Gadgets suck

bill-murray-you-suckI’m curious. How do normal people – non geeks – survive in this gadget filled world? It’s a fair question as nearly every gadget or piece of technology I have used in the last few years required days of Google’n and trial/error usage before the damn thing would finally work. Maybe I’m different than most and actually expect gadgets to work properly.

Thinking back, the only semi-advance gadget that hasn’t given me grief recently was an Archos 605 media player. It just worked. Files transfer onto the player by dragging and dropping via USB mass storage support. Then much to my surprise at the time, all the files I transfered onto the unit played back fine at the original resolution. There wasn’t any need to re-encode the files with some random program to a random resolution or format; it just worked and made me smile.

Now I’m playing with this Moxi HD DVR and cannot be more upset with it. I spent most of yesterday’s evening trying to get the network support up and running. The bundled software, PlayOn, doesn’t run on OS X or Windows Home Server so I dove into Google looking for another DLNA media streamer.

Before I finally gave up and called tech support, I tried a half a dozen pieces of software with no luck: Tveristy, TwonkeyMedia Manager, TwonkeyMedia Server, Nero MediaHome 4, NeoDigits NeoLink, PS3 Media Server, and the media streamer built into Windows Home Server. No luck. Eventually the tech support guy said streaming AVI’s can’t be done, but for some reason, that’s not good enough for me.

You see, the streaming software attempts to transcode the AVI files into WMV or MPEG-4 streams, which the Moxi supports. So I spent most of this morning trying again and also ensuring my post last night wasn’t incorrect. But here I am, defeated again. Streaming AVI or MKV files cannot be done on the Moxi HD DVR.

But it’s not just the Moxi HD DVR either. It’s everything for my iPod to a TiVo to Sprint Aircards to Logitech Harmony Remotes. Nothing seems to work out of the box properly anymore. I truly believe that every new gadget ships in a beta form and takes months of updates to finally reach a point for general consumption; the BlackBerry Storm comes to mind. It leaves me thankfully that I at least know how to use Google and don’t have to spend more money on a Geek Squad home visit than the gadget costs.

I hate gadgets. They suck. Now back to writing about gadgets.

Update: Watch this video. Our modern life is broken and why. via BB