iPod, iTunes and MGTEK dopisp
Here's another one that pushes the Apple monopolist envelope, and which Apple seems less interested in, presumably because the high margin hardware item is a Johnny Come Lately into an already busy marketplace.
I never purchased my iPod Classic. Instead, I had a Creative MuVo, which I had purchased (second hand) off a friend who had the foresight to buy it originally with a transferable extended hardware service contract from the retailer. It failed, one month shy o fthe three year point, presenting the insurer with a dilemma. They could not repair it, tey could not honour the support contract with an identical product replacement, and their margins could in no way justify the full refund fall back option. So I agreed to a 'like for like' replacement, in the form of an iPod Classic. On reflection, I lost out in many ways.
First, Apple audio "quality" isn't. Plain and simple, the 3 year old Creative was better, by a country mile. Second, suddenly I am in the world of DRM'ed hardware. Third, the only 'supported' way to sync this puppy to my huge music collection is iTunes. There's other losses too, and some useless (to me) gains. No radio built in, no ability to modify the playlists on the player itself, etc etc. And I 'gain' the useless ability to view movies (in limited formats) in squint mode on a teeny screen, something I tried once 'cos it was a new gimmick, but certainly of no use to me, especially since the Classic doesn't have (as standard) the ability to play to an external screen.
As a consumer, I like freedom to choose - the iPod offered me only one option for an 'end user experience', a user interface that promises and delivers on its promise. Restricting, or potentially restricting, how tunes I legally own, some of which I have manufactured myself (recored), etc etc and already have a huge existing collection of can be managed, organised, used... Well, up with this I would not put!
But I'd not purchased the device, the EULA was not something I was even aware of when I agreed to the replacement and by opening the box, plugging it in, and seeing that it *required* an interface I've never seen and which I had to install to find out just how cr*p it is.... Where was my recourse? Sure, I could take it back, I could engage in a slanging match with the insurer, and they or Apple would duly pull out said EULA and say "tough".
Google to the rescue, I find MGTEK dopisp, pay a few dollars for it, and my existing music library suddenly works the way *I* want it to.
Does Apple pursue the maker of the software with a flock of lawyers? Not to my knowledge, after all, there's no locked down monopoly on 'upgrade hardware' for the consumer iPod market. Why should there be for the Personal Computer segment? Why should that be any different?
Like many other comments here - I hope Apple lose and the little guy wins, because when that happens, I too will become a winner, as I am more free to choose.