Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Red Dwarf Radio Show on iTunes. Meh.

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  • #2348
    Baz
    Participant

    I see from the latest official site update that the red Dwarf radio shows are now available to download from iTunes as “twin CD” sets.

    SO WHY CAN’T I BUY IT AS A SMEGGING TWIN CD SET THEN?

    I don’t LIKE downloads. I want something physical in my hand (no sniggering from the back there). So what if it takes up space, so what if it might cost a little more. I’d like the option. If it was there I’d buy the things. As it it I’m just going to let it go the way of the mobile phone animations and not bother.

    Sigh.

    #80548
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    You could always download it and then burn it to a CD…

    #80549
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    (in all seriousness, though, I’d guess the logic is that they simply can’t predict how well it will or won’t do – CDs will cost money to put out, and they can’t be guaranteed to recoup it. It’s a reissue of an audio book of a nearly twenty-year-old tie-in novel for a TV show that hasn’t been on the air this decade. It’s the very definition of “niche”. Maybe if it sells well on iTunes, a physical reissue might be more forthcoming…)

    #80550
    Phil
    Participant

    I kind of hear where Baz is coming from. I know it’s just a matter of commercial uncertainty that’s keeping them from being released on physical CDs in shops, but I like to have a physical reminder of my purchase, something tangible to put on a shelf or a rack somewhere…

    Also, too much can go wrong with downloads–it’s too easy to lose them. I have a lot of digital music, but it all comes from physical CDs. I have backups. They’re in no danger.

    And, yeah, I could burn them to a CD, but CDs have a limited lifespan before their layers cease to hold themselves together, and something burned on a home computer has a lifespan much shorter.

    I’d like to hear them, but how often will I listen to them? Owning a CD set is more appealing to me than paying for the data itself. It’s not a shot against the product, it’s just the way my buying habits work.

    Is it better that it’s being released in this format than not at all? Well, of course. Yeah. Because a lot of people don’t mind and they are going to love it. But there are definitely going to be a few who would rather have something in a case, with a nice little booklet or something, rather than a Memorex CD on a spindle somewhere with DWARF RADIO THING written on it in black marker.

    #80551
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    >Also, too much can go wrong with downloads?it?s too easy to lose them.

    I don’t use iTunes, but I would be very surprised if your downloads aren’t associated with your account – in other words, once you’ve paid for them, you can download them any time if they accidentally get deleted or you have to clear space…

    #80552
    Phil
    Participant

    >once you?ve paid for them, you can download them any time if they accidentally get deleted or you have to clear space?

    This may be true…I DO use iTunes, but, as I say, I don’t buy music from it, I just rip stuff from my CDs.

    Anyone know for sure?

    #80557
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    I don’t care that they’re download-only rather than on CDs. Obviously, a CD release would be great, but people (not just in this thread) seem to be suffering from the old delusion that GNP can just decide “let’s release a CD!” and it’ll be in the shops the next day.

    The thing that bothers me is that there’s no alternative to using iTunes. I don’t have iTunes, and I don’t want its fat, bloated, DRMed face anywhere near my aged and fragile computer. Why can’t I buy the shows anywhere else? I am willing to pay money for this product, but an unable to. Which is a bit rubbish.

    #80558
    Andrew
    Participant

    > unable
    > I don?t want

    Which is it?

    #80561
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    > Which is it?

    Er… isn’t it both since they refer to different things? Unable to buy Red Dwarf goods, and doesn’t want to use iTunes. The point is those two things shouldn’t really be clashing.

    #80564
    Andrew
    Participant

    If you have a computer that’s capable of running iTunes – which is free – then you’re capable of owning the product. You’re not unable, you’re just unwilling to purchase from a certain source using a certain format.

    “I want to watch Bodysnatcher but I do not wish to own a DVD player…”

    #80567
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    But iTunes uses a proprietary format, and forces you to install certain things you don’t necessarily want. Some of us don’t want to be forced to have a specific piece of software managing our music collections – we’re not morons, we’d like to be allowed to do it ourselves, thanks. And in order to buy stuff from them, I don’t see why you should have to install their incredibly resource-hungry software. So that’s the objection that many people have to iTunes, and why a lot of us prefer to get our music through other means.

    And if your computer doesn’t have the power to run iTunes (and it really does have a massive footprint compared to Winamp or even WMP), then you ARE unable to own the product. And this is disappointing.

    #80569
    Phil
    Participant

    >people (not just in this thread) seem to be suffering from the old delusion that GNP can just decide ?let?s release a CD!? and it?ll be in the shops the next day.

    Yeah, that’s why I made a point of claiming my knowledge of the exact opposite. For me, no, I don’t believe it’s a matter of GNP choosing the wrong format. I know that not every format is a viable option, and I’m personally glad they’re out there. I won’t be buying them because it’s not a format I’ve embraced yet and my listening habits don’t include it.

    >You?re not unable, you?re just unwilling to purchase from a certain source using a certain format.

