Saturday, May 9, 2009

Internet Marketing Keyword Research

Internet Marketing Keyword Research

When creatiing a web site, or exploring options to build a new web site, it is helpful to know which keywords are popular. Since there are millions of daily web searches there are powerful keyword knowledge sources available to you.

By accessing each of these keyword research tools, you can determine which keywords are the most highly searched.

  • Google Zeitgeist: offers the Google keyword research database and several formats: Google Trends - For a broad look at search query data, enter up to five search terms to see relative popularity over time. Trends for Websites - Google Trends for website traffic data. Type in a website address to see visitors by region and related sites visited. Insights for Search - A deeper dive into search query data for marketers and power users. Create your own lists of "most popular" and "fastest rising" queries for different geographic regions over time and by topic. Hot Trends - The top 100 fastest-rising search queries right now (U.S. only). Updates throughout the day.
  • Ask IQ: offers keyword search results by several categories, including a feature where they show "Top Advancing Searches" which predicts upcoming searches like "Mother's Day," Superbowl, "Thanksgiving recipes," "ski tickets" and other seasonal variations.
  • Dogpile SearchSpy: offers filtered and non-filtered live search results. While there is no cumulative tally, it is a voyeuristic to what people are looking for at that very moment.
  • MetaCrawler MetaSpy shows popular searches on their main page.
  • Google Trends: shows keyword trends. They also offer a feature where you can change the date of the keyword trend search to determine which keywords were popular on a specfic date. This is helpful if you are doing seasonal planning (snow shovels, suntan lotion).
  • Lycos Top 50 Searches: has a information box on their main page showing the most popular kewyord searches for each week.
  • Yahoo Buzz Index: lists popular keyword buzz itmes and alos has a "Up & Coming" buzz feature as well. Yahoo Buzz breaks down the keyword buzz into science, entertainment, politics and more.

Happy keyword searching.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Software - Text and HTML Editor - NoteTab Pro

Internet Marketing requires software to make you productive. One of the programs I use multiple times a day is NoteTab Pro Text and HTML Editor. It is essentially the Word for Windows version of a text editor for just text.

Here is how I use it:
* The main feature is that it is programmable. If I have a list of say 1,000 lines, but I only need to see 50 lines at once, I can write a simple script that will cut 50 lines at once.

; Last updated on 05-23-2002, 12:31am, rod
; Deletes first 50 lines of focused file
; Line 51 becomes line 1
; First 50 lines placed on Clipboard to paste...

^!Jump 51
^!SelectTo 1:1
^!SetClipboard ^$GetSelection$
^!InsertText ^%Empty%

; ^!Jump 51
; ^!SelectTo 1:1
; ^!Toolbar Cut

* After I write and save something I can hit and it automatically inserts the file name into the document. It also can insert date and/or time.

* If I am editing say a 100 page web site and I need to do a change on some pages, but I don't know which pages carry the text that needs updating, I open all 100 pages at once. Then, I do a global search and replace. Then hit "save all," and close. It takes about 4 minutes to open, edit and close for a text or HTML tag change like this.

* I use the change case, especially when I am writing content and I want the paragraph header to be first letter capitalized. You Know What I Mean?

* It has super sorting abilities. Let say that I want to take a page of text and see how many times I used a certain word. You can search for and replace with a paragraph <^p) the entire document and then sort. Here is the code ^!Replace " " >> "^P" WAST
^!Replace "^t" >> "^P" WAST
^!Select All
^!InsertText ^$StrSort("^$GetSelection$";1;1;1)$
; ^!Goto Exit

* You can look at the keyword frequency. As with many text editors, you also get a word and character count.

* It has a spell checker, numbers lines, and has preconfigured text editing scripts, called Clipbooks or Clipbook libraries, as well.

There is more, but you get the idea on how to use this HTML editing software.

This list of key features is directly from the NoteTab site.

