Apple's been telling them all along...

Discussion in 'Community' started by G4scott, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    Austin, TX
    #1
    I couldn't help but laugh when I saw this story on CNN...

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/01/30/unfriendlier.electronics.ap/index.html


    This is why Apple doesn't want to turn the iPod into a PDA or a cell phone, or a movie player...

    Although they do comment on features for cameras, I can see where the line should be drawn...

    Products for purely simple consumers should be as simple as they can be, point and shoot cameras, the iPod, etc. Products for pros, or people who need them should have a good feature set, but should also be easily accessible by the user...

    I love that last line of the article, though, and I think Apple would agree...
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    alset

    Joined:
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    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    #2
    Agreed. Every time two or more unrelated products get merged we end up with a headache or an inferior item that does a half-a**ed job. An example is the PS2 for DVD; it's acceptable, but terrible compared to a $50 dedicated player. What about combo TV/VCR/DVD? All three components are lower quality to keep the price down. As this trend continues to invade the market I predict fewer and fewer solid geek toys, until one day things will bust as the dot-com boom did. I hope.

    I fear the day when more items are lumped together than sold separately.

    Dan
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #3
    I couldn't agree with you more. I like the philosophy of a product doing one thing and doing it very, very well.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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  5. macrumors regular

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    #5
    Poll Time


    Four....
     
  6. Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Whakatane, New Zealand
    #6
    Re: Apple's been telling them all along...

    I think you've done quite well to progress from a being a story to being a person ;)

    Seriously though, the story's right, modern devices are getting far too complicated. Take my first cellphone for example, an Alcatel "One Touch". One touch is right, it's one touch to turn it on, one touch to answer a call, one touch to send a text, etc.

    Example: Sending a text message with my One Touch involved pressing the Text button, entering the message, pressing the OK button, then dialling the number. Simple.

    But my phone eventually broke and I replaced it with an newer Alcatel. To send a text, I now have to press Cancel, then hold the bottom of the OK button and press it up (or is it the other way around?). Then I have to scroll down to Write, then choose New, then type the message, then choose Send To, then choose Dial...

    Our DVD player isn't much better. If I want to fast-forward, I never know whether to push the button with one arrow, or the one with two arrows. Push the wrong one and you've accidentally skipped forward by an entire scene, and you have to find your place again. Oh well, it's difficult to use, but it's a lot more compatible than Apple's DVD player app (I swear I'm going to thump the computer if I see "this disc is not designed for this region" one more time! WinDVD was never this much of a hassle!)

    But I'm getting sidetracked. The article's correct, we need nice simple devices again.
     
  7. macrumors regular

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    #7
    Re: Re: Apple's been telling them all along...


    Funny you should mention that, I have had to watch several movies on my Mac because I couldn't play them in my DVD player. The DVD Player say "this disc is not designed for this region"
     
  8. Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #8
    Ah, the weird and wonderful world of technology :rolleyes:
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    Jan 9, 2002
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    #9
    Re: Re: Apple's been telling them all along...

    I was having one of those "out of body" experiences ;)
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #10
    My dad calls me whenever he plays a DVD in the DVD player I bought them. It's a Samsung and has all the cool features but the remote control has so many buttons and a joystick menu button thing and he's called me with the simplest questions like how to pause it and access the disc menu and stuff. It is pretty crazy, it'd be nice if you spend $250 for a good DVD player that they'd spend the time to research the design of it to make it possible for the average customer to use it.

    And I agree with the cell phone issues. Why is it that a phone with only a few buttons has a 300 page book on how to use it and has two chapters just on how to properly turn it off and on?
     
  11. Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #11
    I just dug out the book for my new phone and realised that they're still calling it a One Touch! It has 96 pages, and page 17 tells you how to make a call, which includes the phrase "bla,bla,bla,bla,bla" :)

    It also looks like the instructions aren't in order. You have to remove the battery before you can insert the SIM card, but the battery removal instructions come after the SIM card installation instructions :rolleyes:

    And I'm not even going to mention what it says about "interrogating the voice mail" :eek:
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #12
    My Samsung Sprint phone has an entire chapter of about 10 pages just on how to set up your voicemail.
     
