Why Zunes suck

So I’ve covered Why iPods Suck, now what about the Zune (in my 4 days experience with 1 2)?

  1. Microsoft Zune software – while it closes and stays closed, its still the main/only way to transfer stuff to the Zune. It’s not as bad as iTunes.
  2. No Marketplace in Canada – I had to change my computer to say that I live in the USA to get access to the free podcasts from the Zune Marketplace, but without a US credit card I won’t be buying any DRM-free music from there (Apple’s music store wasn’t available in Canada right away either, this is more of a time issue).
  3. Still a proprietary USB/docking connection – this is even better because there’s very few accessories for the Zune yet.
  4. Useless Wifi – I guess it’s good at draining your battery life, but does anyone actually use it to share music between Zunes or to Sync (when the cable is faster)
  5. Apple Fanboys/girls (more so the Anti-Micro$ofters) – this time they simply dismiss the product because it’s made by Microsoft. Great scepticism children.

Why iPods suck

Apparently talking smack about the iPod on a science/politics/atheism blog will get me more traffic/comments than my average post, here’s a list of why the iPod sucks (and to be fair I will follow with a list of things that suck about the Zune as well):

  1. iTunes – Why should I have to download firmware cracks to use a device to its full potential? Perhaps I don’t want to give Steve Jobs any more money than I already did for the iPod. Finally, why can’t iTunes at least just turn off and not want to sit in my tray hogging resources that don’t belong to it?
  2. Overpriced – Still $50 more than Zunes on average, and roughly double what any other competitor charges.
  3. The fanboys/girls – Seriously, it’s just a freaking piece of plastic and electronics. Let’s not all be tools to a “hip” marketing campaign. Apple didn’t invent the mp3 player anymore than Microsoft invented the GUI operating system.
  4. AAC – Maybe, just maybe, I want a useful format that the rest of the world uses to listen to music with.
  5. Standards? – Why screw the entire MP3 accessory market the same way that cell phone accessories are screwed by making your plug proprietary? I shouldn’t expect more from the company that likes to control every aspect of its computer line, but still, imagine if one stereo dock ran Zunes, iPods and other less common brands, and all with one plug. This is your fault Apple, being the company that launched the MP3 player to primetime

DRM almost made the list, and is an honourable mention since it took until March of this year for Apple to cut it out of iTunes. Another honourable mention is the lack of card expandability, some flash mp3 players offer SD card expansion, it’s rare though, so I won’t hold it against Apple.

And to be fair, some of these points are shared with other mp3 players, but Apple receives far more credit and good press than it likely deserves.

Just remember: What’s popular is not always what’s best or what’s right – look at Islam/Christianity (or all religions), or the numbers that vote Conservative (or don’t vote at all).

(Don’t worry, a return to regularly-scheduled blogging topics is coming).

Warped Tour

So I caught the Red Arrow to Calgary on Thursday morning (6:30 am) to go see the Van’s Warped Tour.  This was my third time to Warped, and it was pretty awesome again.

Bands I liked:

  • Pennywise
  • Bad Religion
  • New Found Glory
  • Tiger Army
  • Yellowcard
  • Panamore
  • Cute is What We Aim For
  • Ill Scarlet
  • Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  • The Vincent Black Shadow

Bands I didn’t care for:

  • Circa Survive (way too emo, and not in a good way)
  • Coheed and Cambria (too metal for me)
  • Killswitch Engage (again, too metal)

Other memories:

  • Biggest score of swag at any event I’ve ever been to (like 8 sample cds plus a couple fistfuls of stickers and a few other random things)
  • Awesome weather (32C, sunny all day) – luckily we got shade for most of the day
  • Yellowcard closed and had a circle pit around the sound booth with only 1/10 of the total crowd left
  • Should probably eat more than one hot dog all day next time
  • Smaller bands are always begging for your attention (Authority Zero)
  • Larger bands can now rip you off on clothing (Bad Religion t-shirt = $25)

An awesome trip, I can’t wait for next year.

Internet Music

For a while I was using Pandora Internet Radio to listen to various music.  Unfortunately they began blocking Canadian IP addresses, so no more music through that.  I’ve just started using Last.fm and it seems to use a similar idea.  Hopefully this will give me the music I want.