* Handles many documents at once, even huge files (only limited by system resources).
* Drag-and-drop text editing.
* AutoCorrect/Auto-replace mode similar to Microsoft® WinWord.
* Supports Microsoft Office sound events.
* Fully configurable toolbar with flat or standard buttons (more than 90 commands available).
* Fully configurable shortcut menu.
* Programmable: add your own custom features using an easy script language.
* Web enabled: can open links and HTML documents in browser.
* Supports third-party Web tools: HTML Tidy, TopStyle, and CSE HTML Validator.
* Powerful Clipbook tool makes it easy to memorize and insert any kind of text in your document. Includes libraries for HTML tags, acronyms, smilies, etc. Can also be used for "shorthand" glossaries or to launch other applications.
* Innovative In-Context Clipbook reduces mouse movement and speeds up work.
* Support for Perl and Gawk interpreters: scripts can be stored in NoteTab and applied directly to highlighted text or whole document.
* Mathematical calculation: type a mathematical expression and NoteTab will calculate the result.
* Individual document settings such as font, tab width, and word wrap.
* Supports outline-type documents that help you organize your notes or any kind of information.
* Supports document templates.
* Search/replace in all open documents, or in closed documents stored on disk.
* Supports search tokens and regular expressions.
* Special functions to convert text files to Web documents, strip HTML tags, sort lines, change case, process text in blocks, etc.
* Supports Drag-and-drop of image files from the Quick List tool into an HTML document (creates image tags with the correct size attributes).
* Automatic scrolling for hands-free document reading.
* Options to set margins, page numbering, headers, and footers for printing jobs.
* Reformats text, including left and right justification.
* Produces text statistics: counts characters and words, and word frequency.
* Supports Drag-and-drop from File Manager or Windows Explorer.
* Runs from the command-line, accepting multiple file names and wildcards.
* Quickly opens files or directories from the Favorites list.
* Captures text copied to the Clipboard from any application.
* Reads and writes files in DOS ASCII, UNIX, EBCDIC, and Mac formats.
* Covers all essential features available in Notepad (including LOG).

It is a cool program and very useful.

Labels: , , , ,

Content - Great Internet Marketing Starts With The Written Word

Content - Great Internet Marketing Starts With The Written Word - and here is another example. This is for a leather briefcase. The writer really transforms his eBay ad from a piece of leather with a handle into a cherished and prized work of art.

Great content weaves a story and brings emotion to the forefront of the buying equation.

And yes, I did buy one his leather bags!

Following is a series of questions. Answer each honestly and remember, your first response is usually the most accurate.
· Will your heirs fight over your present bag when you're dead … contest your will?
· Would you ask to be buried with you're present bag?
· If someone tried to steal your present bag … and it was empty … would you fight for it “tooth and nail”?
· Ever been stopped by five strangers in the same day asking where you got your bag?
· Have you ever strategically placed your bag so people could admire it?
· Do you talk to your bag in secret?
If you answered no to any one of these questions then you and I both know that you need a Saddleback bag.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that you are going to love your bag. Do people who buy other bags return to buy more of the same bag to give away to friends and family? Is that normal? Happens all the time. We have dozens and dozens of repeat customers. This is the strongest, most durable and best looking bag I've ever even heard of. I can't imagine how it could be better. It is a great great bag that I, the owner, personally use daily. I bet the other owners of bag companies can't say that; they're still looking for their dream bag… mine.

The Bag

In college, I bought a pair of expensive shoes for my job as a waiter. I couldn't afford them, but I bought them anyhow. They were really light and comfortable and took me through two years of waiting tables and one year as a limo driver. Then, they still looked good for a month of Sundays. Most of the other waiters bought a new pair of $45 heavy and uncomfortable shoes every 6 months because theirs wore out and looked ratty by then. One of the principles the successful in the world understand is this: If one buys quality from the start they save money. Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish. This will be one of the most savvy investments and inexpensive bags you'll ever have.

The Design

Construction - Saddleback Leather bags are built to last longer than you will.
There are no zippers, snaps or buttons. Those things always break or tear out with use no matter what the quality of the leather.
There is no plastic on the bag. They are constructed with nickel plated metal buckles.
There are only 3 major seams (almost unheard of in leather bags). In Australia, I got a good sized crocodile to come up to the boat and attack my bag. We pulled and pulled and when he went for a bigger bite, we yanked it out. I was happy to get the bag back, but disappointed to find that he only scraped it up and hardly damaged it at all. (I wanted some souvenir bite marks, but only got scrapes). You can see the video on the Saddleback Leather website. The reason it didn't tear apart is because there are only three seams. Most bag makers sew their bags together like a quilt, with several smaller pieces of leather, so they can use almost every square inch of the cow's hide and save a lot of money on leather . Next time you're at the store, check out how many pieces of leather are sewn together to make a cheap bag ($300 and less). If that croc had bitten a bag with lots of seams, it would have been torn to pieces. Thread is weaker than leather.
Dimensions - The 14" wide bag is about 11" high and 9" deep. The 16" wide bag is about 12" high and 9" deep. The 18" bag is about 13" high and 9" deep. All three have 2 inner compartments. The first is 5" deep and the second is 4" deep. The 12" bag has only one 6" deep compartment.
Backpack - I've used my bag quite a bit as a backpack. Fully loaded on an especially long trip through Poland, Croatia etc. I used it everyday. The shoulder strap detaches from the sides and re-attaches to make it into a backpack. It also has two shoulder pads so as to be more comfortable. I'm 6'3" and 215 lbs. and it fits me just fine, but may not fit you. My brother-in-law, Tim, works for Cisco Systems and uses his daily as a backpack over just one shoulder.

