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Infodump of the moment: my daily listen list

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Nobody asked, but here is my daily track listing in iTunes. This is a mixture of specific albums, some shuffle mode, a genius playlist for a few tracks, and then some hand selected sets in the evening to provide a backdrop for working from home.

Blasphemous Rumours by Blasphemous Garden
Needle Through a Bug by Repo! The Genetic Opera Cast
Seventeen Repo! by The Genetic Opera Cast
I Didn’t Know I’d Love You So Much by Repo! The Genetic Opera Cast
Let the Monster Rise by Repo! The Genetic Opera Cast
Genetic Repo Man by Repo! The Genetic Opera Cast
The Thorian by Richard Jaques, Jack Wall
Things You See In a Graveyard by Repo! The Genetic Opera Cast
Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex
Lightin’ Hopkins by R.E.M.
Fireplace by R.E.M.
Legal Assassin by Repo! The Genetic Opera Cast
In Space by Royksopp
21st Century Cure by Repo! The Genetic Opera Cast
Jericho by Prodigy
Alcohol by Barenaked Ladies
Try Me (Puts Inst.) by J. Boogie
Straight to Video (The Birthday Massacre Remix) by Mindless Self Indulgence
Just Like Heaven by The Cure
Happy Now by No Doubt
What Sound by Lamb
Love Song For My Mom by Moby
Witch The Ditch by Erasure
Straight to Video by Mindless Self Indulgence
Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) by The Jacksons
Human Nature Michael Jackson
Run On by Moby
Off the Wall (Single Version) by Michael Jackson
Crazy For You by Madonna
Its My Life by No Doubt
End It On This by No Doubt
Something To Do by Depeche Mode
Dreaming Of Me by Depeche Mode
Come On Closer by Jem
Watch the World Burn by Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard
Voyager by Daft Punk
La Isla Bonita by Madonna
Pulsewidth by Aphex Twin
When Doves Cry by Prince
It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back) by Eurythmics
Pump Gag by Negativland
The End (Reprise) by Sam Hulick, Jack Wall
It’s Only A Game by Psyki
Functional by Psyki
Junkyard Sounds Disc 1 by Radio Is Happy Noises
Junkyard Sounds Disc 2 by Radio Is Happy Noises
Uplink by Sam Hulick
Sovereign’s Theme by Sam Hulick
Battle At Eden Prime by Sam Hulick
Tristesse Globale by Royksopp
30 Century Man by Scott Walker
The Normandy by Sam Hulick
In Pursuit of Saren by Sam Hulick, Jack Wall

V-Moda: worst customer service ever

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

When they work I love my Vibe Duos, but unfortunately they are not working so well right now. I raved about them as the best iPhone headset on the market in my review on Gear Live and my follow up post about the 2nd generation Vibe Duos with an answer/hangup button. Unfortunately I can no longer say I recommend either the Vibe Duos or any product made by the V-Moda company.

While their earbuds are amazingly comfortable and sound great they have severe build quality issues which results in frequent failure. After repairing the headphone sheath as described in the review and then replacing them entirely when they stopped working I have had to replace them two more times directly through the V-Moda warranty program for a total of three replacements in under 9 months.

The first time I replaced them through RMA I was a little irked that the process took almost two weeks. This time around V-Moda has gone silent once I shipped the defective earbuds back to them. UPS has proof that they were delivered and signed for, however V-Moda initially couldn’t find them (and wanted the tracking number again), and now refuses to even respond to emails regarding the warranty program.

It’s sad really – the Vibe Duo’s are the most comfortable, and among the best sounding headphones I’ve ever used. When they work I sing praises to my fellow man about the glory that is the Vibe Duo, but since in the last 9 months since I bought my first pair I’ve been through 3 pairs, and without their delicious sound for more than 6 weeks I can’t honestly recommend anyone purchase them if they in the slightest value reliability or customer service.

I’ve filed an official complaint with the Better Business Bureau to see if that might get me traction on getting my promised replacement pair. The full text of the complaint is below for public record.