    Well, sure, but that’s a right the consumer has. I want to play The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass but I don’t want to buy a DS. I’m not bemoaning the lack of cross-platform release, but it’s not anybody’s responsibility to adopt a format into their lives for the sake of one or two things that interest them.

    I understand that GNP can’t go for omni-format release. That’s okay. I don’t mind that. And, again, I want to stress that I’m glad they’re out there…just as I’m glad Zelda exists in many forms that I’ll never even get to play. But the fact is one format brings with it one circle of consumers, and another format brings with it a different circle. There’s overlap, sure, and maybe lots of it, but it’s a differernt circle all the same.

    #80570
    Andrew
    Participant

    > Some of us don?t want

    > Well, sure, but that?s a right the consumer has

    I’m not disagreeing with any of that. I’m just saying that’s a choice. Getting iTunes, buying the books, burning then uninstalling is, generally, an option – that’s all I’m saying. “Don’t want to” isn’t the same as “can’t”. I’m not arguing the iTunes thing one way or the other, because it’s a tedious debate at the best of times. But it IS a smart way for a small company to dip a toe in the water.

    Is it the anti-Apple/whatever that’s preventing G&T from supporting the release?

    #80571
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Hey, I’m in support of the release, I don’t think there’s a general G&T line against it – and as I said earlier in the thread, I can certainly see why it’s a sensible option. But I was more just backing up Ian’s point about iTunes in general, and why there are those of us who don’t want to let the software anywhere near our computers. I’ve got the audiobooks, so it’s a moot point for me anyway, I probably wouldn’t be buying it whatever. But I certainly think a digital release is a good idea, and I can’t see any reason not to support it.

    #80572
    Andrew
    Participant

    > Is it the anti-Apple/whatever that?s preventing G&T from supporting the release?

    Sorry, before that comes across wrong – I’m genuinely asking. It ain’t my job any more, but I’m actually curious.

    #80573
    performingmonkey
    Participant

    > I want to play The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass but I don?t want to buy a DS.

    Id est, you are a foolish man.

    #80575
    Andrew
    Participant

    > I don?t think there?s a general G&T line against it

    It’s just…three G&T runners have posted in the discussion, yet there’s been no real coverage of the first Dwarf digital audio release.

    > I was more just backing up Ian?s point about iTunes in general

    But I was never debating that point. My only query was over the way people who don’t want to do something sometimes say they CAN’T do something, and I was curious as to if that was hyperbole or literal fact.

    #80579
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    It was supposed to be getting written up a while back, I think. But various people have been busy with various things, and I think it ended up slipping by us a bit (I also think it was going to be part of a bigger roundup of stuff). Like the anniversary article. Or doing more Dwarfcasts. Or that kind of thing. It’s been a bit of a difficult time for article-writing lately, for one reason and another…

    #80583
    Dave
    Participant

    I’m glad it’s available.

    I’m less than glad that it’s not available on a physical shiny scratchable medium that I use.

    #80585
    Andrew
    Participant

    > Like the anniversary article. Or doing more Dwarfcasts. Or that kind of thing.

    Well, of course, stuff happens! Like I say, it was just the way everyone has time to do an anti-Apple rant in the comments that surprised me. (The Anniversary article was 3 months ago, and the Dwarfcasts were recorded long ago…given the naming of the Dwarfcasts, and their lack of iTunes availability, I assumed a motive.)

    #80593
    Phil
    Participant

    >I?m just saying that?s a choice. Getting iTunes, buying the books, burning then uninstalling is, generally, an option

    You’re right, but this factors into the investment required for the purchase. It’s more than just a monetary issue; in addition to the question of “is it worth my money?” you now have to ask yourself the related question of “is it worth my time?” Buying a CD takes no time at all…but if you intend to download iTunes, register an account, make a transaction, download your purchase, burn your purchase to an audio CD and uninstall the iTunes software…well, that’s a very real process, and you’d have to reeeeeeeeally want something to go through all that just to get it.

    I’m not saying your point is without merit…you’re right. People CAN do it. But it’s a question of worth, and value, and the fact is that people may be turned off by what seems to be–and in this case is–an excessive series of obligations.

    >everyone has time to do an anti-Apple rant in the comments

    I’d imagine that a quick “rant” of two or three sentences can be tossed off while doing other things, or on a short break at work or something…whereas it takes actual time and focus to sit down and write a news article about something.

    I can only speak for myself, but I post a lot here while I’m at work…yet anything of merit I contribute to NTS usually happens on a day off, when I have several hours to just sit and consider what it is I’d like to say, and how to say it.

    Also, I don’t think it’s an anti-Apple atmosphere around here! I’m hugely pro-Apple (based on personal experience, mind…not trends) and I know John’s a big fan of his Mac Mini…

    I think Seb and Ian–rightly–are just against the selfishness of the iTunes install, which is one of the things Apple pointlessly stole from Microsoft, and therefore they are deserving of the dissatisfaction that goes along with it. That’s not anti-Apple…it’s anti-pointlessness, whomever does it.