Last year, I was on a small island off the coast of Panama and was making my way to a fabled surf spot called Wizard Beach, only accessible by foot. The boat dropped me off and I started up the trail (my little brother was already there waiting for me with the board), but little did I know that the 25 minute hike was all mud, slicker than snot. In order to concentrate on not slipping, I turned my bag into a backpack and only fell once. It is a real convenient feature. As it turned out, the waves were way too big for us (really, I didn't want to show up my little brother Jonathan), so we didn't surf.

Rings - The rings are placed for tying purposes and to act as buffers between the ground and the bag. On a hitchhiking/surfing trip through the jungles and along the beaches of far southern Mexico, I tied my hammock to one side of my bag, my thin serape blanket to the other and my flippers to the bottom.

Two Security Straps - Made of two solid pieces of leather, these are very important if you're traveling in places like the subway in New York City or in Guatemala City where the thieves have really quick hands. They'll steal your fillings if you yawn too long. Lots of people put their umbrellas and camera tripods under them. Did I mention that they conveniently double as belts for a size 36 waste (size 38 if you suck in)? I've also used them as a dog leash more than once.

False Bottom - I usually carry a copy of my passport and some extra cash in there. Chances are, someone is going to try to steal your bag, not just the contents, but at least they won't get the satisfaction of spending your money. They'll never find it. Free helpful hint: Always carry a 6-pack of Coca Cola while driving in Latin America. Pop one for yourself and then offer one to the cop when he first approaches and he should let you go without asking for a bribe. The culture teaches that it's impolite to refuse a gift. If he doesn't accept it, you're toast. Negotiate your way down to $5 and get on your way.

Outer Pocket - Side outer pocket for harmonicas, a cell phone, compass, map or sunglasses. Kept my little camera in there in Costa Rica. Nice to keep that handy. Did I mention that I saw a monkey riding on a dog's back?

Pockets - There are two inner pockets designed for a GPS, phone, pens, palm pilot, and coins. Very sturdy ones I might add. By the way, they're just the right size for an extra laptop battery.

Key Strap/Clip - Handier than a pocket on a shirt. It's long enough to open the front door without taking the key off the clip. I also keep a mini LED flashlight clipped on mine.

Side Pen/Pocket Knife Holders - Situated to conveniently place pens and pocket knives. They're on the inside of each side of the outer compartment.

Shoulder Strap - Comfortable and adjustable solid pieces of leather with suede backing and real tough swiveling clips on the ends from Spain. The clips are normally used for horse tack. They detach quickly to make into a backpack and also to attach the bag to things. I connect the bag strap through my guitar case handle and attach it to the bed of my truck so no one will snatch it out when I'm stopped at a light.

The Materials

If you've recently bought (3 years ago or less) a leather bag or sofa or jacket and it's gone from Ferrari to sorry in record time, then you need to read every word of this next section. If the leather you buy lasts you for years and years and is as nice or better looking than the day you bought it, skip to the next section, you don't need to read this.

Leather Quality - Saddleback Leather bags are made of 4 - 5 ounce Full Grain leather and tanned with various oils to keep them from being destroyed early by dryness and moisture. There are four grades of leather.

Full Grain Leather is the best leather money can buy and the only leather good enough for Saddleback Leather products. It comes from the top layer of the hide which is the toughest part. From the middle layer of the leather to the top, the fibers are mostly woven together vertically making it very strong. The natural surface of full grain leather burnishes and beautifies with use. Some companies sort of spray paint their inferior leather to try to make it look like full grain leather, but it just ends up looking like someone spray painted some cheap leather. From what I've seen, maybe 2% of all bags are made of Full Grain, and those rarely sell under $400. This leather is expensive for me to buy and requires very expensive machines to work. Full Grain leather shows the life of the cow by the scars it carries. If it's been bitten by coyotes or branded, kicked or gored or has been torn by barbed wire or mesquite thorns, those scars will be there. I use only American hides and so you won't see much of that on your bag (I've asked the cutter of the leather to put the real cool scars on the inside pieces).

Top Grain Leather is the second highest grade of leather. The leather is split from the top layer of blemished hide then sanded and refinished. This is how they get rid of scars and scrapes and light cow brands. Top grain leather does not easily burnish and beautify with use and therefore it's spraypainted to look like my bags. It's strong and durable, but not good enough for Saddleback to use since a large part of the strongest fibers are now gone leaving mainly the horizontal (easily pulled apart) fibers of the leather. By the way, did you know that the leather shavings are used in cheap dog food?

Genuine Leather is the third grade of leather and is produced from the layers of hide that remain after the top is split off for the better grades. The surface is usually refinished (spray painted) to resemble a higher grade. It can be smooth or rough. Caution: This inferior quality of leather becomes evident with use.

