Saturday, October 29, 2005

Why is iTunes better than Windows Media Player

Which is easier, hitting the space bar, or hitting CTRL+P. What's harder, hitting F10 or Ctrl+Up.

It's the little things sometimes. If I alt tab over to iTunes it's really easy for me to pause the current song by hitting the space bar, unlike windows media player which requires Ctrl+P. Volume control is also easier in iTunes because I can use Ctrl+Up or Down to change the volume.

I'm sure I could come up with a bunch more. Maybe I should point WiMP at my itunes directory and just try switching for a little while... course then I would have to give up podcasts... I wonder how good WiMP would be at syncing up to my ipod nano...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

IT energy crisis reaching critical mass

First read this:
Intel announces major 2006/2007 roadmap changes: "At any rate, if this widely linked shootout is to be believed then Opteron does indeed wallop the new Xeons in terms of raw performance, and if one factors in performance/watt then it's absolute carnage."

The read this:
IT energy crisis reaching critical mass: "The old ways of throwing equipment at IT problems -- more air conditioning units, servers, UPS units -- is going to have to be revisited. And IT pros are going to be asked to find more efficient ways to increase reliability and computing capacity."

Interesting eh? Not exactly a good time for Intel's plans to fall apart. It would really be fascinating to see some analysis about Intel's performance over the last couple of years.

Torres Talking: Friendster is STILL creepy

Torres Talking: Friendster is STILL creepy: "Friendster apparently thought it was a good idea to send mail to all of the 'friends' I invited a year and half ago who decided to delete my invitation instead of joining. Of course, Friendster did this without my 'OK'."

I've never really liked friendster. Course it doesn't really make me feel any better to have that dislike validated.

Judge rebukes Microsoft over WMP bundling

Judge rebukes Microsoft over WMP bundling: "Last week, it emerged that Microsoft had submitted a draft marketing agreement to digital music player manufacturers that would have prohibited them from bundling any software other than Windows Music Player with their devices in exchange for installation CDs for Windows Media Player. One of the manufacturers cried foul, and as a result, Microsoft was given a harsh rebuke by Judge Kollar-Kotelly. "


CC in Review: Lawrence Lessig on CC & Fair Use | Creative Commons

CC in Review: Lawrence Lessig on CC & Fair Use | Creative Commons: "As life moves online, 'free uses' shrink. Because every act on a digital network produces a copy, and 'copies' trigger copyright law, there are vastly fewer 'free uses' in digital space than in analog space."

A good primer in why creative commons is good and why copyright law is getting wacky in the new digital age.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

ArsTechnica: Anti-game activist Jack Thompson under investigation

Anti-game activist Jack Thompson under investigation: "Jack then reneged on his promise of a US$10,000 donation to the charity of the modder's choice, saying that his original bounty had been 'satire', and therefore not a legitimate promise."

I actually watched this one unfold on penny arcade. You can't make this stuff up. :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Apple steps up iPod 'tax' push | CNET

Apple steps up iPod 'tax' push | CNET "Apple Computer is stepping up its push to get iPod accessory makers to pay for the right to connect to the popular music player."

Some would say that's as crazy as charging Sony a tax on the walkman because it wouldn't exist without music.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Firefly (aka best show ever)

Brian and I are watching firefly tonight. We saw the movie on opening day, I had seen the series first, Brian hadn't so we're catching him up.

I think this was the best show ever.

If you like any kind of sci-fi at all you should watch this.

Here is a good review of the movie Serenity (firefly movie) by Orson Scott.

Microsoft and Real Networks

Joel asked a question in my comments here.

It's tough to say what will happen now that Real Networks and Microsoft have teamed up. What usually happens when two mediocre players get together to try and make something great...

My prediction is that nothing interesting will happen. Microsoft doesn't have the whole platform, and neither does Real Networks. I don't think real has been a significant player in the online space for many years. (At least they haven't been in my conciousness for a long time)

Apple is definitely focused on the music platform. It will take something radical to blast Apple out of it's position as market leader. I think Apple has positioned the itunes music store very well. The store is designed to support the iPod. An iPod is something tangible, sure music has higher profit margins because the distribution costs are next to nothing.

I would predict that in order to replace the iTunes conglomerate there would need to be something that really addresses the rub of online music distribution.

I wont buy songs through the itunes music store because I am more restricted in how I can use it. Since Apple's DRM limits what I can do with the music, it is less valuable to me. I recently bought a CD at Sonic Boom that cost 17 bucks. I could've gotten the same music from iTunes for about 12 bucks. The extra five dollars were worth it to me though because I could put that music on both Gwen and my laptops, as well as have a hard copy in case those digital files are lost.

What does that mean for iTMS? How many people are not buying music because of that? Hard to say really. Why wont I encode my music as AAC or WMA? That one is not so hard. MP3 is a de-facto standard. Every portable music player supports it. Choosing another media format does nothing but benefit the owner of that format. By choosing WMA, I give Microsoft more business. By choosing AAC, I give Apple more business (the business I'm talking about is codec licensing, if I have a ton of WMA I'm going to demand that my audio player plays WMA, which costs the hardware manufacturer to license).

Ok so what does all this mean... I guess it means it's friday and I'm rambling. But it also means that your music player doesn't matter, your audio format does. Choose the platform with the widest support to encode your music in, and then pick the player that fits your model of how you work with music. I choose itunes to play my music because I have an iPod and an Airport Express. If another equally awesome or better set of peripherals come out for Windows Media Player, I can simply pick up my library and move it over to that player.

Now is the time where I would normally proof-read my post... but instead I'm going to not.