Apple Rant

Have you tried to update your Quicktime player lately? Used to be you clicked once and could view a QT movie right away. Not anymore. You can't get version 7 without accepting a bundled, mandatory download onto your computer of the dreaded iTunes. Which immediately links back to the Apple Store and starts sending you information about stupid pop songs you don't want, and tries to get you to sign up for their proprietary scheme.

Recently a musician sent me a link to iTunes with a complimentary download of his CD (thanks, mon). I clicked the link and was directed to the Apple Store, which insisted I provide an email address and phone number. C'mon, why do they need that from a gift recipient? I balked, and the musician was kind enough to send me a CD in the mail.

I'm using Windows, the people's OS, and play .mp3s on Winamp, which is a very mellow and non-invasive program. I briefly tried out the iTunes player, and found that while it accepted my Winamp playlists, it wouldn't play the songs from their original folders. I had to copy them to an iTunes folder. I play .wav files of my own tunes in Winamp, because not everything gets ripped and besides, they sound nice. To copy them to the iTunes folder meant doubling about 10 gigs of material. I suppose I could have just moved the songs and then played them in Winamp from the Apple folder, but I really resent the use of my computer as contested territory in some brand turf war, so I threw up my hands and uninstalled iTunes.

Update: Jim B. found a page where I could download QT 7. I was trying to do it by upgrading my Firefox plug-in from 6.5, and I swear to you the link took me to a page where I couldn't get QT without accepting iTunes.

- tom moody 1-10-2006 9:17 pm

I'm a mac/quicktime user and it sucks if you already have a version of Quicktime PRO (which lets you edit & save quicktime movies, and costs like $30), and you "upgrade" it to a newer version of Quicktime, it wipes out the fact that you had Quicktime PRO and then just gives you a new "basic" shitty version of quicktime (no editing capability), so it's like you flushed your money down the toilet. So now I just pirate it. & the itunes store sucks too.
- Thor Johnson (guest) 1-10-2006 9:52 pm

Very unfortunate. We're going to be stuck in the middle of this for some time until a winner emerges from the fray. It's yet another ridiculous VHS/Beta, HD DVD/Blu-Ray, Memory Stick/SD Card battle in which a whole lot of consumers are going to end up on the losing side. As someone who uses both a mac and a pc on a daily basis, I can tell you that iTunes is pretty nice on a mac, but a bit subpar if you use a windows pc. I use windows media player most of the time these days because if I'm using a mac it's because i'm creating music, not listening to it. Apple will only retain their present lead in the downloadable music market as long as the iPod is still the preferred portable music player. If (some would say when) they lose their dominance in this market segment, iTunes will be relegated to also-ran status very quickly. Sony could have probably killed the iPod already if they had abandoned their silly "connect" music service and partnered with Microsoft. But of course common sense seldom figures into any Sony corporate strategy.

These days I struggle with the concept of selling my music as downloaded files. Is it exposing my art to a larger audience or restricting it? It's too early to tell, but I won't hesitate to return to the totally free model if I think it's keeping people from hearing my music.
- G.K. Wicker (guest) 1-11-2006 12:53 am

Standalone Windows (or Mac) Quicktime player. Or am I missing something?

ITunes does have the annoying habit of wanting to organize your music into it's own folder system, but you can turn that off in preferences. They *should* make this more clear.

No argument about the Quicktime Pro scam. And the nag upgrade dialogue is truly heinous.
- jim 1-11-2006 1:23 am

Just get the free Quicktime Pro 7 upgrade available on my blog. Fuck Apple for that piece of junk. I bought Quicktime and the MPEG2 plugin to convert my stuff to MOVs so everybody's happy... Turns out it'll play MPEG1/2 perfectly, but when you try to convert it to MOV, it just drops the sound. A known problem that's existed for years and that they won't fix. An email requesting a refund was ignored.
- pual (guest) 1-11-2006 1:57 am

I downloaded the Quicktime 7 player from Jim's link. Thanks, Jim.
I swear I don't just make stuff up to trash Apple--I got the mandatory iTunes/QT bundle when I tried to upgrade my Firefox .mov plugin from 6.5 to 7. They didn't offer the standalone player. And now 7 is working in my browser. Awesome.

As for making .mov files, I have a video editing package called Camtasia Studio that saves .avi and .mpeg to .mov. Works pretty well. Camtasia is basically for making corporate training videos--it's perfect for me!!!!!!!!!
- tom moody 1-11-2006 2:12 am

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