Bonded Leather is leather's bottom. Leftover scraps are ground together with glue and resurfaced in a process similar to vinyl manufacture. Bonded leather is weak and degrades quickly with use. Most Bibles are covered with this. By the way, my soon to come book covers are cooler than Christmas.

Inner Lining - Pigskin is what I chose to line your bag, and with good reason:

· Pigskin has the highest tensile strength rating of all leathers, second only to Kangaroo. No wonder they used to make footballs out of it.
· It is very smooth and easy to wipe out.
· It is very lightweight.

Thread - Heavy-duty high quality synthetic thread (double zero). Be careful not to buy a bag sewn with cheap cotton thread. It wears quickly and your bag will fall apart. This is one of the differences between a $200 and a $700 bag. Free helpful hint: Here's how to test thread or material. Light the end of it or its fuzz with a match. If it turns to ash, it's cotton. If it smells like hair, it's silk or wool. If it balls up, it's the good synthetic stuff that doesn't rot with humidity and sweat.
Heavy-Duty Rivets - It's almost like killing a fly with a shotgun, but my bags have heavy-duty reinforced riveted corners. The bottom corners are usually the first places for the thread to wear away after years and years of use. Even rocks wear away. So each corner has a well-placed rivet to make it an ever-stout and sturdy bag.

Stiff Upper Rigidity - Hidden between the leather and suede beneath the handle is a durable strip of metal to keep the bag from flexing and losing its form when you lift it by the handle.

Stitching - Because Saddleback Leather bags are each individually made by human hands, the stitching is sometimes a little bit crooked. Only those laser guided computerized machines across the Pacific Ocean make perfect lines.

How to Convince your Honey

So you want it, but… now comes the hard part; to convince your honey. Throw some of these phrases out and see what happens.

Her to Him

I feel FRISKY every time I even think about this bag.
I would just feel so SEXY with this bag.
I think this bag would really make me LOOK THINNER.
I don't think I'd ever want to go shopping for another bag after having one like this.
Him to Her

Even looking at this bag makes me want to just HOLD you.
I don't know why, but just the thought of this bag makes me want to TALK with you for hours on end.
Think of all of the extra TIME we'd spend TOGETHER on our long walks holding hands and showing off the bag.
Maybe owning my dream bag would help me OPEN UP to you and SHARE the hopes and dreams I have for us.
Me to Both of You

If you don't buy this bag, then next year, when you're scouring the internet looking for your next soon-to-be garage sale bag, your mind will drift back to my words. You'll slowly shake your head and say, "Man, was that guy right or what". And then you'll press your lips together, squint and give a few small nods. I tell you what, buy it now or kick yourself later.

I've made this bag for you to break in. It'll take a few months until it really starts to look cool. You'll have to use it a lot. In fact, the more you use it, the better it looks (and it already looks great). It'll eventually soften up and form to the places on your body it touches regularly. The edges will round some and it'll start looking even more chic and classic than it already does.

The Sales Tax

Texas buyers please note that those awful mean evil bureaucrats in your state charge you 8.125% sales tax when you buy one of these bags just because Saddleback Leather Co. is based in Texas. I really don't think it's fair. Actually, it's not all that bad since these bags have gone for up to $700 each at times. You're getting quite a deal even with tax.

We at Saddleback Leather Co. are so confident of what you're about to buy, that our products are fully guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship for 100 years. If you or one of your lucky descendants should have a problem, send it back and we'll repair or replace it for free (be sure to put this guarantee in your will). We'll even pay for normal ground shipping if you're returning it because of a defect .

Saddleback Leather products are made to last a lifetime or two, but they're not bear or bullet or semi truck proof. The guarantee covers normal wear and tear and does not cover misuse or abuse.

By the way, that is a picture of my dog, Blue, jumping into lake Michoacan down in Mexico. Back in my single days when it was just Blue and me and we were just getting Saddleback started, I traded one of Blue's pups he sired for a month's worth of tacos and he and I ate well. He was a great dog.

Labels: , ,

Content - Great Internet Marketing Starts With The Written Word

Content - Great Internet Marketing Starts With The Written Word

Here are a few examples of comprehensive, well written customer review from for the Bose Companion 5 Computer Speakers.

There are three reviews here. The first is pretty good, the second is really good and the third Bose Companion 5 review is just great - be sure to see that review and notice how detail, passion and competency separate a good article from a great article. Thanks :)

Bose Companion 5 Computer Speakers Review 1
Superior Sound, January 3, 2007
By The Dave 3000

I have always considered myself a bit of an audiophile. I appreciate and enjoy quality sound reproduction in both my music and in my movies. The Bose Companion 5 sound system delivers sound quality well beyond my high expectations for sound. The price tag is pretty steep, but I decided to go for the surround sound capabilities offered in the Companion 5 system to augment my 30" Apple Cinema Display for an immersive movie-going experience on my Mac. If connected and set up as per the instructions, this sound system delivers the performance as advertised.

