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Fighting Conventional Wisdom
August 17, 2004 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Why 2004 won't be like 1984. A phenomenal read detailing why Apple's reluctance to open up iPod is not the harbinger of doom that so many pundits claim it is. The horror! Apple may have learned from its mistakes with Macintosh 20 years ago and guess what? Macintosh's failure had little to do with licensing. That is, if you agree with the analysis over at daringfireball.net. This article points out why the media pundits are wrong about Apple's reluctance to open up iPod and shows why their position today is entirely different, and stronger, than 20 years ago. Let the flame wars begin!
posted by tgrundke (24 comments total)

 
Permalink.
posted by rory at 9:11 AM on August 17, 2004


Let the flame wars begin!

How about not?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:35 AM on August 17, 2004


Good stuff-- The writer makes a compelling case.

McKinsey ought to give that guy an interview
posted by trharlan at 9:37 AM on August 17, 2004


No quarrel with the point, but that's one of the most padded essays I've ever read.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:51 AM on August 17, 2004


No quarrel with the point, but that's one of the most padded essays I've ever read.

Long-winded doesn't even begin to describe the prose of John Gruber.
posted by letitrain at 10:08 AM on August 17, 2004


Oh, it's on Daring Fireball... he's kind of a Mac evangelist. It seems like he feels the need to write a rebuttal to everything Apple is ever criticized for.
posted by smackfu at 10:08 AM on August 17, 2004


That USA Today article is comical in its inaccuracy, if even half of Gruber's dissection is correct. Fact-check much? I can only hope the newspaper will publish a list of corrections as lengthy as the initial column.
posted by speedo at 10:15 AM on August 17, 2004


And Apple has learned it's lessons. Note that Mac OS X includes backwards compatibility with OS 9 (Classic Mode) and the iPod is a true peripheral device to the Mac (unlike the Newton).
posted by scalz at 10:36 AM on August 17, 2004


Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam and iPod . Amen.
posted by srboisvert at 10:58 AM on August 17, 2004


Yes, smackfu, but a well-founded rebuttal, thereby a worthwhile one. Quit being needlessly condescending.
posted by bitpart at 12:35 PM on August 17, 2004


apple schmapple
posted by mr.marx at 12:42 PM on August 17, 2004


Wow. Real is REALLY smacking of desperation. Check out their website now - or better yet, go to Real's site and sign their petition! Deal lord. Why doesn't Real just go out and actually try to develop something that people want?

And smackfu, I must agree with bitpart on this one - it is a well founded rebuttal and fairly well put together, even if that site can be the epitome of Apple Fandom.
posted by tgrundke at 12:44 PM on August 17, 2004


apple schmapple

Snapple Apple
posted by bitpart at 12:55 PM on August 17, 2004


It remains to be seen whether any DRM-protected media format will be a long-term success.

I would say that one of the most succesful media formats in history is protected with DRM. Maybe he is unaware of DVDs? Are they not protected with CSS? Is seven years not long term? What am I missing?
posted by euphorb at 1:44 PM on August 17, 2004


I would say that one of the most succesful media formats in history is protected with DRM.

Is a condom still a prophylactic after it's been through a hole punch?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:53 PM on August 17, 2004


dvd dont really have DRM, if you want DRM you would have to look to the now defunct DIVX
posted by Iax at 4:21 PM on August 17, 2004


if you want DRM you would have to look to the now defunct DIVX

(Shudders at the memory of that abomination)
posted by AstroGuy at 4:38 PM on August 17, 2004


the macintosh failed? I didnt get that memo.
posted by MrLint at 7:15 PM on August 17, 2004


An early example of a DRM system is the Content Scrambling System (CSS) employed by the DVD Forum on movie DVD disks. It was originally developed by Matsushita in Japan. The data on the DVD is encrypted so that it can only be decoded and viewed using an encryption key, which the DVD Consortium kept secret. In order to gain access to the key, a DVD player manufacturer had to sign a license agreement with the DVD Consortium which restricted them from including certain features in their players such as a digital output which could be used to extract a high-quality digital copy of the movie. Since the only hardware capable of decoding the movie was controlled by the DVD Consortium in this way, they were able to impose whatever restrictions they chose on the playback of such movies.
From here. The question isn't, "Does CSS work as advertised?", the question is, "are DVD's, which are protected by CSS, an example of a successful media format?". CSS worked for several years, even if it doesn't mean much now.
posted by euphorb at 9:03 PM on August 17, 2004


tgrundke, I saw that Freedom of Music Choice s(h)ite tonight and thought, "Damn, I wish I could stream Real Audio files from iTunes to my Airport Express." Maybe I can get my hands on some of that software Real uses to convert their files to Fairplay DRM.
posted by samuelad at 9:51 PM on August 17, 2004


I must disagree with bitpart that smackfu was being condescending. He was just considering the source, and quite without snark, actually.
posted by scarabic at 9:57 PM on August 17, 2004


The iPod is a music device, yes? A little like the Sony walkman 25 years ago, yes? But far less unique? That will soon be merged into your phone anyway, right?

So the actual significance ("phenomenal", "harbingers", "pundits"...) of this cute fashion item is really about zero, correct? Except in some strange "all your music belong to us" dystopia, I suppose. (Disclaimer: I don't own any Apple products).

Seriously, am I missing something? Or is this just an AppleFilter post?
posted by Turtle at 1:35 AM on August 18, 2004


Pfffft... I heard Apple was about to go out of business anyway....
posted by spilon at 8:02 AM on August 18, 2004


I've always been bothered by Apple's (and some Apple-ites') insistence on removing the article before "Macintosh".
For example:
  • Macintosh's failure had little to do with licensing.
  • Welcome to Macintosh.
I think it's ok to do this, but only when when the main portion of the noun is modified by an earlier attributive adjective/noun (e.g. "I went to Lincoln Park"), the noun is a language (e.g. "I speak English good"), the names of sports (e.g. "I played basketball") and academic subjects (e.g. "I'm taking Computer Science. My first class is Macintosh 101.")

There's a lot more fine details, grammatically, but, to be honest, I think it just sounds strange, and though software can be rightly done this way (e.g. "I started MacOS"), I would never say "I'm bringing GameBoy" or "PC crashed last weekend".

Actually, I do frequently hear (and say) "I'm playing Nintendo (or Gameboy, or PlayStation)". Any thoughts, grammarians?
posted by hoborg at 1:24 PM on August 18, 2004


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