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The cable nightmare should be enough to open up anyone's eyes. There's a line somewhere that companies should not cross in their willingness to protect their investments.. Apple trying to disallow other gadgets from using iTunes is one thing. You may or may not agree with it but it does not sound too weird. Standard cables are far, far beyond that line that should not be crossed.

I'm not ready to jump on this one.

For one thing, I have an iPhone, and I have a car with Microsoft Sync. Every time I plug the iPhone into the car's USB port, it pops up "this accessory is not made to work with iPhone". And then it works anyway (except for the part where something is a little overzealous about reindexing the music on the phone, and I'm not yet sure which side that one's on).

For another, the DRM point may be more important than the author makes it out to be: there are plenty of systems where using the "wrong" cable will still work, but with significantly degraded access (I still remember the first time I had to buy an adapter box to use a DVD player with my TV). I'm not sure that "sorry, you can't do that" is any better or worse than "you can do that, it just won't be useful in any way".

The author can assure you the video halts while the iPod displays that dialog ("monologue" would perhaps be more appropriate) box saying the cable is not compatible. It usually does so after a random period of time (between a couple seconds to a couple minutes) playing the video on the TV. Any subsequent attempt to play the video with the same cable results in the video being shown on the iPod screen. One workaround is to reboot the iPod and restart playback, but it is more hassle than I am willing to put up with.

It may be called "degraded usability" for some...

Not just on their Ipods either. You also get a goofy cable on their macbooks and on the shuffle headphones. And now they cut the firewire from the macbook line (I think the mackbook pro still has it). One hand gives and the other takes.

All MacBooks have Firewire. Not really an issue though, Firewire isn't exactly standard on consumer level laptops.

Except for the 15" Macbook Pro, the only MBP that anyone actually would want to buy. ;)

The 15" MacBook Pro has Firewire.

Every current Macbook Pro has Firewire, according to http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/specs.html

The white ones always had Firewire 400 too (http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html). There was a brief period when the 15 inch Macbook (later renamed Pro) had no Firewire.

The Air, predictably, doesn't have Firewire. It barely has USB...

Oops... Jstevens85 got it right. It was the 13 inch that had no FireWire before being renamed a "pro".

Yeah, I got mixed up. The Macbook (not pro) is lacking firewire, right? And the 15" MacbookPro lost expresscard.

All Apple laptops (except the Air) have Firewire. The 13" Macbook was briefly without Firewire, but that was reinstated at WWDC.

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