Connection is by a simple USB plug. After that, a quick trip to System Preferences in OS X requires a few set up changes in the sound panel and that is all there is to it. The first time I played music from iTunes I opened my equalizer and adjusted the settings to my preferences as well as the bass settings knob on the acoustimass sub woofer. I have owned several sets of speakers including Klipsch and I can easily attest that the Bose Companion 5 is superior to all of them. The first movie I tried out was "Saving Private Ryan". From the DVD options menu I selected Dolby 5.1 audio and then I cranked up the volume and watched the Normandy invasion scene. It was simply incredible. Several times I was turning and looking behind me because I thought my dog was knocking something over in the room; only to realize that it was the sound of bullets ricocheting behind me. Awesome.

Of all the Bose products I have owned, I have found them all to deliver superior sound as advertised. If you can get past the sticker shock on these speakers, and make sure that you've adjusted the sound settings on your computer as well as the equalizer settings in your computer's music player and the bass settings knob on the back of the acoustimass sub woofer, I can pretty much guarantee you're going to be in for a very impressive audio experience whether it is music or movies.


Bose Companion 5 Computer Speakers Review 2

Virtual 5.1 system with only 3 speakers! Must hear to believe!
By Michael J. Wood

The Bose Companion 5 speaker system is a fantastic addition to a multimedia home computer system. I've had several different sets of computer speakers, including one other Bose set, and this is hands-down the best set.

The Companion 5 set consists of two desktop speakers and an acoustimass-type sub-woofer unit or module. The module is the heart of the system -- not only does it control the speakers and bass, but it also functions as an excellent soundcard. The module connects via USB and not through the computer sound card because of that, and will function as the primary soundcard for your computer. Per the directions, they need to connect through a USB port directly on the computer, and not through a hub or docking station. The instructions do not specify why, but I presume it would be due to the delay present in most hubs. Additionally, one needs to make sure that your computers sound and audio settings for the OS and software are configured properly to make sure the speakers work properly. It should occur automatically when the speakers are set-up. The directions are all very clear on how to ensure this happens in a step-by-step process, and include a good troubleshooting guide in case problems occur. It took less than a single minute for me to set up when I did it as almost everything was handled automatically by the speakers. It is important to note that you must follow the provided directions if you want these speakers to work properly. Most of the negative reviews posted seem to point out what happens when you don't follow directions. However, once you follow them, you'll get unbelievable sound from the system. I had to get up once and check the door behind me because I thought I heard someone knocking, only to discover that it was sound coming from my game that I had heard.

- Superb, full spectrum sound from a small, compact system
- Very rich sound when used with DVD movies, CD's, MP3's, and games
- Accurately conveys 5.1 sound when media/software uses that format
- Subwoofer provides excellent very low frequency sounds
- Uses very little desk space
- Very attractive appearance
- Excellent high-end sound card for all but the most specialized applications

- Price (though I don't have "buyer's remorse" now that I have the system, and considering a soundcard is included makes the price more reasonable)
- Weakest area of the virtual 5.1 coverage is directly behind head
- No microphone input (important for those using online games in particular)
- No on-off switch; unit can go into a "mute" or "standby" mode, but seems like a waste of electricity
- Will disable/by-pass an expensive sound card if one is on your system

OVERALL: Highly recommended if you can afford it


Bose Companion 5 Computer Speakers Review 3
The best thing my ears have ever heard, February 23, 2008
By Tari Mannello

In this review: an in depth comparison of Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 THX, Logitech Z-2300 THX, Bose Soundock, Bose Companion 3's, Bose Companion 5's and Altec Lansing t-612

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'd like to offer a review somewhat different than what you've read before. It's a long one so if you're looking for something quick, you may want to stop here. Otherwise hopefully you'll enjoy the perspective. My thanks go out to those who let us know who you are and what you do in your review, and how you use the system, it really makes a difference. It's important to know the story behind why someone is buying something and what they are looking to do, otherwise you get mismatched needs and solutions. My story begins during the first month of 2008, when I got myself into a bit of a speaker craze while searching for a sound solution for every room of my house. Three years ago I put my life's music collection in digital format on iTunes to the tune of over 5000 songs with perhaps the widest array of music than anyone else I know: Jazz, Hip-hop, R&B, trip hop, electronica, techno, country, audio books, Tony Robbins, metal, rock, dub, enigma type stuff, lounge, new-aje, world music, caribbean, Latin and on the list goes. So, when I say I've tested these speakers over a wide variety of music, you can take my word for it.

