So last night at knitting group I heard some really great news. The Wisconsin Library system (I'm sure this is true for other state's library systems too) has a digital download center where you can "check out" audio books for free (and in some cases are able to burn them to a cd!). I was soooo super excited about this feature, now I can catch up on my reading WHILE I knit!!! For FREE!! I went there right away and put several books on hold (since the ones I was interested in were already checked out) and was browsing around looking for more when I decided to look and see how this magical system works. Well, it's a good(?) thing I did. After reading up on the software you have to download (free) to work with this program it became quite obvious to me that this system only works with PC's (I have a Mac) and Windows Media Player and would not be be compatable with my iPod. GREAT!!!! @!%$#&*^^ing GREAT!!!
This is the only thing that the info page had to say on the incompatibility issue: "OverDrive, along with hundreds of online digital media providers, is hopeful that Apple and Microsoft can reach an agreement that would enable support for Microsoft-based DRM-protected materials on the iPod and Mac."
Yeah, so am I. However, with the track record between the two I don't foresee this happening any time soon.
To relate this to knitting somehow (because everything can be related to knitting) this reminds me of the long-standing feud of knitters and crocheters. Like Apple and Microsoft, there are many similarities between the two crafts. Both use a needle(s), of some sort, to manipulate yarn into something beautiful and/or useful. They may go about it different ways, but the effects are the same. Unlike Apple and Microsoft, knitters and crocheters can work together and co-exist to become items like this (my favorite being the brown cardigan). See what great things can come from working together? There will always be that undetermined weirdness between those of us that ONLY knit or ONLY crochet (I happen to do both and love the differentness and sameness of both skills), but deep down we know that we're in the same felted boat that is full of the the things we love, yarn and cool patterns.
This refusal to work together, while helping the corporation's bottom line, ultimately hurts the consumer. People are forced to choose, all of column A or all of column B. This doesn't just include computers, the dvd market is seeing a debate between Blu-Ray and HD dvd's. Neither one (read: corporation) wants to work with the other and as a result we are stuck with two formats that each have certain studios backing them. So consumers are forced to choose to buy a Blu-Ray or HD dvd player (and a big F-off to those that can afford to buy both. I can't afford to buy either). "But Tina" you say, "you don't need to buy either of these things. Just use a regular dvd player." Well, I do. And I shall continue to until my financial situation becomes something which can afford such a luxury. However, whether I have/can afford one is beside the point. The point is that these companies are so greedy, and so stubborn that they are absolutely not willing to "combine forces" and make a product that benefits both consumers and corporations. Agh.
Sorry for the rant. I'm sure I'll regret this post tomorrow (I'm not sure some of my arguments make sense), but I was just really excited about downloading audio books.
I'm going to go work off some of this frustration at the bar while listening to a Talking Heads cover band, Houses in Motion.