I got a new toy, and it makes me very happy. Or, at least, I anticipate in the near future that it will.
I got an iPod. Arlene gave it to me, as a gift. I’ll let you in on a secret, here: I think she likes me.
Being a linux weenie, I’m really looking forward to what I’m going to have to do next, “work really hard to understand and/or modify gtkpod”, the linux iPod software. Troublesome. It’s clearly alphaware at this point, and like most linuxy prototypeware, the infrastructure is rock solid and the user interface is a war crime. For example, if you have questions like “how do I get music from my computer onto my iPod” the answer isn’t immediately obvious or easily discoverable. There _is_ music on my ipod now, but I basically got it there by clicking on things at random, and can’t seem to reproduce it for the rest of my collection.
Some of the error messages tell you that you should do X before you “call this function”, but there’s no button or menu item labelled X anywhere. In what you might call the Finishing Move of Linux usability, clicking the Help menu gives you the “About” option, which then gives you the name and version number of the program you’re using, and nothing else. Typical.
This is the Linux Way, of course, but my faith is undimmed! I had to work with Microsoft Word for a while last week to try and do some pretty basic stuff like “change a font” and “edit a table”, and it was just insane how much that experience sucked; Word is totally baroque, the documents almost competely intractable. At least with Linux, I’m beating my head on something that will cave in before my skull.
But, having played with it for a little while, I’ve got to say that it’s just totally obvious why Apple commands something like 75% of the media player market right now.
Update: Here’s a tip for all you gtkpod users out there: don’t try to use it with X-forwarding. Being a KDE user, I don’t know if that’s an artefact of X, the Gnome toolkit or what, but just don’t do it, mmmkthxbi.