Tuesday, January 22, 2008

why macs are so crap

I finally got to write the tutorial for Computer music magazine on editing today. I had to write two tutorials on how to edit a rock video using cheap software on a Mac and a PC.

The PC version was relatively straightforward and as expected, the mac version was a real pig.

Obviously, the fact that I'm using cheap and free software means there aren't the options i'd like and that's a bit frustrating, but worse than that is the Apple ethos which pervades everything they do.

It's not that the mac does things differently to the PC - and that I'm used to the way the PC works - it's more that the very thing the Mac is sold on is fake.

let me explain:

Macs are sold on the idea that they're the arty person's computer. They're creative where the PC is businesslike. However, in truth, the mac makes it very very easy to do the things its programmers think you'd want to do. The predictable dull, businesslike things work perfectly and intuatively in just the way you'd expect them to.

However, if you deviate. if you want to do something different. if you have, horror of horrors, your own creative idea of what you want to do or how you want to do it, the architecture makes it virtually impossible.

The mac is built on the impossibly arogant notion that the programmers will have thought of everything you might want to do and planned for you the perfect way to do it. This is almost never true in real life.

It's a bit like having a car which has just one button on the dashboard marked "go home". Press the button and the car will go home. It's a triumph of engineering - the easiest car to drive ever created.

Unless you want to go somewhere other than home.

in which case you have to take the engine out or buy a new car.

and this extends to other apple products: take the ipod - beautiful piece of design and I wouldn't be without mine. But what if you don't want to use the clumsy Itunes? what if you just want to drag your tunes from the desktop to the ipod - you can do it with every other mp3 player on the market. But with the ipod, all your files are renamed and re-positioned so you can't tell which song is which file. so when itunes stops working -or when you're on a computer you haven't installed it on or when you're using your machine for something else and don't want to have it getting in the way - you're stuffed.

By contrast, the PC allows gives you options - creative possibilities - everything you want to do can be done several different ways and if one doesn't work, proves difficult, or you just don't like it, you can pick another.

Now that's an artist's computer.

No comments: