Sunday, January 22, 2006

Maybe I'll just go and switch to

Ok, so shoot me. I tried it, after at least two years of hype, the monochromatic commercials, the press, the DRM debates. As I speak now, I see it on the television (go Seahawks!) as a 20 second spot, strangely enough, adjacent to a competitor's ad. The "thing" is the iPod. The "service" is iTunes. And yours truly is now a member.

It wasn't an impulse event, no, that isn't really my style. I have always been on the purist side of the fence. I say, go buy the CD, then you have it, and nobody can take it away. As long as you don't damage the original or sell it, it's yours. And you also don't have to read the news every morning to find out if you will be getting sued for what you listen to. Now I can live with a shelf that holds my compact disks. Remember what that looked like? It's very refreshing.

Well, my foray into the world of Apple was triggered by their recent contract with NBC to show the Office as a download for $1.99 the day after the original airing. This is great, I was thinking, until I saw the quality of the video. Strike one. It is also stored in a proprietary format, and as I have learned, locked into the computer that you buy it on. Strike two. This sucks, frankly. I happened to buy my first episode before heading on over to a friend's house, and I expected to be able to download it over there. Well, simply, this was not the case. I got this message, letting me know that all "media has been downloaded on this account." If they aren't going to service my account, in direct contradiction to the five computer limit that is clearly noted on the website, then what is the point of charging? Upon further research, the computers must be networked to each other. What a joke.

So, I seriously doubt that I will be using iTunes to get my television fix. And it reinforces to us consumers the thinly veiled effort to sell more physical playback units. Furthermore, there is an attempt to create the Podcast as a standard, it seems. I, for one, hope to see either some HDTV format or an open source encoding (like Xvid) to be the new way to download. Unfortunately the google video codec and the .mov encoding are the leaders right now. VERY lossy.

And now, as if I didn't already have it on my mind, right here in my football game (ironic in that Paul Allen raised the team flag before the Seahawks game - the one where they make the Super Bowl for the first time ever) I see an ad that bemoans the "boring" tasks that Intel processors have completed over the years, and their subsequent liberation in Apple computers. The task that they now whittle at? Displaying the macintosh logo in one color. Gotta get me one!
It ranks right up there with other "because we can" moves. Look at the treadmill software at the gym that makes broad assumptions about my desire to run up a hill, through the woods, or to burn exactly 274.3 calories. Obviously, this is great knowledge to have. If only I could have it texted to my phone along with the menu items that I can choose from at Panera for lunch. Bonus points for using GPS to tell me that I am waiting in the wrong line for orders. What architect is responsible for this? Are you listening Google? If so, can you hear the sarcasm in my post? No?

for(client<>coord_line, client=fatso_@_Ballys, client++)
check location.Panera
compare asagio cheese.calorie
return answer

And so on.

Anyway, the football game is once again (as it was last week) being overshadowed by the commentary on the noise of the crowd, apparently causing every mistep of the visiting Panthers. If this is a product of the angle of seating or something, as I think it may be, imagine the first contest that may be decided by the architecture of the stadium.

Over in the AFC, it is obvious that the steelers are just now escaping the curse of the three rivers concrete donut. The very same phenomenon is also evident also in the success of Seattle, Cinncinatti, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. It's this little push that comes from the removal of the embarassment of playing in one of these things. Now, the DryVit curse of the throwback baseball stadium?

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