Editor: Ummm ... what is "Time Life" doing in the Geek Directory?
Me: Well, we were increasing the number of audio/visual listings and this name came up.
Editor: Is that Tony Orlando on the screen?
Me: Well, yes.
Editor: With Richard Simmons?
Me: I see where you're going with this, but ...
Editor: You're fired.
Me: No, wait! It has "Where On Earth is Carmen Sandiego?" and Ghostbusters.
Editor: ... I'm listening ...
Me: And war documentaries, you know you like war documentaries!
Editor: Well, who doesn't?
Me: ... they're in colour ...
Editor: Sold. But make sure people know that this is a one off for the Geek Directory. We don't want them thinking we put any old rubbish in.
Me: We'll work out some way to make it clear ... :)
Somewhat unique amongst websites of this type, Time Life (www.timelife.com) doesn't just market the music and videos that appear there, it actually creates them. It is, in fact, one of the world's leading creators and direct sellers of music, video cassettes, DVDs and multimedia products.
The business started in 1961 as the book division of Time Inc., taking its name from its parent company's two main magazines, Time and Life. It moved on to offering boxed sets comprising books and music collections combined, eventually diversifying into videos and other items. In 2003, the company became part of Direct Holdings Worldwide LLC and then went private in 2007 as a division of the Reader's Digest Association.
The company made its name selling book series back in the 1970s, with many of them being unusually high quality issues for a mass market mail order house. The tradition continues to some degree today, although books are no longer available. Instead, boxed sets are the big thing. You can, if you wish, get the complete collection of 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.', which runs to 41 DVDs, the 'Get Smart' complete series or get 'The Beverley Hillbillies' which has only two DVDs. If old TV series aren't your thing, there's a ten CD 'Country Music Explosion' collection, various sixties, seventies and eighties artist's CDs, or 'The World at War' on four DVDs.
Music covers a wider range than many sites of this type, with Contemporary Christian, Classic Country, Gospel and Latin in addition to the more usual Rock, Pop, Classic Soul and R&B from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Some of the boxed sets come out to commemorate particular events, such as a collection of nine DVDs to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the guitar Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends, collections of love songs, rock ballads, soul collections or three cd's of 58 songs to commemorate 70 years of the civil rights movement.
You can find what you want by looking through the categories or doing a keyword search. There are also best seller lists, an "As seen on TV" and sales items, with some items categorized by price range or oldies era such as 60's, 70's, 80's or rock n roll classics.
What was strange, was that their renown Bible DVD series was not linked to from anywhere on the site we could find. Not even a Jesus one for Christmas! Considering the huge range they sell, or at least used to, it's a noticeable and therefore curious omission. We even tried some variants like www.time-life.com to see if they were hiding it somewhere else (they weren't). Even the Interstate Batteries company has no qualms about shouting religion from the rooftops ... they are from Texas though.
Most products that are in stock are shipped within 1-3 business days and installment plans are available on certain items. An unusual feature of the site is the ability to participate in an introductory program. You get to buy a product at a very low introductory price but have to agree to review other selections in the same collection in return. This means you'll get other selections automatically every few weeks and have ten days to review them. If you send them back within this period, there's no charge. We think this sort of practice was banned in the UK years ago but we could be wrong.
There's also a separate preview offer where you pay a non-refundable examination fee and can then send the product back within 30 days if you decide you don't want it. There's no further charge and you can keep any free gifts you got as part of the deal.
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