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really - the worst interface design ever

Posted by notKlaatu , 13 November 2008 · 139 views

Apple TV.Worst interface ever.Not only is it deathly slow, but it is just plain stupid. Why is it stupid? Let's look, shall we?You get into the main screen of Apple TV and immediately are greeted with different types of media you wish to view. This makes sense. Aside from the myriad restrictions Apple places on what kind of media you can actually play, this seems pretty good. Click on Movies. The top selection here is "Top Movies" and then "Genres", "All HD", "Search", and "Trailers"...and then finally "My Movies".Um wait, "My Movies" ? So you mean the top 5 selections had nothing to do with my collection of movies? No, of course not, silly goose! those were all links to the iTunes store. This isn't YOUR media player, this is Apple's media player. You are just having to have it in your house, hooked up to your tv, and on your network, stealing your bandwidth. How did it get there? Either you or a loved one actually PAID for it. Wow you probably feel stupid now. But no worries, let's go to the next selection."Music" --> again, "Top Music", "Music Videos", "Genres", "Search"......oh and finally "My Music". And don't worry, "My Music" isn't, as is the case with all of Apple TV, ALL of your music. It's only the ones thatt Apple TV can authorize against the iTunes Store as having not been purchased by someone other than you.On to "Photos" --> this time, since they can't really think of anything to sell you at this point, place "My Photos" at the top of the list...just when you were getting used to the idea of all your stuff being relegated to the bottom of the barrel! Then comes "MobileMe" (you're paying $100 a year for that) and of course you'll need to sign in. Uh oh, that means the text entry system of this horrible device. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse!Text entry on the Apple TV is done with the brilliantly simple Apple TV remote, essentially the same horrible interface as an iPod. 6 buttons, most of them badly labelled, but none labelled as badly as "Menu" (which in fact is a "Previous Screen" button, not a menu button at all). The text entry consists of the alphabet, 0-9 numerals, and the usual symbols. The cursor moves slow, password entry is sometimes hidden and sometimes done in the clear (arbitrarily decided by some random guy at Apple, I guess), there is a "Clear" button that will -- without confirmation -- clear the entire field, an arrow to denote "backspace" or "delete one character", no auto-completion, no ".com" selection, no memory of any previously entered text....you're just on your own. It's a horrible experience.And then there's the "Settings" menu. Seven selections and not one for "Network"...which you'd think would be a fairly commonly needed selection. Happy hunting for that. And remember, some of your passwords will be entered in the clear, but we won't tell you which ones, so have fun guessing when to trick your friends into looking away at a moment's notice.And did I mention it was slow? Is it because there's only 256mb of 400 mhz RAM? Or is it because so much of the system is preoccupied with sending out zero-conf signals to the entire world wideweb so that it will possibly automagically appear on your computer when you go to set it up, because you can't be bothered to do a little network configuration? Who can say.But yes, all in all, I would say that this was some of the worst interface design I've ever seen. And no, I don't mean "some of the worst I've seen from Apple" -- I mean "some of the worst I've seen".And no, I did not buy an Apple TV. Just saw a friend's Apple TV and made fun of it. Publicly.

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