My demographic: Male, business owner (custom Italian leather journals, guest books and photo albums: see epica . com ) and hip-hop dancer choreographer, 30 years old, Southern California. Creative, very into pleasing the senses.

After growing up with stereo systems that catered to more bass than clarity, my initial goal was to discover what would be the most clear, best, space filling rich sound I could in each room of the house while still being incredibly aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive at the best price. I wanted to turn up the volume and be amazed at what I heard without any distortion and I wanted to be thrilled at the lowest volumes as well. I wanted to feel like I was there, to have a music experience every time I turned something on. The best price part went out the door rather quickly.

So here's what I did: Apple sells a device called an Airport Express that among other things such as being a wireless router, also allows you to stream iTunes music to it wirelessly. All you have to do is plug in a stereo mini plug to one end and an audio source to another. Give it a name like living room and it appears in iTunes. you can have several of these devices all over the house. In the past I have always hooked up big stereos or shelf systems to it for sound but now in the age of tiny computer speakers and iPod doc systems, I've realized you can connect anything to it and have taken the experience to a whole new level. There are now 4 airport expresses in the house in different rooms along with an apple TV which also features this Airtunes feature in the living room, bedroom, second bedroom, kitchen and hallway... yes the hallway.

After having spent hours in the Apple Store and Best Buy listening to different sound docks and speakers with my iPhone and collection of music, I just decided to purchase and used every single unit that caught my interest with the decision that those which didn't give me everything I was looking for, I'd just return. (The manufacturers must love me.) Because what can you really tell about a speaker or sound system in a 30,000 foot warehouse with sound and people all around you? Are you kidding? Nothing. You've really got to setup these systems in your environment.

It's also important that you test your purchase in different places and positions all throughout your house. You won't believe the difference in sound from having say, a SounDock in your bathroom vs. a bedroom. Move the subwoofer around, adjust the bass on it, move the speakers, be creative. you'll surprise yourself.

Finally, a word about Bose. Of all the sound companies that I read reviews for, and I read about 400 before making a purchase, I have never seen such a contrasting fan base. You've got people who detest anything Bose and people who would buy it without listening to anything else. For the record I am neither of these people. I have owned Bose products in the past and enjoyed them as I have with other companies but was not biased towards or against them prior to purchase.

The Systems:

The Klipsch Prop-Media 2.1 speakers were my purchase. I was attracted to what I knew about the Brand, the subwoofer control on the actual satellite speaker and the $150 price point. I got them home and aesthetically I was just never really attracted to the speaker. My place has a very Asian-Zen and modern feel and these just kind of stood out in the wrong way wherever I placed them. But we're talking about sound so I looked past that. It's got a pretty large subwoofer, and the satellites where small enough to go anywhere. Klipsch does a great job with their horn tweeters and it really let's the highs soar. I tried them in my home office and bedroom for a week before I returned them. Why?
I loved that they were THX, which means there was no hissing whatsoever and they were dead quiet when music was shut off. I was also pleased and could not believe the power. These speakers have so much gain and get so loud, that I don't think full volume would even be tolerable to the human ear. But that was the thing. They seemed to distort at the higher volumes I tend to enjoy and didn't seem to fill a room at low volumes. The subwoofer is recommended to be set at 8 o'clock (very low) and if you adjust that any higher the bass is quite over powering. The sound coming from the Klipsch speakers was not a bad or poor sound, it was great, it was ridiculously powerful but it just wasn't the best sound I had heard for music. They ultimately went back to the store, and I give them a 4 star rating, but I'd be open to trying them in again in a different setting. I think I found them to be to cumbersome as well.

To their credit, RoomGroove wireless for $300, is their latest version of what I am doing with the airport express where you can link multiple room grooves up and they'll wireless send sound to each other. Points to them for finally getting something like this on the market.

Logitech Z-2300 THX: WOW. I was a little biased at first because I thought, Logitech? Really? The people who shine at making wireless mice and keyboards? How can they compare to these other big sound companies? What can they possibly bring to the table? Five stars no question. Here I had nothing to go on other than the $150 price point. I brought them home and unpacked. Ok, the subwoofer with this speaker set is not for the faint of heart. It is absolutely enormous and well suited for a larger office or larger room. It's got two attractive enough (without the grills) aluminum speakers, and a similar wired remote to the Bose only this has the subwoofer control on it (fortunately) and a headphone jack. (no external auxiliary mini plug)

Where to begin. This system has started off in and remains to this day in my office. At low volumes it is rich, deep, clear, and not overpowering in any respect. The music soars no matter what you're listening to. It's an absolute pleasure to sit before these speakers and I should start leaving them playing some sort of music more often because it really really sounds tremendous. And that's only the beginning.

