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badice.com ~ travel musings for the masses

Posts tagged amazon

Recently, Amazon Prime increased in price from $79/year to $99/year, even for existing members. Of course, there was the usual gnashing of teeth and complaining that usually comes with these types of announcements, but I took it in stride.

Prime has a lot of value for me, most of which centers around the free 2-day shipping and the Amazon Prime Instant Video features. With the recent announcement that a number of HBO shows would be coming to Prime Instant Video, the service increased in value even more for me.

The 2-day shipping feature though is where I really see the value, even at $99/year. When I am on the road and think of something we need around the house or if I forgot something over the weekend, I can open up the Amazon app on my iPhone, order what I need, and when I get home it is waiting for me. Sure, this creates the challenge of having impulse buys but if you have a little self-control, this should pose no problem. It removes the headache of having to fight traffic for something you do not need right away and let’s you focus on other things.

There are a few downsides to using Prime though. For one, you are not always going to get the cheapest price. We were hoping to be able to buy dog food via Amazon Prime but the price is much higher than what we can get the food for in the store. I am sure there are other items out there that are very similar. Secondly, you do have to wait. Next day shipping still costs extra (as it should) so in the cases where you need something really fast, you may be better off picking it up directly from a store. My last qualm is that Amazon Prime Instant Video adds/removes available free content on somewhat of a whim. There are a few shows that I really want to watch (Mind of a Chef) that recently left Prime Instant Video and don’t look like they are going to return anytime soon. It would be nice if Amazon would make users aware of what content would be leaving the free video selection in the near future so that people could watch if they wanted to do so.

Anyway, there is still a lot of value in Amazon Prime for me, even at $20 more a year. Free 2-day shipping is huge, even if you only buy a few items a year, plus the streaming video service has allowed me to get rid of cable and still keep up with the shows that I want to watch, saving me money in the process.

If you are interested in giving Amazon Prime a try, they have 30-day free trials available. This is an affiliate link and I do receive a small reward if you sign up for a trial.

Arq, the great backup utility for OS X that utilizes Amazon S3 for storage, received an update that supports Amazon’s new Glacier service.

From the Haystack Software Blog:

Arq now backs up to Amazon’s new Glacier service, and I’m really excited about it! Glacier storage is super-cheap — just $.01/GB per month!

With Glacier you can store 100GB for just $1/month! Or store a terabyte for just $10/month!

I got hundreds of emails and tweets asking for Glacier support. Turns out it’s a good option for some scenarios (even with the slow restore time and possible extra Amazon charges). People want to use it for big stuff like iPhoto libraries, videos, etc that get too expensive in S3. They use it as a secondary backup, so they don’t expect to actually restore unless their whole house burns down, taking their primary backup with it.

The price of Glacier is so low that I am looking at using it for an archival service. Originally I was thinking that it would be good to keep backups on it, but the retrieval rates for your data are fairly steep making it a pain/expensive to restore files. But, for storing old data that you do not need access to all of the time makes Glacier very attractive.