    An interesting epilogue to this story is that I tried to log on to the iTunes store after work to see if it was available for US download (not everything is) and I got a message saying I couldn’t use the iTunes store anymore unless I upgraded to the newest version of the application. Which doesn’t run on my version of OSX.

    So despite the fact that my iTunes store was fully functional before the mandatory upgrade, I’ll need to buy a new computer to use it ever again because iTunes wants to show me awesome videos, or some such bullcrap, that it couldn’t do in the old version. Regardless of whether or not I actually want to see them.

    So…I guess we can upgrade my condition from “won’t purchase” to “can’t purchase.”

    #80595
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    >I think Seb and Ian?rightly?are just against the selfishness of the iTunes install, which is one of the things Apple pointlessly stole from Microsoft, and therefore they are deserving of the dissatisfaction that goes along with it. That?s not anti-Apple?it?s anti-pointlessness, whomever does it.

    This is a good point… but I am also pretty anti-Apple in general. As is Ian, I think ;-)

    #80597
    Pheonix11
    Participant

    I have both books unabridged on cassette. *Ebay love*

    Had the Radio show come out on to CD I would have considered buying them.
    I have iTunes for my general music listen needs, but I will not be buying from them.

    I like to have the disc in my hands.

    Another thing, Seb makes a fair point about the risks of putting out an audio book that people may not buy, but don’t a lot of publishers do that?
    When I first heard about the re-release my first thought was, Oooo Signing event!
    Surely that would generate interest.

    Just my thoughts.

    YMMV

    Phe

    #80598
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    This is a good point? but I am also pretty anti-Apple in general. As is Ian, I think ;-)

    I’m not. My next computer will probably be a MacBook Pro, if I can afford it. I just don’t like iPods or iTunes.

    #80599
    Andrew
    Participant

    > You?re right, but this factors into the investment required for the purchase

    Did give the impression that I might not realise that?

    > I think Seb and Ian?rightly?are just against the selfishness of the iTunes install,

    But I never argued for or against any of that – mainly because we already know what the issues are going to be, and I’m not remotely interested in reading them over and over again. Nothing I asked was along “Why don’t you like iTunes, it’s brilliant!” lines.

    #80600
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    > given the naming of the Dwarfcasts, and their lack of iTunes availability, I assumed a motive.)

    The naming of them was a deliberate attempt to remove the word ‘Pod’, because it’s becoming irritatingly ubiquitous, but the iTunes feed (and, indeed, a plain XML feed) is just a matter of us not getting round to it yet.

    #80605
    Phil
    Participant

    >Did give the impression that I might not realise that?

    Well, you rattled off a fairly convoluted way for somebody to end up with the files but not have iTunes sitting on their computer, which, as I pointed out, is possible, yes. People CAN do it. But can you expect them to do it? People can build an automobile from the ground up and probably save a lot of money in the process. But it’s an investment of time, as well, which, I reckon, is why most people buy them premade. We CAN do it…but we don’t. For a lot of us, the effort isn’t worth it. You can’t expect that the effort of download/registration/purchase/download/burn/uninstall is going to attract many people who don’t want iTunes. And though I wasn’t trying to sound snarky before, in answer to your question, no, you did not specifically give an indication that you realized this.

    >But I never argued for or against any of that

    Your question was: Is it an anti-Apple sentiment that keeps G+T from endorsing this release?

    My answer was: No, I don’t think there is one (apart from Seb, I can say now ;-), but people are concerned about introducing a program like iTunes to their computer.

    #80607
    Andrew
    Participant

    > But can you expect them to do it?

    But I wasn’t issuing it as a suggestion! It wasn’t my counter-argument for people who don’t like iTunes. My question was “Is it can’t or won’t?” Literally, that was it. To one person, to Ian. And yet you keep replying with another “And here’s why that’s a bad suggestion, and here’s why people don’t like iTunes.” None of which comes close to answering the question – you’re defending an assertion I never made in the first place.

    Do you see me on the other side of the iTunes debate? Have I weighed in with the debate on its qualities? Have I suggested anyone not using it is being unreasonable? You’re arguing a point that’s not in contention with someone who never pitched a suggestion in the first place.

    > Your question was: Is it an anti-Apple sentiment that keeps G+T from endorsing this release?
    >
    > My answer was: No, I don?t think there is one (apart from Seb, I can say now ;-), but people are concerned about introducing a program like iTunes to their computer.

    Given the the question came from seeing the posted dislike of iTunes, did I give any indication that I needed the second part explaining?

    #80608
    Phil
    Participant

    >My question was ?Is it can?t or won?t?? Literally, that was it. To one person, to Ian. And yet you keep replying

    With my opinion, yeah. That’s all it is…and it’s okay. More than one person is allowed to respond to things! No matter what Tonguetied may have tried to teach us…

    >Given the the question came from seeing the posted dislike of iTunes, did I give any indication that I needed the second part explaining?

