Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shaving the Push-Button Cat - a Rant in One Act

I've been holding back on my ranting for the last few weeks. You though it was the new, civilised, temperate me, didn't you?

You were wrong.

I'm being driven to distraction by my iPod. I know I shouldn't let it get to me. By letting it get to me, I'm giving that Steve Jobs character all the satisfaction he's yearned for all these years. I can see him sitting there in his white, curvy chair, stroking his white, curvy cat whose face and backside have both been replaced by a single, 'ergonomic', push-button wheel.

But despite the image of Mr Jobs' smug grin (and his cat's sleek but clogged up digestive system) I feel myself forced to rant.

I can understand that you want your products to look swish, Mr Jobs. That's great. But designing 'nice-looking' things isn't a challenge. The challenge is to marry form and FUNCTION. That's the keyword here, Mr Jobs. Function. Yes, iPods are fairly pretty. But so are peacocks. The difference is that peacocks aren't meant to do anything other than be peacocks and look nice.

If a farmer asks you to bring him an animal that could help plough his field and you bring him a peacock, he'll be miffed. He wants a horse or, at a push, some oxen. Hey, you could even surprise him and give him a tractor. All I want is something that can hold my music collection and enables me to quickly and simply find the music I'm after.

Would it really be that hard to design a product that could provide this service and yet also lives up to your insane aesthetics?

Even just an 'off' button would be nice. A volume control that gives even a soupcon of control. A way to get to the 'T' section of my music collection without scrolling until my thumb falls off. Oh, and why not make a product that doesn't crash every couple of hours?

The worst thing about the iPod's success, Mr Jobs (or should that be jObs, to fit in with your infuriating house style?) is that you've spawned imitators.

The 'beauty-over-function' philosophy of Apple has led to abominations like this.

Yes, it looks very nice. But have you tried actually shaving with one? I nearly broke my wrist trying to lay the blade flat against my own cheek.

I bet you use one, don't you, Mr J? I bet you shave your cat with it.


Anonymous said...

You're so right! Love this. Hate iPods. Got to have one though haven't you?

Anonymous said...

Why not get one of the hundreds of others of mp3 players? Or a phone that plays music. Nobody NEEDS an iPod. It is annoying that the P is capitalised though.

Anonymous said...

It looks like something I'd peel a potato with!

NutmegAngel said...

My ipod works pretty well. Despite a trip through the washing machine. Maybe the earlier ones work better...