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I Hate Linux

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Product Anxiety

Like many, I take great pride in my work and do my best to make whatever I build as good as it can be. Now and then when I give a product to someone to go over and test, I tend to get a little anxious because I of course want it to do well. The same goes for when a demo or full version is shown to customers, I don't want anything to break, I want it to work perfectly and be as clear as can be without the anything thinking "gee, I wish it could do ___ as well" or "I wish it would do it this way instead." Traditionally, I do not feel the same way about the products of others, either from my company or elsewhere.

As an owner of an iPod who has an hour commute each day, I began with simply throwing my headphones and listening to tunes. This is legal in my state (SD), but every now and then when I visit my parents in Minnesota it becomes illegal at the border.

I like many was happy to hear about the Alpine KCA-420i iPod Interface that would make your iPod look like a CD Changer to many Alpine decks.

When it was finally released, I went down to my local Ultimate Electronics with a couple of friends who know far more about car audio than I to take a look. Suffice to say, I was not impressed. I first played with the adapter plugged into my iPod and a $1500 head unit... it was a joke, it was rarely able to display all of my songs, was a nightmare to use to scroll through to a specific one and was painful just to have play a random track.

I was, disappointed, not a state I am in very often and my friend Chad quickly noticed. A frequent phrase that he kept saying when I'd run into an oddity, flaw or general usability issue was: "God damn Alpine", not to be confused with similar and often heard phrases like "Stupid Alpine" and "F*#@ing Alpine".

Being ready to spend several hundred on a nice deck and the iPod adapter, I ended up buying a nice Pioneer deck as well as an aux input cable so that I could run my iPod to it that way.

Not long later, I heard of the CD-IB100, an upcoming product from Pioneer to do what the Alpine product did. Being curious, I went back to the local Ultimate to take a look and see if it "sucked less" (yes that was the term I used when talking with the sales person at Ultimate).

I would really like to be able to have a clean way of controlling my iPod from my deck, however if the CD-IB100 is anything like the Alpine one, I am going to be quiet angry, and in the mean time I feel a bit of anxiety regarding this as I am very much looking forward to the release of this product.

Within the next month it should be out, and I'll try to give it a try at Ultimate, or just drop $100 bucks, plug it into my own and hope it's better, or more likely, see if it "sucks less". I'm hopeful... but still skeptical.


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