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Tech Culture: The scoop on MP3 players
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Tech Culture: The scoop on MP3 players

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Music players make great gifts for some people, and our own Donald Bell explains how to tell who those certain people are.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:05 >> Yep, it's the Holiday Help Desk folks. Not any Holiday Help Desk, no. This is the last show for myself and I believe for Doctor Tom Merritt. Is that correct Doctor? >> That is correct. There are two more Holiday Help Desks left. >> Not with us. >> But we aren't going to be on them. >> No. As a result, we're going to spell trouble a different way. >> Yeah. >> W, o, o, d. >> Oh yeah. >> F, o, r, d. >> You put the Ford, wait. What? >> Put the wood in the Ford, happy Solstice. >> Precisely, today is the longest short day of the year. >> The shortest day of the year. >> It's the longest night of the year. >> The longest night of the year, yeah. >> I'll get that right. >> It's going to be a long night, folks. >> Oh boy. Yeah it is. [ Laughter ] Anyway, this is the Holiday Help Desk and along with myself and the Doctor, we've got Donald Bell. >> Hello. >> MP3 Insider. >> I'm here. >> MP3 Editor. >> I'm just here for the bourbon actually. Not promising any kind of helpful advice at all. >> Came wafting in following his nose. >> So, we'll be taking your calls and questions and making complete gibberish and hash for the next half an hour. >> Yeah. >> 888900CNET, 8889002638 is the number if you'd like to call. We have one line open right now, you could sneak right in there if you call real quick. Get those magic fingers a dialing. >> We'll take your email as well. That would be holidayhelpdesk@cnet.com, that's better for like tomorrow's show or the next one. We're not exactly grabbing those live on the fly but you have a couple days left to get your answers. And we also have the chat room open. It's cnet.com/live just like we do for all of our live video podcasts. You can join us in there as well. And please do because about 50% of the really good answers on this show. >> Come out of the chat room. >> Chat room right, as you'd expect when you got. >> We don't know anything. >> 50 or 100 brains working on it instead of these two idiots and you know you're going to get better answers. >> And help reward you we are giving away prizes. >> We are. >> Go to the Crave blog to enter, today's Crave holiday prize is the Technical Pro, PM22 podcaster, valued at 190 dollars. That is not a city give away. >> At all. >> That you're looking at. >> Right, why am I pulling that up? >> The Crave, the Technical Pro PM22 podcaster has got like 2 mikes, 2 headphones, and a 4 channel mixer so that you can do podcasting on the go and it works off a 9 volt battery. >> Nice. >> So, it's a pretty nice little kit if you want to. >> City's got a good give away too. >> I know, everybody's getting into the act these days. >> I know, here we go. Let me bring it up here. Here's the podcast system the doctor is talking about. Ok, here we go. >> Yeah, so take a look at it there. >> That's nice. >> You don't get the screen in the back, they have the screen there because they do give you a copy of Audacity, which you can download for free at any point. You'll probably want to download and get the latest version when you get this anyway. But it's nice that they pair it up with Audacity. For folks, folks who might not know about it. So anyway, if you want to go to Crave.cnet.com, look for that give away posting as you just saw Mister Cooley do. Post a comment and you'll be entered to win. >> Very cool. That little mixer, it's very compact. >> Well, and it runs off a 9 volt. >> That's great. >> That's what's handy about it. >> That's great. >> I wouldn't be so excited, I'm like, ah, I've got a mixer. But the fact that you can take that on the go. >> Yeah. >> Well, now it gets a lot more interesting. >> Yes. >> Especially, you can have that solstice and that podcast from the woods, podcast you know. >> Right as you're harvesting mushrooms. >> Yeah, under the full moon. >> Hollowing. >> Because you know, that's how we roll around here. What? All righty, so that's all you got to do to get in and get in the running on that is post a comment on it over at Crave.cnet.com. Let's do something we do every single day here on the Holiday Help Desk and that is hook up with Rick Broda, CNET's official resident cheap skate. Hello Rick. >> Hello gentlemen, how you