Monday, April 10, 2006

Response to the Mac Hater

Here's what I wrote my brother, in response to his rant about iPod trendiness...

"Dear Mac Hater,

The iPod is the standard to beat. Accept it. Its interface is overall the best - SORRY! There are some features that could be better, like battery life and lack of FM tuner, no recorder, or even high price. But frankly the iPod provides the best overall user experience. Sorry, but it's true.

But the iPod itself (or no particular iPod model) is not the reason iPods are so successful. The reason is ITUNES - not the store or 99 cent downloads - it's the iTunes program. It integrates well with the iPod and is the best program hands-down to manage and organize your music. Yup, it only works with mp3s or Apple's AAC format - but it beats the crap out of anything on Windows or Mac - PERIOD. And it's available for Windows itself.

Has the iPod craze gotten out of hand? Yeah, maybe. There's lots of pointless junk out there, including Apple's new iPod Hi-Fi. And a lot of idiots are buying lots of accessories for it (occasionally, me too). Yet I think it's pretty cool, even though I'm anti-mainstream, because I have a large choice of accessories. Furthermore, it's brought the cost of iPods and accessories down. Better yet, it's brought a stream of revenue to Apple, and increased its Mac sales to levels we've never seen. I'm hoping to benefit, as maybe Apple will get off its collective ass and finally make a decent small mac laptop and other hardware.

It's funny - just the thing you complain about for the iPod, its loads of accessories, is just the thing you Windoze freaks say is so great about Windows (compared to Macs) - "lots of software and compatible hardware options available" - "it's a standard OS everywhere".

Suck it up.

I never bought Apple products just because they were different or for the little guy. I buy them because they *work better*, for the most part, than anything else on the market. The only reason Mac users are rebellious, is because we've had to fight for every millimeter of respect. Hell, I still can't get my school to provide me cheap copies of MS Office for Mac, only Windows.

I could care less if Apple monopolizes the digital music world, because I don't get 90% of my music from them. As long as I can get my files from CDs (or elsewhere) it’s unimportant that Apple is number one. When Apple released a junk iPod (the shuffle) I jumped all over it and refused to have anything to do with it. But as long as Apple makes decent iPods, like the nano and newer full-sized ones, I could care less if they are number one or number 10.

What you don't get is that people don't hate Microsoft because they are number one. They hate them because they are a monopoly that produces a few good products, but lots of buggy ones, and a very flawed, vulnerable operating system that won't even be upgraded in the next year. And maybe by the time Vista comes out (if it ever does), it will be so far behind Linux and Mac OS that even *you* will wake up.

I don't fear Apple's iPod success, unless they stop devoting resources to their computing platform. As for hating bandwagoners, I certainly don't think much of them - just shrug because I was likely using an iPod long before them. I STARTED their bandwagon. When they have a negative impact on what I'm getting, then I'll move on to something else. So far, they aren't bothering me and they make my toys much cheaper and more plentiful.

And as for Apple putting bugs and tracers in their products - PUH-LEEZE. If they ever do that, they'll lose their business - they know that. Even the thought that they *might* do this has made them change a feature in the iTunes store that made suggestions for content, based upon your song library.

And, by the way, if you worry about companies tracing your activities, you'd better look closely at Microsoft software products, and the information they send to Redmond when you install, boot up, or upgrade them.

Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the hardware that runs Windows. The laptops made by Sony, Panasonic and others are superior to what is currently available from Apple, including the new Intel Macs. These have better screens, lighter weight, longer battery life than any Mac. Unfortunately, the MacOS doesn't run on those machines, so I'll stick with Apple products until I have a better option. I also think some music players have better features than iPod models, but again they don't run the iPod interface or anything even close to it. And they don't integrate with iTunes or my Mac, for the most part.

In any case, I think the bandwagon to worry about is the Windows Parade, which is sadly falling behind."

1 comment:

Jason said...

I was totally against the iPod until last summer. I had a Creative Zen Micro (5gb). The audio playback quality was outstanding, but the touch sensitive buttons sucked, and even worse was the proprietary software required to put music on it that couldn't even be used as a maximized window! So I rarely changed music on it. When the headphone jack when crazy, I sold it and got an iPod. I noticed the highly inferior sound quality of the iPod upon the very first note of music I played on it. I was greatly disappointed, but I guess I've gotten used to it. Why I stick with it is ease of use and integration with iTunes (the app) for syncing the numerous podcasts I listen to as well as my calendars. Just plug it in, and usually in less than 2 minutes I'm updated, synced, and ready to go. Oh, and I can fit 95% of my entire music collection on its 30gb hd. There are so few large capacity players (over 20gb) on the market still.