Mini and Shuffle

Posted Jan 11, 2005 in Technology.

Image of Mac mini

I don't like Apple, Steve Jobs, or any of these newfangled iPod thingies. I've always found Apple stuff to be a little too expensive and arty-farty for my tastes.

Now, however, Apple has come up with something that I think is rather clever. The Mac mini is a tiny thing, being about the size of five stacked CD jewel cases, and weighing only about three pounds.

Despite its diminutive size, it still manages to have all the bits and pieces you'd expect from a personal computer, apart from a keyboard, display, and mouse.

Image of iPod shuffle

Apple have also announced the iPod shuffle, a tiny little MP3 player built around a 1 gigabyte flash memory. That's enough for a couple of hundred tracks.

So am I about to buy some Apple stuff for the first time in my life? No. The shitty way that Apple behaves, particularly with their take on Digital Rights Management, stops me from giving them any of my pennies.


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    What is it exactly about Apple and its DRM that you dont like?

    Posted by Stephen Collins on Jan 11, 2005.

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    I've never liked Apple, mostly because of bad experiences in the 80s and 90s. But it is their approach to Digital Rights Management that really annoys me.

    If I pay for a track on iTunes, I expect to be able to play it whenever and wherever I want. Apple's DRM technology restricts the number of PCs I can play a file on. That is like buying a CD and finding you can only play it in some of your CD players. iTunes also restricts the number of times you can burn a playlist - or even a SIMILAR play list.

    Just do a Google search for "apple drm" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Jan 11, 2005.

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    I know all about the DRM and don't find it all that restrictive. and for any restrictions there is, i would blame the RIAA more than Apple. it seems to me Apple got everything the could out of them.

    As for similar playlists, thats not exactly true. Change the order of 1 song and you can start burning again.

    It just doesn't seem that restrictive to me. I have 2 laptops, a pc, a G5 tower and an iPod and i can play the music on all of them. Then i can burn 10 cd's, move 1 song in the playlist and burn 10 more. To be honest, there arent 10 people i would burn cd's for anyway.

    Posted by Stephen Collins on Jan 11, 2005.

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    I am assuming that the only reason why you can play your iTunes music on them is BECAUSE of DRM. Now, that may not make any sense at the moment, but let me explain.

    When downloading music from iTunes you have to enter your account name, password and whatnot, it is pretty simple. But if a friend gives you a song or if you transfer a song to another computer you MUST have iTunes on that computer. But not only must you have iTunes, you must complete an authorization process for each song you transfer to another computer by putting in the password from the account that bought it etc, and if the family uses iTunes with different accounts, it is an absolute annoyance.

    May be a difficult way of putting it, but it's a difficult thing to explain. Just to let you know, however, I like iTunes but...that's beside the point.

    Posted by Parker Ryan on Jan 11, 2005.

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    Well, if i was giving a friend a song, i would be burning him a cd, and at that point the DRM is removed and anything can be done with the cd of music.

    Posted by Stephen Collins on Jan 12, 2005.

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    The problem with dumping it on to a CD is that the information is decoded and then encoded again, reducing the overall quality considerably.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Jan 12, 2005.

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    Yeah! Those are COOL and to boot! (no pun intended) I thought it was interesting that I found your site searching for Star Trek... I began reading your site because you mentioned Jeffery Zeldman (whom I "know" from my iconing days...) and then I found out you don't like Macs. That's just crazy! Glad to see they've won you over on a few things.

    Posted by Noel Green on Jan 12, 2005.

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    That reminds me, I really should get my Star Trek page up and running again.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Jan 12, 2005.

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    Well, I'm not a storefront for my friends. Those cheap bastards can go their own music.

    Posted by Stephen Collins on Jan 12, 2005.

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    I personally do not support the insane record companies that produce music because they completely rob the artists. Sure, they make some money, but it is like the publisher when it comes to books, except worse.

    Posted by Parker Ryan on Jan 12, 2005.