The Buymusic.ca Blog

A blog by a Music Consumer for Music Consumers

Alternatives To Zip.ca

Now that Zip.ca has closed it’s door I’m sure some of you are looking for alternatives, so I thought I’d provide a few.

Unfortunately there are few alternatives when it comes to rentals by mail now that zip.ca is gone.

It appears that only DVD Link is offering a mail rental service at the moment. But their rates are pretty good at $9.95 to $54.99, depending on how many DVDs or Blu-Rays you want to rent per month. And unlike zip.ca, this Vancouver based company rents games and don’t charge more for Blu-Ray rentals.

People who like renting from kiosks will of course fare better because Redbox  just recently expanded into the Atlantic Provinces and Western Canada.

Redbox kiosks have pretty much invaded my city (Ottawa), and can be found at most Sobeys, Loblaws/Real Canadian Superstore, Walmart and Giant Tiger stores.

They’ve placed kiosks at quite a few of those stores through-out Canada, both indoors and outdoors. And I like them because you don’t need to return your discs at the specific Redbox kiosk they were rented from.

I believe they’ve replaced most of the Bestbuy Movie Kiosk locations at the 7-Eleven, Mac’s, Safeway, Real Canadian Superstore and Walmart stores in western Canada. And possibly the Moviemagic kiosks in Ontario as well.

In the Montreal area they have opened locations at IGA stores. But until they expand further the best solution for rentals in the province of Quebec are the Superclub Videotron stores.

Independent stores can still be found in the largest cities, through-out Canada. But the largest video rental store chain in Canada is now Jumbo Video/Superclub Videotron, which operate stores in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

Quebecor Media owns both of these chains along with Microplay, a chain that rents videogames from some of the Jumbo Video/Superclub Videotron locations. But whether these chains will fold like Rogers Video and Blockbuster Video is unknown.

High speed internet remains prohibitively expensive in many areas, especially in rural communities, so renting individual films from iTunes, Netlix, Cineplex or Cinemanow may still not be a viable option for some.

Another option is to bite the bullet and rent films via the on demand and pay per view services offered by the cable and satellite companies. But at $5.99 to $7.99 per film this can get quite expensive.

They do occasionally offer some discounts on The Movie Network/TMN Encore and Super Ecran but the delays on new films remain on those channels and I’ve found that the Hollywood Suite package is much better if you’re mostly interested in classic films. The later is much more affordable at the moment.

Those are pretty much my suggestions on this matter. I will of course post updates, if some occur. I hope that you found this information useful.

Zip.ca Closes

Video rental service Zip.ca has closed after ten years of operation.

Members have until August 31st to return their discs to avoid a $25 fee per disc.

Click here for additional information.

Russian Hackers Compromise 4.5 Billion Records

Hold Security had warned the media outlets that a gang of Russian hackers have gained access to 4.5 billion email addresses and passwords.

The Milwaukee based security firm estimates that 420,000 web and ftp sites, including some Fortune 500 company sites, have been compromised. But details on what specific websites were compromised were not released.

The New York Times have claimed to have had the information analyzed by a security expert not affiliated with the security firm who confirmed the authenticity of the database of stolen information. And The New York Times have also reported that some of the companies involved are aware of the situation.

Most of this information was gathered via a botnet, a collection of interconnected computers that have been infected with a virus that collects and forwards information to individuals who either sell it or use the information to send unsolicited commercial email or gain access to web sites and credit card information.

According to Hold Security the most vulnerable users are those that use a generic password on multiple sites, whose generic passwords can be used to gain access to sites that are not in the records.

They had found that out of the 4.5 billion records, only 1.2 billion had unique passwords so the firm suggest the use of more secure, unique passwords.

An individual password should not be used on multiple sites and a combination of letters (in upper and lower caps), numbers and special characters (punctuation, symbols, etc.) should be used to prevent predictability.

The use of a frequently updated anti-virus program also helps keep individual computers from being infected with viruses that keep track of the passwords used.

Gift Card Offer

Rexall Pharmaplus stores in Ontario are discounting select iTunes gift cards by 15% until July 31st, 2014. 

I believe this discount is only applied on cards valued at $25 or more.  Please consult your local flyer for details.

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