doing today? >> We're doing good. We're getting down to the very dregs of the barrel here. You know that. >> I did not know that there was bourbon being served today. >> Yeah well, I apologize for not having a. >> Oh, so you haven't met Mister Cooley before. >> Right. You apparently don't know me at all. >> Bourbon served every day over there? >> Not every day, but we're working on it. >> Not all hours. >> We're getting there. >> It just kind of wafts off his body actually. Just meeting him. >> Yeah, they put me in a still, they collect and it, gross. Ok, so let's talk about some of the deals you've got Rick. What's, what's happening over at the cheap skate today that you're excited about? >> I actually got something I'm very excited about today. And that is over at Merritt Line they have a USB TV tuner for your PC and this is one of those hybrid tuners, meaning it can pull in analog signals, digital signals over the air with an antenna or digital signals via clear cam, which comes across your basic cable, cable TV cable. And this baby is only 2999 shipped. I've seen tuners like this selling for upwards of 100 bucks, so it's pretty nice. It works with all versions of Windows Media Center. So it's really kind of a great way to dip your toe in if you've been looking into turning your PC into a TV or in this case an HD TV. >> Ok, so 2999 shipped. This is almost like one of those X10 camera deals where there's, there's almost too much stuff to believe except they always make their profit on shipping. This is like insanely all of good stuff to play with for 30 bucks. I would do it just to do it. I mean. >> Sure, but that really sounds like bourbon paranoia talking right there. [ Laughter ] >> Right, well after a number of years that does set in, yeah. It's a good deal, I like it. >> It is a good deal. >> Yeah. >> Check it out. >> Having the dongle for a cable I think is particularly exciting about this one. You pick up the clear cam stuff. All right, good stuff Rick, thank you. That's Rick Broda, you find him at CNET's Cheap Skate blog at CNET.com/cheapskate, or is it slash? I can't tell the. >> Slash because it's forward slash. >> Ok. >> You just say slash. >> I don't know. Anyway, I like to do this. >> You say forward slash, you're clear and everything, but then all of the purists in the coding audience start hounding you. Don't say forward slash. >> Are there two camps? >> I know it's clear to noncoders, but it's wrong. It's a slash and a backslash. >> Oh, is that what it is? There's a slash, there's no forward slash. >> There's the, the forward slash you're being unduly clear. >> You're, I see, you're being redundant. >> You know how people hate it when you're unduly clear. >> Yeah, that's a horrible trait. >> Well time for your questions at 888900CNET, 8889002638. Let's pick up a line. How about Eric in Maryland? Hey Eric, welcome to Holiday Help Desk. What do we, what can we help you with today? >> Hey guys, before I get to my question, I just have to say that some of my favorite episodes of Buzz Outloud are the ones where we get any combination of the three of you. So. >> Well, thank you very much. >> Well thank you. >> That's fantastic. >> That's why I call us the Dream Team. >> My question is my parents want to get a laptop, not high end, probably mid end laptop. And I'm wondering the features are not as important as the reliability, so my question is which manufacturer historically has provided the best customer service, warranty, you know product reliability, all that? >> Well, we took a look at a story, this is out of the New York Times, they've got a write up on the most recent Forrester research, the big research company that researches all kinds of aspects of technology and first of all, it's Apple. So right off the bat, if you're looking at a PC, you're going to skirt the company that has the best customer experience. So just realize that, but I'm sure you already have you know worked out what kind of machine you want to get them. So since you're looking at a PC, let's scroll down and take a look here. And it looks as though our best rating in the PC biz is actually Gateway in Forrester's most recent research with a 66 is their score. I'm not sure if that's an index or what. That'd be a pretty poor index if it was. Hewlett Packard came in pretty close with a 64. Compaq, which is part of HP, 63 indistinguishable. And we've also got Dell quite away off at a 58. >> Yeah, who was number one again there? >> Number one is Gateway. >> Gateway at number one. >> After Apple. >> Interesting. >> Notice the