Some might consider it privilege, others elitism. But it's also torture. Since 2010 we are a Apple household. And I want to say upfront: this was not my choice. My better-half has completely fallen over the iPad edge and is now a total "post-pc" user. That is, she doesn't use a personal computer anymore. And that's fine. I don't mind being system administrator for her tablet. (There is a joke in there somewhere ;-) I agreed to all this because I was gettin' tired of managing an ever growing home media database and always hearing, "Honey, it's too complicated." Ok. I admit it. When she commanded that we go Apple, I agreed. But. The thing to remember is that I have a much longer history with Apple than she does. And I will never be the one to promote Apple because it's easier than Windows or it's more friendly. That's all just bullshit. Anywho.
For us, now, it's all about the easy consumption of media. Which means, iPad2 for the honey, iCloud and access to all our stuff in an apartment that has three floors. But let me add, even though I mainly use a Macbook Pro, I also run Win7 natively on it and am constantly switching between the two OSs - you can read more on my switch and frustration with Apple here. Oh, and before I get too off topic, we also have two Apple TV2 devices connected to an awesome multi-channel sound system and flat screens. All of our media comes from a dedicated Mac Min and iTunes. The great thing about this setup is that, once you get it working, you can practically turn off TV forever. Seriously. But keep in mind. There's only one thing worse than what Apple is doing to the computing world: television. Anywho. Now it's all Podcasts and all our other media - which is just a huge music and movie library. All that sounds pretty neato-torpedo, eh. Well it ain't.
The problem is, iTunes and most of the software Apple makes, really, really sucks. We live in a world where corporations can only get wildly ahead if they somehow or other take advantage of customers and also do all they can to monopolize their efforts. Apple, obviously, is genius at this. For one thing, we have accumulated a nice little media library made up of 20+ years of purchased DVDs and CDs. According to our iTunes setup we have 5k songs. We have well over 500 movies and TV shows. If anyone out there has ever tried to manage such a digital library then you know how time consuming it is. It was because our library was getting so large we decided to go Apple - even if it meant taking a hit on picture and sound quality. (That's right, don't ever think you are getting quality stuff when you buy Apple. Steve Jobs & Co. have perfected that lie.) The problem we had when everything was on Windows and various media devices, was getting everything to work. When it did work it was brilliant. But when my better-half had trouble accessing stuff, well, she wasn't very happy. So we talked, discussed, mapped out our home media system and finally switched to Apple - and I've been bitchin' & moaning' ever since.
As a former dot-comer there is one thing that I will never forget about computing. Software doesn't work. It is inherent that software must eventually fail. That's just the way it is. Lo and behold, recently I ran into another problem with iTunes, i.e. software. The switch to iTunes took about half a year. Like I said, we had to take a hit in quality - who really needs 1080p! - but everything worked fairly well. Movies and TV shows, music and podcasts all worked. I even broke down and bought a few movies via the iTunes store. That made me realize that the end was nigh regarding physical media. Anywho. Our biggest problem started when we realized that our household media could only be accessed through one Apple ID. Not only that, iTunes can only access one media library. There are tricks you can employ to get around some of this stuff but these tricks can have a negative effect on how the whole system works. The process of switching Apple IDs, which we had to do because of requirements of Better-Half, is obviously a very cumbersome thing to do. Change that ID and all your stuff is gone. Luckily I have backups. Getting everything working again under a new Apple ID took the better part of three days.
So why does Apple do this? They do this because they know that the majority of users are small children who do not need to worry themselves about whether things work or not. Also. Apple has sold whatever soul it may have had when it enabled and facilitated the whole music download thing. Hence the stiff requirements of Apple IDs. On top of that, Apple is doing everything it can to nullify users realizing that you're better off buying cheap DVDs in stores and ripping them into your system. The cost of purchasing stuff via iTunes is just downright ridiculous. BTW, Amazon music downloads are 100x better than iTunes.
If I had to do this all again, would I go Apple? Unfortunately the question is mute. The problem is Apple is so big now that there really isn't a decent hardware and software that can compete with them. The whole post-PC thing is gonna make things even worse because it ultimately means that you won't ever own anything again that is digital. Wow.
Rant on. -Tomas-