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Author Topic: OSC rips iPod and Apple
Alucard...
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Man did he let it out, too. No mercy.

But I have a confession to make: I love my iPod, no matter what the wise Uncle says. Here is a recap if anyone didn't read his review for the week:

quote:
I don't know about you, but I'm about fed up with all the free -- and ridiculous -- advertising and publicity Apple Computers gets. If they decided to bottle air and sell it, calling it, no doubt, "PowerAir" or "AirMac" or "AirPod," they'd claim that they had invented air. Then all the articles about the new MacAir would treat that claim as if it were true and suddenly start treating other air-packagers as mere imitators, playing "catch-up" with Apple.

I remember years ago, when Apple came out with their PowerBook notebook computer. I was at a meeting with an extraordinarily dumb young movie producer who kept going on and on about all the cool things his PowerBook could do. "It can sign on the internet and get email! I can care it with me on planes and it runs on batteries!"

Finally I got fed up and just showed him my Toshiba laptop. "I can do all those things, and this computer cost me a thousand dollars less than yours."

It was a cruel thing to do, I thought, to take the wind out of his sails like that. But no, I had forgotten: He was an Apple user! He gave me a withering look and said, "Yes, but mine is an Apple."

Well, yes, but he said it as if that were a good thing.

Think about it. All the rigid, corporate-determined uniformity and buy-it-from-us-or-drop-dead attitude of Microsoft, but you have to buy your hardware from them, too. I watch Apple users attempt to manipulate their clunky operating system -- click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, just to get where I can go with a single action on my keyboard -- and I hear them raving on and on about what wonderful trhings Apple is finally deigning to make available to them, but which PC users have had for years, and it all makes me vaguely sad.

"Windows crashes all the time," they say with a smirk. Then, when they're talking among themselves and they don't think you're listening, they reveal the evil truth: Macs crash too. And Mac software has bugs and flaws and security gaps and stupidity built in, just like Windows.

What Macs don't have is any competition. Once you've bought into the hype and forked over your money, they've got you and you can't get free without completely replacing everything.

The same thing has happened now with the iPod. I had been using wonderful MP3 players for years. My Rio Riot held twenty gigs of music. My little Panasonic E-Wear, and later my Rio Cali, let me take incredible amounts of music with me when I exercised or took long flights.

Then the iPod comes out and it doesn't do anything that I needed and didn't already have. Not only that, but it was deeply ugly, a plain ivory-colored box with pathetic controls that looked like it should hold generic earswabs. Compared to my Rio Riot, it was a piece of junk and looked like a piece of junk.

And now it seems to have taken over the world. Everything is geared toward iPods. I still have MP3 players with more capacity and better interface than the iPod, and people talk and write as if the iPod had invented the whole class of machine, and all the others were just imitations.

Even the current PC World magazine has been suckered into this Apple mystique. They had a "brave and daring" front-of-book essay about how PC makers ought to learn to do things more like Apple. And do you know what it came down to? The colors and shape of the cheap plastic they wrap their products in.

Yeah, that's right. They make the ugliest, silliest, most embarrassing-looking cheap plastic products in the industry, charge half again as much as you'd pay for a cleanly designed, functional looking product, and they are given credit for design!

I know what will happen, of course. A lot of smug Apple owners will write me taunting letters about how Windows crashes all the time. Old news, kiddies. My XP doesn't crash at all. And I have about a hundred times as much software to choose from, and can customize my own machine (despite the best efforts of Microsoft) a thousand times more than you can, and I'm paying less for it, and it looks like I actually intend to do serious work with it.

As for your iPod, I just have to shake my head and laugh. There are much better -- and better-looking -- products out there, and I already own some of them. But you go on believing that yours Is the best in the world. That's what Apple depends on. You'll get into the harness, they'll put the blinders on you, and you'll think you're pulling the queen's carriage instead of the old farm wagon you're dragging along.


Whoa. Now, a few things I have to say. First, I still live in dial-up land. At work, I am flying when I dial-up at 29.4K. At home, I max out at 44K. But what I did is probably far from normal. I downloaded iTunes long before I bought an iPod.