difference. Apple had an 80. >> Well, Apple is number one. >> Apple is number 1 with oh I see, this is a percent of good ratings from customers. So 80% give Apple a good, only 66% on down gave any of the PC makers a good rating for their customer experience. So right off the bat, you can see why PCs are perhaps so inexpensive, not a lot of money going into the customer support perhaps. If you've ever called a customer support line for a major PC company, you know it's not necessarily a fun experience. And the warranties are all going to be about the same. >> Would you still recommend a Gateway? I mean they seem sort of almost unknown at this point. >> Yeah, honestly I've always felt like HP, Compaq was I don't know. I thought a good company to deal with on customer service. I've dealt with them a number of times. I don't know, it always went well and fine. It wasn't like bad. >> I've had no experience with HP customer service but I have with Gateway and it was good customer service. >> Ok. >> Admittedly this was several years ago. So yeah, it's a good question Mike. Really, the answer is Apple if that's your criteria. >> Right. >> But if you're like you know what? I don't want to deal with OS10. I'm a Windows, we're a Windows family. I probably go with HP just because they're close to Gateway and it's a company that's definitely going to stick around. >> Yeah. >> I'm not meaning to say that Gateway is going to go out of business tomorrow, but they, they've sort of been you know like you said, they've been kind of out of sight, out of mind for a while. So, you know. >> Yeah. >> And that does tend to make you nervous in an economy like this. They'll probably be fine, but if you want to minimize your risk, yeah sure. >> I've had good experiences with HP customer service and Compaq. I've got you know both brands within that same house in my house and I've had to call for various things. Nothing terribly critical but, you know bottom line is you're not, it's kind of hard to choose a PC based on customer service. There's not a big difference between these and none of them are stellar. So go buy based on the hardware and honestly they're probably all going to be about as durable as the other. I think if you have a poor experience on a machine. >> Well, I'd stay away from Dell if customer service is really, you know a big concern for you. >> But 58 to 66. >> You can get a better, just as good a machine from somewhere else and there's, there's bad customer service and then there's nightmare tales. And I've heard a lot more nightmare tales about Dell than I've ever heard about HP. >> You know I have too, you're right. I remember there was a while there for a couple years where everyone I knew who bought a Dell had a nightmare story. >> Yeah. >> I mean like literally everyone. Like a dozen people. So don't know, that was a couple years ago. I don't know. I haven't heard from all these people in a while. But anyway, that's, that's the long and the short of it. So good luck with that Eric. >> Thanks. >> Go buy something. >> All right. >> Buy it cheap. >> Let's pick up Lisa in New York. How's the snow out there Lisa? >> It's melting. >> It's finally melting, that's good to hear actually. Now all the, those people at the airport can leave and leave you alone. What can we help you with on Holiday Help Desk today? >> Well actually earlier like about a couple weeks back I emailed about you know my monitor breaking and I needed a new monitor so I bought a new one and I got 1080p monitor, about, about [inaudible] inches. And so I hooked it up to my computer and just to view video like full screen, it's lagging and I don't know what's going on. >> Is it lagging in particular usages? You know like are there certain sites that lag? Or certain types of video that it lags at more than others? >> Well it would, it would be like, like I subscribe to some podcasts, some video podcasts, like Rachel Maddow and stuff like that, so like, like those are definitely lagging when I go full screen. But like Flash sites its fine, you know for the most part, you know. >> That is interesting. Now usually the cause of this kind of lag in the response time on a monitor has to do with the processing that's going on at the monitor end. Things like HDCP, DRM, DSP, techniques employed to put in place copyright protection. What's interesting to me is that you're telling me that the un DRM stuff, your podcasts are the ones that are lagging and when you go to something like Flash, which has some DRM built in, it's handling it just fine. Sounds like to me the monitor