iPod Video: The Evolution Continues

It’s finally here! What you’ve been waiting for. First, the iPod played songs, then it displayed photos and then podcasts. And now it will even play videos! Wondering what I’m talking about?? The iPod Video, of course!

The iPod has forever changed the way people listen to music and the iPod Video is the evolution of the revolution. The iPod video has raised the bar higher, further enhancing the way you experience music. Packed with a host of amazing never-before-seen-or-heard features that will blow you away, the new iPod Video is slimmer, lighter and cooler!

It is available in 30 GB and 60 GB models starting at $299. The iPod Video can hold up to 15000 songs, full-color album art and up to 25000 pictures. So you have heard that song before; well now, you can see it as well. With the new iPod you can have your cake and eat it too! It supports up to 150 hours of video and has a 2.5-inch color display that lets you take your music videos wherever you go. So, trust me when I say this one is music not only to the ears, but to your eyes as well!

This iPod is under half an inch thick and the new 30 GB model is 45% more compact than the original iPod. Even the 60 GB iPod video is over 10% slimmer than the last 30 GB iPod. What’s even more amazing is that you now get up to 20 hours of battery life, (for the record, that is 5 hours more than before), a bigger display and another iPod color option, and that is sleek black! So many features in such a compact package! Well, as usual, with the iPod, less is more…

But, that isn’t all. You can also read audiobooks and keep memories fresh with photo slideshows, complete with music. You can watch video podcasts, music videos and your favorite TV shows. You can even consult your calendar or look up an e-mail address. You can even find the time in another city, state or country. Heck, I wonder if it does the dishes, too??

The Apple click wheel lets you access everything with the touch of a finger. You can also control the volume and browse options using the touch sensitive screen. The ease of operating it just gives you one more reason to buy the iPod Video.

There’s also a neat list of accessories that you can use with your iPod Video. For instance you can get a wired remote to listen to FM radio, In-ear headphones, USB power adapter, leather case, AV connection kit, Universal dock, Apple remote, Camera connector etc.

So, if you are a music freak, don’t wait any longer, go buy an iPod Video. You won’t regret it. Happy humming!

Stephen King Audio Books – The Talisman Revisited

Recently I discovered that Stephen King and DreamWorks are working on a TV mini series of “The Talisman” for release in 2008. I had to reach back way into my memory to remember what this book was about. I was quickly reunited with this terrific story while listening to the audio book version.

The Talisman, as written by Stephen King and Peter Straub, takes us through the fantastic journey of Jack Sawyer. He is a young man that faces a momentous task of helping save his mother from the grips of cancer. A mysterious artifact known as The Talisman holds the power to help his mother, but it lies in a parallel universe on the opposite side of the United States. The Talisman chronicles Jack’s adventures through the dark, yet sensational alternate universe envisioned by King and Straub.

Although not a typical horror story in the traditional manner of Stephen King or Peter Straub, it is still a gripping tale of adventure and suspense. Much of the story takes place mostly within the “Territories” of Jack Sawyer’s alternate world. Troubles and triumphs are constantly found between both worlds, which keep this fantasy tale intriguing.

Although I enjoy them sometime, I am not big fan of movies made from novels. Partially this is due from the question of how do you condense a 400+ page book into a two hour show or three part mini series. Usually these watered down versions leave one disappointed or frustrated with the adaptation.

A perfect example of this is the adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand”. This mini series condensed a monstrous novel into a two or three night television story. Many of the characters were either combined or put in places or situations that they never were to begin with. Even though King himself wrote the television version, so many wonderful characters were not able to stand out and completely flesh the story.

Before you miss out on a large part of the story why not listen to The Talisman on audio? The great thing about audio books is that you can listen almost anywhere. The second best thing about audio books is that you can usually listen while doing other things like driving, exercising, or relaxing. With the great availability of audio books these days, you no longer have the excuse of not being able to read a great book.

A Song of Ice and Fire Audiobooks

A Song of Ice and Fire Audiobooks started out strong with the first three books in the series, due to Martin’s talent for prose and Dotrice’s gift of many voices. Martin successfully created a complex and intricate tale awash with secrets, intrigues, and shifting allegiances as noble families struggle for control of the Iron Throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Martin’s goal of creating a fantasy of epic proportions, coupled with his penchant for rich character development, has led to a cast of hundreds. Dotrice’s talent comes into play as he successfully provides a unique voice to each character, endearing him to the fans and leading to his Guinness World Record for largest number of characters voiced in an Audiobook.

The series hit its low point with the release of the fourth book, A Feast of Crows. Martin decided to concentrate on the inner portion of Westeros, leaving out fan favorites who were traversing the outskirts of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. Dotrice, who could not narrate the book due to time constraints, was replaced by John Lee, further aggravating the fans. Despite being a renowned narrator in his own right, Lee was unable to capture the same unique voice as Dotrice, and failed to follow his precedents for pronunciation.

In the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, Martin’s powerful storytelling comes back in full force. The much-awaited fates of beloved characters such as Jon, Dani, and Tyrion after the events of Storm of Swords are finally revealed. While there is still little progress in terms of the overall story, it is clear that Martin has hit a turning point. The destinies of the main characters are more defined, setting up the stage for the final showdown. In addition, Random House Audio, the producer of A Song of Ice and Fire Audiobooks heeded the fans petitioning for the return of Dotrice.

The fate of the series was once again burning bright and the premiere of HBO’s A Game of Thrones only served to fan the flames. Suddenly Martin’s already giant fan base extended to the hearts of home viewers, including those who are not fond of the fantasy genre or even reading in general. For these new fans, A Song of Ice and Fire Audiobooks provide a more palatable means of immersing oneself in the world of Westeros without having to go through the pages of Martin’s mammoth sized tomes. The lengthy and gritty narrations proved to be an entertaining means of whiling away long commutes. The Audiobooks are also a welcome retreat for hardcore fans looking to refresh their memories of the story while waiting for the release of the next book.