Sunday, January 15, 2006

Embarrassed to be a Mac user

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Let's face it, some of them are vogue-enslaved dolts ripe for the duping. I swear these Apple accessory bazaars could sell iSnow to Apple worshipping Eskimos.

Take the iPod for instance (please take them all away!). I'm left dumb-struck by the sheer number of two-bit, fly-by-night schlockmeisters to have jumped on this bandwagon in order to peddle their useless tat. The lunacy of this industry really hit home for me yesterday when I was watching episode 28 of CommandN (an IPTV tech show). For his regular 'Hot Stuff' segment Jeff McArthur presented us with the PED2 iPod stand from Thought Out. Admittedly he wasn't too thrilled with the idea of receiving one as a present at first, but soon lost the plot as he waxed lyrical about its innovative features and ergonomic design. The demonstration was neatly rounded off with the rubber-stamped verdict, "at $40 it's great value for a stand".

Firstly who on earth needs a stand for their portable music device, iPod or otherwise? You connect the thing to your computer, transfer some new media, unplug it and pop it back in your pocket. At which stage in this simple process is a stand necessary? Does resting my MP3 player carefully on my desk when connected to my computer make me a radical deviant? Maybe these contraptions are designed to be head-mounted when their owners are out and about. Hey, just think, if people had their iPods dangling from their foreheads you'd know instantly they belonged to the hip clique allowing you to gasp with wide-eyed adulation in a timely fashion as they swaggered past. Pure genius!

Buying a stand for a device which only spends a matter of minutes on your desk wouldn't be so silly if this white (also available in black) elephant only cost a couple of quid. As we all know, trendy junk like this is always pitched at a premium price - for the privilege of becoming the proud owner of this particular useless trinket you'd be expected to shell out $40 (roughly £22.50). I should add that for this price you don't even get a cable to connect your iPod to your computer - that will set you back an extra $18 (just over a tenner in real money). So all in all that's a whopping $58 for a hunk of metal which doesn't actually serve any purpose whatsoever.

None of this matters of course because it's an iPod accessory. In other words, iDrones throughout the world will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on one. Behold Apple fanboyism pushed to the limit - and you thought fundamentalist Christians were scary.

If you need any further evidence of this phenomenon you only have to look to the Tango speaker system, PlasticSmith Mini Skirt Glo and iPod socks.

When contemplating the practicality of a monstrous speaker system for the iPod, I'd again have to draw your attention to the fact that iPods are supposed to be portable. We can safely assume this is a given can't we? I just don't get it. Are iPod owners expected to carry this ear drum obliterator around in their back pocket in case, on the spur of the moment, they succumb to the urge to stage a rave on the bus on their way to work or in the office once they arrive?

If the intention is to provide people with a home audio system, likewise, what the hell? My memory may be a bit shaky here, but didn't people play music through their computers before they were blessed with the wondrous gift of the iPod? How many people who are musically-inclined enough to buy an iPod don't already have a decent pair of speakers rigged up to their computer?

I know I shouldn't start a sentence with 'and' but. And, correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't iFood (the media you copy to your iPod, I made that one up myself) emanate from your computer in the first place? So let's get this straight; iDisciples are transferring a limited selection of audio content from their hard-drive-capacity-superior computers to their iPods to be played back through a superfluous set of speakers in the very same room where their multimedia jukebox (PC or Mac) is located, and sits idly in the corner wondering what it did to deserve being paired up with such a muppet. Yours for only $199.

As for the glowing MacMini miniskirt, it originally entered the market with a £35 price tag, uses up one of the Mini's two precious USB ports, and, serves absolutely no purpose. In its defence, it does come equipped with those elegant and absolutely crucial non-skid feet. I've lost count of the number of times a careless nudge has sent my Mac Mini gliding over the edge of my desk because it relies on a mere foam layer of padding to keep it in position. Thanks PlasticSmith.

iPod socks! At $29! I'm sorry I can't bear it any more. I'm going to unburden my frazzled mind of all this madness by boogying the night away with man's best friend, the iDog.

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