    Given that this is a discussion board read by more than the two people who may happen to be conversing at any given time, is there any reason I should have NOT explained what I was trying to say? ;-)

    I hate to say it, man, but seriously, don’t get defensive! My comments have been pretty general, on the whole. I’m brainstorming this thing as much as anyone…you shouldn’t interpret a post I make in reference to something you say to mean that I think you’re a bonehead who needs everything laid out before him.

    That’s not the case.

    It’s a discussion board. I’m bringing my end of the discussion in an overall general sense, for everyone to read, for everyone to interpret, and for everyone to agree/disagree with as they see fit. They’re not shots at you and they’re not disrespectful…don’t interpret them to be!

    #80609
    Andrew
    Participant

    So a simple “Sorry Andrew, I thought you were saying people should just download the thing and uninstall when they’re done” is going to be too much for you?

    Go on, admit you misunderstood. :-)

    #80610
    Phil
    Participant

    Well, no, there wasn’t a misunderstanding–I knew you were saying it was something people theoretically COULD do as opposed to SHOULD do, and I addressed that above–but if you got your feelings hurt or thought I was attacking you personally in any way, then yes, of course I apologize.

    #80612
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    This thread makes my head hurt.

    #80614
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    My balls hurt.

    #80615
    Andrew
    Participant

    Just seemed like a contradiction between this:

    “I knew you were saying it was something people theoretically COULD do as opposed to SHOULD do”

    And this:

    “You can?t expect that the effort of download/registration/purchase/download/burn/uninstall is going to attract many people who don?t want iTunes. And though I wasn?t trying to sound snarky before, in answer to your question, no, you did not specifically give an indication that you realized this.”

    So, for the record – of COURSE I realise that’s not an attractive option, especially when compared to a click-to-buy, and especially for people who don’t want iTunes in the first place. Of COURSE I’m aware that it’s labour intensive and inconvenient. And of COURSE I don’t expect people to actually do that, or find it attractive. Not sure how it came across any other way. But apparently it did.

    Anyway, yeah, enough. I apologise for…well, that.

    #80616
    Phil
    Participant

    I NOMINATE THIS THREAD FOR HALL OF SHAME STATUS.

    #80619
    John Hoare
    Participant

    For the record – I was supposed to write the article about this. I’ve not got round to it yet – I have an unfinished draft here – but it’s my incompetence that’s stopped there being an article, nothing else. To the point where I’ve told everyone “Don’t write anything about it, as I’ve got an unfinished draft here”. Completely my fault, but I agree that G&T should have covered it ages ago, and it’s slightly pathetic that we haven’t done it.

    #80620
    John Hoare
    Participant

    I don?t have iTunes, and I don?t want its fat, bloated, DRMed face anywhere near my aged and fragile computer.

    But iTunes uses a proprietary format,

    Actually, the audiobooks are sold as iTunes Plus tracks. Which means – no DRM. They’re sold as unprotected AAC files, which is not an Apple format, and have no more patent issues than MP3 files.

    There is a myth that iTunes only sells files with DRM, but with the introduction of iTunes Plus, this just isn’t the case any more.

    #80660
    Leelu
    Participant

    Ah! That’s a useful bit of info. Thanks, John. For me at least it makes the idea of dipping a novice toe into iTunes for the sake of having the RD radio plays a more likely prospect. :)

    And no, I’m not making a comment about liking iTunes/Apple/etc. or not. Just like eBay, it’s thanks to my interest in RD that I may start using the iTunes site too.

    #80674
    Mr Flibble
    Participant

    If you have a Mac and an iPod, iTunes is great. If you haven’t, regardless of iTunes Plus, it’s a bit of a pain.

    But if it’s DRM free on iTunes, you only have to go on there to buy it, so I can’t see a big issue really – it’s better than GNP selling it through their own site as lots of people have iTunes accounts anyway.

    Thankfully I have a Mac and an iPod, so I don’t need to worry about the other stuff.

    #80675
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    I’d have no issues with buying DRM-free things from iTunes if there was just a website I could use to do so. I really don’t see why such a thing doesn’t exist. I’d happily give Apple some money if I could do so without downloading their stupid fat-headed software.

    #80678
    Dave
    Participant

    This whole thing would have been avoided if they had simply made Red Dwarf Radio Shows available for download and not called them 2CD sets.

    #80739
    John Hoare
    Participant

    I agree it would be nice if Apple offered a web gateway for downloading files. The reason they haven’t, I suspect, is because iTunes is needed to manage files with DRM – and non-DRM files were only introduced last year. In all honesty though, there probably hasn’t been enough call from consumers for Apple to implement a web gateway – most people seem happy enough using iTunes.

    (I can’t really speak either way, to be honest. I specifically used a Creative Zen player because I wanted to use it as a normal USB drive with my RISC OS machine, and so manually copying files is just what I’ve got used to. But I’m definitely buying a iPhone later this year because I fell in love with it after using one, and it does nearly everything I want it to – so I’ll need to use iTunes once I get that. I’ll give an honest appraisal of which method I prefer after I’ve used it for a few months. From what I can tell, each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and it just depends on what suits your workflow.)

