Monday, June 05, 2006

Done with QuickTime

Over the years I have had pretty limited exposure to Apple products. But, what I have seen and used I have generally been impressed by. Girlfriend got and iPod last Christmas and it is extremely cool both in look and functionality. And I love the sleek fit and finish. I have used iTunes myself as my primary music player on the computer for about a year now mainly because we've got a large iTunes network at the employment local. But, it works fine and I have had no problems - until now.

About six months ago I purchased the Pro version of QuickTime because I needed something to allow me to convert from AVI format video files to the Flash format for the web. It only cost $30 or so, and it did the job (and finally, at long last the NAG, NAG, NAG messages to upgrade in the free QuickTime went away), so I thought no further of it.

Now iTunes has been starting to nag me that there is a newer version available and I should upgrade. So, a few days ago I downloaded the latest version and started to install it but it stopped and warned me that a newer version of the QuickTime player was required and that if I proceeded that the Pro version of QuickTime I purchased would be overwritten with this latest free version. In a nutshell, I'd lose my $30 investment if I wanted the latest version of iTunes. It comes with QuickTime, no alternative. This, of coarse, pissed me off.

What I found out from the Apple web site was that I was just screwed and would have to buy the Pro version again if I wanted to upgrade iTunes (which I did since I can't play podcasts in the version I have). Or I could go back to the free nag-ware version and endure that. To this, I said, bite me Apple.

So, I have been looking for both a new music player and something that will play QuickTime movies without nagging me (I will keep my old Pro QuickTime installed to convert file formats for as long as it still works). On the music player end, I am still looking. I have tried the Rhapsody service and player and it seems okay. But, it's association with Real Networks and the king of all nagware applications, the Real Player, scares me. Any ideas?

However, on the QuickTime player front I found something called QuickTime Alternative. Now, that's a straightforward name if there ever was one. And I like it. It works well playing QuickTime movies and it's free with no nag screens. So far, no troubles.

Yes, I still think the iPod is cool. But, I am burned on Apple software for Windows.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Listening To - Blink 182

The Mark Tom and Travis Show. I went on a driving vacation across the Western States in the summer of 2001. Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana all in a month. It was just me all alone and I camped most of the time. It was fantastic. And I picked up this little gem at a dinky record store in Kalispell, Montana. And now, every time I here this album I think if that wonderful month of sun and fun, climbing to Angels Landing in Zion National Park or sitting all alone on the edge of Lake McDonald with only mountain goats around in Glacier Park. It looks like this album's not even available on Amazon - not sure why, but if you are a Blink fan maybe you can find it somewhere else. It's a good one as live Blink shows go - lots of fun and energy and good sound quality for a live gig. And remember, if you're going to Glacier Park this summer, there are lots of BEARS. Big Grizzly bears. So get some of that "grizzly-be-gone" pepper spray and don't hike alone. Or, if you do hike alone, take this CD and a little boom box and crank up the Blink on the trail. Bears will scatter without a doubt.