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Open Letter To Apple: Perfection Isn't Being 80% Done

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Apple,

 

How's the weather? How's life in California? That's nice. I recently picked up a 60GB vPod from my local Apple reseller. I love it. I love the ability that I have to watch videos and the solid state architecture. I love it all. However, I have a few gripes that I'd like to share with you.

 

First and foremost was the deprecation of firewire support. Now, I realize that the reason you did this was because Windows users, who make up a large portion of the market share, don't have firewire support. That's all well and good, but us Mac people... we DO have firewire support. Therefore, those of us who have USB 1.0 have to go out and get a new card for our towers to compensate for the fact that these units were really customized for Windows users or suffer along with the slow speeds. Not cool Apple. Please be a sport and bring that back. I KNOW you can; I would simply hate it if some code hacker beat you to the punch.

 

Secondly was the lack of DVD ripping support. Now, I know what you're thinking, "OOH!!! That's a touchy subject!!! Get it away!!!" Quit whining, it's not as touchy as you want to believe. Right now, I can go out to Tower Records, buy my favorite Dead Kennedy's album (going to see them Nov. 16 at the TLA!!!), stick it in my CD drive and import it into iTunes without ANYONE saying a word. You may even have sold the album online, but for whatever my reasons were, I bought it this way.

 

My question is, "Why can't I do this with my DVDs?" I have DVDs that I LEGALLY bought and that I want to LEGALLY watch on my owned devices. iTunes can't tell whether or not that Dead Kennedy's album came from a store or a friend, so why should DVD support be any different? Why punish the users?

 

That's all I had to say. On a final note, now that I am an owner of one of the new generations of iPods, I can say proudly that I emphatically DO NOT support that silly lawsuit about the paint scratching. I have my own theories on that, but I won't bore you with them.

 

Thanks for your time,

 

- MT

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First off, the MAIN reason apple did not include firewire is not because of windows users at all. It simply had to do with the fact that there was no need for a second interface. Apple themselves said that by dropping the firewire chipset, they were able to make it the size that it is. Also the reason the nano and shuffle are so small. The realized that USB is universal, everyone has it, so it is the best option. If every PC came with firewire, they would have dropped USB. This is not me, this is from apple, and it makes the most sense, so ill get behind them on it.

 

And dont tell apple to quit whining about DVD ripping support when you are whinning about a very small difference in transfer speed (firewire, USB).

 

The facts are (and ive posted this several times), that the laws reguarding CD's and DVD's are different. Bottom line. Before every dvd there is a warning about comyping and if you read the law closely, it strictly prohibits copying a DVD in any way whatsoever. Even for personal backup. Even just to play it through another one of your devices. Even if you dont want to put it in a DVD player everytime you want to watch it, and instead wish to keep it on your hard drive. Anything. Any reason you could possible think of is strictly prohibited and punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to 5 year in prison (last time i checked). So, this is not just a touchy subject, but completely out of apple's hands. It is not worth the risk to try to change a law by boldly coming out with ripping software. Its already all over the internet, and they are not losing sales because the competition is letting people easily rip DVD's to their portable media devices. Yes, there are laws reguarding personal backup, protection or property you own, etc. And yes, the laws conflict. But the DVD law is very specific, which is why no one is going to stick their neck out.

 

As been discussed before, the new iPod is not a video player. It is the next gen of iPod with video support. Apple is not going after a totally new market or anyting like that. They simply added a feature that people have been requesting.

 

CD's and DVD are completly different. I know the average comsumer doesnt look at it that way, but the law does. Its not apples place, and they have nothing to gain.

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I wish they had Firewire 800, but since I mostly sync with my PowerBook, which has USB 2.0, I'll deal with it. I have to leave it plugged in for a while to recharge the battery anyway, still haven't made it to the Apple store to get a wall charger.

 

I think lawsuits are silly too.

 

roog

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The thing that I don't like about the new iPods dropping FireWire is that I still have a PowerBook G4 (1ghz) and it doesn't have USB 2.0. It was the last model of PowerBook which didn't so, unless I want to upgrade my PowerBook as well (almost $3500) I will not be able to use the iPod as I would like.

 

I think that this is a BIG mistake by Apple. They should give their people a choice of which interface to go with!

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Guest

Well, I stand corrected then. Thank you for informing me. I still feel, even though I've NEVER download a single stolen move in my life and have no plans to do so, that when I buy a DVD, I should be able to view MY COPY on MY DEVICES.

 

- MT

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Well, I stand corrected then.  Thank you for informing me.  I still feel, even though I've NEVER download a single stolen move in my life and have no plans to do so, that  when I buy a DVD, I should be able to view MY COPY on MY DEVICES.  