    It is interesting that Apple is responsible for the near-collapse of DRM for audio files – and this has happened for two reasons. Firstly, direct pressure from Apple – but it would be foolish to ignore the second reason, which is that record companies want to take control away from Apple. And as Apple is the dominant leader in the MP3 player market, the only way record companies can make any headway is by providing files with no DRM at all, at places like the Amazon MP3 Store. If they didn’t do that, then the vast majority of consumers wouldn’t buy the tracks, as they wouldn’t play on iPods.

    Certainly, I would never buy an audio file with DRM, so I’m really glad it’s happened. I just wish something similar would happen with video content, but I’m less positive about that one. With the introduction of DVD – or, hell, Macrovision with VHS – DRM is a lot more entrenched with video content than it ever was with audio.

    #80741
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Incidentally, I *am* holding off buying the Radio Shows for now – but not for any reasons connected with iTunes. It’s just that I’m really interested in a CD release, and I want to see if that happens first.

    And the reason I’m really interested in a CD release is that I’m really interested in OWNING STUFF. I want a CD that I can stick on my shelf. Which is perhaps silly for all sorts of reasons – files are more convenient, and better for the environment if you want to start getting into all that kind of thing, and maybe in 10 years I’ll be so used to buying files online that I won’t give it a second thought. But right now… I’m still in “WANT PHYSICAL STUFF” mode.

    #80745
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    John Hoare did speak…
    Incidentally, I *am* holding off buying the Radio Shows for now – but not for any reasons connected with iTunes. It?s just that I?m really interested in a CD release, and I want to see if that happens first.

    It won’t.

    #80748
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    But I?m definitely buying a iPhone later this year because I fell in love with it after using one, and it does nearly everything I want it to

    NO. BAD.

    #80749
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    It does everything you want to? You can’t be bothered about 3G, then. Not to mention the various other things that it won’t do. And if you’re not bothered about the things it can’t do… well, there are a hell of a lot more phones out there that won’t charge you nearly ?200 on top of your contract for the privilege…

    #80751
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Isn’t 3G coming very soon though? I’m with John (and I’ve always held off buying Ipods), it’s too damn sweet.

    #80755
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    What is sweet about it, though? Seriously? What makes it better than a HTC Touch or a Nokia N95? They can both do a hell of a lot more than the iPhone, and they don’t cost ?200 to boot. Yes, it’s pretty, and yes, it’s got a touchscreen (good luck with the lack of hardware keys if it gets knackered/scratched or your fingers are mucky, mind). But what’s actually special about it that you simply CANNOT get in another phone?

    The only differences I can see are aesthetics and marketing. Ooh, it looks pretty. Ooh, Apple have got a load of adverts that suggest that they invented the idea of mixing a phone with a music player and mobile web browser (on that note, this article amused me quite a lot). Riiiight.

    #80756
    Andrew
    Participant

    > I specifically used a Creative Zen player because I wanted to use it as a normal USB drive

    You can use your iPod as a USB drive as well as a media player.

    #80757
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Yes, but you can’t play any files that you put on it – you have to use iTunes (or an unofficial third party app) to manage them. I’m guessing that John meant, rather than wanting to also put non-music data on his MP3, he wanted to actually be able to manage his music through Windows Explorer (something I prefer to do, as well) – which an iPod doesn’t let you.

    #80760
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Also, you can only get it on one network, with a very fucking expensive tariff. So as well as the huge cost of the phone itself, you’ve got a monthly burden to the tune of over 50 quid.

    #80761
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    My step dad has an unlocked iPhone and that seems to work great with any SIM you throw at it. That ups the cost of the phone to over ?300, mind.

    I think the iPhone has been built for how the world will be in about 5 years time, as all connectivity has to be done through WiFi and that’s only really useful when you have hot spots everywhere, but we don’t at the moment. Mind you, there’s an absolute butt load of custom apps (from Apple and third parties) you can download to it, and one of them *must* enable 3G…

    After using it, though, by far the worst thing about it is the absolute cluster fuck oh syncing the bastard. You *need* to use iTunes, but if you want to sync it with contacts or calendar events you have to use Microsoft Outlook or Address Book which just seems needlessly faffy (and, believe me, it fucking is) when they should really update iTunes to include all this stuff. This is just Apple being lazy cunts with their Windows support, I guess.

    I don’t think I’d ever go as far to discourage someone from getting one, especially if they know what they’re talking about and what they’re buying which John clearly does.

    #80762
    Phil
    Participant

    Yeah, never underestimate the power of “just wanting to own something.” It outweighs logic something like 7/10 times.

    I have no real inclination to get an iPhone, or any one of its competitors, but I do remember absolutely NEEDING an iPod when I was buying an MP3 player. Nothing else was even a possibility as far as I was concerned.