Once the staff goes home and I can crank these up, every wall in the building shakes. The other bathrooms sound as though there is an earthquake and we should evacuate the building. I know it sounds like I'm a big bass person but this is the least of my desires. The clarity, much like the companion 5's just keeps getting richer and richer as you turn the volume up. Artist's vocals scream out at you and this system is the loudest of any I have heard. Interestingly it's also the most tolerable at high volume that I have heard as well.

I love the fact that it's got RCA jacks for speaker cables which allow you to easily extend them if you want them more than a few inches apart or want to place the subwoofer farther away than right at your feet. I love the power and clarity of these speakers, I love that the remote has the bass on the module and you don't have to adjust it behind the subwoofer. Five golden stars are easily awarded. Go Logitech.

Altec Lansing T-612 and Bose SounDock Portable:
Having tested the Harmon Kardon Sound Sticks, JBL On Stage, Klipsch iGroove, the Zeppelin monster, iHome, logitech pure fi and many others, these are the two I wound up bringing home.

Technology is great. We give birth to new ideas which create new ways we listen to music like iPods and iTunes, and that stimulates thought to a new level and we create devices made especially just for these things like the wide array of docking stations, something we had no need for in the past, and then we give birth to new ideas again and say wouldn't it be great to have our music collection on our phone and eliminate devices, and that get's created, and one company wins out over all the others and soon that creates a new problem: cell phone interference and shielding and that gives birth to the first of a new line of products: the iPhone safe Altec T-612. The first docking station to not be affected by sound interference from cell phones.

It worked well. I give it 5 stars for innovation, sound, it's own bass and treble controls on the unit that can be controlled by the remote control, size and a pretty unique look. (Which I am personally not attracted to) This purchase lasted 24 hours before it was returned. It was going to be used as a hallway speaker and so probably would not get much use out of the iPod Dock. It goes for $200 which seems reasonable. Ultimately though it did not have the fullness and richness, or spaciousness that the Bose did, and the bass cracked on several songs. This is perfect for a teen, or college person or someone who just listens to music here and threre at reasonable volumes in the kitchen or around the house.

Bose SounDock Portable. FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS, and no sale or special pricing. Certainly you have to have a unique perspective on money to purchase one of these for yourself. One now resides in my bedroom and another in the hallway so certainly I'll share mine. Are there alternatives on the market that you will be happy with? Absolutely. $400 is a lot of money to spend on a device like this. Or is it? I sell a $10,000 journal on the Epica website, I have seen $12,000 pens, $400,000 automobiles, $200 for torn up jeans (and that's just a normal brand), $12 to see a movie, $50 for a tank of gas, $4000 for a high end washer and dryer... look at the world we live in. Certainly dollar for dollar you are not paying for the product itself or the metal, cotton or components, EVER, but the value it brings to you. The features and luxuries and benefits it brings. The feeling. And that always has a price.

How many times have you shopped for the best deal on something, bought it, and then later wished you had purchased the better version, or gotten the special optional features, or wish you had just splurged after the fact. How many times have you not been able to do it like when you purchase a car? I have just gotten myself used to two things. One: happiness comes from your thoughts and your ability to keep your mind and focus on things that please you, not from objects you buy, and two, the fact that if contrast has caused me to give birth to a desire for wanting something, and I think in the obtaining of it I will be more pleased in owning it than the less expensive version, I am going to buy the one that brings me the most pleasure and gives me personally, the best feeling.

Need, purpose, design, size and functionality all coalesced with the SounDock and so I spent 200 more dollars after I returned the Lansing for something that would be kept in my hallway which pointed into the bathroom. But it was more discreet, it had a revolving iPod dock that I could hide from view when not using it, a remote control that let me change my playlists (that most remotes do not do), a look that was much more attractive and streamline, and a sound that was just richer and fuller.

And while it pains me immensely to know that I took the two-hundred heart pounding watts of Klipsch out of my bedroom, the amazing, clear, spacious and dynamic sound of the Bose Companion 3s out of my bedroom and now have replaced those with another SounDock, portable, it certainly does create magic in the bedroom. Aside from two lamps, it is the ONLY other wire in the room. It's small, and doubles as my alarm clock. I LOVE the fact that I can wake up to any song or play list in the world. using an iPod (I am very put off by Apple's decision to not have a snooze button on iPod alarm, while it is on the iPhone, however on the iPhone you can only wake up to a ringtone! Silly) I love how it fills a room and how if you're not in the room you hear it loud and clear and would have no idea something so small is producing all that sound.

I have really come to appreciate Bose. They create the best sound they can possibly engineer by pouring 100% of their profits back into research and deliver the best product they can that generally takes years to release. They think their sound sounds best flat, with no adjustment. That's what the EQ is for on the iPod or iTunes or whatever source you're using. They realize you shouldn't have to tweak all the treble and bass if the sound is just amazing to begin with. It's all about the feeling you get when you listen to it. The SounDock does not sound as good as a system like the Companion 3's or any other subwoofer driven device but you have to look at it's purpose and size.