I liked several things about iTunes. It is free. It is very handy at organizing songs by many different categories. It burns albums and playlists easily. It allows importation of CDs, again, effortlessly. Sure, songs cost 99 cents a piece, and Napster and other services might be a better value. But in dial-up land, that was really a non-factor for me. Plus, I hate using Musicmatch. It just feels clunky and awkward once I was used to iTunes.

But do not get me wrong. I do not think Apple reinvented the wheel, either. I love PCs, have an HP laptop, and use it for managing my music. I imported all my songs from my CDs onto iTunes and had well over 1000 by the time I was worn out 3 days later. After getting an iPod, I started getting a bit more serious in my importing, and have about 2500 now.

I agree with many things OSC was saying about Apple hardware. I do not think my iPod is any better than other MP3 players. But I do think iTunes is better software. And I love the iTunes music store too. The big problem is that iTunes does not always have what I am looing for. That presents a problem, but not a serious one.

My biggest dilemma was whether I wanted to buy a Creative Labs Nomad and use something like Musicmatch to fill it up. After thinking about it for about 10 seconds, I knew I'd like an iPod better, and it would be a better fit for me.

One other thing OSC was commenting about was the cheapness of the plastic Apple makes it products with. I agree that the "white" iPods do look very bland on the face, but the other half is this nice shiny metal (chrome? stainless steel?) that reminds me of the metal weapons in Men In Black, almost as if it were reverse-engineered from some alien technology. Sure I am glamorizing my iPod, but I bought the black and red U2 edition, and even the "cheap" plastic front looks very nice in its ebony glory with that red diskwheel suspended like the rising sun.

But fret not, OSC. I am still a huge fan, and usually agree with you. I won't even send any hate-email saying how much better Apple is than its rivals. But I will say that there are many hundreds of thousands of people out there that are very satisfied with their iPods, and are nothing close to the Apple-egotists that you have been hounded by. [Wink]

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Pixie
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I take it now would not be the time to mention that I'm almost 100% certain I'll be getting a Powerbook in a few weeks here for college? [Big Grin]

The way I look at it is that I don't know a lot about computer technology and, that being the case, I'm taking the word of my school and Consumer Report for both recommending it. The only thing that potentially irks me is that its battery only lasts for 2 hours. That and if anybody else has anti-Apple sentiments, please feel free to point out alternatives - I'm still open to other options, but I just haven't the least idea what's out there or how to interpret the information on what is.

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Alucard...
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Hey, I have a killer 17-inch HP laptop, and my battery lasts about 75 minutes. But I have no experience with Apple Powerbooks whatsoever, mainly because I also use my laptop for LAN gaming and other PC games, which makes Apple a no-go since the games are PC-only...
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Portabello
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What is this, half a dozen different threads started by people annoyed by that article?
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Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged
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There are like three threads about this on the other side...
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Portabello:
What is this, half a dozen different threads started by people annoyed by that article?

Nah. This is only the fourth.

*laugh* People are getting more worked up about this then That Other Article.

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fugu13
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*snort*

I'm sorry, but I just had to laugh. The silly misconceptions he has about OS X amuse me greatly. I don't think its in any absolute sense better than windows (or Linux, or most any other OS), but I do think its better for me.

And more relevantly in this case, its rather unlike how he mistakenly characterizes it. I can create any keyboard shortcut I like, thank you very much, and the default in OS X comes with a whole host of very useful ones -- and my network configuration makes sense (and I do have the expertise to back that one up, I've guided literally thousands of people through configuring it between the two platforms, mainly on windows).

Oh, I think any company would be ecstatic to, ah, misdesign something to such a degree that it rockets to dominance in a highly competitive market and maintains that dominance for years.

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Alucard...
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The other side? Hah! As if Hatrack's world were flat! That's a laugh! That's why I never go there...

Wait a second, you mean like the other side of the river? Oh, well that is possible, I suppose. Sorry, but I have been at work all day, and I still am here, and I am burned out.

Now I wish I would have just posted on one of the cooler threads on the other side. Call it peer pressure...

[Roll Eyes]

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Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged
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Mr. Card should turn his articles into a book. The outrage alone would make it a top seller.
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Alucard...
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Wow, your name reminds me of a Willy Wonka candy I have not yet had...

