Over at slash.dot, contributors are chortling over Microsoft's "advice" on buying MP3 players.
You know the advice is worth skipping when it starts off with:
"1. For the active person, a player that uses flash memory to store music has distinct advantages over a player that uses a hard disk. Simply put, flash memory players have no moving parts, meaning that you can take them jogging and your music won't skip."
Too simply put.
I have two hard disk-based MP3 players, neither of which has ever skipped due to motion. (The older one skips, just because its MPEG processor sometimes can't keep up with the data stream.) One slash.dotter relates the story of crashing his bike and his player not skipping.
And, of course flash memory players do have moving parts: there are numerous buttons and covers -- all of which move.
Other items on the list:
2. Make sure you're getting all the goodies.
- such as a built-in stopwatch, Microsoft recommends (no kidding).
3. You'll want a display.
- perhaps not. My son says his next MP3 player will be display-free (like his first one). He finds the display isn't all that useful, and that the backlight is annoying at night in bed.
4. Let a professional make your next playlist.
- would that be a Microsoft Certified MP3 Professional? No, the "professional" turns out to be a built-in FM radio.
5. Pick the right size for you.
- as in small, very small, or extra small? No. They mean "capacity." Capacities and timings are listed only for Microsoft's proprietary and locked-down file format, WMA. Hey, I thought this was an article about MP3 players!
6. Don't get locked into one online store.
- typical Microsoft spin: make an assertion based on a false premise. Other than in North Korea, how does one go about being locked into _only one_ online store? As one slash.dotter noted, it's the online stores that do the locking in, not the customers. Why should one even use _any_ online store?
By advising people to not get locked in, Microsoft glosses over the fact that its file formats lock in customers.