Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Thursday, April 6, 2006

You Actually Like It?

It’s a long story that I won’t go into, but unfortunately, I had to replace my iPod shuffle. My brother-in-law was in the same boat, so yesterday, we went out and bought the 2 GB iPod nanos.

I’ll start by reiterating that I LOVE the quality of sound I get from my iPods. As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t a better line of MP3 players out there. I also appreciate the nano’s tiny size, yet bright, readable screen.

That said, my brother-in-law and I talked this morning about what we thought of our new toys. We both came to the same conclusion that the interface is, in his words, “horrific!” It is way too prone to fat-fingering, especially for someone with big hands like myself. In trying to press the center button to select something, I accidentally “slide” one off of what I’m trying to select. I’m sure I’ll do this less as time goes on, but still.

Another problem is “blind” control. Because the front is so smooth and is affected just by touching the device, it is difficult to, for instance, adjust the volume while driving. The shuffle was nice in that way because all the controls were “bumped” in a manner that made blind control very easy.

I don’t even know where to begin with iTunes. This software lacks features, is very difficult to use, and automatically makes changes to my computer upon installation that I have to go in and fix. I’m sorry, but QuickTime, installed without choice by iTunes, is a horrible piece of software that I only use because it works properly with MOV files, but sucks as any kind of player. It is also inexcusable that it would run on startup without asking and no way to disable it through their software. Thank God for msconfig.

I’m sure many of you love this software, but this is my opinion and I am finding more and more people who agree with me. I guess it’s a good thing there are choices. Oh, wait, I use AAC. I guess I don’t have any other simple, realistic choices.

» Posted by Queue at 11:36 AM (ET)
Category: Cool Technology, Journal Queue, Rant


I would never argue that iTunes is the best digital jukebox engine available, but I can argue that it’s a lot better than others.

As for the QuickTime thing, I’m going to hold my tongue on the the tray item that auto launches, but I don’t fault Apple for installing QuickTime with iTunes. QuickTime is needed to play all the files iTunes supports. If you don’t want QuickTime, don’t install iTunes (and, ergo, don’t buy an iPod). Maybe I don’t like the software that is used to sync a Rio or a Sony device. Then I shouldn’t buy that device and use their software. Simple as that.

There’s also the matter that I’m on the Mac platform which already works around QuickTime. It’s as much a part of the OS as Internet Explorer is to Windows.

Yes, the iPod interface takes a little getting used to—especially the current style with the clickwheel, but I wouldn’t call it horrific. Then again, I don’t have fat fingers. Suffice to say I can blindly operate it fairly well.

Yes, some of us do love the software. And this is my opinion.

» Posted by Lee Bennett
April 6, 2006 02:56 PM

People are too quick to blame Windows for their computers slowing down. It’s the fault of companies like Apple who think they can install anything to run at startup without the option to turn it off. I shouldn’t have to give up using the best sounding MP3 player on the market just because I don’t like their installation practices. At least I know how to disable it through Windows.

The difference with Rio or Sony is that (I think) you don’t have to use their software. With an iPod, iTunes is your only real choice other than something hacked together.

My point with the navigation is that it is not the intuitive interface the reviews made it out to be. It takes getting used to, just like any other well-designed, complex interface.

» Posted by Queue
April 6, 2006 03:27 PM

Sorry, due to comment spam abuse, new comments on this entry are closed until I find time to upgrade Movable Type and enable registration and moderation.