 

If you can afford to purchase as many US Senators as Hollywood can, you might be able to get your feeling converted into US law.

 

Personally, I agree with your sentiment, but neither one of us owns a significant portion of the US Government.

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Guest

That's just rediculous. I've already started a personal ban on Sony products for their use of Digital Rights Management.

 

Here's what I have to say:

 

I'm not stealing anything. I'm a hard-working average joe that went out and LEGALLY bought a copy of DVD. I'm not uploading it anywhere, I'm not loaning it out anywhere, hell, I'm not even backing it up for just in case issues. I simply want to watch it on my vPod. Yes, the copy I BOUGHT WITH MY MONEY LEGALLY, I want to watch.

 

The fact that I would have to buy another copy of the movie WHICH ISN'T AVAILABLE FOR VPOD YET just so I could watch it is bullshit.

 

- MT

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And dont tell apple to quit whining about DVD ripping support when you are whining about a very small difference in transfer speed (firewire, USB).  

 

This is not a small speed difference if one is using USB 1.1, which is the only thing on my G4 iMac. It would be nice if Apple would sell a Firewire to USB 2.0 conversion doohickey. Since most new computers have USB 2.0, I don't even think Apple needs to give it away. Sell it to those of us who need it. Of course, this type of tech might not even be available or easily possible.

 

The facts are (and ive posted this several times), that the laws regarding CD's and DVD's are different. .

 

I wasn't aware of this, and thanks for the info; however, the laws are bad and need to be "adjusted" to meet the demands of the honest public who want to buy, own, and use content in a variety of ways.

 

The limited knowledge I have of the Millennium Digital Copyright Act (name is probably wrong) tells me that our elected officials are taking way too much advice from the corporations producing the content and not enough from those of us making and buying it. I'd really like to not be a criminal, but set two laws against each other and both of those laws against the wishes of the public, and the legislature forces generally honest people to become criminals.

 

I'm not saying that we should make certain actions legal simply because "everyone" ignores the laws, but our legislators need to take a long hard look at the future of digital content before passing legal restrictions. Our elected representatives are supposed to do what is in the best interest of the PEOPLE, and many of them simply don't understand the regular guy.

 

-Rob

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Guest

God bless you Rob because I agree 100%. How many of us make enough money during the week so that we can afford two or three copies of the same film? How many of you who have children can afford a copy of Madagazcar for your DVD player and two for each of your children's PSPs? That's rediculous for the average American to be expected to pay for this. Parents should become criminals by trying to provide for their children. The facts are that movie tickets/purchases/rentals are expensive enough as it is without tossing this extra cost on top of it.

 

Mr./Ms. Senator: The average American does not live like you and get paid like you. We cannot afford your stupid laws and they don't make any sense. NOBODY is set on getting anything for free. Rather, we just want to use what we purchased.

 

I'm willing to compromise. I'll be happy if every DVD had a "3 copy limit" to it. The people who are most affected are not the ones stealing the media. We're the ones who want to enjoy it and support it financially.

 

- MT

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The MPAA doesn't really care about piracy, what they want to down on is Fair Use. Here's the funny part - it IS legal to make a copy of a DVD, but it's illegal to decrypt the CSS encryption, so you really cannot make a copy of one. I'm not quite sure why the DMCA law passed but I'm pretty sure it has to do with a little green friend of mine (no, not Yoda).

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So... what you're saying is that it's not my problem, it's the problem of the people who make the software? OK, I can live with that.

 

- MT

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Apple,

 

How's the weather?  How's life in California?  That's nice.  I recently picked up a 60GB vPod from my local Apple reseller.  I love it.  I love the ability that I have to watch videos and the solid state architecture.  I love it all.  However, I have a few gripes that I'd like to share with you.

 

First and foremost was the deprecation of firewire support.  Now, I realize that the reason you did this was because Windows users, who make up a large portion of the market share, don't have firewire support.  That's all well and good, but us Mac people... we DO have firewire support.  Therefore, those of us who have USB 1.0 have to go out and get a new card for our towers to compensate for the fact that these units were really customized for Windows users or suffer along with the slow speeds.  Not cool Apple.  Please be a sport and bring that back.  I KNOW you can; I would simply hate it if some code hacker beat you to the punch.

 

Secondly was the lack of DVD ripping support.  Now, I know what you're thinking, "OOH!!!  That's a touchy subject!!! Get it away!!!"  Quit whining, it's not as touchy as you want to believe.  Right now, I can go out to Tower Records, buy my favorite Dead Kennedy's album (going to see them Nov. 16 at the TLA!!!), stick it in my CD drive and import it into iTunes without ANYONE saying a word.  You may even have sold the album online, but for whatever my reasons were, I bought it this way.