    Was it because I did loads of research and decided for any rational reason that the iPod was for me?

    Nah.

    I just used one once and fell in love.

    Sometimes that’s enough.

    #80763
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Yeah, 3G iPhones are coming next month, I believe. I couldn’t afford one until now anyway, but even if I could have done, I was going to wait until the 3G enabled ones came out.

    But the reason I want one is fairly simple – the user interface. Yes, the phone looks gorgeous (and the screen is amazing – which is really important if I plan to use it for watching stuff on), but that’s not the main reason I’m getting it – it’s the interface that I fell in love with. The sheer fucking usability of the thing. And for me, that’s *worth* paying that much for the phone (and I think it’s well worth the money) – and the admittedly rather unfortunate business of putting up with the contract. Like my DS Lite, I just had a big smile on my face within a minute of picking it up, and not many things manage to do that!

    I will, on your recommendation Seb, try and get a test drive on the two phones you mention before buying – indeed, I was probably going to do this anyway, as it’s a fair amount of cash. I doubt I’ll find them as lovely to use… but I’ll go into it with an open mind, and admit I was wrong if I prefer them.

    #80764
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Also: I do stress that I’m just talking about what’s right for me. I’m not advocating everybody gets an iPhone, if they don’t do everything you need them to do, or if you just don’t take to the user interface (or don’t see anything special about it compared to cheaper alternatives), or if you absolutely can’t stand using iTunes, or many other reasons. Apple’s design choices generally suit me very well… but they are design *choices*. For some people, those choices are the wrong ones, and they’re better off with something else – and that’s fine.

    #80765
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    See, that’s what I would call the right attitude, and you’ve got your reasons, and that’s fine, and I wouldn’t want to try and persuade you to go for a different phone just because I don’t like iPhones. It just depends what you want out of it – the N95 and the HTC Touch Dual (or, if you’re on t-mobile, the MDA Touch Plus) are, in my view, the absolute pinnacle of smartphones in that price range (as in, ones you can get on a ?30-35 upwards contract – let’s not go into Nokia Communicators and all that stuff), running on great operating systems – Symbian and Windows Mobile respectively – and endlessly customisable with an almost neverending array of third-party apps. But maybe you’re not hugely bothered about having a smartphone (although, you mention video – another benefit of a Windows Mobile phone such as my HTC is that through downloading the right software, you can watch ANY video file. I’ve got DivX and XVid encoded AVIs, along with FLV files yanked off Youtube, and they all play perfectly off my 4GB microSD card. Also, emulation is rather great for Win Mobile/Pocket PC – ScummVM works better than I’ve seen it on any other handheld, especially with a touchscreen, and it can even play the CD/dialogue versions of Sam and Max and DOTT; plus I’ve got a Game Gear emulator!), and I can completely see why the iPhone appeals to you.

    I just think it’s ludicrously expensive compared with every single one of its competitors – in both the smartphone and the “smart phone” (DYSWIDT) markets. And what I don’t like is the endless stream of crap turned out by Apple marketers and fanboys claiming that it’s the most wonderful thing ever – although I guess my endless stream of criticism is just as bad – when in fact, what it really is is a gorgeous-looking phone that lacks in a few features (either by not having them or doing them badly compared to competitors) and retails far above market value, but does have a cracking interface.

    #80766
    Andrew
    Participant

    Still, the iPhone IS brilliant, isn’t it… :-)

    #80785
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    iWant it. I don’t know why. It’s purely a looks thing.

    Mind you “Superficial” is my middle name.

    #80787
    Andrew
    Participant

    Should that be ShitSuperficialHeadBSCSSC?

    #80806
    Somebody
    Participant

    Don’t Apple legally have to sell the iPhone without a contract in France or somesuch?

    #80807
    John Hoare
    Participant

    I believe that’s true, yes.

    The contract thing bugs me a lot, I have to admit. I really *do* think the iPhone is worth the money – and before anyone thinks I’m being an Apple-apologist on that one, bear in mind that I was complaining that cheap Dwarf DVDs devalue the product recently, or that I’m a staunch defender of Nintendo charging what they do for Virtual Console games because they make you realise that old games are *worth* something, not something to toss away after only playing once. For what you’re getting, it’s well worth the money for me.

    BUT – for that money, it should be contract-free. It’s something I’m willing to put up with for the sake of everything else, but it’s irritating. I can understand why it would be a deal-breaker for some.

    #80951
    Rosti
    Participant

    See, this is the reason I refused to touch an Apple product whilst looking for an mp3 player – logically, I knew that the only iPods that did what I wanted were way above my budget and required iTunes (something I keep locked away on an old laptop for the times when it is useful), but I was worried that the form factor & interface combined would be too tempting. I’ve now got a Zen and adore it but my girlfriend left her two-year old Nano in arms reach and it really was quite nice. Which is to say, I can totally understand why people like Apple products in spite of various drawbacks.