SounDock gets five stars for listening to customer requests and making their successful SounDock portable even better by adding the aux in port so I can hear music wirelessly, a great remote with lots of functionality, discreet touch volume buttons, a hideaway revolving dock door to make it look even cleaner than it already does, a great room filling sound, a battery that lasts, a slimmer design, a power cord that wraps around the transformer and an overall sound that makes you feel very good when listening to it. Try placing one of these things in your kitchen, hall, bathroom, closet or smaller room and listen to the rumble and sound. Amazing.

Bose Companion 3's: When I first set these up in my office I was absolutely amazed by the quality and quantity of sound coming out of these speakers. They are gorgeous, discrete and fit the bill for big sound. I was impressed by the fact that I could turn them up to full volume, with any kind of music and here no distortion of any kind. That one fact is so rare, that made them a winner for me right there. When listening to Diana Krall, I felt as though her lips where inches from my ear as she sang only to me. These speakers really sing out.
For some reason when I tried watching movies on them, the volume decreased significantly and so even at full blast the sound was not that loud. Over time these speakers have moved from office to bedroom to ultimately being returned to the store but not because I was dissatisfied. I kept these things in my closet for 3 weeks because I didn't want to return them, I wanted to find a use for them or somewhere to enjoy them. They went back because I didn't want 5 cords in my bedroom and a subwoofer at the foot of my bed.

Like the companion 5's, I like the puck volume control (would be nice if it was wireless, wouldn't it? Especially if everything else on your desk is). It's very sensitive and feels good to touch. One gentle tap and sound is muted, another and it comes back on. It's also nice to be able to increase or decrease the bass that pours out of these units on the back of the subwoofer by virtually a full 360 degrees. I am also pleased with the RCA jacks used to connect each speaker. Initially I was put off and wondered why they did it but when I realized how EFFORTLESS (one of my favorite words) it was to extend the speaker cable, i.e. just plug in another video cable, I was thrilled. Five stars to the Companion 3s

Bose Companion 5's: It's funny how when you don't know what you're missing, you don't miss it. I tell people that in my business that when you buy this $185 journal and you haven't seen the $265 version, you think you're in heaven. It's perfection. Then you see the top of the line and you just can't imagine it gets any better. The Companion 5's are nearly triple the size of the Companion 3's (Yet still rather small and attractive), look absolutely gorgeous next to my iMac, have the same puck with mute, headphones, volume up and down and auxiliary input just like the Companion 3's (which will play something at simultaneously as what you have going on your computer).

BUT there are two major differences in these speakers vs anything else I have heard, ever. One is it connects to your USB port, not your stereo mini plug in port which requires 2 minutes of configuring, and two, the sound that comes out of these speakers is the most delicious, exquisite, full, wide, spacious, rich, detailed sound I have EVER heard come out of speakers in this class. Anyone I have shared them with leaves with their jaw on the floor. As I turn up the volume we just stare at the computer and say WOW. It just sucks you in. Where before I did not enjoy spending time in front of the computer for very long, I can literally spend hours in front of this one or in the room where the Companion 5's are playing. The sound is that unbelievable. The cables as of this writing are proprietary and cannot be extended, however for the `surround effect' it's not recommended that you extend them anyway.

I enjoy barely audible volume levels in the morning but come nighttime, I love to crank up the sound and speakers can take it at a volume so loud you can only take it for a short period. It's as though with each increment you raise the volume, you experience a new dimension to sound. The Bose Companion 5's for this purpose get 5 stars, 10 if I could, for looks, size and for a sound like no other.

Finally, don't be led astray by the Bose advertising. These speakers are marketed towards people who like to watch movies in front of their computer, something that, after spending all day in front of a computer, is the last thing I want to do. I've tried it and yes it's a great experience but if you never watch a video clip with these speakers it will still be the best investment you make for music and any other sound that comes out of them. The Bose experts will also tell you that these speakers should not be more than 24 inches apart because they are specifically engineered for you to sit right in front of them. When I heard that I also thought the sound quality would decrease if I stepped away, or perhaps it wouldn't fill a room the way I want. Not the case. Inches away or across the room, I cannot say enough about this virtual surround sound speaker.

So hopefully that gives you a little more insight into what these speakers can do for you, how they can be used, what I was looking for in particular and what the actual experience was. If you made it this far, your a trooper. I hope you found the review useful and if you wanted to contact me with questions we actually sell on the Amazon site. Just do a search for Epica journal and you can write in. Thanks! - Written over three hours near Los Angeles in the company of Bose Companion 5's.

Labels: , , ,