Complainant Information
About 3 weeks ago my Vibe Duo earbuds stopped working and I contacted the company asking for a replacement pair. They sent a form letter with a ticket number (Ticket ID: ZWL-207849) and asked that I mail the broken earbuds to their mailing address. (V-Moda, 6464 sunset blvd. suite 500, hollywood ca 90028)

I sent the earbuds back via UPS (tracking number: -tracking number redacted-) and then didn’t hear anything back for 2 weeks. UPS confirms that the package was delivered 2 weeks prior, 2 days after shipment.

I re-contacted them asking for status and they took 3 days to respond and their response was that they needed the tracking number. I sent an email providing the tracking number and have not heard back from them. I have sent them two additional emails asking for status updates and to complete the RMA with no response. Each of my last 3 emails has included all of my contact information as well as the tracking number.

Resolution Sought: I would like the RMA to be completed and to receive the replacement earbuds for the ones sent their way (at their instruction).
Date Problem Started: 05/28/2008
Date of Transaction: 05/28/2008
Amount in Dispute: $110.00
Invoice Number: ZWL-207849
Complaint Type: Refund Promised
Product or Service: V-Moda offers “high end” earbuds.

Update: Mere hours after the posting of this article V-Moda got back to me with status on the warranty replacement and the happy news that they would be shipping the replacement Duos right away. The communication did not mention if the Better Business Bureau or this article had any influence on their response but the timing certainly is suspicious. The note included an apology stating that they had moved offices which had caused delays. While finally getting contact is nice V-Moda’s inability to properly set expectations was inexcusable.

Good customer service does not always mean instant resolution on an issue, but it always means rapidly responding to contact and setting expectations properly. After 9 days of sending mails to V-Moda with no response any customer is going to be frustrated – a frustration which could have simply been avoided with a quick email on day one stating that they had received the communication and would have an official response within two weeks.

In conclusion I can no longer heartily recommend the Vibe Duos to iPhone owners seeking headsets. Don’t get me wrong – I love my Vibe Duos, they sound great and are super comfortable but after 3 failures and such abysmal customer service I’m left with both a sour taste in my mouth and a sadness in my heart that if history is any indication my replacement Duos won’t last longer than 3-4 months .

The Real Ultimate Truth

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

For a whirlwind tour of life, the universe, spiritual vibrations, and the Real Ultimate Truth watch this 95 minute train wreck dubbed “The 2012 Enigma”. David Wilcock narrates a myriad of topics one flowing into another in an (almost) hypnotic way, making pointed statements using his own unique brand of thought.

It’s so good I’m writing this post while I watch a second time!

Your Apple ID requires harvesting?!

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Harvesting?!

While at the Leopard launch last night Mike picked up an 8Gb 3rd generation iPod Nano for his daughter. While over at their house this morning I was amused to see he was having trouble registering the Nano. Every time he tries to sign in with his Apple ID he gets the puzzling error “This person record requires harvesting.” (click the image above for a full sized view).

While I’m sure it has a valid technical meaning it’s a strange message to show to an end user. It almost makes me wonder – what kind of harvesting is Apple talking about here, a kidney or a crop?

To-to-too mmuuuch caffeine

Monday, October 1st, 2007

iTunes WiFi Music Store

I just got done blogging the rollout out their new Starbucks WiFi Music Store here in Seattle and I’m aquiver with coffee as a result. This morning I happened to stop into the Starbucks for a latte when I remembered that the new partnership for free iTunes access at Starbucks retail locations was lighting up in Seattle this morning so I whipped out my iPhone to check it out. The new Starbucks review is a good sister article to they soon to be posted in-depth review I did of the new iTunes WiFi Music Store.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me in the morning so I had to come back to review it over lunch about 90 minutes later. Between the quad shot earlier, and a triple over lunch I’m completely wired. *Bzzzt* *Bzzzt* *Bzzzt* *Bzzzzzzt*

Luckily I don’t have anything left on my to-do list for today so I’m pretty much free to lay on my couch watching movies with Skype. Finally getting a long weekend is really helping me feel a lot more relaxed from all the activity at work recently. Now for the rest of The Matrix Revolutions and then perhaps a little Lord of the Rings to continue on with the epic feel.

