Just Fomenting Rebellion (11/5/01)

You've seen it a zillion times, to the point where clicking a box that says "Later" is purely a reflex action now; that annoying little box that nags you each day to upgrade to QuickTime Pro. And if you're wondering why you should fork over $29.99 just to tack the word "Pro" onto the end of everyone's favorite media architecture, Apple is only too happy to list the benefits: play movies at full-screen size, edit movies instead of just watching them, automate the editing process with AppleScript, etc. etc. etc. Basically, QuickTime Pro unlocks all sorts of features that are absolutely crucial to today's media professional. Like the ability to watch hi-res movie trailers.

Say what now? You got it, Skippy; evidently Apple wasn't hooking enough suckers with the daily nagware and the promise of professional media editing capabilities, because faithful viewer MusicMan was the first of several viewers to point out that Apple has started charging for the privilege to watch the highest-resolution versions of its posted trailers for movies and video games. In the past few days, many a QuickTime user has found himself locked out of seeing, say, the 320x240 version of the Backyard Football trailer; either pony up the cash to upgrade to QuickTime Pro, or suffer the torture of 240x180 and a raging case of eyestrain.

Now, maybe it's just us, but doesn't it strike anyone else as more than a little sleazy for Apple to tout a product as "professional" via its very name and then, when its feature set fails to sell enough copies, to start requiring it for such a decidedly unprofessional activity as watching movie trailers? Has Steve Jobs been lunching in Redmond lately? Call us crazy idealists, but we consider the ability to watch hi-res trailers an inalienable right shared by all Mac users, regardless of age, race, creed, gender, shoe size, or-- and this is the stickler, here-- whether they're "consumers" or "professionals." So what's the deal, folks? C'mon, Apple; if you're going to charge for access to your hi-res trailers, save it for the Windows users. The Mac community deserves better than this.

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The above scene was taken from the 11/5/01 episode:

November 5, 2001: iTunes 2 is here-- and its installer nuked a whole wagonload of data before Apple fixed the bug. Meanwhile, sources claim that Motorola has produced G5s running at 2.4 GHz, and Apple launches an ill-conceived plan to sell more copies of QuickTime Pro by restricting access to its high-resolution movie and game trailers...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3373: The Installer of Great Peril (11/5/01)   See, folks? Sometimes it pays to be slow. The long-awaited iTunes 2 officially hit the 'net on Friday night, and as expected, a swarm of Mac users abuzz with enthusiasm descended upon Apple's servers like locusts upon a "Grains Of Many Lands" buffet and snapped that puppy up posthaste...

  • 3374: Clock Speed IS Everything (11/5/01)   Hey, great news! While Intel is dorking around with its Pentium 4 at a measly 2 GHz, Motorola (whom everyone knows is the Clock Speed King, baby!) has reportedly just bested that score by a full twenty percent: according to The Register, good ol' Moto has successfully produced PowerPC G5 chips at a stunning 2.4 GHz...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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