You are here

Apps and stuff

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:41 pm

Pete Kaine wrote: If you really have a beef with them, after reading that article then I'm afraid your going to have to throw away 90% of all your electronic goods right now!

No, I have a fair idea of how all that stuff works! None of it's pretty. But I didn't advocate abandoning all that stuff. Merely pointed out what makes Apple successful.

Fact remains that the factory that makes the Apple stuff (and much more besides) isn't great. To say conditions are good there is like saying that Peter Sutcliffe isn't a bad bloke when you compare him with Hitler.

Anyhoos... I reckon we're headed a wee bit off topic here!
User avatar
Mixedup
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4455
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby johnny h » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:01 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
Mixedup wrote:Funny... I always thought Apple's genius was three-fold:

1. Selling products whose applications must be bought from a closed, controlled market. eg iPod/iTunes; iPhone/AppStore...

Indeed. They take an established idea (mp3 player / store) centralise it and lock in the process from start to finish, and then market it to people who didn't know or care that the original idea already existed.
And they are successful not just because of marketing. They are successful because they do it far, far better than anyone else. Did not microsoft and sony spend money on marketing their mp3 players?

2. Getting away with a frankly shockingly high mark up (see next to last para of this article) on sweat-shop goods.


The working conditions there are pretty average for the region and Foxconn paid more than 90% of the employers in that sector, in that region before all that went to [ ****** ] and now they pay 150% of the average to every worker. Also the suicide rate was something like a 3% average in a country where the national average suicide rate is something like 15%!

The are far, far worse offenders than Foxconn/Apple out there let me assure you. The only thing that made that story news worthy was the fact it was Apple, and the fact that the western world don't know or give a toss about where it's products come from. If you really have a beef with them, after reading that article then I'm afraid your going to have to throw away 90% of all your electronic goods right now!
Agreed. This is not apple's problem at all. This is about international economics.

3. Hardware design. Say what you like about Apple, their products do usually look better designed than the competition.
Always. Apple break new markets in a way nobody else at the moment seems to be able to do.
johnny h
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4059
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:00 am

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:55 pm

marsnic wrote:

I'm trying to get my head round what 11th control appendage they had in mind when deciding on this figure

Well they say porn drives any emerging entertainment market...

johnny h wrote:
Pete Kaine wrote:
Mixedup wrote:Funny... I always thought Apple's genius was three-fold:

1. Selling products whose applications must be bought from a closed, controlled market. eg iPod/iTunes; iPhone/AppStore...

Indeed. They take an established idea (mp3 player / store) centralise it and lock in the process from start to finish, and then market it to people who didn't know or care that the original idea already existed.
And they are successful not just because of marketing. They are successful because they do it far, far better than anyone else. Did not microsoft and sony spend money on marketing their mp3 players?

I don't think M.S ever did any mainstream advertising of Zune outside of the USA. I'm not even sure if it ever got a full product roll out?

Sony shot themselves in the foot I think by insisting on using Atrac well past the point of the market making it perfectly clear that they didn't
User avatar
Pete Kaine
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3182
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester
Kit to fuel your G.A.S - https://www.scan.co.uk/shop/pro-audio

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby onesecondglance » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:31 pm

Sony made some damn fine mp3 players back in the day, but like Pete said, sticking with ATRAC was a big mistake. a worse mistake was Connect Player / Sonicstage - their dreadful versions of iTunes. desperately bad software with great hardware.
User avatar
onesecondglance
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1263
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:00 am

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:45 pm

johnny h wrote:Indeed. They take an established idea (mp3 player / store) centralise it and lock in the process from start to finish, and then market it to people who didn't know or care that the original idea already existed...

And they are successful not just because of marketing. They are successful because they do it far, far better than anyone else. Did not microsoft and sony spend money on marketing their mp3 players?


IIRC, Apple stole the march by buying up supplies of the large microdrives, which gave the early iPods a much larger storage capacity than competing products. Well done them, very canny business. They also made a user friendly interface. That didn't make the product better than others in all respects, but it gave them a huge market share, which in turn gave them a platform for music download domination. I remember several other devices being technologically superior - you could record to them and do many other wonderful things. As others have said, other products failed for a variety of reasons - overdoing it on the protection, lack of co-ordinated marketing push, incompatability with the iTunes store etc etc. Not saying Apple didn't do well, but it's down to others' failure as much as Apple's success.

