Apple TV, Crap TV

Yeah, this thing looks like about one third of a good idea, and not the best third. It is unlikely I will ever buy anything from the iTunes Store ever again. I bought two audio tracks once (I was drunk at the time and not thinking clearly), but the user experience was so bad (they won’t play anymore) I won’t be doing that again. Supposedly, Apple hasn’t put any DRM in Apple TV, yet. Maybe because Apple isn’t really planning on selling too many of these things. Why else would they have used such tiny hard drives? Whatever, if it’s successful, I’m sure it will become an equally DRMed experience, so simply providing easy access to the iTunes store doesn’t excite me. I’ll continue to buy DVDs that will play trouble-free for years to come.

The other two thirds of the idea Apple TV fails to deliver:

Rip, Mix, & Burn. Remember that? Gosh, who could possibly have used such a phrase? Hmm… oh yeah, it was Steve Jobs speaking from his reality distortion field in early 2001. And guess what? It was a great idea. And it still is. The ability to do whatever one wants with the stuff he or she purchased is perfectly cool and totally right. That’s why you shouldn’t buy from the iTunes Store or Audible.com or any other purveyor of stanky, DRMed media.

Apple TV should be a DVR. It needs a large hard drive, not the laughable 40GB it comes with. (The freaking iPod comes twice that size!) It should record the stuff I want to watch automatically so I can watch it when it’s convenient for me, like during “prime time” when there’s nothing but crap on. And it should delete the commercials for me as well so I don’t have to be bothered with hitting the fast forward button so often. Hey, I’m paying close to $80/month for this stuff and I don’t even get HBO or Showtime; why the hell should I watch commercials?

Also, it should rip my collection of DVDs to the hard drive. Hardly any DVD players come with hard drives. If Apple TV would do that I could pack all my DVDs into a suitcase and stash it in the closet, thereby uncluttering my living room and making my collection more accessible at that same time. That would be the way to do it.

Maybe that’s three thirds. I don’t know. But I know Apple TV is crap.

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