I'm basically a Windows-Person and I'm proud of it. It may be a "closed source OS" but at least it's an "open OS". Everybody (including myself!) can write programs that run on it and can publish them without going through any arbitrary proprietary approval process or forcing their customers to "jailbreak" anything. Yet - as compared to other OSs out there - Windows still has a huge corporation supporting it and there's one and only one "person" to blame if anything goes wrong. With (for example) Linux there's not less blame but since it's directed at many individual projects rather than one corporation, it doesn't show as much... that's my reasoning for growing up and sticking with Windows even though I can get by with Linux just as well.
Now why did I ever fall for Apple?
Because back in the day they had the only available portable MP3-player that was comfortable to use - every other model was restricted to "prev/next" button navigation which was fine for 10 or so songs but not thousands. So I got myself an iPod Nano. Nifty and useful. And: it was even supported by WinAmp. Perfect. But then I wanted to go with the times and have my videos with me on the go too... not that I ever used this feature often bus when I did, it was very handy. So I got myself a cheap video player. Ugh. Mistake #1. The "new" video player had the same drawbacks in navigation as the ancient MP3 players had.
So after some consideration, I bought an iPod touch (3G). WinAmp support was just assumed on my side. But oh no, Apple wouldn't have that! Somebody syncing a device without proper iTunes subscription!? So due to hashed and compressed media databases on the device, the WinAmp support explicitly excludes iPod touch 3G and 4G. While the user interface on the device was nice, iTunes (and particularly QuickTime) was like raping Windows... Program crashes a plenty, the continuous highjacking of the native PNG support in Internet Explorer... I finally had enough...
Last week, I went into a shop, went up and down the isle of media players and tried out some of them. Yes! Finally they realized that devices with empty batteries aren't much of a "display model". I came across the "ARCHOS 43 internet tablet". What a stupid name... but in all honesty: this Android based multi media player (with internet browsing capabilities, hence the name) has all the nice little features I expect in a portable media player: audio/video support for common formats, filesystem based sync (YAY! WinAmp is back!), playlist management on the device (take that, iPod!), 16GB of built in memory (11 available?) AAAAND: micro-SD slot! Another nice addition is a mini-HDMI port. With all that in mind, there's only very few drawbacks so far. The biggest issue is that they didn't put a regular mini-USB port in, but rather a "micro-USB" one. Not so common and I've to look out for a cable. The form factor is nice too: roughly the same width and thickness of the iPod, but a good bit longer... and it's all screen that is longer! A nice feature is also the built in "kickstand" to prop the player up for easier video viewing. Wireless support is given with wireless LAN and BlueTooth. Built in camera AND microphone. Quality of the camera is yet to be determined, but it's a bonus it does have the device in the first place. Oh, and built in speaker too. Only thing pending is to see if it plays along with my car radio (USB connection?)...
Oh and if all that is not reason enough to buy one: it comes with "Big Buck Bunny" as demo video on the device :D
There were other players by Archos too, but they either had a joke of a touch screen (yes, the first generation Palm Pilot had a more reliable one!) or lacked a "video out" port.
The last time I launched iTunes on purpose was about a year ago, when I wanted a video transcoded for the iPod. It's VERY picky with the format. The last time I launched QuickTime on purpose was to check if it worked better than VLC for the Pawpet stream... which it didn't.
So, as of Friday evening, my PC is QT- and iTunes-free. Yeah!
I'll keep the iPod for a bit though... should I need to re-connect it to the PC, I'll just use a vmware machine :D