Creative cripples MP3 players

    [via Engadget]
    I had a Creative Nomad Jukebox back in the day – it was as big and bulky as a CD player, but it had lots of nice recording features that only got better with successive firmware updates. Now, I’m no expert on technology (actually I am, but let’s pretend), but generally firmware updates are supposed to add and update features, right?Well, Creative’s latest updates for their Zen MicroPhoto and Zen Vision:M players remove FM recording capabilities. Those consumers that pick products based on a feature set will just have to live with one of those bullet points suddenly disappearing, I suppose. You can invent your own metaphor assuredly. Here’s a few to get you started:

    • It’s like ordering chicken and waffles, only to find Roscoe’s ran out of waffles.
    • It’s like having a CD player suddenly lose the ability to play artists whose names start with the letter “O”.
    • It’s like your cable company dropping Cinemax, while charging the same price and depriving you of the soft porn you so richly deserve.
    • It’s like a respectable technology company reneging on a feature set that was promised to you in their asking price.

    These developments against fair use are starting to pile up, and none of them favors the consumer. You can’t record FM radio, you can’t use the nifty portable TiVoToGo feature on new Series 3 devices, and if you have a dead grandmother, odds are the RIAA will be suing her next week. If you don’t mind, I’m just going to break out my old cassette deck, record some college radio, and pour some beer on the corner for Nana, defendant in a suit still pending.
    Note: You can see the MicroPhoto firmware for yourself here. The Zen Vision firmware disabling FM recording was pulled, according to some glitches according to Epizenter.