Fine print makes me angry...

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Poeben, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2004
    So I received a Dell catalog in the mail the other day. On the front cover was an ad for their portable music player. In big, bold letters it claimed to be "better than the iPod mini" with "25% longer battery life" and "holds more than 2x as many songs." Hmmm, I thought, how can thier 5GB music player hold 2x more songs than the 4GB iPod mini?

    Well, you guessed it (see the fine print). They use 64kbps WMA encoding for thier baseline while Apple uses 128kps AAC. Is it really at all fair to compare the two in that way? If I had an iPod I could store 2x as many as the Dell by using a 32kbps encoding. Maybe the average Dell user should encode everything at 2kbps so they can brag thier media player can hold 64 times more than the iPod mini.

  2. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Welcome to Dell.

    I hate the fine print, too. I always expect to find this for some reason: "The computer doesn't really come with a hard drive or a 1GB RAM stick. Just a rock and something black and gooey."

    Hey, its legal...
  3. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Mar 19, 2004
    A series of tubes
    Do the decent thing and throw that catalog into a fireplace at once!
  4. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    It's the way of the world .... Sony released their NW-HD1 Network Walkman saying that compared to the iPods then model holding 5,000, theirs would hold "up to 13,000 four-minute songs."....

    ... that's right, the fine print had the "songs recorded at 48 kilobits per second." YOIKS! :eek:

    48kbps is what a barrel half full of gravel rolling down a steep metal hill being chased by a rabid pack of hyenas sounds like.
  5. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Agree 100%

    I honestly see nothing wrong with ads that do side by side comparison, but by the same token it's patently dishonest to deliberately compare apples and oranges (pun intended) instead of apples vs apples.

    Companies choose this stategy/gimmick in order to deliberately mislead (in other words lie to) the consumer.

    I think the law should be changed so that all comparison ads are banned unless 1) they both use the same specs 2) are compared under identical circumstances etc.
  6. evoluzione macrumors 68010


    Jul 19, 2002
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    same **** happens with food too. so many things say "fat free" but are full of sugar. much worse than that though is when they have high fructose corn syrup, that stuff'll kill ya, literally
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Agreed. It's false advertising to say that the Dell holds twice as many songs. That's simply untrue. An iPod would hold just as many low-quality songs (well, 4/5 as many). I also have no problem with comparative advertising, just blatant lies.

    I don't think it's that good - I'm pretty sure you need to move up to 64kbps to get that kind of quality.
    Agreed. Once I stopped eating "fat free" foods (the fat free versions of normally fatty foods, not naturally fat-free items or stuff where the fat was just removed, like fat-free milk), I started losing weight. Funny how the more diet food you see out there, the fatter people get. If some virus would come along and have the sole effect of making it impossible to product high-fructose corn syrup, our health crisis would be substantially reduced.
  8. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    I encoded a song at the lowest possible in iTunes. It was soooo garbled... yow.... Dell has some explaining to do...
  9. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    Its funny, pay close attention to the serving size on regular cookies and then "diet cookies." I think with Oreos the serving size was like 3 cookies and some diet brand it was 1 cookie! And if you ate 3 of those cookies you ended up getting 2x the calories of the Oreos.

    I think the diet cookie was Snackwells, I'm not sure though.
  10. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Dell seems to be very successful with their ads. The sad thing is that most consumers aren't as savvy as you guys and won't realize that there is not a real comparison between the two. :(
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Wait, you mean advertisers will actually misrepresent the truth to me to get me to buy their product? I'm shocked I tell you. Shocked and appalled.

    I'm going to get a case of Budweiser on my way home and there BETTER be hot women partying at my house when I get there. In bikinis.
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I'm pretty sure you're a bit confused. I think you're just supposed to show up at your house to find the Budweiser and the bikini-clad women already there. Or maybe you buy the Bud, go to work, and come back to find the women. Ads are so confusing. Oh well, I guess I need to go to the liquor store to find out. Either they'll be here when I get back, or they'll be here after I've left the Bud and went back out. I'll report back. Once I'm rested.
  13. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    What if you need to... uh.. "borrow" an I.D. to buy it? ;)
  14. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Don't take my high fructose corn syrup, I live off that stuff man.
  15. Drgnhntr macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2004
    San Diego
    If someone sued because a 40GB hard drive was really 38, why can't people sue for this sort of thing? I am not talking about suing for damages, but just to change how companies use advertising. There needs to not be any fine print. They should be forced to present their product as is.
  16. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004

    And notice the giant disclaimers saying that it is a 40GB drive BEFORE FORMATTING. Always there, just so small you can't read it. :rolleyes:

    Sad but true. And the fine print is there so that they are not sued by someone who says, "I dropped the coffee in my lap and burned myself. You bastards never told me it was hot. I'm suing now..."
  17. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    It doesn't matter how much it holds. Not to the consumer market they're trying to tap, the 96% (or whatever) of people that don't have MP3 players... They'll overwhelmingly go to the player that has the biggest mindshare. Of course, the iPod. There have always been tape-players and cd-players better than the Walkman and Discman, but Sony grabbed the mindshare early, and they remained a major seller.


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