Reasons not to like Apple


Last weekend I agreed that yes, we should have some extra entertainment in the house. I won’t pay for cable TV, as so much television is simply not worth the subscription. So we went to Future shop and bought an Apple TV. We asked about not installing the dreaded iTunes on our business PC’s and were informed that no, we wouldn’t have to do that, we could set up the Apple TV over the phone. Fine said I, and stumped up the cash.

Minor issues with the Apple TV box not liking the first HDMI cable it was plugged in with, but once I’d swapped it for a non-ethernet HDMI cable, no problem. We switched on the TV, reading the instructions, following the steps and the Apple box fired up nicely. The screensaver looked very nice, and we were looking forward to buying and viewing premium content from the iTunes store. All well and good.

Today Angie asked me to get her an account set up to buy some movies. Apple ID created, great. The Apple TV box itself working, wonderful. Went to buy some content and……..ah. Despite having a verified Apple ID, credit card registered with Apple and everything else, we were unable to purchase a movie or TV series. After two and a half frustrating hours I gave up and called Apple support. After ten minutes the operator told me that I had to have iTunes loaded on my PC to register and connect via the iTunes store. There were no workarounds, no buy by phone, it was iTunes or nothing.

I’ll confess a prejudice here; I don’t like having Apple software on Windows machines, and won’t have it anywhere near a business machine for one simple reason, it’s bloatware. I’ve had Apple software like Safari and iTunes on PC’s before, without registering for the iTunes store. These have been the source of many system slowdowns and even the occasional crash. I’ve also spent too much time rootling around in registries getting rid of all the little surprise packages left behind by iTunes to trip up the unwary. Ergo, that application is forbidden on any system I administer. To me it is a timewaster. An unnecessary complication. If you can’t do it via web browser SSL, there’s something amiss. Amazon and eBay manage nicely, so why not Apple?

So today I have wasted over three working hours on a product that won’t let me use it. Tomorrow I will waste an hour and a half getting the guy at the store to help me verify my Apple store ID, but there is no way on Gods green Earth that I am allowing iTunes on a business PC. It may be just me, but thinking about it there’s also something rather posey about Apple Macs and sometimes their owners that just put me off. Something to do with the implied exclusivity of Apple products I don’t much care for. It’s a computer, not a religion for goodness sake. Full blown Apple Macs are great for DTP, animation and a whole bunch of other things, but overall I feel they’re rather over priced for what they are.

Funny thing; I was actually contemplating buying a Mac until this morning. Now I won’t. Not ever. Because of over four working hours lost unnecessarily. Four hours wasted, all because I couldn’t verify an iTunes store ID without clogging up my system with iTunes.

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Martyn K Jones

A writer who first trained as an Electrical Engineer, then fulfilled various roles within the computing industry. First published in 'SuperBike' magazine, 1978 under the pseudonym Harry Matthews. Since then has written and had published a wide variety of work; from PR copy in trade magazines to supernatural short stories and the occasional satirical article. Emigrated to Canada in 2007. Became a Canadian Citizen December 2014. Now branching out as a serious science fiction novelist.

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