“Unquestioning faith in all things [Apple and Steve Jobs] is a bad idea,” Brad King blogs for Technology Review. “The immediate response I get when I bring this up is always the same: Microsoft is soooo much worse. But I disagree. There is an army of programmers around the world who are developing applications, work-arounds, and other goodies that allow me to circumvent most of the aspects about Microsoft products I don’t like. The coolest thing that I do is record television with my PC, hack the DRM, burn it to a DVD, and take that program with me anywhere. But I know that’s doesn’t even touch the tip of the iceberg.”

“However, that’s not what really, really sticks in my craw. I reserve that (possibly irrational) anger for the iPod and iTunes, two music products that are so restrictive in their licensing and user set-ups that I have never been able to bring myself download the software to purchase music through iTunes or pony up the cash to by [sic] and [sic] iPod,” King writes. “It’s fairly well publicized that if you have music on your hard drive, music you’ve purchased a license to use through iTunes, and your computer crashes — you lose all of that music. It’s not a common occurrence for sure (at least, I hope it’s not), but when it does happen (as it nearly did to one editor here), your view of Apple suddenly, and dramatically, changes. (This doesn’t even begin to touch on the fact that the iPod was clearly not the first digital music player, and for my tastes, isn’t even the best player — but the Altoid-style packaging has certainly resonated with consumers, which is the bottom line.)”

“Every company has the right to set up the terms of use (within reason), and that is the road Apple chose to go down. The problem is they’ve been so compliant with the entertainment industry — foisting ridiculous digital rights management on consumers — that they may very well be setting the table for the music and movie industries to expand their restrictive licensing to entirely new platforms,” King writes. “Jobs has, by and large, become a proxy for the music and movie industries in the continual eroding of consumer rights in a digital age. And — for everyone who shells out their hard earned money for the latest and greatest gadget — you’ve all fallen for it. No, what really gets to me is that I think all of the Apple users around the planet know this already, but simply have stopped caring — and I can’t figure out why. However, I think I may have figured it out, thanks to one unnamed person who said to me: ‘Yes, but the iPod is so cute.'”

Full article here.
Steve Jobs on a popsicle stick! This guy thinks he’s Roger Clemens, but tosses more meatballs than Emeril Lagasse. Batter up!

• He disagrees that Microsoft is soooo much worse than Apple, but sure spends a lot of time searching through an army of programmers to find work-arounds and other “goodies” that allow him to circumvent Microsoft.
• He doesn’t own an iPod, has never downloaded iTunes, nor used the iTunes Music Store, but he’s an expert in how “restrictive” these things are for the user.
• He doesn’t own an iPod, but for his tastes, isn’t even the best player; presumably because the iPod was clearly not the first digital music player.
• He calls Steve Jobs a proxy for the entertainment industries, even though Jobs is currently fighting the music labels to keep prices reasonable.
• The “coolest” thing he does is record TV on his PC, hack the DRM, burn it to DVD and carry the program with him anywhere, so:
– He’s putting his own DRM onto things he records off TV onto his PC?
– Has he ever heard of, oh, we don’t know, how ’bout “iPodRip”.
• Because he’s never used an iPod, iTunes or the iTunes Music Store, he thinks the appeal is the “cute packaging.”
• Firmly established as an iPod+iTunes+iTunes Music Store expert, he accuses users of having been duped: “fallen for it” or “simply stopped caring.”
• In the end of course, like all good idiots who comment on things they don’t understand and haven’t even tried, he thinks he’s got it all figured out because one person told him the iPod is so cute.

Contact info:
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Brad King, Web Producer and Senior Editor:

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