Much of it is due to thinking about the end to end process. They do that very well (maybe they could tackle the taxation system ;) ). But they also lock the competition out, in a way that Microsoft tried to do and got its knuckles wrapped by US and EU courts for being anti-competitive. I imagine the same thing will happen as Apple grows - assuming of course that Google, HTC, Nokia, Microsoft etc don't eat heavily into Apple's market share in these 'new' markets.

johnny h wrote:
Agreed. This is not apple's problem at all. This is about international economics.
[


Nope. International economics isn't a law of physics! It's everyone's problem. Including Apple's. Including yours and mine.

3. Hardware design. Say what you like about Apple, their products do usually look better designed than the competition.

Always. Apple break new markets in a way nobody else at the moment seems to be able to do.


Erm.. that comment doesn't relate in any way to the text you quoted! You've already agreed that Apple shake up established markets, and now you're saying it's new markets they break into. I don't think I've seen *any* Apple product break into a *new* market... tablet PCs? Smartphones? MP3 players? Compressed audio downloads? etc etc. They were all established markets.
User avatar
Mixedup
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4455
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Mixedup » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:47 pm

onesecondglance wrote: Sonicstage - their dreadful versions of iTunes.

God I have bad memories of that! It even wanted to restrict the amount of times I could copy material I'd recorded onto my HiMD via a mic! As I said, the failure of the competition was a major factor in Apple's success in this area.
User avatar
Mixedup
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4455
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:49 pm

Sony's love of proprietary formats has always served them poorly. Best Mp3 player I've had is a 4 year old Sony 3000 which is now a brick due to connect being killer off. Still got a minidisk too so all I need is a betamax to complete the collection!
User avatar
Pete Kaine
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3182
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester
Kit to fuel your G.A.S - https://www.scan.co.uk/shop/pro-audio

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby johnny h » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:11 pm

Mixedup wrote:
Much of it is due to thinking about the end to end process. They do that very well
I think this is the key issue. Generally people dont really care about specifications or the hardware behind the product, they just want something which does what they want it to do and look great at the same time. This is what Apple seems to do very well and few others can match.


Always. Apple break new markets in a way nobody else at the moment seems to be able to do.

Erm.. that comment doesn't relate in any way to the text you quoted! You've already agreed that Apple shake up established markets, and now you're saying it's new markets they break into. I don't think I've seen *any* Apple product break into a *new* market... tablet PCs? Smartphones? MP3 players? Compressed audio downloads? etc etc. They were all established markets.
Tablet PCs? Was there really a market for that before the iPad? Yes there were attempts on breaking the market, but they were absolute failures. Mp3 players, yes, there were mp3 players before the ipod, but they were fiddly to use, were very bulky and didn't look desirable to non-geeks.

As for iTunes, it only exists in the market if it has a huge user base. While paid mp3 downloads did exist in theory before iTunes, they were not successful. I mean, anyone can set up a paypal account and offer mp3s for sale, but without customers you can't say you have any meaningful impact on the market.

Rereading the above it does seem i'm a bit of an apple evangelist, but I'm really not. It annoys me that no other company can compete with its design and usability. I personally hope that paid downloads succeed and that PCs/google will fall into the 2nd class digital world of spam links and viruses. Then we can move of from an era where intellectual property rights are not respected by the general public and the creative industries can recover.
johnny h
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4059
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:00 am

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:12 pm

johnny h wrote:
Tablet PCs? Was there really a market for that before the iPad? Yes there were attempts on breaking the market, but they were absolute failures.

Image

Talk about being ahead of the curve...
User avatar
Pete Kaine
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3182
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester
Kit to fuel your G.A.S - https://www.scan.co.uk/shop/pro-audio

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby johnny h » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:33 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
johnny h wrote:
Tablet PCs? Was there really a market for that before the iPad? Yes there were attempts on breaking the market, but they were absolute failures.

Image

Talk about being ahead of the curve...

Usability and style always wins over specifications. In the last 7 years i've never seen anyone using a tablet PC on the tube. Unless you want to count the iPad as a tablet PC...
johnny h
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4059
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:00 am

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:07 pm

johnny h wrote:
Usability and style always wins over specifications. In the last 7 years i've never seen anyone using a tablet PC on the tube. Unless you want to count the iPad as a tablet PC...