  13. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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  14. Sol
    macrumors 68000

    Sol

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    Blame the consumer

    I find it very telling that CNN used AAC files not being compatible with WMA players as an example of the 'Babelisation' of technology. Any other American news web-site would have criticised iPods for not being compatible with WMA files and a few have done this allready. I think CNN got it right; after all, most people buy online music in the AAC format.

    If anyone is to blame for hybrid devices it is the consumer. These are the people who made hybrid consoles like the X-Box and the PS2 more successful than the games-only GameCube. These are the people who bought all the MiniDV cameras that featured memory cards for still shots instead of the video-only models. These are also the people who chose a Dell over an iMac because the Dell had several more ports and room for expandability, most of which was never utilised. Now we are seeing WMA players that are also radios, recorders and video players. Who will use all those extra functions? Hardly anyone I guess, but companies will keep making them so long as there are consumers who would choose these products over something like the iPod.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Tampa FL
    #15
    I actually use my Xbox as my DVD player. Works great, and I only need the one box. The difference is it's NOT complicated to do these two things. the Xbox is a device that you put a disk in, and view the content. For games you interact with a controller, for DVDs you just sit back and watch. Plus it outputs in component for my HDTV. I also use it to play CDs.

    The argument of the PS2 not working as a combo unit stands, the DVD output of the PS2 looks like someone rubbed vasaline of the TV screen. so I can see that being a failure.

    You can have good multiple use devices if the:
    uses are similar
    interface does not hinder another
    quality does not suffer
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #16
    I also thought the Xbox did pretty decent DVD playback...until I used a pretty standard stand alone DVD player. The Xbox does a decent job, but you still don't get the best experience as if you had a stand alone unit.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    alset

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    #17
    Re: Blame the consumer

    Agreed, but I'd like to play devil's advocate. I would have bought an XBox that ran games only because I hate combo units and believe in the quality of component systems, but M$ didn't consult me. Manufacturers often don't give us a choice. I refuse to buy a phone with a built in camera, as I think it's pointless, but we'll eventually lose that option, as well. Even the Superdrive, though nice, sacrificed performance for combining features. In a PB, you don't really have an option... But I installed a fast CD-RW drive to complement it, in my tower. Life has been much better, since then.

    Rambling....

    Dan
     
  18. macrumors 601

    stoid

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    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #18
    Re: Blame the consumer

    An incredibly valid point! A friend of mine was arguing that he was better off technologically because rather than having a digital video and a digital picture camera separate like I did, he only had to carry around one device. Then I ask him when the last time was that he had taken a still picture with the camera. He said he doesn't because the picture quality sucks. I guess it's the principle of the thing that matters to people. They don't buy hardware because "I will" they buy because "I can." I think that combo sales will taper off as people realize that when they get their second expensive tech item that they don't need the useless and poorly designed bells and whistles.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Then you didn't compare the xbox DVD via Component out (HDTV and progressive scan) vs any DVD player under $100. I have a DVD player in my house that is about 1 1/2 years old, was $129 when I bought it and only does s-video and composite. The Xbox cost me 179 (plus 20 for the dvd remote) plays great games and has a great picture compared to the DVD player I have. It has a remote that functions exactly like any other DVD player for ease of use. It even has some pretty nice zoom features to expand letterbox films to full screen. Nice if you dont have a 16:9 screen and end up with just a sliver of image on your 4:3 screen with 2/3 or your TV displaying black bars top and bottom.

    (note: I like my widescreen movies, but my 4 year old isn't really impressed. He'd rather have a TV full of star wars space fighters than a directors view)

    My point is, the addition of the DVD didn't degrade the quality of the gaming machine, and didn't hinder the ability to play games or DVDs. In the case of the DVD player, it was a major upgrade for me for $20.