Media storage solution deployment day

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

benno

Yesterday was media storage solution deployment day. As noted in the new media page on Futurist Now my DVD collection is starting to get out of hand. I went to Ikea with Brien and picked up a few black and white patterned Bennos to augment my DVD storage capabilities. I used to use this Billy bookshelf (also from Ikea – go figure), and as you can see from how many DVD’s got moved to the Bennos in the reorganization shuffle it was previously stuffed to the gills.

I really like the Benno because it’s smaller – it holds only 80 DVD’s. This small size allows me to slowly buy more of them as my collection expands and always have ‘just enough’ storage. They are brain dead simple to assemble to boot. The Bennos only need a screwdriver to assemble, and each one only take about 10 minutes to put together into a surprisingly solid construction with easy to adjust shelf height.

benno” by sparktography

iTunes Smart Playlists

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

iTunes Smart Playlist

I’ve allowed my obsession with Smart Playlists in iTunes to get a little out of hand. After spending the last month combing through my media collection, tweaking ID3 tags, and rating as I go I’m learning how to create personalized radio experiences from my library that are easy to manage and sync/update automatically with my iPhone. By making a series of smart playlists with size limits limited by least recently played I can keep both my iPhone and my Apple TV stocked to the brim with a great music selection that gradually changes as I listen to it.

While the Smart Playlists feature is amazingly powerful I have unfortunately discovered a few pieces of highly useful metadata that are not exposed as options for the creation of iTunes Smart Playlists. These all seem like simple things to add, and would enable some really cool Smart Playlist scenarios. Here are the things I think iTunes is missing on this one:

If anyone at Apple is listening please, PLEASE get these added to the next version of iTunes! They all look reasonably simple to implement and would make me one happy iTunes geek!

iPhone 1.1.1 is out – my frustrations with the WiFi Music store

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

This morning Apple released updates for the iPhone bringing forth a bevy of new features including the slick new WiFi music store, better iPod controls, your choice of incoming SMS alerts, and other minor tweaks and refinements throughout the iPhone. The iPhone gained a few features already introduced in the iPod Touch like bringing up media controls when the home button is double tapped and a cool trick where double tapping the space bar inserts a period and a space to help cut down on finger taps.

The WiFi music store lets users purchase songs on-the-go using any WiFi hotspot which essentially puts the entire multi-million track library of iTunes in your pocket – perfect for a quick impulse buy from time to time. It would be perfect for the impulse-heavy consumer like me – if it worked on my iPhone!

I’m having store authorization problems so I can’t actually buy anything right now. It’s rejecting my credentials to the point of locking my account, when I know I’m entering them correctly. I even verified my credentials on a desktop just to make sure I wasn’t having a senior moment.

Password attempts

I wrote up up a more detailed report of my WiFi Music Store experience for Gear Live if you want to know more. For now I’ll have to sulk about with my existing library while on-the-go and be content with the other features released today.

Blogging Gear Live

Friday, September 21st, 2007

I am pleased to announce my triumphant return to the professional blogging scene at Gear Live. I’ve been busy with other things in my life the last 6 months or so and haven’t had a chance to write up articles and reviews, but now that things have settled down a little bit I plan to be writing weekly columns again and reviewing more gadgets and technology. I’m close to finishing up some final details to confirm I’ll be going CES again next year with the Gear Live crew – yay!

The re-launch of my Gear Live writing career starts with an in-depth review of the V-Moda Vibe Duos. There are a lot more exciting things coming to the site (including a fantastic new site design launching soon) so bookmark Gear Live and stay tuned for more announcements! If you just want to see the posts I’ve written you can always look at the filtered view of my posts on Gear Live.

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