July 30, 2000
See, I told you it wasn’t just me. Jason Kottke confirms my suspicions that RealNetworks is indeed the America Online of streaming media. How the hell America Online and RealNetworks became industry leaders is, quite frankly, beyond the mental grasp of this mortal, but that’s probably another discussion altogether. I make this comparison not because RealPlayer software is practically as ubiquitous as AOL install discs, but because both parties seem to excel in producing lousy, crash-prone software with confusing interfaces, inexplicable overall user experience, and an innate ability to mangle into oblivion even the simplest task you attempt to complete. More to the point, why is stupid software so popular? My guess is that the sheep don’t really care how much manure is mixed into the grain, as long as they get fed once a day.
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