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Media (Apple) Media

iPod nano Owners In Screen Scratch Trauma 671

wellington map writes "TheRegister reports iPod nano users have discovered that it is unbelievably easy to scratch the screen, which quickly makes the colour screen all but useless for viewing album art and photos stored on the machine. Apple's discussion forums are already host to hundreds of threads on this topic."
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iPod nano Owners In Screen Scratch Trauma

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  • by jrockway ( 229604 ) * <jon-nospam@jrock.us> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:27AM (#13643854) Homepage Journal
    Always wait until the second generation to buy from Apple. This has been true for years, and it is apparently continuing. iPod nano 2.0 will cost less, have more space, and probably a better screen.

    It hardly ever pays to be an early adopter. Let other people work out the bugs, then enjoy the fruits of their labor :)

    (Posted from a Rev. 2 15" Powerbook G4 :)
  • Unfortunate really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by megla ( 859600 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:27AM (#13643859)
    You'd think with all Apple's advertising resources, they'd have had "Tim from marketing" put it in his pocket for a day just to test it.
    Obviously not. It does seem something of an oversight to launch the product way before the covers and cases are available too. I wonder how long it'll be before we see a 2G nano with modified screen coating...
  • Testing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aneurysm ( 680045 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:27AM (#13643861)
    You wonder how much real life testing these things get away from a lab if the screens scratch within seconds and no-one has noticed. I would at least of hoped they would have got testers out and using them in the real world.
  • by ajiva ( 156759 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:29AM (#13643864)
    My IPod 30gb Color, also scratches very easily screen. Screen, case, you name it. That's why the ipod case business is so large!
  • Hysteria... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:32AM (#13643879) Homepage
    Showm me photo before I believe the screen becomes useless. And it WILL scratch. It's a device that you use constantly in not-very-friendly enviroment. Last I checked, the purpose of exteriors is to protect the interiors, and that means some damage.

    Oh, yes, iPod is for looking at, not for listening to, I forgot...
  • My nano (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sandstorming ( 850026 ) <[moc.gnimrotsdnas] [ta] [eesnhoj]> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:33AM (#13643884)
    It scratches... but not from just being put into my pocket. They're making a mountain out of a hill. (not an ant hill... it is a problem) Buy a case. Simple!
  • by laptop006 ( 37721 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:37AM (#13643905) Homepage Journal
    Don't forget that $100 profit has to cover:
    * Packaging
    * Shipping
    * Retail margin

    And hope to recover the costs of:
    * Advertising
    * R & D
  • Re:Testing? QA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:49AM (#13643963)
    This thing is tiny, and is clearly designed to be put in a pocket (only geeks clip gadgets to their belt). If you put it in your pocket, the screen quickly becomes scratched to the point where it's unreadable. How is that acceptable? Should the letters on your keyboard wear off the first time you type with sweaty hands, too?
  • by jrockway ( 229604 ) * <jon-nospam@jrock.us> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:51AM (#13643969) Homepage Journal
    I always put my 4G iPod into its own pocket but that thing is so scratched I don't even want to look at it. So if you were to ask me, I would say that iPods are not scratch resistant.

    I realized that as soon as I opened the box, though. Something that shiny isn't going to stay shiny unless you put it in a locked glass case and never touch it. It's a music player (with a 1.5yr life thanks to the battery), people, not a Lost Relic Of The Past. As long as mine plays music, I'm happy.

    If you want durability, get a mini. Mine still looks new, and I certainly don't go out of my way to not abuse it.
  • by SecretAsianMan ( 45389 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:53AM (#13643979) Homepage

    Hmm. I have noticed threads in the past discussing similar failure modes with other Apple products: PowerBook paint chips, PowerBook palm stains, PowerBook warping, iBooks getting dirty, iPod battery life, mouse ergonomics. Perhaps with the emphasis on industrial design, Apple has given real-lift usability testing a back seat.

    In their software, too, there are similar issues. For the most part, OS X is an ingenious, very user-friendly operating system, arguably the best implementation out there of a desktop Unix. But there are some rough edges. For instance, keyboard navigation is incomplete and inconsistent across applications (e.g. Cocoa vs Carbon). Perhaps Apple would have noticed that issue in usability testing if they had included more keyboard navigation users, and specifically, people who spent much time doing keyboard navigation in Windows.

    Really, I would like to see Apple succeed, but to do that, they may need to focus more on the usability and reliability of their products.

