Ladies and gentlemen, for today’s rant I’m talking about a computer company. One that is synonymous with pissing people off, and making stuff that doesn’t work. Of course, I’m talking about…
Fooled ya. Microsoft gets off lucky this time. Don’t worry, I have plenty to kvetch about with Microsoft, just this Apple thing is foremost on my mind right now…
The other day, before the pages were moved to RTT, I downloaded Apple QuickTime 3.0. It sounded like a good plan at the time… Keeping up with the latest version, that kind of thing, right? Only the latest version has a few things that I could do without.
First: it has taken over Netscape Navigator. Whenever ANY multimedia file comes up, it wants to play it. Not just QuickTime movies, but Video for Windows, MIDI and Wave files, and many more, including Photoshop and MacPaint pics. When was the last time you saw a Photoshop or MacPaint file as part of a website? Besides, I have ActiveMovie (it still works for some reason) for AVI’s and the default Netscape LiveAudio plugin for the WAV’s and MIDI’s. But the real problem is QuickTime takes forever to load. It can lock up my computer for a good 30 seconds before starting to download the file. Just a little annoying.
Second, and worse, is the new QuickTime Player Pro, or something like that. You see, apparantly Apple’s decided that, now that they have propigated the .mov format across the Windows platform, they can start trying to make some money off of it. Fair enough, it’s a free market. But, do not make me watch an ad for the Player Pro every time I open a .mov on the web. This is exactly what it does, it tells you about all the wonderful features of the Player Pro, and makes you click “Now” or “Later”, as in “Do you want to upgrade to QuickTime Player Pro now or later?” Anyone who’s ever used WinZip for the 30-day free trial knows what it’s like clicking a button every time you load a program. Difference is, WinZip isn’t free, and they make that quite clear. QuickTime, on the other hand, is free, except for this wonderful new “Pro” option. So I’ve uninstalled QuickTime 3.0 and gone back to the previous version, 188.8.131.52, which really was free, no strings attached.
Want a lesson in how to offer a free version of your program? Check out Eudora Light. If you don’t ever want to get Eudora Pro, you can tell the program that by clicking on “Never” when the nag screen comes up. Last time you’ll ever see that nag screen. Come on, Apple; you’re in enough financial trouble already without pissing off all the Windows users who might otherwise consider buying QuickTime Pro. (Quick math lesson: 100,000 pissed-off Windows users deciding not to shell out $30 (US) a pop is $3,000,000.) Put a “Never” button next to “Now” and “Later”. Because unless you do, I’m never considering buying the Pro version.
Addendum: [20 May 1998] I was talking to a friend who owns a Mac. Seems the brand new QuickTime Player 3.0 for Macintosh does the same thing to him that it does to me. Good move, Apple. Piss off the 4% who are actually still using your computers. No wonder Bill Gates had to save your sorry assets.
Addendum: [7 May 2000] Remember what I said about Eudora Light? Forget it. Chek out the 7 May 2000 Rant to find out why.