iTunes 9 sys reqs are interesting.

 * Intel, PowerPC G5 or 1.0GHz PowerPC G4 or faster processor is
required to play Standard Definition video from the iTunes Store
* 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor is required to play HD
video, an iTunes LP, or iTunes Extras from the iTunes Store
* Screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater; 1280x800 or greater is
required to play an iTunes LP or iTunes Extras
* Broadband Internet connection to use the iTunes Store

Macintosh Software

* Mac OS X version 10.4.11 or later; Mac OS X version 10.5 or later is
required to play an iTunes LP or iTunes Extras

As you might have noticed from the bolding, what gets me is that you need a pretty fat, Intel-only Mac to get your LP liner notes. I realize there's more to the iTunes LP than notes and images, but is there anything you really couldn't do on G3 and OS 9? Probably not if you can spell assembler and worked on it. OS 10.2 and a G4? I'm betting it could handle LP.

The interest then isn't iTunes' limitations but what is revealed about the way Apple develops. The interest is not with backwards compatibility. No surprise there, as they sell hardware. I'm not going to say it's a bad design practice to require the latest and greatest, especially when you're the one selling it, but it does factor into my Apple loyalty quotient. Cutting off loyal customers by coding software that requires unnecessary secondary upgrades is A Bad Thing. The drive to make the consumer consume more, more quickly is, in general, a negative social force. It requires the removal of, well, "aura", if I can steal a word, about our items. The aura moves from representing something to be inherently good (the grandparents' house, china, paintings, and shotgun, let's say) and thinking that something new is automatically better (today's nano with camera, a new Mactel 10.5 with iTunes LPs). Aura lodges no longer in the object but its newness.

Speaking of Apple loyalty quotients, did anyone catch the Planet Money podcast on Apple recently? What a fluff, fanboy piece. "You don't have to upgrade if don't want to! It's an alternative market to Microsoft. And Apple's [it's implied in the podcast] is winning!" What crap. It's not like 10.4, .3, .2 were $29 upgrades. And if you want 10.6 and have a computer more than a few years old, you can't upgrade at any price short of, well, buying a newer Mac.

I like Apple, but the great part about Windows is that I could buy an old PIII 600 MHz Toughbook with Windows 2000 on it a few months ago and still do pretty much whatever I need to with it. The latest versions of VIm, Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Filezilla, XAMPP, etc still work fine. In fact, there's really only one piece of software that I use where I had to scale down to a much earlier than the latest version. Yep. iTunes.

I guess I should also add that Apple's pricing remains incredibly manipulative, and I say that to mean that I'm really impressed. A new camera in the nano? That would be awesome. $149? Well, it is a new iPod with 8 gigs of space, plays video, has Nike+, and a video camera. But for $50 more I can get an iPod touch, with apps, WiFi, VOIP phone, etc. That's worth one video game's worth of expendable cash, right? But the $200 model doesn't have the new iPhone hardware inside, so no Open GL and quick performance. That stinks a little bit. But $300 for the new hardware? Seriously, how much was the iPhone again? And it has the camera...

Man, they're clever.

I'm guessing I'll pounce some time after the nano hits the refurb page.

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