While reading the excellent Mac OS X Tiger Review on ArsTechnica, I came across this Quicktime rant that I had to share.
Mac OS X ships with a complete integrated development environment that supports C, C++, Objective-C, Java, and all of the APIs in Mac OS X (not to mention distributed compiling, a GUI design and layout tool, and a suite of performance monitoring applications). Tiger includes a free web browser, e-mail client, address book, dictionary, thesaurus, font manager, and AIM/Jabber instant message client. When you buy an iMac you get all of the above plus iLife: iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, and iDVD.
The total development cost of this software bundle is absolutely huge. The total retail cost of iLife alone is $80. And yet after spending $1,500 or more on a new Mac with this great software bundle, what's waiting for you when you fire it up for the first time and try to watch a QuickTime movie trailer in full-screen mode? Why, it's a nag screen asking you to pay $30 more for the "privilege" of calling the QuickTime APIs that are sitting right there in the library code on your disk.
This is just criminally stupid. It mars the otherwise exemplary out-of-box experience for buyers of consumer Macs especially. Having spent well over $4,000 on my current crop of Mac hardware (plus $80 for iLife '05 plus who knows how much for the Mac OS X Public Beta through Tiger), I find it personally insulting that I'm still not entitled to the "wonders" of QuickTime Pro.
Yeah, sure, I can download a third-party movie player application and find a third-party QuickTime browser plug-in. I can watch movie trailers in iTunes, which will go full-screen even without the magic "pro" key. Or I can google for an illegitimate QuickTime Pro key code. I can even shell out the $30. But it's not the money that bothers me, it's the principle. I'd be happy if Apple simply raised the price of its hardware by $30. On a $4,000+ bill, it's practically a rounding error.
But please, Apple, give up on the QuickTime Pro thing. It's always been annoying, but when viewed alongside today's suite of bundled Apple software, it's downright ridiculous. Worse, it makes the Mac platform look bad when the bundled QuickTime Player application can't do all of the things that make QuickTime so cool: cut, copy, and paste together different kinds of media into a single file, extract and recombine tracks, import and export a huge number of formats, and yes, view video in full-screen mode.
Amen to that!
Posted by jzawodn at April 29, 2005 04:57 PM