6 Keys Good, 41 Keys Better?
Nathan Weinberg at InsideMicrosoft on Blog News Channel wades into the discussion over Apple's Remote Controller and Front Row on the new iMac G5: In Steve Jobs Universe, Less Features Is The Biggest Feature:
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.Specifically Nathan's points about his MCE remote in comparison to Apple's Front Row remote are as follows:
- 10 keys on the MCE are digits, while Apple's doesn't need these since it doesn't do TV.
- 2 are phone keys * and #, again keys that Apple doesn't need because FR doesn't do phone calls.
- 2 keys on the MCE are for channel up/down
- 2 are for skipping commercials (and again, something that doesn't even figure in FR)
- 1 record button (same argument)
- 1 mute button. Nathan thinks this is an oversight and presumably something that ought to be on Apple's remote.
- 4 directional buttons which Nathan says Apple have "integrated into the six, meaning you can’t control video and navigate at the same time".
- 1 info button
- 4 feature-specific buttons (essentially mode buttons)