Apple force-feeds customers shit, calls it sunshine
This morning, Apple's Software Updater notified me that there was a patch for my iTunes 4 installation, a 4.1 patch that, according to the release notes, offers:
a number of performance and network access enhancements
including that it only allows music sharing between computers using iTunes 4.0.1 or later on a local network (in the same subnet)
So, in other words, Apple has "enhanced" iTunes so that it can't be used to play music from one computer on another if they're on different subnets (i.e., if you have a computer at home that you stream to from work). Apple's apologists say that this is to prevent "stealing," but there are many legitimate uses for the feature (imagine if Paul Frank "enhanced" his jackets by sewing the pockets shut to make them less useful for shoplifters).
Apple has removed a useful feature from its software, and its customers are out in the cold. I paid $50 or so for downloadable iTunes tracks, with the understanding that Apple had sold me something that would stream over the Internet. Yesterday, they had. Today, they took it away. And they called it an "enhancement." As Winston Smith said to O'Brien, "Don't feed me shit and tell me it's Victory Gin."
Sure, I could just skip the update, but how long will that work for? When 10.3 ships next year, will I be able to run an unupdated iTunes on it? Will I have to pickle a computer and keep from updating it in order to continue to use my iTunes music in the way I was promised I could?
Apple wants to be the leader of the Digital Lifestyle pack. The digital lifestyle is all about the fluidity of bits, the fact that all computers on the Internet are, in some sense, in the same place, no matter where they're physically located.
But Apple is choosing to screw its customers and kowtow to the entertainment interests who have, at various times, tried to ban the piano roll, the radio, the VCR, and the Internet. They're putting the desires of the companies that tried to ban firewalls ahead of the legitimate expectations of their customers. A digital lifestyle designed by Hilary Rosen and Jack Valenti is a world of "consumers" (us) and "producers" (them). It's the opposite of the iApps philosophy.
It's a world I don't want to live in. Link Discuss