  • No excuses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by John Paul Jones ( 151355 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:02AM (#13644022)
    I got a black Nano the day after they were announced. I left the plastic on the front until my Nano cover [theinvisibleshield.com] arrived. No muss, no fuss.

    All this bitching is useless. Protect your investment.

  • Re:My nano (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:03AM (#13644024) Homepage
    The whole appeal of that nano is that it is so thin. What's the point of having an iPod Nano, if you have to make it thicker with a case. Maybe they should have made teh screen recessed a bit, and have some sort of piece that can be used to cover the screen.
  • by pgpckt ( 312866 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:04AM (#13644032) Homepage Journal
    I see that we are now on stage 22 of the apple product lifecycle, to wit:

    The obligatory "I'm waiting for Rev. B" discussion appears in the Mac forums. People who've been burned by first-generation Apple products open up their old wounds and bleed their tales of woe. Unsympathetic technophiles fire back with, "if you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen. pussy." Everyone has this stupid argument for the twenty-third time.

    http://www.misterbg.org/AppleProductCycle/ [misterbg.org]
  • by EpsCylonB ( 307640 ) <{moc.bnolycspe} {ta} {spe}> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:11AM (#13644055) Homepage
    It hardly ever pays to be an early adopter. Let other people work out the bugs, then enjoy the fruits of their labor :)

    Of course if everyone did this there wouldn't be a second generation.

    I guess we all do owe the early adopters some sympathy.
  • Re:Testing? QA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:12AM (#13644060) Homepage Journal
    Does Apple test their products...
    Absolutely, they have a team of hardcore fans who are willing to pay for the privilege of QAing their products for them.
  • by Vandil X ( 636030 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:13AM (#13644064)
    I've been an owner of a 3rd-Gen 10GB iPod for over 2 years and my iPods screen doesn't have any scratches. Why? because my iPod spends almost every second if its existence in a leather case with a clear vinyl/plastic covering for the screen.

    I only remove the iPod from this protection when it is in the dock for syncing/charging. And I remove it slowly.

    The back of my iPod's leather case has a sturdy, metal belt clip woven inside, allowing me to hook it into a a pocket (the device outside the pocket) while I walk/do work.

    I don't know about others, but when I spend more than $100 on something, I do everything in my power to protect it. I don't ever operate my iPod "naked" and would never consider just dropping the bare device in a pocket knowing that the simple motion of walking can grind your pocket lining against your screen with the pressure of your pant's fit and body heat to exacerbate scratching.

    Blame Apple for the "1,000 Songs in your Pocket" slogan. Blame Steve Jobs for pulling an iPod nano out of his pocket. Blame Apple for not having nano tubes ready on launch day. But blame yourself if you don't make every effort of prevention.
  • by johnpaul191 ( 240105 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:14AM (#13644072) Homepage
    i think one key element of iPods is that they work with Macs. remember at first there was just 3rd party software to get PC users the ability to load songs on an iPod. Apple never intended the iPod to be such a cross platform hit. i realize a ton of PC users now buy iPods, but before the iPod (and even today) there is nothing for the Mac that comes close to the iPod in terms of software to load songs from your desktop/portable. yes, most people just load songs once and don't care, but with podcasting, to do lists and whatever else, people are more prone to sync their digital music players than they may have been in the beginning. really, if somebody made a good MP3 player that had Mac support, it's quite possible Apple would have never bothered making the iPod in the first place. kind of funny when you look at it that way.

    yeah, there are ways to jam songs on some other MP3 players, but it's a pain. why should a Mac user support a company that does not support them? Linux users are used to having to hack a lot of things and make them work, but when there is a Mac friendly solution ready out of the box it makes sense.

    all companies make profits. that $90 cost to manufacture was a guess, the real numbers will be in the next quarterly earnings report.

  • by E8086 ( 698978 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:16AM (#13644082)
    "Were people not putting there origional iPods in their pockets with keys, etc. or were the screens on the regular iPods made from a better material."

