Posted by Neil Crosby on November 7, 2007 06:36 AM
First off, lets get one thing straight. Generally, I love my Apple products. I have a MacBook Pro, a Mac Mini, a G4 iBook, a 160Gb AppleTV, a 30Gb iPod Video and a 1Gb iPod Nano so that I can use my Nike+ trainers. So, I’m not about to go into an “I hate Apple rant”.
That said, I definitely won’t be buying an iPhone. Why? Lets get started…
You see, I like to watch TV shows. Both on the move and at home, I like to watch them. I’m slowly going through my DVD collection to re-encode everything to H264 so that I can add it to iTunes and thus be able to watch it at the touch of a button on my AppleTV, my MacMini or my iPod. I even have an automation process set up so that TV I can’t watch when it’s on is recorded and re-encoded so that I can then watch it later at my convenience (and is then deleted automatically a week after I have watched it). I tend to watch a 45 minute show every morning on the way to work on my iPod, and I often do the same thing in the evening. So, video’s pretty important to me.
The problem is, it doesn’t seem to be that important to iTunes. When you go to sync your iPod (or AppleTV) you get the option to either sync all TV show episodes, just the unwatched ones, or the last n unwatched episodes for each selected show. This sounds good in theory, until you rip an entire season of a show from DVD (or buy it off the iTunes Store). Then, if you choose to sync all unwatched episodes of a 24 episode season at quality that’s nicely watchable on both iPod and AppleTV you end up sucking up a massive ~11Gb of disk space (roughly 450Mb of disk per episode). The bad thing is you can’t even use the “last n” functionality in any meaningful way since it will sync the last n unwatched episodes that were added to iTunes - it isn’t the last n of the season (which might be vaguely understandable). What would be incredibly useful in this situation would be a “next n unwatched episodes” option so that at all times I could choose to have the next two episodes of selected shows uploaded to my iPod. This would, presumably, be a very simple change for Apple to make to iTunes and it would mean that I would certainly be able to buy an iPod Touch, if not an iPhone.
So, to clarify, the first reason I won’t be buying an iPhone is that it doesn’t have enough storage space. O2 are selling the 8Gb iPhone for £269 (plus a minimum £35 contract for 18 months). With the current functionality of iTunes, this just insn’t big enough for me.
The next reason I won’t be buying an iPhone is the price. I’m honestly not that fussed about any of the functionality that the iPhone has over an above the iPod Touch except the actual phonecall and texts functionality and the consequent fact that it would mean that I’d have one less device in my pocket. So, lets compare like for like between the 8Gb iPod Touch and the 8Gb iPhone. The former costs £199 all in. The latter costs £269 plus at minimum £35 per month for 18 months. However, I’m currently on a contract that costs me £25, and for the past 6 months or so I’ve not paid more than that on a monthly basis. So, the iPhone will cost me a total of £(269 + 18 * 10) = £449 over an 18 month period. That’s £250 more than I’d spend if I bought an iPod Touch and stayed with my current, perfectly working, phone and contract.
I’m not needing an incredibly fancy new phone. I’m not even really needing a new one - I’m perfectly happy with the one I’ve got. If there wasn’t the crippling problem of the iTunes functionality then I might consider buying one, but as it is, it just can’t justify it. Likewise, I can’t even consider an iPod Touch until it either gets bigger or Apple makes a simple feature addition to iTunes.
Oh well, I really did want to be able to use that incredibly sexily huge screen.
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