isn't very good at handling open, open video. That maybe there's some bad processing code in there. >> No. No. >> That's not good. >> I know that's not good news, I know that's not what you want to hear, but yeah, I mean. How long ago did you buy the monitor? >> I would say like right after this Thanksgiving break. Yeah, right after then. >> Ok, so you're still within 30 days, you could try, try and return it and get a different monitor. See if that helps. How is it hooked up? Is it just a regular VGA cable? >> Yeah, it's a VGA cable. >> Ok. So there's not, there's not, it's obviously not HDCP or anything like that. Yeah, it shouldn't be doing that. Most of the causes of these kinds of lag happen, happen at the monitor end in processing and it just doesn't know how to figure out and decode that. There are very well may be some way to, to figure this out on the software end. But the easiest way for you is going to be to either, you know it'll be under warranty so you can contact the manufacturer, or if you still have the receipt and the retailer will take it back, just take it back and swap it out for something else. >> I've got another suggestion for dealing with that monitor actually. [ Laughter ] I'm going to go back to that again. >> She can't see that is the thing, so. >> All right. >> Oh no, I can see it. >> This is a video podcast. All right, don't you miss that part. All right, good luck with that one. Happy holidays. >> Ok, thank you. >> All right, thanks Lisa, good luck with that. I know, I know. >> Those are real tears. Ok, so more calls are coming at 888900CNET, 8889002638, we have one line open right now. You can jump on that and coming up after a short break, we'll be coming back to talk to our guest today Donald Bell. >> Hello. >> Doctor MP3 about his favorite MP3 and portable media players to give and get this holiday season plus another little whacky product we want to introduce you to. That and more as the Holiday Help Desk continues. ^M00:13:23 [ Music ] ^M00:13:28 >> If you think all batteries are the same, consider this. These Duracell batteries were given to the Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA because when it comes to kids and healing, you're not just powering a toy, you're powering a smile. Duracell, trusted everywhere. [ Music ] >> Everywhere you look, new gadgets are popping up. [ Music ] To get the real story on them, there's really only one place to go, CNET.com. Discover something new at CNET. >> Last FM now on Xbox Live. Discover more music and explore endless personalized radio stations. [ Music ] Find out more at www.lastfm.com/xbox. [ Music ] >> I know you're coming after me, hang on, I know that. Just hold your damn horses and get one of these over here for Jason for crying out loud. >> Oh thank you. >> He's the hardest working man in podcasting and deserves it. >> Doctor Merritt, Doctor Merritt needs a boost. >> Oh, that, that was unexpected, thank you, yeah. >> And let me, let me get one for myself because. >> You can while you're watching this call us at 888900CNET, 8889002638. >> Oh yeah. >> And this is, this is a way to loosen Donald's lips up and give us the real scoop on music players. Is it Donald a dying category? >> Yes and no. I mean I think it'll be one of those categories that I mean portable music players as a category never even dies. The stand alone thing, people are always going to want something to take with them on a jog and especially I think as Smart Phones evolve into these you know more and more complex, do everything, very important devices, the idea of taking on you know on a jog or jet skiing or scuba diving seems like. >> So, do you hang out with the PDA people and commiserate? >> Nobody's going to give up PDAs. They're going to want a calendar with their jog. >> We drink a lot of this and we, we. >> That's right. >> Put tears in our, you know. >> You're still carrying a trio, I know. >> But it's true. Like right now, there are still very good reasons to buy an MP3. You mentioned a couple of them there. What are some of the good stand alone MP3 players for people to look at as gifts or to ask for as gifts based on those usage situations? >> Based on the usage situations, the San de San Eclip definitely is I think the, the perfect shining example of the MP3 player that will never die, the archetype for the MP3 player as a standalone thing that's going to go into, indefinitely. Where it's this inexpensive, you know very practical, very useful, not too bad looking MP3 player that handles a lot of formats. Yeah it has an FM radio built