    Someone did a test of the Nano a week or two ago and for a few min I thought it looked like it scratched rather easy, then realized I wasn't going to get one anytime soon and forgot about it. It may be that the black model shows scratches better than the mostly all while other models. My guess is that the smaller size is allowing it to fit in less friendly places and people don't understand the forces at work. The larger models took up more space in a hip pocket and restricted the movement of everything in that pocket, keys and ipod. Now reduce the size and everything is free to move around with every step. Think about the possible damage resulting from the hard metal keys rubbing against a plastic ipod with every step. The only thing I'd expect to remain mostly undamaged is something just as strong as the metal keys and whatever else is on peoples keychains is something metal. My Leatherman Micra was on my keychain for 5yrs and doesn't have a noticable scratch, but it's made of hardened tool steel. A few months ago I switched to the Leatherman Squirt P4 and the colored aluminum plating is showing the everyday wear&tear a lot more. There are several scratches and fading and rubbing off of the color. It's still metal, but softer than tool steel but still more durable than the ipod plastic and it is showing significant wear. The nano is smaller and able to go where no ipod has gone before and it seems it's going into less ipod friendly environments and people don't realize what they're subjecting their new toy to and it's turning up scratched. Or in an effort to further reduce weight Apple chose a softer material for the shell, but I don't have or have even handled a nano so I can only guess at what might be causing the damage. I do know that if I put something not metal in the same pocket as my keys it's going to take some damage. I'm not even going to try guessing at what might happen to one if stored in the purse/pocketbook/whatever by the female readers or any guys in Europe(or at least France) with one of those man-purses.
  • Solution! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sracer ( 534850 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:43AM (#13644223)
    Use fabric softener!

    Have you seen the texture of those lowriding, skater-dude, fat pant jeans? They're like 100 grit sandpaper! Put a diamond-tipped saw blade in the pocket of those jeans and it too would be scratched.

  • Re:Testing? QA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rew190 ( 138940 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:50AM (#13644262)
    The concept that you don't want to piss your customers off with such an obvious flaw is a very rudimentary one in the business world. Flaws such as that are found with the most basic of testing. Given Apple's problems with class action lawsuits in the past, one would believe that they would be taking care of obvious blunders such as this and put more effort into engineering their iPods thoroughly.

    There are other music players out there, ya know.

    Right you are, and when it becomes very well known that the iPod Nano scratches this badly, many other people are going to be aware of this as well.

    Personally, I don't care if my iPod gets scratched. It's a music player, not a mirror in the Hubble space telescope or something.

    The market will very likely not share your apologizing view, which is why so many people find it amazing that Apple could screw something like this up. You should take a look at some of the pictures going around. This isn't a matter the screen not being imune to scratches, it's about displays that are barely readable after a month of carrying around in a pocket.

    I'll add that I've been a big Apple fan for a while. However, it's discouraging to see these obvious flaws pop up in Apple's work when I think about how badly I'd like to buy a Yonah Powerbook next year. Something like this isn't excusable from an engineering perspective even if its first generation.
  • Re:Testing? QA? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:53AM (#13644279)
    When they sell them, I don't think they put a warning on the box saying 'gets horribly scratched just by using it normally'.

    Something like that is clearly a faulty product. An mp3 player which can't even sit in your pocket without being damaged isn't much use. Like car tyres which burst on contact with tarmac.

    Personally, I don't care if my iPod gets scratched. It's a music player, not a mirror in the Hubble space telescope or something. As long as it plays music, it works for me.

    I thought the whole POINT of an ipod over cheaper and more functional devices was its appearance? If its scratched to fuck or you have to put it in an ugly case, surely that defeats the object?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:53AM (#13644282)
    Hello fat spoilt piglets !

    Your latest overpriced gadget from Apple can have scratches on it's screen !!!

    Oh no !! Life is so hard for all you people with more money than sense...
  • by CrudPuppy ( 33870 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:54AM (#13644284) Homepage
    or invest $0.50 yourself and buy some 3M clearbra made to cover the front surfaces of cars. peel, stick, trim.
  • Re:Hysteria... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poulbailey ( 231304 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:00AM (#13644324)
    > Showm me photo before I believe the screen becomes useless. And it WILL scratch.
    > It's a device that you use constantly in not-very-friendly enviroment.

    What a load of bollocks. I have a Sony Ericsson cell that I frequently keep in my pocket and neither the screen nor the body itself is scratched or dented. Why shouldn't iPod owners be able to use their expensive player in a similar way without it ending up looking like this [slashdot.org]?
  • by typical ( 886006 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:15AM (#13644411) Journal
    I have never figured out why owners of Apple products refuse to hold Apple to a high standard across the board.

    If Apple does some things right (and they certainly have in the past), good. They should be credited for this. What I don't understand is why people get unbelivably defensive whenever someone points out a flaw in Apple's products. I've skimmed the Apple forums involved, and all I can say is that the end user doesn't really care about the physics involved. All he cares about is that if he buys one of the earlier iPods, his product continues to look nice. If he buys a Nano, however, it looks like shit in short order. I think that it's *perfectly* reasonable for someone that buys such a product to be able to air criticism on those grounds.

