Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oddball Surprise

I was puttering around late one night when I had a brainstorm I wanted to write about but I was tired and I had to walk the Meeka dog before going to bed and I knew I didn't have them time to do both separately so I figured I'd use the voice recorder function of my iPhone 4 while I was walking and just transcribe what I spoke the next morning so I wouldn't forget it.

Luckily, it was late at night (1:42am) and few, if any, people would overhear this crazy person monologuing on to himself.

When I finished walking and talking, I bedded down, got up the next morning and after transferring the resulting audio file to my Mac, I readied my typing fingers and pressed "play".

The resulting quality of the audio playing back through my speakers stunned me so much I totally forgot to start typing as I marveled.

I have never, EVER heard such amazing quality from a tiny little phone microphone! It rivaled and possibly, POSSIBLY, even EXCEEDED the "enthusiast level" dedicated dynamic handheld microphone and line level mixer setup that I have hooked up to my computer!

Absolutely WOW.

Now the microphone in my iPhone 3G wasn't BAD, in fact it was pretty good for a small microphone and, by FAR, considerably better than the ones in my Motorola RAZR or Palm Centro and even my old dedicated voice recorder that I used to use in my college psych classes.

Yet, here is this iPhone 4 with an uncelebrated, un-noted and arguably an insignificant detail of an upgrade giving anything less then a semi-professional setup a run for it's money.

People wonder WHY I love Apple despite my love of open source, my love of the freedom to choose my own hardware, and my love of inexpensive equipment.

I love Apple products because of the engineering, or more accurately, the OVER-engineering, that goes into their hardware. The countless nigglingly tiny and perfectionist details and exhaustive work that goes into making something so beautiful and yet amazingly functional that just looks and works BETTER than everything else.

Apple doesn't make products, gadgets or devices.

Apple makes a user experience that we all take for granted.

I'm convinced that Apple products are 50% engineering, 50% UI and 50% art. No, my math is good, because they always seem to find a way to wedge in that last extra 50% in the other companies just seem to not "get".

Call me a drooling fanboy. Call me a mindless Apple promoter. Call me a aesthetics obsessed dork that favors form over function. You're wrong, but feel free to accuse away.

When a company makes something, I appreciate the extra engineering. I appreciate the extra details. I appreciate a smooth and sculpted interface. I appreciate a design that is clean and beautiful and pleasing AND simple, yet doesn't interfere with the functionality. I appreciate the EXTRA EFFORT placed into ANY product above and beyond just finishing it and dumping it on the market in order to get something out as fast as possible to start making a profit.

When another company gets even HALF WAY to making something that is OVERALL better then one of Apple's products, I'll gladly and without hesitation promote and support them every ounce as much as Apple.

Sorry for the blurb, but I just wanted to note that sometimes it's the UNCELEBRATED and UN-MARKETED upgrades to a product that can make you go "wow!" just as much as the headline grabbers.

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