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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Star's article "Gifts for Geeks" has the author stating:

But Dell's simple user interface makes the iPod seem silly, if not altogether cryptic. Instead of the iPod's oversized, rotating circle, the Dell DJ has a small, clickable scroll wheel (much like the one found on computer mice). The Dell DJ is sleek and stylish but doesn't sacrifice usability for the sake of aesthetics.
Now I haven't used the Dell DJ, but I can't conceive how the rotating circle (which doesn't rotate at all btw) is not user friendly. I'm thinking I can scroll through a list of songs more easily by tracing a few circles than it is to scroll the wheel.

The only benefit I see is if the Dell's wheel "clicks" through each song, making it easy to select a certain song, which may be tricky with the tough wheel.
 

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Yeah, the Dell unit looks a lot more user-friendly when you have 200 or more songs to scroll through!

Although (if I read correctly), I do like the idea of a dedicated shuffle/repeat button.

The Dell DJ .....doesn't sacrifice usability for the sake of aesthetics.


Certainly not.
 

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I have a feeling that Dells advertising dollars are speakng instead of an actual Star columnist. The star had an article on gifts for geeks and neglected to mention the iPod in the MP3 Player Blurb, but did manage to mention the Dell DJ. Since the iPod does have the majority of the market you would expect it to at least get a mention.

Besides point me to a geek that would take a Dell DJ over an iPod :confused:
 

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"Hi, my name is Rachel. I find the iPod controls "cryptic".



Really, I'm not a complete moron. Those instructions are hard to understand!

I started off my article by saying, "The Dell DJ 20 Digital Jukebox is the MP3 player for music aficionados who aren't fans of the big Apple." Hmmm... I don't have an agenda or anything. :confused:

Hey, Rachel was kind enough to leave us her email address!: [email protected].


 

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Stop the presses! Ok.. we have ourselves a scandal here. Something definitely smells here. In Rachel's current article, she says:

But Dell's simple user interface makes the iPod seem silly, if not altogether cryptic. Instead of the iPod's oversized, rotating circle, the Dell DJ has a small, clickable scroll wheel (much like the one found on computer mice).

But in her holiday article in 2001, she says:

Like most products from Apple Computer Inc., the iPod is very stylish. It has a heavenly all-white aesthetic with a truly innovative user interface -- spinning the big circular button gives you access to most of the iPods' functions.

Something definitely smells here, and I aim to get to the bottom of it. :cool:
 

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Wow, reading that article made me shake my head. I read the article earlier on replacing the iPod batteries, and saw she was intelligent enough to say that there was a replacement program, but the focus of her article said that batteries wear out, and that was it. It had no positive spin whatsoever. Nothing worth complaining about, but definitely a lack luster and wannabe sensational article (just read the opening lines.)

As for the quote qouted by jonmon, uhhh I think this is where the acronym wtf was made for. How is two word descriptions for everything simpler then one word explanations? Good grief.. When the Dell DJ was first compared, it broke every rule for simplicity, especially when compared to the iPod.

I however must give Mrs/Miss (I'm not sure which) Ross credit on making up a story. Its well written if your goal is to further confuse consumers.

ehMax - Is that her real picture? It doesn't look so good.
 

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im pretty sick of these "columnists" writing articles who know nothing of the product, but choose to recommend one over another simply because they were paid to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL nice one ehMax

Something didn't feel right while I was reading that article, and you guys seem to agree.

Here's the perfect solution for those who never used, but bash Apple people, courtesy of RStone from iPodLounge. A skin for the iPod to make it appear more "user friendly" :D

 

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The only time I've ever had an issue with the iPod's scroll wheel is when I've tried to use it with gloves on; the touch sensitive wheel doesn't work so good.
 

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My letter to the Toronto Star (let's see if they print it):

Dear Editor:

Rachel Ross’ December 1st yawn entitled “Gifts for Geeks” hit a sour note with me and demonstrates that she’s either out of touch with current portable music trends or she and Michael Dell are a little closer than just friends.

Ross puts the Dell DJ on a pedestal for its wonderful user interface that “makes the (Apple) iPod seem silly, if not altogether cryptic. Instead of the iPod's oversized, rotating circle, the Dell DJ has a small, clickable scroll wheel (much like the one found on computer mice).”

While the Dell DJ is certainly a nice little piece of technology, it certainly does not rival the iPod in the ease-of-use department. The Apple iPod is the industry leader when it comes to portable, digital music and no one does it better...not even Dell.