    You can argue that the scratches aren't so bad, that you don't need the screen, that people should "take better care of their product" (why they didn't need to with earlier products, though, is an interesting question), but it comes down to the fact that some folks are not happy with their experience. End of a story. Customer happiness is all that matters at the end of the day.

    So now Apple can take a look at seeing what it can do to fix the problem. I doubt that it's so difficult to fix, given that they managed to do earlier iPods successfully, so I don't think that the iPod Nano can't be successfully fixed by Apple. So sit back and wait for them to churn out a fix.

    The Register also referenced the Cube, which was a good point. The Cube had a case that often looked damaged, even straight from the factory. Apple's response was apparently to claim that the cracks were actually some sort of non-serious molding defect, IIRC, and a lot of Apple fans poured out and started accusing anyone that expressed unhappiness with their product. You don't win customers by acting like that. You tend to piss people off. All that the customer cares about is that his new, shiny product, which he bought to look new and shiny, does not, in fact, look new and shiny. Start dancing around the issue, and you start losing repeat customers. You can't keep a company running in the long term by simply attacking anyone that is unhappy with their experience.
  • by NetDanzr ( 619387 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:16AM (#13644419)
    Very true. But if the sales are more than 0.5% lower than their potential because of using cheap materials (assuming a $0.50 solution to the problem and $100 profit margin), Apple will take longer to recoup their costs. Advertising and R&D are sunk costs, and Apple needs to consider their total profits (profit margin x units sold) in order to recoup them.
  • by Takeel ( 155086 ) <v32gd4r02@ s n e a k e m a i l.com> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:21AM (#13644453) Homepage Journal
    Don't forget that $100 profit has to cover:
    * Packaging
    * Shipping
    * Retail margin

    And hope to recover the costs of:
    * Advertising
    * R & D

    I could be wrong, but isn't profit the money a business gets AFTER costs such as these are considered?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:22AM (#13644464)
    You're right - I totally can't read the 1:47 on the screen.

    OK, seriously, WTF did you do to this? You scratched the hell out of the WHEEL... Which takes some effort.

    Was this a diamond based candy wrapper, or what?

    I got the nano shortly after it came out... and yeah, it has a few scratches, but you know what? I got it because I wanted a small form factor that had 4GB of non HD based memory. It sits in a pocket a good chunk of the time, and yeah, it gets a small scratch if you sneeze, but it's NO worse than anything else that's shiny. LIke the typical cell phone that ends up in someones pocket.

    I'm an apple person, but I don't get you guys at all. This would be like getting a new car and then bitching that you need a new paint job when something incidentally scratches the paint. Take some damed responsibility, know that the "new car feel" is going to wear of very quick, and suck it up. Use it for what it was meant for.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:23AM (#13644472) Homepage
    Now that was dumb. Polycarbonates are strong, but not hard. The eyeglass lens industry solved this problem years ago. Even the bus window industry [trb.org] has solved this problem. Optical polycarbonate surfaces are routinely hard-coated [opticalfilters.co.uk], and an anti-glare coating is often added at the same time.

    The cool solution, which Apple probably now has to use to get their reputation back, is sapphire [maintechsapphires.com]. That's what scratch-resistant high-end watches [rado.com] use. Put an 0.15mm sapphire layer on top of the polycarbonate, and you can dump the thing in with your keys without worrying. It's not that expensive for a phone or music player sized screen. Some of Nokia's high-end phones [msn.com] have a sapphire screen.

    Of course, doing it right might cut into those 40% profit margins at Apple.

  • by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:52AM (#13644611)
    I don't feel I'm owed any sympathy, and I bought an 1st-gen iPod a couple of days after they were introduced. Yeah, my iPod has some scratches on it, but I knew that polycarbonate wasn't going to be particularly scratch-resistant (nor was the polished metal back - I have no idea why they didn't just use brushed aluminum), and adjusted my expectations accordingly. On the other hand, I seem to be the only 1st-gen owner that hasn't had any battery issues, and my iPod continues to work as well now as when I bought it. [shrug]
  • Screen protector? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by invisik ( 227250 ) * on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:01PM (#13644643) Homepage

    I looked at a Nano at Best Buy. I understand the point of producing a quality product from the start, but what what buying a screen protector for it? Get one for a Palm Pilot, cut it to fit, and put it on the screen. I put one on my BlackBerry, even though it's not a touch screen device, just to make sure the screen stays nice.