But I like it! :-)

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Tstorm
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Mr. Card may dislike the iPod, but the numbers speak for themselves. It's the #1 MP3 player in units sold. It's also paired with the #1 legal music download source.

Rant and rave all you want, either way, it's a notable accomplishment by Apple.

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Portabello
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If it's popular, it must be good!
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fugu13
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Nope, but with highly commoditized consumer goods its usually a pretty decent indicator.
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rivka
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Really? One word: Betamax.
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fugu13
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Ah, except that in the qualities the public was looking for, betamax wasn't superior.

In the qualities certain other venues were, it was (and is), so its still in use in some places (tv studios, notably).

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Sopwith
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For a long time, Apple has taken cliquishness and proclaimed it as innovation. They've been doing it since the original MacIntosh, which was a groundbreaker, but found itself behind the curve once MS-DOS platforms started becoming more commonplace.

Apple users are very loyal and Apple products do work quite well. But it is like having a Maserati in a world of Fords. Sure the Maserati is snazzy and runs like a top most of the time, but it doesn't have the marketplace presence that a Ford does. If you want to customize the Ford, no problem, there are a hundred outlets for it. If something breaks down, your local mechanic can do the work, no specialist needed.

The Ford owner will just get in their vehicle and head on down the street. The Maserati owner will put on their deerskin gloves and driving moccasins, wrap a scarf jauntily around their neck and motor on their merry way, smug and warm in their nice niche vehicle.

Whatever floats your boat.

Me, I've used both extensively, and I'm sticking to PCs and the monolithic Microsoft. Heck, it works and if I want software there's a huge marketplace I can shop from.

Otherwise, I'd just be stuck shopping at the company store.

Edit to add: I do love iTunes, it's nice to be able to pay artists for the work they do and get your music the right way.

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Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged
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Apple is the new Sony
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Lyrhawn
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It might be irrelevant anyway. Bill Gates said that in the next decade MP3 players won't really exist anymore, everyone will use their phones as portable MP3 players.

Either way, I've had three or four PCs in my life. They have never crashed ONCE, and that goes back to Windows 3.1 for me.

The only problems I ever have come from Spyware, and that's more likely because I'm stubborn and hate change, and regardless of what all my friends tell me I won't switch to Firefox.

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fugu13
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Sopwith: its interesting, but the software argument has never worked very persuasively in my case. While there's more software available for the PC, its not the same software, and I really like my Omnigraffle and Omnioutliner, and my BBEdit and SubEthaEdit, and my Pages . . . and you get the idea.

There are some apps that are close to these apps from a rough list of features on windows, but none that nearly match them in combination of features and quality.

Of course, I'm just used to these apps on OS X. Windows has its own set of apps that there're no ready equivalents for on OS X, and its likely larger. However, its not at all that Windows apps are a superset of OS X apps.

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Megan
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See, I've been working with a mac as a research assistant, and I like it well enough...and I see the draw, I understand it...but the clique-ish, superior attitude of a lot of mac people (plus the expense) would keep me from actually becoming a customer.

As far as everyday usability, I really don't see a huge difference.

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Ryuko
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quote:
If they decided to bottle air and sell it, calling it, no doubt, "PowerAir" or "AirMac" or "AirPod," they'd claim that they had invented air.
Psh. Silly OSC. They'd call it iAir! DER.

But I get where he's coming from, to some extent. I don't know any super-loyal mac fans, but all the hype around iPods made me wonder how they differed from the MP3 players I coveted...

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fugu13
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Megan: of course, OSC has handily demonstrated for us that Windows users never have a superior attitude [Wink]
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IdemosthenesI
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http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2003-05-28&res=l

hehehehe. That is all.

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fugu13
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Y'know, I believe the penny arcade guys have ipods now (the real life ones).
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Dagonee
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The only program I've heard of that the Mac has that has made me consider going through the trouble of getting one is Garage Band.
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fugu13
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Yes, that one's nice too. iPhoto and iMovie as well.
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rivka
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[ROFL]

Yep, it's true. They really are taking over.

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advice for robots
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I like my Mac. And there really is a sense of being part of the elite when you use a Mac. Maybe it's because you have to be self-sufficient. My department runs on Macs, and the whole rest of the company runs on PCs. We have our own Mac gurus in the department, because the IT help desk has no clue how to support Macs.

