Discussion in 'News' started by D_o_S, Jul 12, 2006.
According to Engadget, Microsoft's iPod competitor should look something like this:
Looks pretty ugly to me...
it just screams "hey look at me!! im a music player not a pda i swear!!"
those pics... the second one looks like chucky's wife...i wouldnt buy this if my life depended on it... im scared now
If it's cheaper than Ipods I'm all for them.
I Don't Know, This Could Be a Good Thing...
Mac has been enjoying market dominance for quite some time with its iPod. I personally don't like how they lock you into their products.
For instance, try to download a song from the internet to your iPod using any software other than iTunes. GOOD LUCK.
Try also to use your iTunes purchased songs an any other media player. Some work/some don't. GOOD LUCK.
Try also to plug your iPod into your car stereo using a generic iPod adapter rather than an adapter purchased at a Mac store and keep ALL your iPod functionality. GOOD LUCK.
On top of all this, Apple wants to pass DRM laws to further lock consumers into their products. I would rather give myself a swirly than give Steve Jobs any more of my money. He only wants to use it to further indoctrinate me into the world of Mac. Call me stupid, but I like my freedom of choice!
If the Microsoft player can be used with one hand (like the iPod) and supports multiple codecs (ogg, wav, mp3, mp4, divx, wmv, mpg), without making me pay for music I already purchased just so I can play it on my media player, i'de toss my iPod into a wheel barrow and push it off a cliff.
Who cares about estetics when your just going to jam it into a carrier and put it in your pocket? I'll take functionality over smooth and white any day!
Just my rant...
I have an iPod, I have never used iTunes, and don't plan to... There is plenty of choice as to where music comes from, it just has to be LC-AAC or MP3 to work... There are loads of converters...
If you have even half a brain it is easy to get rid of the DRM on iTunes music...
I got a generic one from Hong Kong via eBay, it works flawlessly...
The iPod is where it is today because it best meets the criteria of the common user in comparison to other players... Macs can be very useful, and it is a platform I respect, they may be glorified PCs, but you no longer pay the premium you once had to to own one... (I own a Macbook Pro, and shall not be returning to a hopeless Windows laptop any time soon).
If... MS are just as greedy as Mac... Maybe more so. They will likely lock you into WMA above all others... However, this is not bad, since WMA is probably the best codec out there (other than mathematically lossless codecs).
Spelt aesthetics... Anyway, many people do care... I would not buy an ugly MP3 player, no more than I would buy an ugly PC, TV or other appliance (discounting my SP4805...). Persuing ugliness is against human nature...
Thanks for your opinion.
I am glad you brought these issues up. If Apple has its way, you could be facing jail time for using "converters". See its ok to encode a song. It’s illegal to decode it. So breaking Apples DRM is illegal. Apple wants to make the consequence the same as decoding a DVD.
I have my reservations that your generic adapter allows you to use all of your iPod functionality from your head unit. As a general rule my statement still stands. Most don’t.
I use a Macbook Pro also; however, I recognize its limitations. I also use many Windows platforms on a daily basis. So I wouldn’t call a Windows environment hopeless by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of a fact, Windows XP runs faster on my Duo than Mac OS X. Plus I get to play all my games as an added bonus.
Microsoft, more than any other corporation recognizes the freedoms that people want in their consumer electronics. If you were to take the time to read many of the white-papers that Microsoft releases to us in their Microsoft Partner program, you would grow to appreciate the lengths that they go to in an effort to ensure that they can please the greatest number of consumers; thereby gaining market dominance.
I am not trying to come off like a MS supporter, I am simply stating the facts. I would encourage you to investigate my claims for yourself instead of simply buying into the marketing ploys of the manufacturers and making bold blanket statements about them and their intents.
As far as looks, I appreciate your opinion, but I still hold to my own. I will take functionality over aesthetics (thanks for catching that one) any day.
I too use mostly Windows computers, which is the reason I find the Mac such a pleasing escape. Sure, OSX just like Linux, has its limitations, however in what I do with my Mac I don't find myself restricted. And I don't find my Macbook Pro slow at all - ever! (thank you Intel )
As for the iTunes argument, I really don't care about the petty legality of what I do with my music, or my DVD's for that matter. I paid for it, therefore I own it - and as the UK government have now said, people like me wont be touched by the outstretched arm of the law...
And as for iTunes itself, like I said, you don't have to use it - you do have a choice!
Lastly, if you really think MS don't want to lock people into their formats then you need to rethink - they are as guilty as any other!
For instance, my Xbox 360 and media center happily share WMV files, they play fine on both... However, if I try DivX, or Nero Digital or another h.264 variant it's a no-go... Not because the 360 can't, but because MS wont let it...
BTW, I build PC's for a living, I do read a lot of white papers from all kinds of people, and I don't get sucked in by any marketing bull - numbers, and testing are what I look for in most cases.
I have "tested" my iPod myself, and cannot fault it for the most part.... The Creative Zen I used, on the other hand, is a clunky piece of junk.
Microsoft is no different than any other business...
LOL, agreed! the Zen is crap... I had a buddy who bought one, and I talked him into an iPod after he used mine for just a few minutes.
I guess being in England you would be exempt from the US legislature. In the US, you don’t own the music, you own the CD it came on. The music is still owned by the people who registered/copyrighted it. I can’t speak to British law, but in the US, it appears to be a different story.
Reading the white papers is really the best way to evaluate the intention of the manufacturer. Since DivX is a ‘hacked’ codec, Microsoft felt that adding it to the list of supported Xbox codec’s would be troublesome; therefore, Microsoft felt it would be better to add codec’s such as DivX as updates, which of coarse it hasn’t gotten around to… While fishy, you have to agree with the approach. After all Microsoft was rolling out a console to many different demographics simultaneously. Keeping it simple streamlined the production and cut the cost of manufacturing quite a bit. It’s not that they won’t let it; it’s about making a successful rollout of a product that consumers have been chomping at the bit for in a timely manner with the least amount of resistance.
It’s a big business really, think about it. The consumers beat on the manufacturers for a product, but they want it perfect. Perfect takes time, so the manufacturers cut requirements to meet deadlines so the consumers will be happy. It’s a business. Good manufacturers put hooks into the product so enhancements can be added later (Plug-ins). Then roll out the enhancements at a later date once they have had the time to properly develop the plug-in.
I am a .NET developer (my end users are my government’s military). I fully understand why manufacturers say “pass” on third party codec’s/plug-ins because they are almost never finalized and can cause any number of headaches when trying to support an application or platform that has been rolled out to millions of people in hundreds of thousands of demographics across the world.
The bottom line is that manufacturers need to do their homework up front and then create a means to accomplish their goals in a timely manner. The consumer gets whatever they can bulletproof in the time that they have. It’s just a business. Sometimes it’s better to play it conservative.
DivX is not a hacked codec. It is a high quality h.263 codec... In my testing, h.263 is as good as h.264 above around 4.5mbps for 720p HD content... And it is not that I am complaining that MS don't add the codec to the Xbox ( which wouldn't be hard or expensive), but they actually disable MCE on your PC to play it back when you stream to the 360... In this instance this is obviously a deliberate blocking measure, since the video is already decoded by the PC.
Oh and I don't hate MS, I much prefer them to most - Mac included. And I have nothing but respect for the Xbox franchise. I only really hate one company, Sony... And we all know why.
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