Today I want to start a new category of blog posts which discuss to bad design decisions made by companies. To start with, I want to draw your attention to Quicktime. I stopped using Windows and started using OS X back in early 2007. I have usually not looked back andÂ regrettedÂ my move. OS X is really an solid Operating System. Which at the time didnt appear to have a formidable rival(Windows XP). Today with Windows 7, things have heated up between the operating system powerhouses and it it difficult to compare the feature sets of the 2. When there is a overlap, its interesting when making a comparison.
Since 2007 I have missed Windows Media Player for one of its best and most fundamental features which is woefully missing in QuickTime. Some would think that this feature is its codec support. I think that Quicktimes swiss army knife, Perian fills this void nicely. Instead the culprit is the tiny progress bar. Heres what it (kinda) looks like in Windows Media Player:
Message to Apple, when watching more then a few minutes of videos, those 300 pixels are NOT long enough to accurately select a specific time in the video. ThisÂ isn’tÂ iTunes where you have sound clips that go for about 4 minutes. Do the math:
90 minute movie = 5400 seconds
5400 seconds / 300 pixels = 18 seconds a pixel
Like seriously cmon, usually when rewinding, you want to rewind like 10 secondsÂ becauseÂ you missed what someone just said, also do they realise that theyÂ aren’t beingÂ reasonably by asking users to move their hand 1 pixel to the left just to hear what was said. Alarmingly, QuickTime 6/7 which shipped with Tiger and Leopard have had a progress slider which I used to be able to live with because it actually grew longer as you expanded the window:
Like seriously Apple. You make great UIs, but you have been missing the mark all together with your video players since the dawn of time. Think about how users will be using your UI. Im amazed no one has already pointed this out.