The Death of Principles

So, for almost two years, I’ve been using an Android phone, partially due to the limitations of the iPhone platform, and partially due to my unswerving hatred of Apple. This weekend, I broke down and bought an iPhone.

Now, I’m not sold that I’m going to stay on the iPhone; I may actually return the damnable thing. But before I get into that, let me go over the reasons I broke down and bought it in the first place.

First and foremost, this weekend, the script I’ve been using to keep MediaMonkey in sync with and thus keep my nice autoplaylist with rotating tracks up to date broke, most likely because changed something. Unfortunately, the guy who wrote the script has pretty much disappeared from the scene, and I was using an older version anyway because the newer version of his script is totally busticated and he can’t be bothered to fix it. So, this left me with a dilemma.

On the one hand, I could go buy a 32 GB card and spend all weekend rebuilding the playlist and then getting the entirety of the ‘Top Rated’ playlist copied over. On the other, I could go buy an iPhone and spend the entirety of the weekend rebuilding my iTunes library and coping it to the iPhone.

I chose the second option, which doesn’t seem to be the obvious choice, and here’s why. Buying the 32GB card, first and foremost, is a bandaid. It gets me the whole 25GB of my ‘Top Rated’ library, which means I don’t have to worry about playcount updates to keep my playlist fresh. However, sooner or later (probably sooner) I am going to eclipse the 32 GB, and then I’m back in the same spot.

Further, I have to continue dealing with many of the same broke-dick aspects of MediaMonkey and Android, some of which are really starting to get on my nerves. Probably the best way to describe this is by describing the underlying OS philosophies.

iPhone is, as would be expected, very Apple-y. Meaning, the focus is on design, flash, form, and minimalist functionality. However, as long as you are doing exactly what the OS was designed for, it just basically works. Mind you, the moment you try to color outside of the lines, things go to hell in a hand basket, but as long as you do exactly what Steve Jobs wanted you to, everything is peachy.

Android, on the other hand, is very Linux-y. You can mutate and recompile the damn thing to do almost anything you want, which makes it awesome for situations in which you are really trying to do something unique. However, most of it works intermittently, and often the critical pieces you are relying on (like synchronization, in this case) are written by some dude who may or may not actually give a shit about it. And NOTHING was designed, much less designed to work together.

Ultimately, I’m a Windows guy, and I like Windows precisely because it straddles that line. It’s much more polished and well designed (and tested, despite what Linux Nazi’s will try to tell you) than Linux, but less configurable. It’s less crisp and streamlined than Apple, but more customizable…at least on the PC side.

However, on the mobile phone side, Windows is trying to become Apple. And that just sucks, because they are at best a second-rate Apple.

So, I’m left with the choice of buying something for a platform that basically doesn’t work, or buying back into a platform that does what I need it to but not what I want it to. I decided to give Apple another try because, at this juncture, my phone/media player needs to work reliably first and do neat stuff a very distant second.

So here’s to Apple….and the death of principles.

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