CNET Editor Charles Cooper: ‘I should have bought the iPod’

“By the time I arrived at Circuit City, the ravaging hordes had picked clean all the one-day specials. And so it was that I settled on what was left over–in this case a Sansa m240 from SanDisk,” Charles Cooper reports for CNET. “CNET Reviews gave the product a 7.3 rating, so I went with the recommendation. But after nearly two weeks of tinkering with the unit, let’s just say I’ve been quite tempted to hammer the Sansa into scrap metal.”

“Too few technology gadgets and applications fall into the category of plug and play. More often, it’s manipulate and pray,” Cooper reports. “I won’t bore you with the details of the software hell I suffered, but there were any number of minor technical questions the company leaves customers to figure out on their own… If I want a mind teaser, I’ll open the day’s New York Times crossword puzzle. I don’t get my jollies wasting a full day trying to deconstruct the original intention of a clueless product designer–and from what I gather from a recent panel on what consumers want in their gadgets, most people feel the same way.”

“How many manufacturers really obsess about eliminating customer confusion? Unfortunately, Apple Computer is the exception to the rule. Postscript to my personal tech tale of woe: after a day mucking around with the Sansa, I eventually got things straightened out. But it also confirmed the indelible truth that SanDisk CEO Eli Harari is no Steve Jobs,” Cooper reports. “I should have bought the iPod.”

Full article here.

Related article:
CNET’s Cooper: Apple products reflect an attention to detail that rivals should study – June 02, 2006


  1. Apple is the exception on computers as well. Others? assembly crapola with crapola OS pre-installed. Apple is the exception: how many manufacturers really obsess about consumer experience? ONE, Apple Computer, and thanks to Steve Jobs, the most obsessed person in Apple of all. Only *good enough* projects and products are simply killed by SJ if they cannot improve well above that.

  2. i guess the editor wasn’t in agreement with his review team then? what does that say for the organisation?

    It says you can’t possibly extrapolate the health of an organization based on one incident of a boss having a differing opinion than his employees.

  3. I had a friend call me yesterday to ask what kind of MP3 player she should get for her husband. He bought one of the first ones that came out and hated it so much because it was impossible to load and use. I explained how easy the iPod is, how there are 3 different types, etc. I also told her that there are others out there, but NOT TO BUY THEM. Her husband is getting a Nano for Christmas – yay!

  4. @Roberto: actually, i think he *was* making an informed decision….he had read some good reviews about the product. but when faced with a store that had been “picked clean,” the writer’s biggest mistake was falling into the instant gratification trap. his other options could have been:

    – find a different store
    – find a different sale online
    – admit you missed the deal and wait for the product to be restocked

    instead he chose to pick up one of the leftovers. there’s a reason why it was still sitting on the shelf, and he found out the hard way.

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