Consumer Information

Sony Classical Opens Online Store

Ariama.com, Sony’s new classical online store, is now online.

This service offers most of the Sony Classical catalog in mp3 and lossless format. But physical shipments of CDs are limited to the United States for the moment.

People who love soundtracks, like yours truly, will enjoy this service. It features numerous recordings, including many by John Williams, Danny Elfman and Howard Shore.

Blockbuster Canada Unaffected

Blockbuster Canada has published a press release re-assuring their customers that the Canadian operations are unaffected by the Chapter 11 Process in the United States.

Apparently the Canadian subsidiary is still profitable, at 440 stores through-out Canada.

Netflix Now In Canada

Netflix is now online in Canada and offering unlimited film and television downloads at $7.99 per month.

Unlike their American counterpart, they are not currently offering rentals by mail. But Canadians can now stream videos to their desktop and laptop computers, Wii, PS3 and mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone.

The company promises to add the XBox 360 and internet compatible Blu-ray players and televisions shortly to their service. And the service will be available on the Apple TV device soon as well in Canada.

BTW, those wishing to try the service can do so for one month, for free. Details can be found on the Canadian Netflix site.

Best Buy Reduces CDs & DVDs At Stores

It appears that Americans will not be able to buy many CDs and DVDs from their local Best Buys stores this Christmas, according to Investors.com.

This site reports that Best Buy are reducing the store space allocated to compact discs and DVDs to instead use this space for video game consoles and electronics like tablets PCs and netbooks this Christmas season.

“DVDs are wasteful” says James Cameron

According to an article published by D.I.S.H Information, James Cameron believes DVDs will eventually fade as a consumer product and will be replaced by downloads.

This may be true in the United States, causing Blockbuster to consider bankruptcy in that country. But we’re unfortunately still tied to the medium here in Canada because of the lack of affordable, unlimited internet.

Blaming piracy many of this country’s major internet providers have capped the file transfers their customers can make, even at times reducing these caps without the customer’s knowledge. And this is delaying the implementation and use of legal movie downloads in Canada.

Canadians face the possibility of additional fees when their transfer limits are surpassed, in some cases up to $2 per additional gig. But some of these internet providers apparently think their customers are stupid enough to believe they should pay more for less, when more legal material is being made available to them online.

Even now my internet provider is attempting to have me sign onto their new “deals” which will reduce my transfer limit from 60 to 25 gigs, using the premise that I would have faster downloads and possibly access to IPTV in the future. And of course these are promotional rates, which means I would be subjected to a significantly higher regular rate in a year, if not six months.

No thanks ! I’m going to stick to my DVD rentals.

Ontario Enviroment Tax Not Really Gone

According to The Canadian Press the Ontario Government, taxpayers in that province will continue to pay for the program over the next three months. But not at the cash.

Apparently the opposition also believe the current government is attempting to find ways to bury the unpopular tax, which was dropped by Canadian Tire stores in Ontario after this company had learned that they had overcharged customers.