Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Unofficial State of 5by5

As a PC and Android user, Hypercritical was the best thing ever. Siracusa is a fan of Apple, but the only one I have ever heard who can convincingly explain that it's in spite of the problems with Apple. Windows is still my first language and Android is superior to IOS in many ways, but I have some idea why Apple is so popular.

The Talk Show by comparison was, and is, pure Apple propaganda. Gruber is a militant Apple apologist. He accuses others of twisting stats to put Apple in a bad light, while he does it to show that Apple are a perfect company with perfect products. If Apple are doing as well as Sony did in the 90s, why does he need to defend it?

Before Gruber dropped the mic and walked off 5by5, Dan challenged some of the stuff he came out with; made him defend his position - and that's what Gruber does well. The new Talk Show is a circle jerk. When your co-presenter that just agrees, there's no drama.
Build and Analyze was mostly dumb. When Marco wasn't advertising himself, his apps, his magazine, and Apple products generally, he would slag off other products - frequently ones he had never used. I stopped listening to B&A a few weeks before it ended. Marco had run out of interesting things to say long before that.

I was an avid (and occasionally livid) listener to these shows. What used to be required listening, no longer exists.

I tried Amplified with Jim Dalrymple. Some people have a face for radio. Jim has a voice for writing. I enjoyed the episodes I listened to, right up to the moment where, out of nowhere, he yelled with laughter right into the mic. It wasn't even that funny. I can imagine that sort of laugh being an effective method of getting attention in a noisy envirnment like a busy bar, but one thing it definitely doesn't need is to be amplified.

I listened to the last Ihnatko Almanac, the one about Andy switching to Android. Andy is listenable (except when he does accents) and I looked forward to hearing an interesting discussion on the relative merits of the two main mobile OSes. Instead I got Dan repeatedly talking about how it was a big shock that an Apple Guy had changed phones.

Apple fans traditionally cried that if only people would try Mac they would love it. Maybe sometimes the same applies in reverse? Dan's question about using Android with a Mac doesn't make any sense in 2013. He needs to spend more time with his Nexus 7.

I also tried listening to The Frequency #100. Maybe this is meant to appeal to a wider audience than tech shows, but I find it tedious. Haddie may be a lovely person, I don't know, but repeating everthing Dan says using slightly different words, or worse, the same words with a stupid voice, is totally pointless, irritating, vapid, brainless, annoying. Then they blew noise makers. Dan must believe there is some on-air "chemistry". I don't get it.

It was a good idea to split The News from The Frequency, but it has the same format, so it's pointless. Dan should read the news on his own (no Haddie) with his own comments or read comments from Reddit or other blogs.

The Incomparable has some great shows, and hopefully 70decibels have some good stuff.  But once I get up to date with Roderick on the Line, I'll be looking for some new tech shows from 5by5.

I hope Dan realizes that a daily news and chat show drains focus and resources (time and attention!) and goes back to weekly shows with interesting hosts.

How about a Windows 8 show? Dan has experience with older versions of windows, but a weekly show which introduces him as a new user to Windows 8 would be interesting and allow him to compare with other OSes. Maybe run it as an 8 week experiment?

The same applies to Android. If Dan wants to criticise Android, thats fine, but do it better. Spend time on-air using and comparing with IOS. What works? What doesn't? What would be good for IOS?

I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to get hosts for these shows, and this would challenge Dan to articulate why he now uses Apple. In the meantime, back to Supertrain...

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