Mac Musings

Who Is Self Serving?

March 3, 2000 - Daniel Knight

Freely adapted from the iReview page about Real Networks. I suggest you read it before reading this parody. dk

Apple, like many other software vendors, offers you free versions of its most popular products in hope that you will later upgrade to the fancier versions that cost money. Basic products, including QuickTime for streaming video, are downloadable for free at the company's Web site. But be forewarned that it will be much easier to find the $30 "Pro" version than it will be to unearth the deeply buried freebies.

Because Apple's raison d'être is to sell these and other products, it's in the company's best interest to make you believe that you can't live without them. The confusingly named is part of its attempt to do so. Among other things, the network provides a guide to various categories of content around the Web - including music, news, sports, movies, television, and radio - that supports, of course, Apple's agenda of keeping you on "safe" sites.

The guide is modestly useful, if self-serving, although we wonder who made the imbecilic decision to include three Mac Publishing sites in its innocuously-named Computers section while ignoring the bulk of the Mac-centric web. Mac users should be aware that those who go exploring there are only a couple of clicks away from some of the most mundane Mac-centric sites available. Incredibly, iReview's editors go beyond merely listing the computer sites, and actually brag about how helpful their choices are - with the exception of Real Networks, which makes a product that competes with QuickTime, earns a two star rating, and is the first computer review on the page.

The good news is that all the and pages are so dominated by links to The Apple Store and iTools (some of which are only available to Mac OS 9 users) that perhaps no one will discover its seamier side. Ultimately, the best (we won't say only) reason to come here is to download Apple's software, which you'll need to view and listen to multimedia files at other sites around the Web.

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Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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