into it. It has external storage. Nice long battery life, well relatively long battery life and it just, it kind of works for everybody. You could give this to anybody and they would be happy to have it as this you know device that they can use for jogging. >> And inexpensive. >> Yeah, really inexpensive. >> Free price on that. >> SanDisk is making their own memory, so they can, they can take that off. >> That seems to be the savior of the category right there is that they've gotten these down into a really affordable price range. >> Yeah. >> For the MP3 and it becomes sort of an impulse buy at that point. >> This week on MP3 Insider we're talking about a MP3 player that we saw in Korea I think that came across as like 9 dollars is the total cost. You had to buy your own memory for it, like your own SD memory for it, but that's where it's going. >> Now on the other end of the scale, things like the IPod Touch and the Zune HD, which they are, much more than MP3 players. They're, they're the heir to the PDA. They're the thing that has apps and calendars and video and multifunctions. They do everything but make calls. >> Right. >> Because then they'd become a Smart Phone. >> Yeah, they're both an interesting example where the IPod Touch is the IPhone without a phone, it came after, after the IPhone came out. Whereas I feel like the Zune HD is the, the phone you're going to see coming from the Microsoft Windows platform with all those media services that Zune have kind of pioneered in that interface, you know down the line. It's the, maybe the horse before the cart or the other way around. I don't know how you want to look at it. >> There's a horse, there's a cart. >> There's a horse and a cart and one did it one way and one did it the other, but yeah, I've, those are both great devices in their own, own respects. The IPod Touch, Apple is definitely pushing this thing as a gaming device now. But it is this do it all device that they now got the 8 gig version down to 199 dollars. >> And who are these good for? What kind of people should you buy a Zune HD or an IPod Touch for? >> Zune HD absolutely no question is for the people who are still really are in love with their music, their music collection, digging into artist, artist biographies on the device, seeing similar music, downloading, getting the Zune Pass subscription account going so they can get unlimited downloads directly to the device. Just have a really large appetites for music and want to dig deeper into the artist and their favorite songs. >> And why is that? Is it a better interface for digging into that? >> It's a better interface for digging into that. It emphasizes that. I mean music is really first thing, front and center on the menu and that it's really the main priority for that and then you can dig in, all the artists you have in your collection, the Zune software is going to go and throw in photos of the artists. >> Right. >> That they've taken, that they're importing in. Artist biography information that they've pulled in from I think like All Music guide. It's just. >> That's right, yeah. >> In there and it's offline. I mean. >> Still music centric, well. >> Still music centric. >> The IPod and IPhone line has become pan media. >> Yeah. And the IPod Touch still does a really great job but it does suffer from the Swiss Army knife phenomena where it's doing so many things that it's not really emphasizing one thing. And it takes Apple saying we're making this a gaming device to kind of give it that direction. >> Some focus. >> Yeah. >> Interesting. When it comes to, because people still ask me today in terms of I don't think the word has always gotten out to a lot of people that music and DRM have pretty much divorced now. And that you've got unprotected music. You know a lot of people are still asking what should I, what should I do? Should I get something on an IPod with ITunes or something else with something and what store would I get the music from? There is still a lack of clarity out there. Today our music stores, which whoever they are, pretty much a level playing field. Or are their significant differences in who has what music? Because I seem to find everything on Amazon. I don't have an IPod so I don't use ITunes to go, to do my music shopping. I could. >> Right. >> Because it's all open now, but. >> Yeah, there's, there's pretty much a level playing field. There's still, I saw a list last week of like the artists that are still holding out from joining up with ITunes or any of the services. >> With any of the services though, yeah. >> So, you