PXC 250’s the CX  300s are now my preferred headphones for skiing and travelling small journeys like trains, I would still use the PXCs for plane journeys. It is wonderful how technology has moved on. And even better is the fact that they are black so it does not look like I have a stupid iPod.

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Album Artist

Posted by Ian Blyth on 14 April 2008

I have had a Creative Zen for a while. It was a 60 GB model which was huge in those days and it is only now that capacities have caught up. It is great to travel with all my music rather than having to decide which music to take with me as I used to do with CDs or before that cassettes. And a small capacity like 5 GB or 8 GB would mean that I would have to decide what goes on. However, on short journeys I have decided that I do not need to carry it and my phone could do the job – especially as I bought a 2 GB micro SD card for less than £10. As I always have my mobile why carry 2 devices on a short journey? It is disappointing that it can not do WMA but I can copy MP3 files (the lowest common denominator) straight across. It will transfer the WMA files to a smaller mobile format. It does take time (with my processor maxed out) but I am amazed at how much music I can get on 2 GB.

But the biggest disappointment with the phone (which I should not be too disappointed with as it is a business and not a media phone) and my Creative is that there is no view by album artist. There are views for artist, songs ( a very long list) or albums (which is not that great if you have a lot of albums all called Greatest Hits!). I have a number of compilation albums which has the album artist as Various or Various Artists. But each track then lists the artist so that the list of artist to search through gets very large very quickly.

I looked at my friends recently purchased iPod Nano but that did not have a view for album artists either which surprised me give how everyone raves about the iPod (except me). Although it does a little picture of the album beside the name so it helps with the list of albums all with the same name. It seems that the people that design these products only ever buy CDs from a single artist and have never bought a compilation CD – never mind bought a whole bunch of them.

Album artist is a valid tag for a music file and seems to be used by everyone. But MP3 players (not ones that I have seen anyway) do not seem to use it. What I would like is an MP3 player that lists Album Artists as well as Artists. And if the list of albums is going to be text only (no nice picture of the album which is OK on a small device) then I would like the artist’s name to be in brackets after the album name to get over the problem of have a list all called “Greatest Hits”. Surely I am not the only person to have come across this?

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