My Turn

Freakin' Awful

- 2001.10.03

My Turn is Low End Mac's column for reader-submitted articles. It's your turn to share your thoughts on all things Mac (or iPhone, iPod, etc.) and write for the Mac web. Email your submission to Dan Knight .

MacAddict is going to start charging shareware authors $500 to include their software on The Disc - and even more for corporate contributors. Come November they're going to have to start calling it The Coaster, 'cause that's all that it'll be good for. Now if it was $500 for a year for corporate and $50 a year for shareware and included all of your titles (not just one), maybe that might go over; otherwise, you're going to be listening to a lot of bippity-bop electronic garage music and watching a really loooooong flash animation by the index-writing guy.

Speaking of which, it occurs to me that the reason they're charging is that it is so expensive to create The Disc in the first place. Let's see, why is that? Could it be all the fluffy technojunk they put on there to make it look like they created the content provided for free from their contributors? What about the fancy multi-colored CD labels?

Want to cut expenses, MacAddict? Drop the Flash interface. Lose the custom techno-bop player. Stick with content.

Geeze, these authors are doing you a favor, folks. There's only one big advantage a CD with a paper mag has over the Internet itself: You don't have to go find the content yourself. It's all in one place, and it comes with its own backup. For really big files, it's faster than a modem or even cable. Take away a healthy collection of files, and what's left?

No individual file can sell the Disc to readers; it's the collection of files, the promise of finding something new we hadn't heard of, that makes us defy our common sense and pay for something that we could download for free ourselves.

It's all about content, baby.

As Ross Perot once said, "There'll be a giant sucking sound," and then we'll all have to go back and subscribe to Macworld, for criminy sakes. I hope MacAddict can find some other way to balance the books - or they might find themselves with no books to balance.

Two words, guys: Freakin' awful!

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