I've come to expect perfection from Google. At least an open-minded attempt at perfection in a "do-no-evil
" sort of way. I'm part of the minority. I regularly prefer to use Apple MacOS products over Microsoft Windows products. Partly because they're a helluva lot easier to use. And they provide a helluva lot more features. Features I care about. Not features like, "we're getting rid of the registry after N decades because it was a really stupid idea to start with". But I digress.
Google products can be sorted into 3 categories:
The most important things belong to category 1 - products like, Google search, Gmail, Google Talk (actually, Google Talk straddles categories 1 and 3; you can use a jabber-compatible messaging client to connect to the Google Talk server, but the Google Talk client runs only on Windows), and the web-hosted video.google.com video viewer.
- Things that run on any computer (because of web standards).
- Things that run Windows and Mac (because Google created special packages for these two OSs)
- Things that run only on Windows (and might someday run on Mac's... maybe).
As of today, Google Earth has transitioned from category 3 to category 2!!! (Hooray - thank you - I wish it had happened sooner). I'm sorry for all of the Linux users out there... presumably, you still can't run Google Earth... (yet I've heard that it's possible to run Google Earth on Linux via WinE).
Category 3 is troubling. Because it indicates that Google has decided that "people not running the Microsoft OS are not (so) important Google customers". Ouch. That hurts. Early versions of Google Video didn't offer transcoding... so a bunch of videos couldn't be watched on Mac's. Google fixed this with a spiffy transcoder and flash player that I blogged about before.
As I indicated, Google Earth went thru a long PC/Windows-only phase.
And now Google announces the Google Video Store... with titles from CBS, the NBA, and more available for purchase... HOWEVER: many titles are "Category 3"... they're accompanied by a little message, "Sorry, purchasing this video requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP." Huh!?
Why not transcode the video into the superior mpeg4 format? Apple provides QuickTime viewers for Windows machines... and surely there are alternative mpeg4 viewers for Windows as well. Or make several formats available? The Wayback Machine has figured this out and offers many videos in multiple formats, often including mpeg4... in fact, it looks like that site is a reasonable alternative to video.google.com for individuals wanting to publish their videos.
Continue reading "Google Video Store... not perfect"