That's IT! I'm going back to XP!

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Eric_L, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Rewind six months ago - I gingerly opened my new iMac thrilled with the prospect of a user-friendly experience. My iPhone would sync nicely - my kids would be able to do schoolwork - my home videos would be nicely edited and organized and my iTunes would stream wonderfully to my home audio...

    Hogwash.

    (rant font on)

    User friendly is a joke. Go ahead - put a novice in front of a mac and tell them to open internet, navigate to Pandora and play their station over an external audio system.

    They CAN'T!!! They first must get an airport express (unless your home audio rack is right next to your iMac) Even if it is they still must get an toslink adapter for the Apple (stupid mini-jacks!) You are now out $150... What fun! User friendly my big toe.

    But wait - You still can't hear Pandora on the stereo! The fun continues! Now you need to purchase and install AiFoil - because the airport only receives iTunes signals. Another $25!!!! Yippee fun!

    If you are lucky - and read that L U C K Y, your Airport Express will actually receive the music and transport it to your audio system. Luck has more to do with it than anything. Just look at the Apple support Airport Express forums and you'll see that a substantial number of consumers have difficulty with their airport NOT working. (Apples response is a big blank NOTHING. Then they have the audacity to pick on VISTA for spending on advertising instead of fixing their product!)

    Contrast that with a PC - out of the box I can plug it into coax out and voila - ALL sound is transported via my 35ft cable to my audio source. Total additional costs and software: $0. And it works ALL the time.

    Don't even get me started on their confounded mouse, dismal integration with my networked storage, inability to swap files with other networked computers (XP and Vista) and lack of support for SONY video camera software....

    (rant font off)

    OK. Got that out of my system. No somebody please explain to my why I shouldn't just build me a new PC, put XP on it, and put the iMac in storage?

    My primary gripe is the dismal support for getting music to my home audio system. I've bought all the goods - even changed out my wireless router. Still - it is hit and miss getting the audio to my stereo. I must reboot the iMac, reboot the Airport 'Depress' (as I like to call it), restart Airfoil, etc. Right now even that does not work...

    I am so sick over this I can't begin to describe. I've posted to their support forums many times and been ignored by apple (just like countless other consumers). I've called their support desk and been told 'sorry'.

    I feel ripped off by Apple big time... I've been iHozed.
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    TOSlink to stereo jacks are $3 at Monoprice.

    Edit: actally I'm wrong, they are a $1.74. Did I just save you $148?
    For only $0.54 each when QTY 50+ purchased - Toslink Female to Toslink Mini Male Adapter | Toslink Adapter

    Why can't you use a regular stereo connection tho? That doesn't make any sense. You don't get any better sound using toslink for pandora.

    I don't think the mac is the problem in this equation.... But if that's your final answer let us know how much you want for the iMac... I've been very lucky buying used macs from people who can't be bothered to figure out the differences...
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    If the Mac's not working for you, then switch to your better solution.
    But I wonder if your problems can't be fixed with easy solutions.
     
  4. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Hmm, nice flame. I'm tempted to reply in kind - but I'm better than that.
     
  5. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I would like to hope that there is an easy solution. I really feel like the guy listening to a new song that everyone else is raving about but it sounds like cat's in a blender to me. I would be pleased to find that the problem could be fixed with an embarrassingly simple solution I've overlooked. I really would.

    My biggest peeve is that I've spent so much money on the Airport Express for audio and it does not work reliably. Sometimes on, sometimes not. The AirFoil software I bought seems to have only made matters worse. I've spend $200 to get my iMac to do something (play audio over my AV system) which my PC did out of the box - and the iMac is still not able to match the reliability of my PC in doing this - not even close. Read that sentence again - it bears repeating. It is why I feel I've been iHozed; my PC was more reliable than my iMac at playing media -and Apple does not seem to care. They seem to be just like Vista; spending too much on marketing and not enough on product support.
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    One simple solution is to go wired as you would with the XP machine. You are of course limited on your run with optical, as you mentioned, but you could get an optical to coax converter.

    Parts Express[​IMG]ayton DAC-OC Optical To Coaxial Converter

    Not the most elegant solution, but perhaps more reliable. I used that device for a time in my setup and experienced no problems.

    I've also used an Airport Express at various times for streaming music and would have it just stop transmitting music once in awhile. I agree it's not the best solution if you want to use something besides iTunes. AirFoil I've only demo'ed so can't speak to its consistency.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Apple designed keyboards and mice are mediocre (at best). Because I care about such things, I bought a $20 MS Ergo keyboard and an $80 Logitech MX Revolution. People who don't care about such things enjoy Apple's mouse and keyboards.


    But here's the thing: you have to learn how to use the Mac. It took me two months to become comfortable with the Mac, overcoming 10 years of ingrained Windows 98 / XP muscle memory. If you're not willing to give it a try, then yes, you should sell the system and use something you already understand.

    And your life will be easier with a Mac if you do things the Mac way. So here's the Mac way:

    *Where are my music files? In iTunes.
    *Where are my images? In iPhoto.
    *Where are my movies? In iMovie (or your editor of choice)
    *How do I transport and back these up? With Time Machine.
    *Why does iMac use obscure connectors for audio and video out? ??? 1/8" Stereo, TOSlink, and DVI are standard, no?