It's that feeling you get when you run something like Photoshop on your Mac. You think, "Yeah, this is the machine this program was made for." It's subtle, but it's there.

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Shanna
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I have an ipod. I love it. It never leaves my side. I think its pretty, the scroll wheel is incredible, and mine hold pictures too.

I can't praise the itunes software enough. The organization in the library is the best I've seen (compared to windows media, realplayer, winamp, etc.)

My best friend from high school is a musician studying at Berklee. Her mac laptop does things my windows-powered dell couldn't without alot of extra upgrades and purchased software. Even then, the entire interface is built for someone like her.

I don't know about all the windows love. My laptop has crashed multiple times in the last two years. Course, that could be the nightmare that is Dell prodution. hard to tell.

You find the same elistists in the Windows world as you find in Apple market.

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Alcon
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I'm fairly hard on my computers. I have both a mac iBook 800mhz and an eMachines P4 2.8 Ghz that I use for gaming. While I crash applications on my mac fairly regularly, I've crashed the entire system (and had to reboot the computer) only 3 or 4 times on Os X and I've had it for over two and a half years. I used to do it weekly on Os 8 and 9 and on Windows Xp I still crash it monthly at the least and I don't even use that machine for anything save playing computer games.

I'm a MUD administrator, and I run my MUD from an old mac. A 6 year old iMac 333 mhz to be precise. I managed to install OS X on it and it runs like a charm. The fact that Os X has a unix base and therefore access to almost all of the unix software out there makes it 5x better than windows for me, and completely solves the lack of software problem. I do all my MUD coding and testing on my iBook, and I've crashed the MUD many many times, but its never taken the machine with it. I've had some pretty viscious memory bugs in it, the kind that would send an a windows machine reelling, but my Mac was able to take it.

Also, there really isn't a lack of non-unix software for macs either. Free software at that. You just look at the apple website under downloads and you can find a fairly decent freeware version of just about anything you could need. Here, see for yourself: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/apple/.

As for being made of cheap plastic. OSC... What the hell are you talking about? Not to be rude or anything, but why don't you try LEARNING something about them before ripping them like that. My iBook is made of metal, magnesium metal. And its sturdily built at that. I've taken this thing all over the place with me, it switches houses once a week with me and travels a ton. Its been dropped several times. There's not a dent on it. And it still runs like a charm.

The newer apple iBook is made of polycarbonate plastic with an aluminum frame. Sorry OSC, but polycarbonate is harldy cheap plastic.

quote:
The iBook was designed with durability in mind, using ultratough polycarbonate plastic — the same material used in bulletproof glass — with an internal magnesium frame for added strength.
Most of the Apple desktops are made of anodized aluminum, as is the apple powerbook. The only exception I could find being the eMac, which is based on the old iMac design.

As for PCs with sleek design... *sigh* OSC some are and some aren't. The cases vary a whole ton. Yes you CAN get a PC with a nice aluminium case, but more often than not the PCs are also made of nothing but cheap, crappy looking plastic.

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Nato
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I think Apple does have a market that they are the best choice for.

I don't think I'm it. I don't use any Apple products, mostly because they're much more expensive than I can afford. I don't use iTunes (except rarely, and I don't let it organize my music) because I can't afford to use the amount of system resources that it demands. Also, I don't need a media player that can rip, burn, download/purchase,

Instead, I've assembled a collection of Windows programs, freeware and otherwise, that each perform specific tasks very well. My CD-ripping/encoding program (EAC) produces high-quality files, my organizing/tagging program (Tag&Rename) is very high-powered and customizable, my media player (Foobar2000) has a steep learning curve, but it uses very little resources and is very extensible (it can even interface with the ipod I don't have!). My burning program (Nero) works great.

The targeted Apple user isn't going for this sort of over-the-top functionality. For them, the simple product that can do everything works just fine. And they're willing to pay a premium for it.

I also disagree with OSC's assessment of Apple's parts. They've always been strong and reliable for me and my friends.
quote:
I'm fairly hard on my computers. I have both a mac iBook 800mhz and an eMachines P4 2.8 Ghz that I use for gaming.
I wouldn't really put an eMachines up as the pinnacle of PC performance and stability. Those are notoriously terrible computers. PCs are perfectly capable of running for months at a time.

