Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ
Sorry, but I completely disagree. Just because someone doesn't want or need some features doesn't mean others don't...
I wish I could discuss MP3 players, but I can't. I have an old iPod and it's fine for my use. Whether or not it's the best though is debatable...
You can completely disagree all day, but you are not disagreeing with me, because that is not what I said. So don't be sorry that you disagree; be sorry that you are misinterpreting what I said (not really, DD always has a free season pass in my book). Whether an individual wants or needs a particular feature is completely a different thought. What I said is that a DVR needs to have one primary function, which is the ability to record and playback, and one primary attribute, which is reliability. And if it meets that bar, what separates it from the others is how good the interface is, period, regardless of whatever auxillary "features" it might also have. So a laundry list of features is kind of pointless.
Tivo always had the best interface, but it has gone downhill because the company can't muster a technical staff, which is because they no longer have any money to hire and keep one and are hemorraghing money daily. There are things about the DTV DVR that are not as elegant as the Tivo interface used to be, but it has some really clever and useful touches directly inside the interface
that Tivo never even dreamed of even at its peak.
But I consider "features" to be a separate category from what makes an interface ergonomically sound. And features all have a negative side. Adding features that don't do much doesn't mean much to those who don't want them, and you could say fine, don't use them. But every feature complicates the system reducing reliability, taking the focus off of the engineers improving what actually is important, sucking up CPU cycles that could be better used responding in a timely fashion to a remote command, etc. They are not just something benign that is there that you don't have to use if you don't want to; there is always a price, even for those that don't want or use them. And every DVR company seems to be just as guilty as the next in this, reminiscent of the bloatware days of software "features" in the 90's.
And again, while I don't want to keep using a company that is often the exception to the rule as an example, its the iCloud Syndrome all over again. For instance, I discovered that CDs that I had bought in a record store and imported into iTunes long ago were no longer on my Macbook Air. Instead, for some unknown reason, they were in the cloud! And only in the cloud! How does that even happen? They made an arbitrary decision about my personal property without consulting me. Apple took my imported content and moved it to their stupid cloud. For what earthly purpose? Leave my content alone, ferchrissakes. Not all of us are continually within wifi distance of One Infinity Loop; what if I am out camping in the boonies and I want to hear Elton John's "Burn Down The Mission", which I bought at Tower Records a generation ago but which now is only available to me through my iCloud account? Sons of b.....s!
And when a DVR adds tons of useless features I don't want and then suddenly can't respond to the remote in a timely fashion because of it, or locks up because the LAN is funky (although I don't need to be on a LAN to record or playback on a DVR), what am I supposed to think about the decisionmaking of those who designed and maintain this system for their customers, other than they are idiots and should all be fired? Or shot?
Just because you have the technology and the power to make changes doesn't mean you should make those changes and tinker with that technology willy-nilly. That seems to be something that has been lost in product services. There is something to be said for consistency. Everyone who has the power to screw with technology that we have already bought and paid for should listen to Walter White, and learn to "tread lightly", before someone gets fed up and goes all "Heisenberg" on them.
We can all have our own different opinions, but here is one you can't have; it is not debateable whether the iPod is "the best" MP3 player. That verdict has been in for some time. There really are no other MP3 players, and the few outliers like SanDisk never really even tried to compete.
One of the reasons is because the iPod is not just an MP3 player, it is part of a system and an ecosystem that works elegantly. I and others can find plenty of problems with that ecosystem, but the reason you can't find problems with the other ecosystems is because there aren't any other ecosystems because the iTunes ecosystem basically destroyed all of them. When one system dominates with 99.9% of the market, that is a pretty clear indicator that it is the only real game in town, and often the reason for that is because that game is so much better than anything that ever tried to compete with it. People can hate Apple (I do often) and whine about how closed and demagogic the system is, but you got to tip your hat to them; they changed everything. I have 5 items in different product categories of theirs that I use every single day of my life, and there are hundreds of millions of users all over the globe that do as well. And the watch and the TV are probably going to be next.
You can find some greybeard sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch with a shotgun railing about how good his Zune is, sure, except that they stopped making it years ago for the obvious reasons (it sucked, which is why they couldn't sell it). And the iPod isn't even an MP3 player anyway. Oh, it'll play them for backwards compatibility, but the entire system and everything on the iTunes store has nearly always been AAC, which runs rings around MP3 and has for a decade or more.
Again, there can be a lot of opinions about much of this, and all are welcome to them, but where the iPod ranks among portable music players is not open to opinion, because that is has no peer or even a close second, is an ironclad fact. And since the MP3 player era is essentially history, now that it has been replaced by mobile internet-connected devices, it is pretty unlikely that those facts could ever change; I don't imagine any contenders to the throne will ever be on the horizon.
I don't often use this forum just to rant. Feels kinda good, even if you don't read it. Cheaper than therapy.