    Anyway, good to hear that the RDRS files are DRM-free. Might be tempted to crack out my old laptop and convince it to talk to the internets.

    ::Bonus edit content:: Isn’t (Brand)Cast a pretty standard way of referring to chunks of downloadable talky entertainment at this point? Certainly, it never occurred to me that the name might be an explicit jab at Apple rather than a neat shorthand. That’s neat as in tidy, obviously.
    On the other hand, I did always enjoy Chris Moyles stressing that you could always use a ‘generic mp3 playback device’ to listen to their podcasts back when they were a shiny new feature.

    #81117
    John Hoare
    Participant

    http://www.macworld.com/article/133838/2008/06/iphone3g.html

    3G we knew was coming, as was the App Store. GPS was hoped for, and got. But what was NOT expected was those price slashes! Again, not to say that the iPhone is suitable for everyone – there’s still plenty of deal-breakers if you care about certain things – but at that price, and with the new features, it’s become an even more attractive proposition for me.

    I’m less concerned about the contract now. It’s still annoying you’re FORCED to have one – although I suspect they’ll release an unlocked version in the UK at SOME point, it’s just a question of when – but the price slashes make it less of an issue.

    #81118
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    I don’t suppose any of these extra features will be available to old iPhones as software upgrades will there?

    #81119
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Yes, I believe all the non-hardware features will available for old iPhones through a software update.

    #81120
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    Excellent. My underwhelmed step father might actually start to like his new iPhone after this.

    #81121
    Andrew
    Participant

    BBC One 8:30pm
    My Underwhelmed Stepfather
    Episode 4 – MyPhone or YourPhone?
    Hilarious antics as the Underwhelmed Stepfather feels strong indifference to his new mobile phone. Meanwhile, Post-Adolescent Son gets into a fight over the ownership of an obscure copyright, and Teenage Daughter starts to wonder if menstruation is really worth the effort.
    Repeated on Saturday (s)
    Underwhelmed Stepfather’s Inappropriate Uncle follows on BBC Three

    #81122
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Shame about Post-Adolescent Son getting arrested for possession of Class As.

    #81123
    John Hoare
    Participant

    BBC One 8:30pm
    My Underwhelmed Stepfather
    Episode 4 – MyPhone or YourPhone?
    Hilarious antics as the Underwhelmed Stepfather feels strong indifference to his new mobile phone. Meanwhile, Post-Adolescent Son gets into a fight over the ownership of an obscure copyright, and Teenage Daughter starts to wonder if menstruation is really worth the effort.
    Repeated on Saturday (s)
    Underwhelmed Stepfather?s Inappropriate Uncle follows on BBC Three

    I would genuinely take this over any BBC ONE pre-watershed sitcom since Brittas.

    #81124
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    Did you see My Underwhelmed Stepfather? – Spoilers!

    #81134
    John Hoare
    Participant

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/softwareupdate/

    So yeah, a software update will be available for first-gen iPhones. The only two things that won’t be upgraded are the two hardware features – the 3G, and the GPS.

    #81156
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Blimey:

    http://daringfireball.net/linked/2008/june#tue-10-o2

    I’d still rather pay full price for the phone and do pay-as-you-go, rather than being tied to O2 and a contract, obviously. I’m also always slightly uncomfortable by highly-subsidised or free phones in any case, as is the current practice in the UK. I think you *should* pay for your phone – I think free or highly-subsidised phones devalue what handsets are worth, and makes people think of them as unimportant and disposable. Which – Apple, Nokia, or anything else – they shouldn’t be. They should be an important purchase – smartphones, at least.

    Whatever. It’s a side-issue in any case, as I thought the pricing was fine before.

    #81158
    peas_and_corn
    Participant

    I’ve always bought my phones and done pre-pay. Though I can see how tying someone into a binding contract so the company owns their soul for two years would be attractive for the company.

    I remember once my friend got a razr phone when they first came out under one of those contracts and was all chuffed at having the latest phone, and I just said “you know that in six months you’ll have an obsolete phone (in terms of ‘cutting edge technology’) and then you’ll be stuck with it for another one and a half years… right?”

    She… didn’t like hearing that.

    #81182
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    >I think you *should* pay for your phone – I think free or highly-subsidised phones devalue what handsets are worth, and makes people think of them as unimportant and disposable.

    You do pay for it, though. The cost of it is part of the contract. That’s why, when your initial contract is up, you own the phone, even if you end the contract. I just see it as the same as getting a ?200-300 phone on credit, frankly. Nothing’s to stop you leaving and going to a different company – you just have to give the phone back if you haven’t finished paying for it…

    #81183
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Yeah, fair point, and maybe I just look at it in the wrong way. It’s just personally, I’d rather the emphasis was on the handsets, rather than the contract. But undoubtedly you still pay for it – whilst I haven’t worked out the deal on UK prices, in the US you actually end up paying *more* for the iPhone over two years even though the price for the actual phone has been halved, as the contract rates have gone up too.

