Friday, May 25, 2007
Curse you, Sprint M1, iTunes, and all consumer electronics
My old cell phone got rained on and died, the poor delicate flower, so I decided it was time to upgrade to a fancy one with a camera and a music player. I got this phone, the Sprint M1, which I think is kind of retro-cute like something out of the movie Tron, and which has the aforementioned camera and music player.
All good, except I WANT TO KILL THE DESIGNERS OF THIS PHONE, AND WHOEVER IS IN CHARGE OF ITUNES WHILE I'M AT IT. In the last 23 hours, I have discovered the following things:
1. The only way to put music purchased from iTunes onto a non-Apple device, like my fancy new phone, is to burn the music to a CD in mp3 format and then re-load it onto iTunes, or else download some kind of illegal-seeming software (note to The Man: I did not download any such software). This is because the files you buy from iTunes are in m4p format, or something, rather than mp3, ostensibly to prevent piracy or improve sound quality, but really so that you can only listen to them on an iPod or other Apple product.
2. You can load music you bought on CD onto the phone, but if you put it in the Music folder, which seems the logical place for it, you don't access it by going to "Music" or "Media Player," but through Tools --> File Manager --> Music. Then you can't play a whole album, just one song at a time, and you can't use the cute little "Play" button that's on the outside of the phone, you have to go in through these menus to pick a new song after each song is done playing.
IT SHOULD NOT BE THIS COMPLICATED TO USE A PHONE. I refuse to accept any blame for my problems using this thing, because I know I'm not an idiot. The problem is that somewhere along the line our society decided that Computers Are Hard And Complicated, and thus we have come to accept that you may need to spend hours reading a 300-page manual in order to use a phone, and also that there is any rational reason why you cannot play music you have purchased on a music-playing device manufactured by another company.
It's as if you bought a shirt, but it had 47 holes in it, so before you could put it on you'd have to read a treatise on which one is for your head and which ones are for your arms, and then also the shirt would self-destruct if you tried to wear it with pants you bought from a different store.
The problem is, what am I going to do about it? Do I return the phone to Sprint out of spite, which would hurt Sprint hardly at all but leave me, again, music-less and phone-less? And which might possibly just lead me to buy an iPhone when they come out because I know it will work with iTunes, thus perpetuating the iTunes copyright monopoly? Or should I just grit my teeth and figure out how to use it?