June 2019 Sales and Hardware/Software Deals

Hardware: Target just dropped the price of the Apple HomePod to $249 (with free 2-day shipping), matching some Black Friday-ish prices from last year. If you have a Target REDcard credit card, the price drops to $237.49 during checkout.

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Follow-up: I took advantage of this deal (which, if you click the above link, apparently is over) and my HomePod arrived today.

Except I ordered Space Gray (to match my current one) and I received a White one instead. And, instead of being able to exchange it in person, target.com is having me print up a return label, ship it half way across the country… and then perhaps I’ll get the correct item if it’s in stock. (Otherwise I’ll get a refund.)

Well, that was disappointing.

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Good luck with that. What do you think of the HomePod? Are you keeping them in the same room?

I like it a lot. I’ve been using it in my bedroom, and hope to use this second one in my living room.

For the last several years in my living room I’ve used a pair of 15"x12"x10" studio monitors on stands, connected to an Airport Express (which has a digital audio-out port) to stream my music from iOS devices.

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The HomePod is smaller than one of my monitors.

My monitors actually overkill for the room and while they sound pretty good for a budget line (I think they cost me $400), the HomePod in my bedroom delivers more detailed, musical results at appropriate sound levels. (Also, studio monitors are designed for flat response so they aren’t designed to offer more colored, pleasant renditions of music, so the comparison might be different with music speakers.)

Later in the day after I sent back the white HomePod, Target must’ve gotten confirmation from UPS about my return, and they emailed me to say they were sending the replacement. Nice. The only other place I’d ever had do that before was Amazon.

Now I have to figure out what to do with those big monitors…

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So Target’s shipping department is apparently color blind. Or maybe blind drunk.

The replacement HomePod I received was also white. Called Customer Service at 7am on Saturday and spoke to a nice lady apparently in the Philippines who, after putting me on hold for 10 minutes, reported that I was not the only customer to have suffered this mixup.

They offered me a 15% credit on my cc if I kept the white HomePod. Well, I do have some white furniture in my living room. $213 total you say? Okay, done.

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B&H is offering a $25 gift card with purchase (card with download code) of a one-year subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which consists of Photoshop, Lightroom Classic (desktop app) Lightroom CC (newer, less full-featured cross-platform Mac/iOS app), and 20Gb cloud storage for the same $119.88 price Amazon charges.

The B&H and Amazon deals are good – the normal annual fee (paid monthly) is $179. I wonder if these deals can be applied to an existing Creative Cloud account? Well, I’ll just have to investigate and answer my question . . .

Yes, it should work. A year ago (in January?) Amazon had a 1-day sale on the plan for $99, and I was able to add the coupon-code to my existing subscription (which still had several months left). I’ve been impatiently waiting for a similar deal as my current subscription expires in September.

Is there anyway to get Lightroom classic as a stand-alone? I’m only looking for a simple photo management / organization software

Lightroom Classic is only available by subscription, either with Photoshop (and Lightroom CC, recently just renamed “Lightroom”), or as an even more expensive package with all other Adobe apps.

You can still find standalone packages of the old, unsupported Lightroom 6 from 3rd party sellers, but it’s missing features and bugfixes and support of the current app.

If you want a stand-alone alternative to Lightroom I really like Capture One, whose Raw developer is just as good, and has superior tethering with major camera brands. But for some things I personally need specific features of Photoshop over either C1 or Lightroom. Your mileage may vary.

ON1 Effects giveaway

(Note: website getting slammed right now because of this offer, so you might have to visit at a later time)

https://www.on1.com/products/effects/

Is it https://www.captureone.com/en/store

I just need something to organize photos and screenshots taken by iphone and ipad. Was tempted to find a more robust solution, but I might just actually learn how to use the stock photos.app

Ah. Capture One isn’t an iOS product.

For iOS only I’d suggest looking at either Apple’s photos/iCloud, or Google Photos which is free for photos under 16Mb (or else you get charged the $10/month plan for 1Tb data).

Lightroom (not Lightroom Classic) is a robust cross-platform, cloud-based service/storage/post-production setup. For $9.99/month you can get it by itself, with 1Tb storage, for $9.99/month. Alternatively, if you also are using a Mac or PC, you can get it with Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, but with only 20Gb cloud storage, for the exact same price.

All Adobe subscriptions let you log into the PS Express iOS app and unlock all the features:

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https://www.photoshop.com/products/photoshopexpress

If you use iOS apps to process your iOS images and you just want to manage them, I’d look first at Google Photos (at least until future iPhone image sizes bump against the limits for GP to be free). If you want built-in convenience (and more privacy than you get with Google knowing where you are and when) then I’d say choose Apple Photos for organizing.

Lightroom is particularly powerful as a one-stop-shop for cross-platform storage and image tweaking. But it’ll run you $120/year or so indefinitely. (Then again, the more you use iCloud the more storage you’ll end up needing and having to pay for too.)

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B&H is unloading 2018 MacBook Pros, offering $100-$900 discounts.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?setNs=p_PRICE_2|0&Ns=p_PRICE_2|0&sortType=default&ci=29069&fct=fct_model-year_5620|2018&srtclk=sort&cp=9581+37094+29069&/BI/20282/KBID/14833/

As of today, for your use case, the stock photos app is your best bet on iOS, imo (and maybe it gets better with iOS 13)

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Today Amazon dropped the price of the 2Tb Samsung T5 external SSD to $299, an all-time low. (The 1Tb version is $168)

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These are very good drives. I highly recommend them.

50% off [Cubasis](http://Cubasis 2 von Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH) and in-app purchases.

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