I think the bottom line is that if you buy a Mac, you can get a nice, stable product that is high-quality and stylish at the same time. But you can get a comparable PC for half the price.

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Alcon
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quote:
quote:I'm fairly hard on my computers. I have both a mac iBook 800mhz and an eMachines P4 2.8 Ghz that I use for gaming.

I wouldn't really put an eMachines up as the pinnacle of PC performance and stability. Those are notoriously terrible computers. PCs are perfectly capable of running for months at a time.

I don't. Just pointing out that I have used both. And it wasn't hardware difficulty that crashed the machine, it was software. Windows. Indeed Pcs are capable of running for months at a time, but it depends on what you do on them. Any machine is capable of running forever as long as you don't do anything on it. I do far less on my PC than I do on my mac... yet it crashes more. Not only that, my mac is an older, slower machine and a laptop vs a desktop. Yet it still out performs the windows machine save in the instance of gaming. And that's only cause its too old to handle most of the games I play.
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mimsies
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I really love the todo list ap written for OSX called Slacker

AAAAH! A thing of beauty!

Slacker

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Alucard...
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I think if I were serious enough about music, I would love an Apple Powerbook or a G5 (?? or is it still the G4??? The time phase variance from the last warp has yet to calibrate). I too must second the coolness of Garage Band software. Anyone who is serious about recording is best paired with a Mac, as are other niche users, like CG artists, magazine editors etc...

The last Mac I owned was around 1990 and it was an LCII. It boasted 4 Megs of RAM and a 40 Meg harddrive. At the time, it rocked, and reminds me of a quote:

Windows 95 is like Mac 84

I really didn't convert over to a PC until Microsoft had released Win95, which made a huge impact on internet connectivity and PC gaming. Gone are the days of only being able to internet-connect to America Online with my Mac (interent pics [GIFs] were too large for my feelbe Mac to download with any efficiency) and play sim-Star Trek in a chat room. Gosh, I was SO wierd back then...

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Alucard...
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On a typical day, I will jack in my iPod into a shelf stereo I keep at work, and play it while it charges for the day. I might also do the same with my laptop, make a playlist or two from iTunes, and sync it with my iPod before I leave. I then take a Monster Cable that plugs into the headphone jack, with the other end of the cable being red and white RCA plugs. I have a DVD player in my car, and I can hook my iPod through there very easily with the red and white jacks for the auxillary port. I can then jam my iPod wherever I am driving.

I also jack my iPod into my very nice stereo the same way at home and try to play along with whatever I am trying to learn on my guitar.

NOTE: For any iPod users, you must consider getting an iSkin!

http://www.iskin.com/

I never take mine off, and the nice rubber texture of the skin makes gripping your iPod much easier, giving you a sense of security as well (extra padding too). Gone are the days of panicking that I might have scratched my poor iPod once again.

My iSkin came with the rubber cover, a wheekdisk cover, a face plate cover, and a little plastic carrying case (cheap) with a belt clip. Basically, my iPod is covered all the way around, and, again, I never take the darned thing off (One of my friends takes his off periodically and rinses it under water and mild soap to clean it and get the fuzzies off...).

Watch out for the lighter or white-colored covers. My friend has the "Ghost" model, which glows in the dark. It is very cool at night in the car for example, but gets dirty very easily...

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Megan
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fugu, I'm not saying it doesn't happen; I'm just saying I think it might be reactionary--and let's not forget that OSC is a guy with a lot of very strong opinions who tends to state them very forcefully. I can't count the number of times I've had a mac person brag on their, uh, equipment to me when I haven't engaged in any kind of discussion at all. My current supervisor, much as I like the guy, is a good example. I'm comfortable on both platforms (though if it has to be a mac, I'd rather it be OSX), and I've never ragged on macs in front of him (and hardly ever at all), but he STILL feels the need to spend time telling me how VERY superior macs are to PCs. While I think OSC may have taken it to the stage of a rant, I do see where his point is coming from. I think diehard mac users tend to be a little snooty about their favorite products (fanboys, as it were). Regardless of whether it's justified, that attitude turns me off.

