I generally like the stuff that Adobe puts out, the price is right, well at least at the ‘free’ end, but is outrageous at the ‘pay’ end of the scale. The media player business has been a hard fought battle for years. Microsoft has Media Player, and there is WinAmp, and RealPlayer, it is a competitive world.

I like competition, generally it means that we, the consumer get a better product.

Adobe, who are without doubts the king of content with the PDF format have decided to join in the game of playing media. They have released the Adobe Media Player 1.0. I decided that as I spend a good deal of time watching and listening to media, I would take it out for a spin. The results, at least in my mind were grossly disappointing.

Problem number one was the platform I use. Although Adobe are making lots of noise about this great application being cross platform, it is a royal pain in the butt to install on anything but Windows. I run a flavor of Linux, Linspire, and I really like it. It gives me no pain, and does not require 8 boots a day. It also offers something called CNR, this is one click installation of software. Alas Adobe has taken the traditional Linux route, and within 10 seconds of attempting to install this ‘whizzbang’ program I was being asked questions that I had no answers for, RAR, Tar, and Yum, who knows what they are, and more importantly who the hell cares.

So I moved to ‘plan B’, stinkin Windows! I sweet talked my wife into downloading Adobe Media Player onto her Windows XP box. That went a lot more smoothly, and within a couple of minutes, oh, and a couple of silly prompts later, it was up and running.

Launching it revealed a slick interface. It offered us a number of pseudo TV channels. I selected an interview with Alton Brown from the Food Channel. The quality of the frames was fine, but the drop out rate was awful. I have a pretty decent DSL connection, so this gave me pause for thought.

OK, lets play with the other features, maybe it works better with local content. Well, the interface is not intuitive, in fact it is downright annoying. After clicking on every possible thing I found a way to add local content. Nothing played, I tried mpeg, windows media, mp3, AVI, nothing was recognized by this useless piece of software.

I give Adobe a ‘D’ for deficiency, and a huge ‘F’ for failure. Don’t waste your time downloading it.

I am surprised that a company with the reputation that Adobe has, would put out such a crappy product.

Simon Barrett


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