    Just a thought.

  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:02PM (#13644651)
    You could always try using some very fine sandpaper to even out the surface.

    Of course, if you fuck up and damage your iPod Nano even more by doing so, it is neither my fault nor Apple's. Sometimes one must take responsibility for damage caused by their own negligence. And get a cover for it, so it doesn't get scraped by your keys in the future.

  • by bearded_yak ( 457170 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:10PM (#13644709) Homepage
    OK, I agree that it is a frustrating thing that every item, from pet rocks to drag-line shovels have flaws when new and, once purchased, get more flaws as they are handled, but somehow through the process of growing up (which I did way too long ago), I quit stressing over it.

    Most of the folks who've chimed in with the ancient history of the Cube hairlines are the same folks who gripe about a hairline scratch nobody else notices on their car. They just have a slightly stronger obsession with perfection, no matter how many times science proves the inability of humans to produce perfection (yes, even Steve).

    These folks are the TRUE AppleFanBoys. They think that Apple is so perfect that Apple can create perfect products. Me, I've gotten enough eMacs and iMacs that were DOA that I know better. Thing is, I realize that every computer manufacturer has DOAs to a point and, unless it goes beyond a empirically-measured statistical point, it is not unusual. Many of the folks griping about the screens on the Nano are the same folks who believe that there should be no DOAs.

    Problem is, most of these folks are just the type to gripe about their iPod getting scratched and funky-smelling on a spelunking trip whereupon they dropped it down a slope of 15 yards of solid rock and then into a 3 foot accumulation of guano. Then they claim they carried it in a lamb's wool pocket equipped with some sort of alien-developed deflector system and air-ride suspension (and their friends are pretty sure of where the funky smell comes from).

    Has anybody stopped to think why 3M and others make money on consumer screen-protection films for PDAs, cell phones, and other everyday-duty plastic screens? Scratched everyday-use screens are not a new occurrence.

    And exactly what are these folks with only a gum wrapper in their pocket REALLY doing to scratch the screens? Although some of them are telling what they believe to be the truth (and may have forgotten that stray piece of agate they popped in their pocket), I'd bet most of them are making up their situations. The Nanos at the Apple Store I visit don't seem to get scratched badly and they are handled rather roughly (esp. by children), slid around face-down, and even intentionally gouged, but they don't look as bad as some of these folks iPods. And no, the units aren't being swapped out with new ones often enough to make a difference.

    I give up, maybe I just need to quit trying to act my age. Never mind the important things to focus on, like my country's lousy economy as of the past couple of years or even those folks who've just been bulldozed by two hurricanes, I think I'll gripe about my chewing gum losing its flavor on the bedpost overnight.
  • Re:What mini? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jasin Natael ( 14968 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @01:06PM (#13645034)
    I'm looking forward to the Rolex(tm) Edition iPod nano, with 10k gold-plated clickwheel, obsidian faceplate, and quartz lens (the back will probably be polished titanium). It'll weigh about 2-3 times what the nano does now, and cost ten times as much, but it won't scratch.

    Seriously, guys. It's a cheap gadget. It's a REALLY cheap gadget. Last time I checked, you couldn't BUY removable flash memory for the same $/GB as the 4GB nano. Unless you're in the Vertu (fancy-schmancy cellphones) crowd, just expect that an uber-cool gadget that you can afford might have a few flaws. It's still a good value on the grounds of functionality. If you want a super-flashy fashion statement, either wait for another vendor to copy what Apple has done, or protect what you have a little better.

    --Jasin Natael
  • by Kymermosst ( 33885 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @01:06PM (#13645037) Journal
    It doesn't take a genius to go buy a Palm or PocketPC screen protecter, cut to size, and put over your iPod's screen.

    This is supposed to be "News for Nerds"... you'd think more "nerds" would have figured this out by now.

    I don't even own an iPod, and even I thought of this. (I *do* have a PDA, though.)