As I said earlier, in terms of everyday usability, I don't see large differences between Windows XP and OSX. But, like I told you before, when something is trendy and popular, my first impulse, unless I see a VERY good reason, is to resist it.

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fugu13
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I was mostly just enjoying the situational humor [Razz]

I've met all types on both platforms, though there are tendencies to certain kinds of arrogance on both, due to what each is reacting to. PC users tend towards "superiority of the majority"-type affectations, while mac users tend towards "superiority of the minority"-type affectations, commonly churlishness in the former case and snobbishness in the latter.

Most mac users I know, though, just like most PC users, while they may think their platform is better, don't think that's an objective or absolute assessment -- its just what they like, which is fine, on both sides.

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Megan
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Fair enough. [Razz]

(I was also looking for an excuse to use the phrase "bragging on their equipment," cause that's just the kind of gal I am. [Big Grin] )

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HesterGray
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I use iTunes on my PC. That's normal, right?

I don't have an iPod or an mp3 player, and as of now, I don't have a burning desire to spend so much money on one.

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Megan
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:

Most mac users I know, though, just like most PC users, while they may think their platform is better, don't think that's an objective or absolute assessment -- its just what they like, which is fine, on both sides.

I dunno about this, though...most mac users I know not only believe that their platform is better, but behave as if, if ONLY we poor misguided windows users knew better, we would think their platform was far superior, as well...and maybe, deep within our heart of hearts, we already KNOW that the mac platform is superior, and we're just being pigheaded. [Wink]
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fugu13
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No, I'd bet those are mostly just the mac users you notice [Smile]
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Megan
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Now, that might be true, except for the fact that I work in the computer labs and see all kinds of users of both platforms on a daily basis. I've also worked in a computer lab for 8 years, so I've seen all kinds and all progressions through various forms of both windows and mac platforms.
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Megan
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This may end up being a double post, but I do have to add, in all fairness, that the G5 that I'm working on as a research assistant is nice enough to almost draw me in, were it not for the attitude and the expense. I definitely see the draw; it's very seductive.

That just makes me resist all the more, though. [Big Grin]

*is really quite contrary, all things considered*

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
No, I'd bet those are mostly just the mac users you notice [Smile]

I sure notice a lot of them, though. [Smile] Also, I've never noticed the same attitude from PC users.
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Altril of Dorthonion
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Apple sucks big time.
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fugu13
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As I said, JB, the attitudes from PC users tend to be different in nature.
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Traveler
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I've been very anti-mac...but I must confess I find alot of the new Apple products rather sexy. They are stylish and very attractive. PC manufacturers could learn a thing or two from Apple.

I've also become a proud Ipod owner...my new shiny 30 gb Iphoto is always near. I absolutely love it. I have had no troubles at all with Itunes on my home pc...everything works perfectly.

I no longer have to haul my large folder of cds on car trips...I just tune in to the station I have set with my ITrip attachment. Very slick. I also have a dock with speakers at work and home. Very very nice.

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mimsies
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*SNORT* People will find ANY reason to characterize another group of people negativel;y won't they?

"Mac users do this... Mac users say this... Blah blah blah."

Aftrer Exploding Monkey's thread on the other side, this thread is just depressing.

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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
No, I'd bet those are mostly just the mac users you notice [Smile]

I sure notice a lot of them, though. [Smile] Also, I've never noticed the same attitude from PC users.
The equivalent PC user attitude pretty much boils down to "Macs suck," and its variants "MACs suck," "Macs sux0r," and so forth. No technical knowledge required, just like with the Mac user attitude you're talking about. You notice the latter because you're a PC user and in the vast majority; I notice the former because I'm a Mac user and in the tiny minority.

Both are lame. Penny Arcade's "Aromatic" strip ("I use a Mac because I'm just better than you are") is my favourite comic of theirs ever. [Big Grin] (Possibly because the people it's about wouldn't get it. [Wink] )

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sarcasticmuppet
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I went through a phase where I wanted an ibook like nothing else, but I'm mostly over it. What it comes down to for me is the fact that I've spent most of my life using a PC and Windows, and I'll simply continue to do so. It's what I'm used to. For others, what they are used to is Mac, and that's okay. I doubt there's really one better than another, they're just different.

Can't we all just get along?

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