    There are other solutions, of course, but doing things the "mac way" leads to easy, simple solutions. You can go other routes -- just like you can with Windows -- but it's going to take more effort.
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Eric,

    I am not in your shoes so it's hard for me to say this and believe
    you will accept it....

    There are easy solutions to these problems that are far better than
    going back to Windows.

    Everyone here who has has owned a PC has found Mac to be the
    better option. There are times that even I have problems with my
    Mac, but it doesn't take long until I am able to find a solution for it.
    Most of that help comes through communication in this forum area.

    Hang in there a bit longer. Give yourself time to learn Mac. The
    rewards will come to you.
     
  9. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Thanks Ron Dave and company.

    I really WANT to enjoy my mac. My primary frustration is getting AirFoil and iTunes to go to my audio stack. I am soooo pissed that the AX has failed so badly... I really want my wife and kids to be able to turn the imac on, turn the AV stack on (with the Harmony remote) and just enjoy their music. Right now it ain't happening and the AX and/or AirFoil seem to be the weak link. I don't know what to do.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Have you contacted Apple and the AirFoil people about the problems?
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    My post was not a flame, sorry you took it that way. DaveF answered your question in detail but I will expand on that with a simple observation:

    Be reasonable, do it Steve's way. =)

    Apple's designs are winners BECAUSE they eliminate choice. That is the fundamental paradox of the Mac. Let me give you an example: Name all the ways you can close a window, any window in XP. I can name over 15. Now how can you close a window in OSX? Maybe 3 ways. And many of them are hidden. But they are the easy and elegant ways of closing a window. Many other 'simple' to do things are the same way with Apple. Think of it as a Zen thing: The best designs are as simple as they can be and not simpler.

    Adding things like Pandora ARE doable. Elegantly so with things like the adapter I linked. Who on the PC side would ever have hidden an optical link at the end of a stereo plug? But it JUST WORKS. iTunes JUST WORKS with Airport, Pandora might not but guess what? It's not designed to. If you can make it work, so much the better, but you will get a lot more helpful information by posting inquisitive requests than by threatening to take your marbles and go home.
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Apple's airport page is quite clear that music streaming out of the box is designed with iTunes in mind, not third party players:
    Apple - AirPort Express - Features - Music Sharing

    I'd start here with your Airfoil problem.

    Rogue Amoeba - Support

    I'm not sure you can get it to 'just work' tho. You are essecially re-routing the hardware audio stream and this requires at least a minor amount of user interaction.
     
  13. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    This weekend I am going to play with my system... again. I am starting to suspect that THIS time the trouble may be in my AV system.

    The Airport Express may be designed just for iTunes (which is stupid - why not ALL audio?) but even so - it has proven unreliable even with iTunes.
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Why? DRM.
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I have 4 Airport Expresses running two audio systems. One at home with 3 AXs fed from a NetGear MIMO wireless router, and one at work with just a single AX and an Airport Extreme in an Intel iMac. Both work great. I have found that I need to restart the AXs and router every couple of months. I suggest seeing if your AX is in a location where the signal is being interfered with by something like a TV or microwave. My home system only cuts out when I use the microwave, but I'm hoping that relocating the netGear router will cure that.
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I hope you get is straightened out. These inexplicable problems are very frustrating.

    It took me several days to transfer my Outlook email archive: Apple Mail doesn't understand some standard mail formatting. Going from Picasa to iPhoto was an exercise in frustration at the start as well, as I didn't yet understand the "apple way". And getting the Tivo to talk to iTunes took a full evening of experimenting since Tivo's software is outdated and meant for PowerPC Macs.

    In all three cases, there were useful scripts people had created to solve the weird problems. It was through searching online, in forums, and experimenting that I got it all working. And now it all works great, and I have no desire to return to XP (except to play BioShock [​IMG])

    So keep asking questions and searching for your answers.
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    There are no empty answers that can be found by simply typing
    a question into GOOGLE.

    When I first got my Mac I came to this forum first to ask questions.
    Any unanswered questions I then went to GOOGLE. I taught myself
    how to use my Mac through forums, blogs and other informational
    websites.

    Eric, I promise you, if you get these issues straightened out
    the Mac will be a most rewarding experience for you.
     
  18. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Any update on this. Are you a happy Mac user these days?
     
  19. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Yes - I found the problem with the audio... it was a problem in the converter series from minijack to coax.

    I'm still not very happy with the iMac but have resigned to the fact that it most likely is because I really don't have the time to spend familiarizing myself with it. I've given up on airfoil for the time being.

    I'm not so happy with Fusion either - lots of mouse problems with applications there - and we're not talking high-end stuff; My daughter can't even run the "Petz" game she got for Christmas on it. So now she bogarts my laptop.

    I could probably get Fusion to work as well as Airfoil and the other stuff - but I don't have the time to invest in figuring out first a new OS then the root of the problem within the OS. At least with XP I am already familiar with the OS. I had hoped Apple would deliver a more user friendly experience but so far it has been just similar problems with a different 'language' in a pretty box.

    Apple and Vista have delivered nothing I would consider worth the cost.
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Children's games are often the worst offenders of DRM and copy protections. These do not play well with emulators by design.

    There is a series of native Mac Petz apps, have you tried those?
    Mac Games Arcade: Petz Catz 2
     

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