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Doesn’t Play Well With Others

Be advised that currently iTunes & Vista don’t like each other. There are some work-arounds, but when you can’t download music and have it play on your iPod, it sounds broken to me.

This is no doubt part of the “protect copyright at all costs and screw the users” that is built into Vista as part of the “security.” Word is that Vista spends a lot of resources verifying that the “thieving” users aren’t doing any possible type or form of “piracy,” like downloading free software.

Oh, if you use someone else’s security software, like Norton, it probably won’t work either. This reminds me of the old days when the mantra about new MicroSoft OSs was “if Lotus will run, it isn’t done,” a reference to the fact that Lotus Notes was very popular and MicroSoft wanted people to use Outlook. I’m sure it was just coincidental that Lotus software never seemed to work after an OS upgrade.

7 comments

1 Moi { 02.05.07 at 12:05 pm }

ITunes upsets me. I bought a bunch of music from them, and it’s in m4p format, and I can’t burn them to CD……..grrrrrrrrr………well, not unless I go out and buy some stupid converter software. I am sure there’s freeware out there but I have no clue as to what is **easy** to use, lol.

Of course, **after** I bought the tunes, I found you can have the music downloaded in mp3 format……sigh……

2 BadTux { 02.05.07 at 12:48 pm }

This is why my next laptop is going to be a Macbook. Now that I can get a nice airport-sized MacOS laptop for less than an equivalent-sized Sony or Fujitsu, it doesn’t make sense to put up with Windows silliness. The big Macbook Pro is too expensive, but I’ve found out the hard way that a laptop that size sucks on a train or plane…

3 Bryan { 02.05.07 at 1:02 pm }

Moi, it should be easy and follow standards, you shouldn’t need to figure out what to do. The site should ask if the user wants a quick scan over the ‘Net to recommend the best format. There are trade offs with each format, but the information to make the decision should be part of the registration process.

I would love the freedom to make that decision, BT, but my clients won’t change to Linux, the obvious choice for what they really use their systems to do and freak out if you mention Mac.

With all of the crap involved with traveling these days I normally just carry USP flash drives to use on the client’s machine after I get there. Hauling my laptop is too much hassle any more.

4 Steve Bates { 02.05.07 at 2:03 pm }

I think “DRM” is the print representation of a noise you make, sort of like “grrr,” when something prevents you from listening to the music you legally licensed at excessive cost from a company that appears to view its customers as its enemies.

Stella and I discussed the tradeoffs this weekend. On the one hand, she lusts after an iPod to listen to while exercising, walking, etc. On the other hand, she doesn’t want the hassle of downloads, transfers to the iPod, DRM, etc. Whatever happened to just putting on a disc while you wash dishes, or turning on the car radio? The industry has traded listener convenience for extreme technological enforcement of copyright.

My own solution, antique though it may be, is the smallest of portable CD players, barely bigger around than a CD. I buy CDs used or remaindered. I never put them in a computer drive for any purpose… no rootkits for me, thank you. When music is no longer sold on CDs, or when DRM somehow makes its way to cheap tabletop or portable CD players (how?), I’ll declare my collection complete, and make do with old players.

BTW, if you want to purchase CDs, it helps if you attend small concerts of local groups. Many of them burn their own CDs and sell them at the show… no hostility, no DRM and generally reasonable prices. Best of all, you support your local artists.

Back to the original topic, if you buy a PC through Micro Center, as of their latest mailing, it looks like Vista is what you get, period. It’s “WWSIWIG” … “what we sell is what you get.” That’s frustrating… I was looking for a cheap machine on which to install Linux. Now I may have to build one, or buy one used and wipe the HD.

5 Bryan { 02.05.07 at 5:51 pm }

Steve, in the deal required to get an OEM license from MicroSoft, it is the path of least resistance to just install the current version on all machines. The accounting required to sell a machine without it would wipe out the profit on the machine. The vendor can’t be required to install it on every machine, but the costs make it the only solution.

If you have a small shop in the area they can probably sell you a barebones system for a reasonable price.

I don’t want to listen to music on my computer, it’s a waste of CPU cycles and the speakers suck, without the DRM viruses.

6 Michael { 02.05.07 at 9:19 pm }

Guess I’ll either put off getting a new laptop for a while until they get the damn OS fixed, hope I can still find one that runs on XP (I see nothing wrong with it, for what I want to do with my computers), or else bite the bullet and consider going Mac, with much trepidation. Especially since my previous Mac experiences royally sucked, and since the main reason I want a laptop is so I can take it with me into archives in Europe and either transcribe or store photos of the documents I need to work with–and if it fucks that up, I’m going to be (a) royally screwed, and (b) royally pissed.

Though I will say that, if you disable the “Update iPod automatically upon docking” option–which lets a stupid computer make decisions about what you want to do with your music, the iPod system is a breeze. You download what you want, fiddle with the information if you want to do it differently (or better) than what you get from iTunes, you organize it how you want to, and you transfer it (drag-and-drop works just fine) to the iPod, at which point you can play it all you want, wherever you want. If you keep it on your computer, you can play it on the computer, too, and burn discs for use in the car or anyplace else (or–gasp!–to give to friends and family who may like what you’ve found). Back it up on CD or DVD, and it’s yours to keep as long as you want it. I’ve got 3800-odd tracks on my 20-gig, and there are still around 4 gig free. It’s been on shuffle mode for about the last two weeks, and I’ve yet to hear the same track twice, playing it most of the day at my office (through a nifty little desk lamp that has some halfway decent speakers and a place to plug it in), and frequently at night or on the weekends through an iPod boom box thingie my mom got my sister and me for Christmas.

7 Bryan { 02.05.07 at 9:55 pm }

Apple will probably have a fix out in a couple of weeks, if MicroSoft provides some minimal cooperation, but iPods are a major peripheral and should have been accommodated.

Just updating to XP service pack 2 screwed up my camera software, but I’m using a work-around. You have to test everything for a month to be sure it’s going to work, so don’t wait too long to get a new machine, so you can be sure it will do what you want before you leave.

You might still be able to get an XP machine from the existing stock of a retailer, usually with a coupon to upgrade at this point in the cycle.

Changing operating systems is always annoying and Macs were once very flaky, but they seem to be a lot better lately. The new Powerbooks seem like nice boxes, and my brother likes his, but he has been a Mac person from the beginning.

Get a DVD burner in the new machine and back-up often. Ideally you would make two copies and mail one to your US address while in Europe in case they lose your luggage.