[clug] Remember this?

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Mon Nov 10 23:22:10 GMT 2008

On 10/11/2008, at 21:37 , Randall Crook wrote:

> iPhone, iPod, and Vista are examples of this distraction technique...

Here is why the iPod works: Joe Sixpack can buy the iPod, install  
iTunes (or just run it, if he has a Mac), rip his CDs, and get the  
music on the iPod. No need to use arcane folder structures to arrange  
the music, no need to manually drag files around and delete stuff from  
the music player when he doesn't want to listen to it anymore.

There is no other software that makes managing your music library and  
portable music player as easy as iTunes + iPod. Rhythmbox comes close  
on the "iTunes wannabe" list.

Sure, iTunes uses MP3 or AAC which are IP encumbered. Sure, the  
software is closed so we can't go tweak iTunes the way we want it. In  
the meantime, Apple has set the bar for seamless integration of music  
import/export/library management and music player loading. *That* is  
what we can learn and usefully apply from the Apple software.

> Look, Look, sparkly things.... Oh don't worry about the fact that  
> there are much better things out there.... Look at the pretties.

I have a Mac, I use iTunes, and I have an iPhone. They all do the job  
I want them to do, and I don't have to spend half my life maintaining  
them. I don't have to reinstall video card drivers every week to stop  
the OS bluescreening on me. I don't have to reconfigure parts of the  
operating system I don't care about just so I can get back to browsing  
the web after an X Windows System update.

I still use Linux - it's over there on the router and over there on  
the file server. It works nicely there - better than the crap the  
router originally came installed with, better than the other OS that  
came preinstalled on that PC that is now my file server.

It's not about being shiny and sparkly and pretty. It's about iTunes  
doing what I want - ripping tracks from CDs to my digital music  
library, and arranging collections of that music to load onto my music  
player (and saving me from the burden of organising all those files by  
hand). It's about the iPod being good at doing its job without getting  
in the way with a million different configuration options - I can rate  
songs while I listen to them, when I skip songs the iPod records how  
many times I've skipped them, and all the while it makes this stuff  
easy. When I get back to my Mac, that information comes back into  
iTunes so I can make decisions about keep/cull/re-rip of tracks that I  

Have any of you experienced the UI of a late-90s Motorola phone? Those  
things were horrible! To send text messages, you'd have to go into a  
menu about three deep. Then to read messages, you'd go somewhere else  
in the menu system. Press the wrong button and you end up aborting the  
SMS instead of sending it, with no confirmation of what just happened.  
The device felt like it was designed specifically to make life  
difficult for the user. There are lessons to be learned there.

Rather than complaining that the popular products are too shiny and  
pretty, look at what else makes them so desirable - it's not just that  
they're pretty and expensive. Sometimes it's because they happen to be  
easy to use for their intended purpose, and they happen to be good at  
doing what they're designed to do. There are lessons to be learned  


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