Daniel Eran Dilger
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RoughlyDrafted Archives: March 2007

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Index page for articles from March 2007.


March 2007 (newer articles on top):

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Apple TV: Using DVDs and other Video Sources
Apple TV isn’t designed to play DVDs, but users have expressed enormous interest using it for that purpose, simply because DVDs are the most obvious and common source for movies, and many people already have a library of titles. Here’s a rather intense look at the complications involved in moving DVDs to the Apple TV, why QuickTime does not play DVDs itself, and the pros and cons related to four different options to getting DVDs on Apple TV.

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Apple TV: Turn DVI into HDTV; HP Drops Microsoft
Apple TV works with most standard definition TVs that have component video inputs, but as “Inside Apple TV” points out, it’s an embedded Mac. That means it can be used to convert an existing Cinema Display or other DVI monitor into an HDTV. Here’s an overview of Apple TV, and how even non-TV watchers might find it handy.

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Ten Myths of the Apple TV: Xbox and Hardware
Almost three months ago, Ten Myths of Apple iPhone overturned misinformation on that device before it could get started, although self-styled analysts kept trying to perpetuate them for months afterward. The iPhone isn’t out for another three months but the Apple TV is here now; as a follow up to Inside Apple TV, here’s Ten Myths of the Apple TV, relating to 5.1 audio, comparisons with the Xbox, cables, pricing, widescreen, hardware, software, and even its devilish remote.

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Ten Myths of the Apple TV: 5.1 Audio
Almost three months ago, Ten Myths of Apple iPhone overturned misinformation on that device before it could get started, although self-styled analysts kept trying to perpetuate them for months afterward. The iPhone isn’t out for another three months but the Apple TV is here now; as a follow up to Inside Apple TV, here’s Ten Myths of the Apple TV, relating to 5.1 audio, comparisons with the Xbox, cables, pricing, widescreen, hardware, software, and even its devilish remote.

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Inside Apple TV
Back before its official unveiling in January, I wrote a series of articles about Apple TV née iTV. I was convinced that both the iTV and the iPhone would both be close cousins to the iPod internally, and that the iTV was certain to be basically an iPod with improved video output and wireless 802.11n capacity.

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Next Gen Sales – Q1 2007 – Zune, Xbox, PS3, Wii, Apple TV
It seems everyone gets their retail sales figures from NPD. Unfortunately, the group only reports around half of retail store sales and only looks at the US market. A clearer snapshot of what’s actually being sold to consumers comes from manufacturers themselves, just not as quickly.

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Leopard, Vista and the Boot Camp Delay Myth
When is Apple’s new Mac OS X 10.4 Leopard arriving? The rumor mill has lately consumed itself with reporting a flurry of dates. Most recently, it has invented the absurd idea the Leopard is hung up on Vista compatibility. Why make crazy stuff up when the truth is so much simpler?

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Readers Write About Market Share, Installed Base
Responding to Market Share Myth 2007: iPod vs Zune and Mac vs PC and Market Share vs Installed Base: iPod vs Zune, Mac vs PC, readers wrote about Bayesian probability, NPD’s tricky numbers, more bad news for the Zune, sales of the next generation game consoles, Paul Thurrott’s irritation with reporters and facts, iPod life spans, and comments by Om Malik on the growth–or lack thereof–in Windows Mobile market share.

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Readers Write About Media Center, Apple TV, HDTV
Responding to Windows XP Media Center Edition vs Apple TV and Apple TV: iTunes Store Movie Quality vs DVD, HD, Cable, readers wrote about the history of WebTV, Microsoft’s Media Center and Extenders, HDTV bitrates, broadcast technologies pushing the state of the art, and Apple TV’s dependance on widescreen displays.

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Readers Write About Microsoft’s Plot to Kill QuickTime
Responding to Microsoft’s Plot to Kill QuickTime readers wrote about the history of QuickTime applications at Aldus, Altsys, Adobe, CoSA, and Macromedia; the circuitous development path of FreeHand/Virtuoso; and a parallel plot by Microsoft to kill OpenGL.

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Readers Write About Mac Office, $150 Million
Responding to Mac Office, $150 Million, and the Story Nobody Covered readers wrote about other troubling components of the 1997 deal, and how much Microsoft secretly paid Apple in addition to its simple investment.

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Market Share vs Installed Base: iPod vs Zune, Mac vs PC
It’s not billionaire executives nor genius engineers who decide whether the world’s resources will be used to design and build iPods or Zunes. It’s the millions of consumers who choose to buy them. Companies in Redmond and Cupertino simply build their products, advertise them, and then wait to see what the market decides.

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Market Share Myth 2007: iPod vs Zune and Mac vs PC
Analysts and reporters like to talk about market share statistics, but the conclusions they draw are often misleading. Here’s a look at how those numbers are used to paint grossly inaccurate portrayals of the market share of the Zune among iPods, and alternatively the Mac among PCs.

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How Microsoft Pushed QuickTime’s Final Cut
Microsoft desperate efforts to stamp out QuickTime helped to line up a series of events that positioned a deadly weapon and pulled its trigger. The problem for Microsoft was that it had mistakenly aimed the gun at its own weak spot; the bullet has been tearing through layers of Microsoft ever since. Here’s what went wrong.

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Microsoft’s Plot to Kill QuickTime
Following the 1997 agreement between Apple and Microsoft, there was a surface appearance that the two companies were now working as partners instead of rivals. In many ways, this was actually true.

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Mac Office, $150 Million, and the Story Nobody Covered
In July of 1997, the ongoing rivalry between Apple and Microsoft appeared to vanish with the announcement a new cooperative partnership. Why did Microsoft invest millions in a partnership with its most obvious remaining competitor in the desktop operating system market?

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Paul Thurrott’s Merciless Attack on Artie MacStrawman
Passing up an opportunity to comment on a Paul Thurrott rant is like driving past paramedics at the scene of an accident. I know I should just keep driving and not hold up traffic, but there’s an instinctive need to find out how truly awful things are and to determine what could have happened to cause such a disaster.

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Is Piracy Really Killing the Music Industry?
Various music industry trade groups claim that piracy is killing their industry, and are suing file traders and the sites they use. Are music sales, revenue, and profits down? Are MP3 downloads preventing music sales or do they instead help advertise new music? Are paid music downloads profitable or are they still insignificant?

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Readers Write: Did iTunes Kill the Record Store?
Responding to Did iTunes Kill the Record Store? readers wrote about successful record stores, the similar plight of book sellers in the shadow of Wal-Mart, music piracy and file sharing.

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Readers Write about the Battle for the Desktop
Responding to Can Apple Take Microsoft in the Battle for the Desktop? readers asked about Apple’s ability to compete for PC sales; the revenue, earnings and market share figures cited in the article; and Microsoft’s inevitable response to Apple’s competitive threat.

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Can Apple Take Microsoft in the Battle for the Desktop?
Some analysts are nostalgic for the days when they could appear intelligent merely by gushing about everything from Microsoft. They felt safe in recommending everything the company released, knowing that there were no real alternatives, and that anything the company could deliver would more or less have to be purchased.

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Did iTunes Kill the Record Store?
Record stores across America are turning up dead, including more than few established, high profile chains. Who killed the record store? Was it the iPod, iTunes Store, or is the real killer still on the loose?

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Readers Write about FairPlay Licensing and DRM
Responding to How FairPlay Works: Apple’s iTunes DRM Dilemma works and Will Steve Jobs License Apples FairPlay DRM? several readers questioned the difficulty of adding non-DRM songs to iTunes, the sincerity of comments made by Steve Jobs, and how DRM music has related to the success of the iPod.

What do you think? I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

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