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In Steve Jobs Universe, Less Features Is The Biggest Feature

Wow. Oh. My. God. Russell Beattie is smoking the Apple crack.

Oh. My. God. I didn’t “get” FrontRow when I read about it. WOW. Apple is going to completely own the PVR space. Completely. Utterly. Holy. Shit.

My comment on his post:

So, how will Apple own the PVR space without a PVR? I’m just curious :-)

But, beyond that, Russell I encourage you to really use a Media Center PC. Devote your entertainment viewing to it entirely for a week. Then try Front Row and tell me its better. Yes, Front Row is prettier, but I hardly took you to be the type of person who wants elegance over features.

MCE does so much more than Front Row. In every way, the Front Row features are just entry-level versions of MCE features. How does it even measure up?

MCE has limitations, but to put it mildly, it is a full OS overhaul / platform designed to bring the full power of the PC entertainment library, with plugins for weather updates, RSS, Skype, caller ID, movie listings, DVD recording, FM radio recording, and hundreds of other features anyone can read up on.

Front Row is an interface for iTunes that uses a six-button remote.

It just doesn’t compare.

Maybe after Apple has worked on once/twice yearly revs for four years it will have a competitive product, but I don’t think so. MCE 2002 had more features than Front Row has; and MCE Vista makes Front Row look like a little leaguer to Microsoft’s major league MVP.

I love how Jobs compares the remotes to say that six buttons are better than 40+, while the only reason Front Row has six buttons is because it has so few features. My MCE remote has 41 buttons.

  • 10 are numbers (no need, since there are no TV channels in Front Row)
  • 2 are phone keys * and # (no phone features)
  • 2 are channel up/down (no TV)
  • 2 are for skipping commercials (again, TV)
  • 1 record button (no feature)
  • 1 mute button (oops, must’ve forgotten that one)
  • 4 directional buttons (integrated into the six, meaning you can’t control video and navigate at the same time)
  • 1 info button (like a right-click, access further info, closed captioning, zoom)
  • 4 feature-specific buttons (Recorded TV, TV Guide, Live TV, and DVD Menu) of which Front Row only has one, since it only has one of the features

Less buttons is more? Do you see what you’re missing? Macs are great for a lot of things, but replacing the TV? Maybe in 2009, if Microsoft doesn’t hold onto its huge lead.

October 17th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, XP, Apple, Media Center, Windows, General | 6 comments