Monday, April 21, 2008

What Will They Think of Next?: Personal Audio Greeting Cards

Hallmark will be offering talking greeting cards that not only dictate an audio message, but your audio message. Buy the card, record a 10-second message, and it'll play back your message, along with a clip of original music, once the recipient opens it.

Two things came to mind when I heard about this. One: is it really that difficult and time-consuming to write "Happy Birthday, Buddy" or "Wishing you all the best" on a greeting card? Second: is this a last-ditch effort by the music industry to find a viable means to distribute its content? The announcement I read explicitly noted that the closing tune would be a "popular song clip featuring the original artist and music", leading me to believe that the music industry had something to do with conjuring up this idea. CD sales might be down, but greeting card sales certainly aren't!

In all fairness, I can see some applications where such a card would be "neat". When you're sending mail to a loved one overseas, or if a young child wants to give a card to grandma or grandpa to say "I love you". And don't forget gag gifts! Imagine a bachelor party where the groom-to-be opens up his card and plays an unknowingly embarassing message for all to hear! And hey, who's to say you can't record your message and write it?!

Whether you opt for the audio cards or not, I'd still suggest including a handwritten message as well. That personal touch always counts for something, and shows that you aren't totally lazy!

You can learn more about the recordable cards (and see a cheesy demo) at

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