    Now I didn't compare this $20 upgrade vs a $250 true progressive scan player with 3:2 pulldown and all that jazz. And it wasn't my intention. Unlike the addition of a camera to a cell phone, that can be painful to attemp taking a photo, and the resulting image being worse than a regular $99 digital snapshot camera... But then you wouldn't be able to email/send that image right away without that combo device.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    Louisville
    #20
    Re: Re: Blame the consumer

    I couldn't agree more. The .2 megapixel cameras in cell phones are a total scam. Everyone I know who insists that they have one on their phone have used it more than five times. Four snapshots were showing the phone to someone, and the other one was an accidental shot of their finger because they pushed the wrong button.

    My mom isn't allowed to have camera phones at her work for security reasons. Also, at the Perfect Circle concert (awesome) I saw about ten camera phones confiscated.

    Oddly enough, all my friends with camera phones have Dell's too... weird. "If the TV says I need it then I better buy one"
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #21
    Actually, I use the Xbox with the HDtv box, a pair of $100 monster cable components for video, and a $90 monster cable optical cable for audio, and it still doesn't compare, not to mention the Xbox doesn't do true progressive scan video out and it doesn't do beyond standard 5.1 channel surround sound, either. Even to a standard DVD player, it doesn't quite live up. Not only that, but whenever I pause a DVD on the Xbox for more than a few minutes, it freezes and I have to eject and put it back in to work again.

    edit: The Xbox doesn't play all DVDs, either, there are quite a few that after buying, I found out I couldn't play on the Xbox, which is why I had to go out and get a new DVD player anyway and then discovered the difference between my $300 Xbox with the $30 DVD playback kit compared to a $200 stand alone unit that was cheaper and works better in every way.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

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    #22
    OUCH, $330. Like I said. i was comparing a $179 xbox and $20 remote with a $129 DVD player that is over a year old. Sure, your $330 purchase is the same product that I paid $199 for, but I wasn't willing to pay spend that. I waited till the value was right for me.

    I made it clear I was not trying to compare the xbox dvd vs a high end DVD player, I was comparing regular consumer products. Since most DVD players today sell from $40 to $149, I would call a $200 model outside of the range of my comparison.

    My point is, the addition of the DVD didn't degrade the quality of the gaming machine, and didn't hinder the ability to play games or DVDs. In the case of the DVD player, it was a major upgrade for me for $20. Sometimes combo units work, most times they don't.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #23
    Yeah but you don't have to have a high end DVD player to get progressive scan and higher end audio. Even $100 units now have these features built in. I only spent $200 because I liked the clean design and it had all these geek features like 180x FF, 1/100 still frame, and 100x zoom.

    Either way, there is a differences between the two. Even the DVD player using standard connections like composite or s-video looks better than the Xbox using the high end component video. With the Xbox, it gets a bit saturated and it seems to have more artifacts in the video than when using the same movie in a stand alone DVD player. And also, for some reason, I have had issues where when I put a number of DVDs into the Xbox, it tells me it isn't a valid game or DVD format unless I take out the DVD adapter and put it into another controller port. It's weird, like, Daredevil only plays if it is plugged into port 3 and Beauty and the Beast only plays plugged into port 1.
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

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    downtown
    #24
    Re: Apple's been telling them all along...

    If Apple agrees.. then why can't I buy a two button PRO mouse?

    They really need to pull their..... well, let's just say they need a two button bluetooth pro mouse.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #25
    1. New cell phone for Christmas. Manual 184 pages long. Burned up 20 minutes trying to set up voicemail. Played 3 games of blackjack. Tinkered with that voice thing where I say a persons name and it calls, after figuring out that I have to press a button anyway to get it to work. Why do this if I can use speed dial?
    2. VCR. NEVER recorded on it. Use it for movies, and for TV channels. Since we got the Gamecube and the DVD, we run those through the VCR. Did you know with enough adapters, you can get a DVD player, Gamecube and Cable to connect to a TV whose only aux connector is a coax port?:D
    3. Gamecube-play games.
    4. DVD. Use for radio (occasionally), and DVDs. No MP3's, nuthin'. We use the play button, switch disk button (should've gotten a single disk player), pause and stop. Oh, and volume.

    This stuff is too complicated. Next time I shop for this stuff, I will pay more attention to ease of use. Especially since I have to train everybody on how to use it.

    Edit: Microsoft started this. After all, they are the ones who make us press start to turn off our peecee's. :cool:
     

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