A slightly above-average achiever's guide to parenting
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Don't Waste Your Time- Groovebook
July 24, 2014
As important as it is to know what the best products are out there, I also want to inform you about products to stay away from. So, I've decided to start a regular thread called "don't waste your time". It's not that I hold any ill-will toward these products (or maybe I will, we'll have to wait and see if any company really pisses me off), but these are products or companies that I don't think are worth the money.
So, the first honored product for the "Don't waste your time" thread, is Groovebook. For those of you unfamiliar with Groovebook, it sounds like a great idea in theory. In fact, they got their funding through the show Shark Tank, so it's got that sizzle that makes it sound like a great idea. The premise is this: you download a free app on your phone, and buy a monthly subscription (which you can cancel at any time), for $2.99 a month and you get to upload 100 pictures to the site, and they will print them all in a book for you, and send them to you, shipping included. The book has perforated edges so you can keep them in a book, or tear out individual pictures for family and friends.
Since we've taken over 1,000 photos of Chewbacca already, I thought this would be a great way to preserve some of them, send some to family and friends, put up at work, etc. So, I tried the service, in the name of research of course.
The app itself is extremely user friendly. It keeps track of which photos you've printed in past months so you don't get any duplicates. Once you've checked the photos you want, you upload them to the app, which takes about 1-2 minutes, and then they send you an alert that your photos will be printed in 7-10 days. The catch is that the printing and the sending takes so long that you have to select your next 100 photos for the next month, so they really lock you into 2 months before you see any product, but at $2.99, I was kind of okay with that.
It took about 3 weeks for the first book to arrive, which comes with a cute cover:
Pay no attention to the book I'm reading, as I'm most certainly not reading Maze Runner, a young adult novel.
So, with everything going so well, what's the problem with this service? As you might have guessed, for $2.99 for 100 photos, the photo quality is terrible. The majority of my pictures were from my iphone as most people's are. And those photos were extremely blurry and grainy. But I had a few photos that Chewbacca's Auntie Noodle took with her fancy schmanzy camera (it has lenses and everything). And even THOSE were blurry around the edges.
This is what one of the good quality photos looks like. From afar, not so bad. This is the picture of Chewbacca's dad as he came out of the delivery room to tell everyone we had a boy.
But when you get up close, you can see the blurring between the colors:
I realize this is a picture of a picture, on a computer, which is kind of meta. So it's hard to get a real sense of the quality. But I assure you, Chewbacca's dad is much less blurry in person.
So, it was with dissapointment that I decided to cancel our subscription, out 6 dollars for the whole experience. I suppose you get what you pay for, so it makes sense. But if you want just good quality prints, we've had the best luck with Shutterfly, who are always running a sale. So I dug up a link for 50 free prints if anyone is interested. Also, I really like Snapfish as well, or even CVS or Wallgreens does better printing than Groovebook. Just promise me you won't waste your time with Groovebook.