If you make and record music using computers, as most of us do, you rely heavily on technology and have to come to terms with the fact that things can sometimes change more quickly than you might like. Computers make it possible for us to do things that we could never have dreamed of in the days of tape, so why then do I get this feeling that somebody is forever reeling in the rug from under our feet? I want computers to make my work easier and I think I’m in a good position to know what I need most of the time, but it seems to me that some computer companies want to reinvent the way that we work, and then force that methodology on us whether we want it or not. The more forward-thinking the computer company, the more their visions of the future clash with our needs of the present, Apple being a prime example.
I record music and my clients still want to take away CDs. But it has long since been decided that CDs and DVDs are old hat and so we should have those facilities taken away from us for our own good. That means no more built-in optical drives; Logic Pro users have had the excellent Waveburner removed from their bundle of goodies; and just in case you thought a third-party USB optical drive to plug into your latest shiny computer might solve the problem, they remove the USB ports — for your convenience of course. So now you have to buy extra hubs and adaptors to connect your USB drives, and the adaptors probably cost more than the device you want to connect. I don’t want my laptop to be 3mm thinner, I want it to be able to connect to my ‘stuff’ at the same time as running off mains power without littering the desktop with adaptors. Is the reason for leaving off what many think of as ‘essential’ connection points really about saving money to increase profits even more — or is that just my suspicious nature?
And don’t get me started on those tablets that won’t let you archive your own stuff without sending it to some slow-to-access and nebulous Cloud. If I subscribe to a magazine on a tablet — or indeed use one to make music — I want to be able to back up all my issues and hard work on to an external hard drive or memory stick. It is the same with photos, where you either have to connect to a computer that ‘knows’ your tablet or you have to use that wretched cloud again where even ‘super-fast’ broadband is painfully slow for large files.
So the message, if anybody actually listens to those any more, is that I want to be able to manage my data my way — for my enjoyment and my convenience.
Paul White Editor In Chief