I was backing up your previous statement about their ability to market it.

I've a Dell AXIM of the same vintage/spec as that HP which i've been using for the past 5 years as a media player, browser on the move prior to getting a smart phone, which outside of music apps is all I'd imagine I'd use a Ipad for.

I read a great story about a month after it launched in regards to the tech reviewer over at the new york times. He's an established Apple fan boy and was sent one pre-launch in order to give it some press. He gushed and gushed about it when launched and then a month later another writer questioned him about it when he noticed that the first reviewer had ebay'd it.

The response: Well it's nice and all but I really can't find a use for it that my Macbook doesn't do better.

And that's always been the problem with tablets. They are great in certain situations but they still lack the functionality of a decent small laptop. All Apple has tried to do is convince everyone otherwise from this fact... and the Inquirer artical I posted above pretty much paints the same picture.

I'm a geek and I can't see what the point of a tablet is currently other than a media player / portable net browser and in all honesty my phone just as good a job as both those things as the ipad/droid tablets and is a hell of a lot more portable to boot.
User avatar
Pete Kaine
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3182
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester
Kit to fuel your G.A.S - https://www.scan.co.uk/shop/pro-audio

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Jez Corbett » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:15 pm

Apologies if this point has already been raised, but I kinda skim read da thread.

One point many seem to be making is that applications for the desktop that were hundreds of pounds are tiny fractions of the price as 'apps' on small devices.

I might argue in another direction. Cool applications and games on websites made in flash or Java or other such clever web-based coding that were free are now infinitely more expensive as paid-for 'apps' on small devices.

Look at something like Angry Birds. It is fun an all, but there were games like this that were totally free on web pages years ago.
User avatar
Jez Corbett
Frequent Poster
Posts: 538
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland
http://www.jeremycorbett.co.uk

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby tomafd » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:33 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
I'm a geek and I can't see what the point of a tablet is currently other than a media player / portable net browser and in all honesty my phone just as good a job as both those things as the ipad/droid tablets and is a hell of a lot more portable to boot.

... and it's also a phone, which helps. iPads n'all are basically just a big version of the iPod touch - cute to use, nice to curl up on the sofa with and do a spot of surfing or flick through a few photos, but that's about it.

Which a whole lot of people buy a laptop for, never really doing anything else with them - and that's the (pretty big) market Apple et al are going for.
tomafd
Frequent Poster
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:51 pm

tomafd wrote:
Which a whole lot of people buy a laptop for, never really doing anything else with them - and that's the (pretty big) market Apple et al are going for.


That's the part I don't agree with.

We agree that it's useless as a main p.c?

This thing is £400+

If you've a family household you've either got a main PC for everyone or perhaps a main one and an old one for the kids.

However if you haven't and the kids ask for one which are you going to go for.... the one with a keyboard which is £250 (netbook/cheap laptop) that you can acturly do school work on or the Ipad at twice the price?

Whilst your right in your statement I can't help but consider that this is still a purely middleclass or trendy media type device, as far as I can see the market being for it. If it's just for browsing then you can get a phone on a contract for next to nothing that will do the job and is indeed a phone. If it was a few hundred quid cheaper, I'd see it as a more mainstream device through and maybe once the overall hype settles it'll drift in this direction... with the influx of cheap droid tablets incoming through it may wish to think about it quickly!

Perhaps we should have had a poll on this thread asking just how many people have rushed out and bought one, and indeed just what the hell they are using them for!
User avatar
Pete Kaine
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3182
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester
Kit to fuel your G.A.S - https://www.scan.co.uk/shop/pro-audio

Re: Apps and stuff

Postby onesecondglance » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:18 pm

Mahoobley wrote:I might argue in another direction. Cool applications and games on websites made in flash or Java or other such clever web-based coding that were free are now infinitely more expensive as paid-for 'apps' on small devices.

Look at something like Angry Birds. It is fun an all, but there were games like this that were totally free on web pages years ago.

not the best example - totally free on Android and only 59p on iOS (iirc it's free on Symbian too). i get your general drift though.
User avatar
onesecondglance
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1263
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:00 am

PreviousNext