still got like ACDC you can't get. I think there's well the Beatles obviously. >> Yeah. >> I'm trying to think of the other hold outs. >> There's only a few, yeah. >> Yeah, but it was a short list and of those there was only a few artists I was thinking that I would even miss in the music stores. >> Right. >> But yeah it's a relatively level playing field. >> Pricing is about the same across the board. >> Pricing is about the same. There are some sites out there that are trying to win users by promising a really low price but they're losing money on offering like 69 cent downloads and things like that. But they're not sites that you'd necessarily would want to go out. >> Again, the player is not tied to a, to a store anymore. >> Yeah. >> So, go ahead and use them? >> I mean, Amazon, the deal Amazon has been able to come up with like the package deals that I see from week to week where it's like 50 songs for 10 dollars or something like that. >> Yeah. >> They'll give that all to you and it'll be some promotion like best of 80s or best of you know something. >> Right. >> They seem to do a lot more of that and better package deals than I'll see. >> And Wal-Mart's getting, I see detective, there's a lot of buzz among users that that's a music store now. >> Yeah. >> Which you know has kind of come out of I think kind of an obscurity, which I think, is unusual for them. >> That one, I think went up and down. I do believe that was for a while one of those DRM protected WMA stores that. >> Yeah. >> Suddenly, they took out their service, pulled the plug and upset a lot of people. And I might be wrong about this. >> But then brought it back as open MP3. >> Open MP3, yeah. >> Playing catch up now I'm sure, but you know Wal-Mart's got some, got some brand buzz. >> It's easier than ever for any kind of company to come out. >> Now a ad on the intergalactic rim beyond IPod Touch and Zune HD lies the Chumby, a device that is almost inexplicable but Donald Bell does an admirable job of telling you what it is and why he loves it. We'll talk about it a little more in a minute. Let's take a look. [ Music ] >> Hey, I'm Donald Bell, senior editor for Digital Audio and MP3 and this is a first look at the Chumby 1. The name is kind of goofy but essentially this is a little box with a touch screen interface that connects to the Internet over wifi where it can pull down news, weather, music, videos, games and more. As the snooze button on the top would indicate, you can use this as a fairly sophisticated alarm clock with dozens of alarm options. Currently you can pick one up directly from Chumby.com for 99 dollars, but the company is saying that's an introductory price so it might go up closer to 120 dollars. Either way, it's a welcome price drop from the originally 2008 Chumby, which looked a, like, bit like a bean bag and carried a price tag of 179 dollars. Which isn't to say that I'm thrilled with the plastic kiosk look of this latest version, but at least it doesn't look like a toy. In spite of the lower price, a lot of improvements have been made. The Chumby 1 uses a faster processor than the original, which makes the screen feel a little bit more responsive and cuts down on some of the load time. There's only one USB port on the back instead of the two from before, but it's been upgraded to a USB 2.0 spec. If you're wondering why the USB port is there at all, the port comes in handy for loading music off of a thumb drive or connecting an IPod. You have a dedicated volume knob now, which feels a little flimsy, but it's definitely an improvement over the touch screen control. There's also a battery compartment for an optional rechargeable battery pack which is an off the shelf model that we found for around 15 dollars. The battery is only going to offer about an hour or so of power, but if using this as an alarm clock, it's nice to have the backup. You also see a black wire running from the bottom here, this is for the built in FM radio which is another feature the original Chumby lacked. It's not the most useful radio in the world. It takes a few clicks to access, there are no presets and in the current firmware, you can't even use it as an alarm. Still it's one more thing to play with and in general, the Chumby makes for a pretty cool little juke box. In the music panel, you can tune it to Pandora, Shout Cast, I Heart Radio, Media Fly, New York Times podcast and dozens of other options. The built in mono speaker isn't great, but headphone jack on the back makes it easy to connect to external speaker or to a home stereo. Now if you're still confused on exactly what the Chumby 1 is, you're not alone. Even the box it comes in is pretty ambiguous. But whether you use it as a clock radio, a news reader, an Internet radio, a photo frame or something entirely different, at 99 dollars, it's a fun little techy toy that you're bound to find some use for. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell and that was a first look at the Chumby 1. [ Music ] >> I've ever been told of the Chumby that made sense to me was alarm clock. >> Yeah. >> Right. >> I kind of use it for that for the most part. While I have the old Chumby set up as a Pandora, it's like a standalone little Pandora I have hooked up to my stereo system. >> Oh, ok. Yeah, that's not a bad way to use it. Just stereo out from the aux or the headphone jack. >> I don't know. >> Chumby is weird. Chumby makes digital photo frames makes sense. >> Chumby is itself. >> It's the chuminator, it's got its own category. >> It is its own category. >> I had a hard time defending it when it was in the 179 dollar range, but I feel like at 99 dollars, I can pretty well recommend that as like a geek's dream alarm clock in the sense that it has tons of, tons of options for like weekly alarm, setting multiple alarms and setting it down to different minutes and different alarm sound settings and all that stuff. >> Right. >> But also just as a 99 dollar stand alone Pandora radio, it does a really good job. >> It's not horrifying. >> No. >> Let's put it at. [ Laughter ] >> Yeah, let's lightening round them, huh? >> Back to your calls, quick them, fast them, bing, bang, because we got some bourbon to get to right here. >> Four more calls, we're going to give you four answers. >> Too much of this here, here we go with line two, Jennifer's in San Diego, California. Jennifer, welcome to Holiday Help Desk. What's your question? >> I had a question about the IPod Touch versus the IPhone. I have a friend who wants this for Christmas, but she's kind of starting out her career and I know it's a pretty expensive commitment to commit to AT and T over that time for the data plan and everything. And I wondered if the IPod Touch would do enough of the same thing to make her happy. >> Yep, IPod Touch. >> IPod Touch unless she wants a phone. >> This is a lightening round, so don't be, don't feel like we're being rude. >> Real quick, but if she wants a phone, IPhone, you get the distinction right? >> But, yeah, I mean I would say IPod Touch as a gift because you're not signing somebody up for a long term contract. >> Way more giftable. >> And it does pretty much everything that the IPhone does except for making the calls and taking the voice mails. >> Lightening round, thank you Jennifer. >> Yeah, I would go with that. >> Let's get to let me see, John's coming in from Oklahoma here and John's got a question about a desktop computer. Hello John, what's your angle? >> Ok, you know you always criticize Chrome OS, but I found a genius use for it. I have a 85 year old aunt who decided she must have a computer because she figured out how many times dollars she could save by dumping her cable and stuff, newspaper. So I want to run Google Chrome on a USB flash drive immediately on a computer and I would guess, since Google Chromium developer software lists only Netbook capable, I would think that basic desktop would do, you know the Ethernet and the basic Ethernet and USB ports for the mice and keyboard will work fine. I just wanted a cheap, cheap, very basic desktop that would run Chrome OS. >> Lightening round, Doctor Merritt, what do you tell him? >> I'll say Gateway DX4822-01, it's 49999, it's probably more than you need, but that way you can dual boot it and have the USB in there as well. If that doesn't work for you, look for one of those 300 nettops they used to call it from Intel. It'll be a bunch more of those coming out in the new year actually. >> Yeah and keep an eye on Rick Broda's Cheap Skate blog because he might still be finding some last minute deals on what you're looking for, very basic PC over at CNET.com/CheapSkate. We go to Mannie, he's in Arizona. Mannie, welcome to Holiday Help Desk, it's the lightening round. What's up Mannie? >> Hey, I'm wondering if I should get a Nikon D300 or a Cannon DOS60D. >> Big difference in price, you realize that right? >> Right, but the Cannon, anyone who has a Cannon, I have a Nikon right now, the 100. Their pictures or their portraits, because all I'm doing is portraits, I'm not doing movies or anything. They seem to have higher contrast and they just look better overall. So. >> So, you're feeling good about the Cannon cameras then from what you've seen. >> Right, but I have Nikon lens and all those things, so. >> Will your Nikon lens fit that Nikon body though? Do you have, do you know if they're compatible? They will. Well, I tell you the lens investment to me is huge but of course, you got to spend a lot more money for the Nikon body. Here's the D300, we love it, it has an Editor's Choice, can't go wrong there. 2250 is about the cheapest we're finding on that with a kit lens that you don't need obviously. So you'll find that knocked down by what a couple hundred bucks maybe when you get the body only, but the lens isn't that much. The Cannon of course can be had for under a grand, 939 dollars, there it is, the Eos50D. Not an Editor's Choice, we gave it a very good and our summary on this one is it's got excellent performance in photo quality which you've noticed, solid piece of camera gear but basic feature set. So you got to decide if you need the creative features that are you know electronically available or if you're just doing portraiture I don't know that you do. So maybe the Cannon ends up being a winner, but you got to make a decision I think based on your lens collection. That's the key. >> Lightening round onto Adrian in Switzerland. Thanks for calling Adrian. >> Hey. >> So, it's lightening round, got to get your question out fast. What are. >> To Switzerland. >> Yeah. Well I'm looking for a HD camcorder for my dad. >> Good. >> HD Camcorder for your dad. >> What's your question? >> Ok. >> Well, I don't know if I should take with a memory stick or a hard drive. >> Ah, I would go hard drive because that way you don't lose the memory stick. You can do both, sometimes you can. >> Many do, yes. >> I would go with both. But my recommendation if you're looking for something around 200 bucks would be the Cannon FS10. That's a good compact, attractive design, it's on our best budget camcorders list. And it keeps you from having to dip down at that price range into the ZIs or the, or the flips or anything like that. It's a real 48x advanced zoom camcorder. Now, he did say HD though. So if you want to go into HD, you might want to dip down into those you know those little ones like the flip camcorder and in which case. >> Yeah for that price. >> I think our favorite is the, is that ZI8, the Kodak ZI8. >> Oh the Kodak ZI8, yeah we do love that one. >> So, I would go with one of those two. >> Yeah. As opposed to one that is using either, you know a card or a hard drive. We're talking about an integral solid state. It's basically a flip NL or you know one of the follow ons. >> All right, well that, that does it for us right? Do we have anything else to, oh right, the giveaway. Ah, before we wrap up we need to announce the winner of Friday's Crave Holiday Give Away, was the TV, the Visio VO320E, a 32 inch television. And the winner is. [ Background noise ] >> What you got? >> Dalexa. >> Dalexa. >> D, a, l, e, x, a is the user name, Dalexa. Congratulations. You'll find an email from CNET in your inbox and you have a limited time to respond, so get on it. >> There's that TV. >> That TV is now yours. >> It's the real deal. Well, don't mean to steal your trademark. >> Yeah, wait a minute. One of our top 5 TVs now too. [ Laughter ] What's the Buzz Outloud about that TV? >> On that top 5 TV. Give me the real deal on it. Oh, man. >> Jordan Laser. >> Stuff and things and. >> Forecast. >> There's a forecast about your answer coming up in stuff in the east and the west. Wow you could do like a whole mash thing. [ Music ] >> We're done. >> Speaking of mash, anyway, that's that for, thank god. That's that for today, that's it for us, that's me for the Doctor and for myself and of course Donald Bell, thank you for being our guest. >> Absolutely. >> Happy holidays to you by the way. >> Good. >> We're seeing to that right here. Let's see who we got coming up? BT and Molly will be doing both Tuesday and Wednesday, tomorrow and the Wednesday show. Tuesday's guest will be Download.com Seth Rosenblack. So any download questions you got, anything about software, you can hit him with that. And Wednesday they'll be sitting here with Kent German, our phone guy. And that's a great one to wrap the holidays up with of course. And that's coming at you every day for the next two days until we wrap this thing at 4 o'clock eastern, 1 o'clock Pacific, Holiday Help Desk. Happy holidays everybody, we'll see you. >> Cheers. >> Cheers. ^M00:32:26 [ Music ]

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