    I must admit though that the massive *initial* price reduction means that I’ll probably get a new iPhone on launch day (barring my miraculous but possible conversion to Windows Mobile, as I *will* check out those other two phones and report back).

    Seb, can you point me towards which contract you’re on at the moment? I want to compare them to the O2 tarriffs. I pretty much guarantee that the O2 ones will be more expensive, as you’ll have been able to shop around for the best deal – although the unlimited data on the iPhone contracts is good, at any rate.

    #81186
    Andrew
    Participant

    > the unlimited data on the iPhone contracts is good

    This, more than anything else beyond the joy of the device, is what appeals to me. But while I’m working from home, I doubt I’d use 15 quids’ worth of mobile net per month. (The price of my regular phone tariff being 15 quid, so I’d be paying twice as much to GET the extra stuff.)

    #81189
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    >the unlimited data on the iPhone contracts is good, at any rate.

    I get unlimited data on my T-Mobile contract – they let you whack it onto pretty much any contract for an extra ?7.50. AFAIK, O2 do something similar, so it’s not just something they’ve introduced for the iPhone…

    #81190
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Oh, and I just saw your question – I’m on T-Mobile Flext Web ‘n’ Walk. It’s ?32.50 a month, but that includes the ?7.50 for unlimited internet. The ?25 gets me ?90 of “credit” a month – which equates to either 900 texts, 450 minutes, or a combination of the two.

    #81191
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    (but T-Mobile are slightly cheaper than O2, I think, largely because their coverage still isn’t quite as good. I would have gone for O2 if I’d been buying the Nokia N82 or N95, which was my original plan, but then I saw that T-Mobile had the HTC Touch Dual, and I wanted that, so that’s what I went for)

    #81196
    John Hoare
    Participant

    To be honest, I’m impressed O2’s contracts are OK! I expected to be… not screwed, exactly, but to be *considerably* more expensive than what you’re on.

    But yes, unlimited data will be lovely. Browsing the web on the bus… it’s like the year 2000, or something.

    #81197
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Hmmm… pay-as-you-go iPhone. I had NO idea they were doing that! Looks like I’ll have a decision to make. I dunno… I always resisted getting a contract for a phone because I didn’t use it enough – but I definitely WILL use an iPhone, if only for the data. Hmmm. (Yes, that’s a complete U-turn on what I said before… but that unlimited data for a reasonable price has kinda swayed me.)

    Right, I will now sod off and go and talk about Red Dwarf, or something.

    #81198
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Also: O2’s site is bloody awful. It told me I had an out-of-date browser when I haven’t, the fucking cunt. Not everybody uses IE or Firefox…

    #81218
    peas_and_corn
    Participant

    It needs to be more airy.

    #87263
    John Hoare
    Participant

    I am typing this on my new iPhone! And already, it’s become my favourite thing I own.

    One point to bring up from earlier – I’ve had experience of using the Windows version of iTunes since this thread started… and I HATE it. As slow as FUCK. The Mac version works brilliantly, but no wonder people are slagging it off if they’ve only used the Windows version! Unforgivably shoddy of Apple to put it out in that state. It’s hardly going to encourage switchers.

    #87264
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Did you get your iPhone on PAYG, John? Because if you’ve just spent in the region of ?350-?400 for a phone, I’m going to have to punch you in your stupid face.

    #87265
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    The thing is I own a Macbook and I got a nano a few weeks ago (I didn’t purposely buy it, I was given it) but I still find it restrictive.

    I’d much rather drag and drop in Windows Explorer on my desktop to my Creative Zen than use iTunes.

    #87267
    John Hoare
    Participant

    No, I went contract. Although frankly, it’s WORTH ?400, the amount I’ll use it. (Can’t believe how fast 3G web browsing is!) And with the contract, I may well end up paying the same amount as I would have with PAYG in the long run, depending on how much I end up using the actual phone – so I doubt it really makes much difference.

    #87270
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    My contract is up now(ish). I was weighing the iPhone up against the Nokia Tube X-Press Music wotsit.

    Comments, anyone?

    #87271
    John Hoare
    Participant

    I suspect if you’re not sure, you’d be best off trying them both out before buying.

    #87272
    Phil
    Participant
    #87275
    performingmonkey
    Participant

    I’m posting this on my ipod touch 2nd gen which I love to bits. I’ve always liked iTunes as a player though my obsession with audio means I hardly buy anything from the store, it’s usually if my girlfriend wants to listen to the odd track by the fucking Script or someone. I’ve also bought various b-sides of the Chilis, Manics etc. that I don’t want to find on a physical release. They really need to get 320kbps together though then they might get more custom.

    iPod touch ftw

    #87281
    hummingbird
    Participant

    Fuckin hate i-anything.
    Wont buy ’em on principal.

    Just sayin.

    #87285
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Intelligent and insightful criticism, there.

    #87291
    hummingbird
    Participant

    Yeah, well it was 2am and I was very drunk, thus accounting for the lack of elucidation.

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