In fact, in her December 6, 2001 holiday piece entitled “Have yourself a merry high-tech season,” Ms. Ross said “like most products from Apple Computer Inc., the iPod is very stylish. It has a heavenly all-white aesthetic with a truly innovative user interface -- spinning the big circular button gives you access to most of the iPods' functions.”

Perhaps Ms. Ross would care to explain how she could label the user interface of the hands-down, king of MP3 players “truly revolutionary” in 2001 and “silly” two years later.

Come on Rachel, Apple has made several leaps forward on the iPod interface in the last two years and is way ahead of the DJ, so give credit where credit is due!

Regards,
VertiGoGo
 

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I think the key word in Ms. Ross's criticism is the word "cryptic." She is focused on the hardware user interface - touch wheel versus scroll wheel.

The iPod's touch wheel (the "oversized, rotating circle") is different. "Innovative" in this case equals unfamiliar and new. It must be explained. This, by itself, is an advantage that must be credited to the Dell DJ. It may not be easier to use, but it's easier to sell.

iPod users know the touch wheel is actually superior to a mouse-like scroll wheel in at least one important way: you can scroll through 4,000 songs without lifting your finger off the wheel. On the Dell DJ, scrolling through 4,000 songs will go like this: scroll, lift, scroll, lift, scroll, lift, (repeat).

Fortunately for Dell, you must experience the iPod to understand this important difference. Meanwhile, the mouse-like scroll wheel is familiar. People understand how it works. They've probably used a scroll wheel. Dell wins by being familiar.

This is a classic Apple problem, by the way. Their products may be better, but they're better in subtle ways -- ways you discover best by using them. Meanwhile, competitors are selling products that are worse in subtle ways -- ways that users will never know about unless they experience a better product.

Dell DJ owners will eventually figure out that it's a pain to scroll through their music library using the scroll wheel. However, they will never know that the iPod is better unless they use an iPod.

Better products -- especially innovative products -- require more explanation. If you want to sell people a solution, you must first convince them that there's a problem and that it's important to fix the problem.

SMc
 

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Vertigogo - you were much too kind. I would have called her out a touch more.

in fact, I may send a note myself. I'll wait another day or so...

h!
 

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Seems that the world is out to "get" the iPod. Fortunately, unlike most other Apple products, the iPod has hit too many bullseyes to be casually dismissed. I even read a review of the MuVo (?) in the South China Times today (on a plane to Kuala Lumpur where I'm now in the airport, using Airport to send this for free) that kept comparing the poor thing to an iPod. It, of course, failed, in that comparison.

The Dell DJ is badge engineered (like most Dell stuff). There's a great quote from Steve Jobs in the New York Times iPod article about Michael Dell trying to dance - it's not pretty!!!
 

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I dug through all her Star columns, yesterday. Turns out that she WORKED AT MICROSOFT before joining the Star. One of her columns mentions this, but I also just found this dilly of a guest rant column she did on somebody's Geocities website :rolleyes: (the bunny suit doesn't help). A Geocities page. How embarrassing.

Er... back at her respectable day gig, she's been a shill for PCs ever since she started with the Star. How can something as revolutionary as the iTunes Music Store NOT be covered by a technology columnist for a major urban newspaper? She can GUSH about MSN 8.0 with a couple of frozen MSN butterflies on Bay Street, but not have any comment about Bono calling Steve Jobs "the Dalai Lama of Integration". I'd say that any day Bono willingly kisses corporate ass is newsworthy. Maybe Rachel wasn't important enough a journalist to be invited? :confused:

By the way, she misspelled Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's last name in this column title: "Chritien urges business integrity". Maybe if she used Mac OS X, the system-wide spell-checker would have caught that?

Regardless of all this, I believe that columnists -- even "opinion columnists" -- who focus on technology for a mainstream publication (as in NOT PC Mag, PC World, MacWorld, Mac Addict etc.) should be A LOT MORE objective and open-minded; seeing the good and bad in ALL platforms and technologies; not just the one they happen to personally favour.

Shall we send that picture of her in the bunny suit to the newsroom? :D
 

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Macaholic:
Chief, you need to send your post to her... seriously. I love it!


I think everyone who as an issue with her obviously biased opinion should e-mail her and CC the editor.
 

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LOL Manny!

Well, I gotta confess that I think my post is a little puerile for an actual submission to her superiors :D
 

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LOL!

Actually... is that a TiBook she's holding??

 
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