  • by Greventls ( 624360 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @01:52PM (#13645321)
    Where is 2000 and NT? Ya missed those, otherwise dead on.
  • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @01:56PM (#13645351)
    It's solid sapphire in mobiles/watches.
    If you put a .15mm coating on a screen, then all you end up with is a horrible crazed mess.
    The sapphire can't flex at all, and the plastic can't support it well enough to stop it
    (not to mention that there are technical problems with depositing sapphire on plastic.
    Solid sapphire is not actually that expensive.
    It takes quite a thickness to make it as resistant to stress as a plastic screen.
    The plastic screen can flex a bit, and that absorbs a lot of energy, the sapphire (or glass)
    one cannot, and smashes.
  • Really, it happens all the time. Paint chipping off is a little less common in general, but I've seen tons of consumer electronics where the outer layering is colored one way, and as time passes, it gets worn-through to plastic colored differently. In fact, the fact that it's "chipping" rather than "wearing through a plastic layer" is an issue Apple uses metallic casings while other manufacturers use shoddy plastic. But that's just one example.

    Another example is the "battery life" issue. People complain that some powerbooks experience unexplained battery problems. Is this at-all unique to powerbooks? Are you seriously telling me that no one has experienced battery problems with Dell, Sony, HP, or IBM laptops? Cell phones? PDAs? Or that no other computer manufacturers have sold systems with defective motherboards or video cards? Other OS vendors haven't shipped operating systems with security holes or usability bugs?

    Really, this happens all the time. I'm not saying, "shut up and take it". I'm not saying Apple products are perfect, and no one should ever complain. However, when someone asks, "Why do Apple customers stand for defective products?" the answer is, "For the same reason Dell, IBM, HP, Toshiba, and Creative customers do." No one is making perfect devices which never break or scratch or suffer from defects. You just hear more about the chipped paint on Powerbooks because Apple customers are more likely to freak out if they have a little chipped paint on their laptop.

  • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @05:35PM (#13646459)
    The real reason is that after decades of Mac users being told Apple is dying, Apple is now a darling among consumers and in the press. Whenever an article is written about some Apple flaw, it's written in a way that implies Apple is facing impending disaster, just like this article which claims there will be vast lines of returns of the nano and that "so much is riding" on its success.

    Just like how every single freakin' MP3 player is touted with a headline, "Is this the iPod killer?" It's like the press is obsessed with everying "killing" off something of Apple's. I guess that happens when the industry relies on Microsoft everything.
  • by shellbeach ( 610559 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @06:31PM (#13646780)
    I'm an apple person, but I don't get you guys at all.

    *grin* ... I don't think "but" was quite the conjunction you were looking for there ... :-)

    Seriously, this reminds me heaps of my Palm Tungsten E - Palm made the T|E out of a shiny metal casing that scratches incredibly easily ... there's heaps of forum posts on scratched T|Es out there. Stupid case designs abound in the electronic gadget world - apparently the creators never realised that we'd put these things in our pockets ...
  • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 ( 521389 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:46PM (#13648191)
    Why would something thrown from a car have more sratches on it than something constantly being rubbed by sitting inside a pocket? Sure, the scratches would be bigger, but I don't see why there would be more.
    Would an iPod hit by a pick-axe have more scratches than an iPod gently rubbed with fine-grit sandpaper?

    More over-rated, half-assed thinking at Slashdot.

  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @04:12AM (#13648948)
    No. The big draw of syncing with iTunes is letting it choose which songs to copy based on playlist, rating, etc. For example, you can tell it to take songs from the "80's music but not new age or heavy metal", pick higher rated ones more often, use up X% of the space on the Shuffle, and not pick any of the same songs it picked last time. That isn't even close to what Unison does.

    The real way you would do this sort of thing with a non-iPod music player would be to highlight the songs you want (e.g. "select all" in a playlist, or whatever), and drag-and-drop them to the flash drive icon. Of course, that's a pain because it's not automated -- it's only one step above just using the Finder.

    A more sophisticated way would be to make an Applescript to do it. However, it would be quite a complex script: you'd have to detect the drive-mounting event, match the volume name to make sure you don't try to copy your music to the wrong one, select the right playlist in iTunes, copy all the songs over (possibly in random order!) checking each one to make sure it's not already there, and deleting one old song for every new one you copy (using file modification times, I guess), and stopping either when you hit the end of the playlist, run out of space on the drive, or use up X% of the space.

    Now, this wouldn't be a big deal at all for the guys at Apple, but it's much more than a typical end user would be able to handle. So for all practical purposes, no, iTunes doesn't work with third-party players.

    Incidentally, Unison would work pretty well for syncing an entire library, such as when you're using a big iPod, but you still don't get the playlists, song ratings, address book/calender/todo/notes stuff, etc.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.