 

My question is, "Why can't I do this with my DVDs?"  I have DVDs that I LEGALLY bought and that I want to LEGALLY watch on my owned devices.  iTunes can't tell whether or not that Dead Kennedy's album came from a store or a friend, so why should DVD support be any different?  Why punish the users?

 

That's all I had to say.  On a final note, now that I am an owner of one of the new generations of iPods, I can say proudly that I emphatically DO NOT support that silly lawsuit about the paint scratching.  I have my own theories on that, but I won't bore you with them.

 

Thanks for your time,

 

- MT

Also I would put in the fact that the vPod does not even come with a charger!!! :x :x

Also I do not think that the vPod uses solid state memory.

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Guest

OK, someone please let's set this straight right now, once and for all:

 

WHAT IS THE FRIGGIN TERM FOR UNLIKE A HARDDRIVE? A HARDDRIVE IS NOT LIKE A THUMB DRIVE BECAUSE A THUMBDRIVE IS __________________.

 

Thank you,

 

- MT

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Im with you in priciple all the way Torbin, and i have faith that in time DVD's will be treated the same as CD's.

 

Also, i was going to share a piece of wonderful news. Or I think it is....

I saw an article today on arstechnica.com (and i didnt have time to read it)(and im pretty sure it was on ars, lol, busy day at work) that said because of pressure, sony was abandoning their DRM attempts. Although i still dont feel like supporting a company that thought of it in the first place, its a start.

 

isaiah1112, when did you buy your powerbook? And just curious, why is it going to be $3500 for a new one?

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OK, someone please let's set this straight right now, once and for all:

 

WHAT IS THE FRIGGIN TERM FOR UNLIKE A HARDDRIVE?  A HARDDRIVE IS NOT LIKE A THUMB DRIVE BECAUSE A THUMBDRIVE IS __________________.

 

Thank you,

 

- MT

A thumb drive is flash based which is solid state.

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A thumb drive is flash based which is solid state.

 

So I was right. Why did you think that the vPod isn't solid state?

 

- MT

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60 gigs, 30 gigs....But the thing with buying 3 versions of a DVD as you said is how it comes formatted, obviously the PSP UMDS and DVDS are different in size and we cant go out and stick it in our DVD playa.

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Guest

No, but you can rip it yourself. Sony makes a mini CD burner.

 

- MT

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Well, there are ways to get your DVDs onto your iPod (Mac The Ripper and Handbrake or PopCorn or even Toast 7). I'm sure you already know this. I don't think Apple's ever going to supply us with the tools to defeat the encryption, so we just have to use what's available.

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Hmm... really? can you send the url? I know a friend that would like that sorta thing.

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Matt

 

I'm an owner of a 2 and a half year old iMac G4 1GHz, which only has USB 1.1

 

I'm effectively frozen out of buying a new iPod unless I buy a new (or newish) Mac. USB 2.0 was only introduced to the iMac range in September 2003, just over two years ago.

 

Now I understand why Apple did away with Firewire:

1. Reduce the size of the new iPod's (small is beautiful)

2. Most Windows users have USB 2.0.

3. They're in a competitive market and need to stay ahead

 

I still think Apple have been a little premature phasing out Firewire, especially on the 30/60Gb iPod's. It's not like USB 2.0 was introduced to iMac's 4 or 5 years ago. A two (and a bit) year old iMac is not in my opinion an old machine.

 

Maybe going forward Apple should consider adding PCI card slots to iMac's.

 

 

Secondly, the DVD ripping issue. Apple clearly need to buddy up to the movie and TV industries and can't be seen by these paranoid industries to be doing anything to help piracy. I agree the whole thing is ridiculous, but there are 3rd party tools that do the ripping, I'll live with that.

 

The main thing is Apple doesn't try to add DRM code to the Hardware platform, to prevent the playing of non-authorized media, as some people are saying they may do with the new Intel boxes. Personally I think this is unlikely, what they're doing is preventing OSX being run on Dell's and the like.

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Also I do not think that the vPod uses solid state memory.

 

Personally, I don't think 60 Gb solid state memory is available, and, if it were, it would be cost prohibitive for iPods bigger than Nanos. As solid state memory size increases, so will the max on a Nano.

 

The other thing people should remember is this is really vPod 1.0. Just like the original, it will get better fairly quickly, though, I, too, fear Firewire support is lost forever. Glad I have a 4th gen that still has FW.

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Fire wire is lost in he iPods to me now...Size is now more of an issue than functionabolity, Apple is pretty much the Firewire god daddy.

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Hmm... really? can you send the url? I know a friend that would like that sorta thing.

 

Just go to MacUpdate.com and search for Mac The Ripper and Handbrake (you need both). Popcorn and Toast are commercial and a Google search will find them for you.

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