A slick site for book-buying

I don’t usually read email spam, but this one for Booksprice was really good. I tried the site and liked the slick, clean interface. It basically does what it says it does: searches across a lot of different book sites & shows you comparisons of the prices. I tried Gotz & Meyer by David Albahari, a book I just bought for 15 bucks at the translation conference. I loved the book and was thinking of buying it for a couple of people I know. The most interesting feature of Booksprice is the ability to compare prices on multiple items. I stuck 5 books in my basket: Gotz & Meyer, Kalila and Dimna, Le Guin’s translations of Gabriela Mistral, “Unmentionables: A Brief History of Underwear”, and Naciste Pintada. I got a choice of two different ways to buy all those books, one significantly cheaper than the other. The idea is that if you can get all the books from the same source, shipping charges will be much cheaper. (Or will they?)

I took out the book in Spanish and tried again. The results ranged from all the books+ shipping for $44.35 (all new) to $136.85 if I bought them all individually from little stores on abebooks.com. (I often use abebooks for books in Spanish, actually – I’m not dissing them.)

The site seems to operate from cookies – it tracked my recent searches, but never asked me to create an account. It has another cool feature – you can look up amazon wishlists from within Booksprice.

Their spam offered me a free copy of Orhan Pamuk’s “My Name is Red” or “Snow” – books I’ve been wanting to read anyway — whether I blogged about them or not.

A nice deal & a good way to treat potential customers. Though… of course… who are they, and why are they? What business? Perhaps they’re really a branch of Amazon. Or maybe they get a referral commission on books you buy through them?

flickr video generator

This thing is extremely clever. From the command line or with a little cgi interface you can put in a keyword and number of images. The application fetches that number of tagged images from flicker and puts them into a quicktime video format. hey presto, instant slide show/video thingie.

I think someone wrote it this afternoon. (That’s why I’m not linking to it. I’m sure some version of it will be public soon enough.)

I could take all the photos from Milo’s stop motion animation projects, put them on Flickr with a unique tag, then generate a bloggable video way faster than i could on iMovie.

Now we need the streaming audio to go with it!