DoubleTwist, the excellent free media manager, has added podcast features to its Windows version. (The Mac one gets them next month.) If you have an Android or Palm phone–or any of the scads of other supported devices–and a collection of songs and videos, you need this program…
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Here’s what DoubleTwist was talking about in its Steve-Jobs-is-an-evil-overlord ad from last week: The company has released a new edition of the Mac version of its media-management software with Amazon’s MP3 Downloads store built in. That makes it a more formidable alternative to iTunes–and DoubleTwist’s key attraction remains the fact that it supports hundreds of phones, media players, and other devices rather than just iPods and iPhones:
As with the rest of DoubleTwist, the store feels like a minimalist, defeatured iTunes. There’s no information about the artists or albums, no listener reviews, and no links to concert information. DoubleTwist also doesn’t provide access to Amazon’s video download store (it does, however, let you manage and convert unprotected videos you already have, as well as photos).
Basically, all you get is a search box and the ability to listen to samples and purchase tracks and albums:
In some ways, DoubleTwist’s extreme simplicity is a pleasant break from the bursting-at-the-seams behemoth that iTunes has turned into. Other than the expansive gadget support, the best thing about it is its pure speed: You can be in and out of the music store with a purchase far faster than in Amazon’s browser-based interface or in iTunes’ Music Store. (Every time I click the iTunes Store link in iTunes, I gird myself to mentally drum my fingers while it loads.)
All in all,the new DoubleTwist doesn’t justify an ad which seems to suggest its significance is worthy of comparison to the original Macintosh, or that users of iTunes (which DoubleTwist largely mimics) are zombies. But it’s well worth checking out, especially if you’ve got a Mac and a device that comes with poor vendor support for OS X, or none at all. (DoubleTwist says that the Amazon store will come soon to its Windows version.)
As TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid has reported, DoubleTwist–a media manager application that, among other things, serves as a bridge between iTunes and non-Apple devices–is promoting a new version that debuts on October 6th with an ad that looks…eerily familiar:
Yup, the ad is an animated remake of Apple’s legendary “1984” commercial, directed by Ridley Scott, which introduced the Mac–except this time the scary overlord (who seemed to represent IBM the first time around) bears a striking resemblance to Steve Jobs:
DoubleTwist isn’t saying what the new feature is, but in general, the company’s product is on the side of the angels–it lets people who don’t own Apple devices participate in the iTunes ecology in a way that makes way more sense than Palm’s USB spoofing. DoubleTwist founder Jon “DVD Jon” Lech Johansen is a kind of a genius, and I’m curious what the company has up its sleeve.
That said, I don’t think much of the ad. It doesn’t take much creativity to remake somebody else’s commercial, and this particular remake is less than artful. Then again, I also think that of Apple’s version. It may be universally regarded as one of the greatest TV ads of all time, but the Orwellian overtones were as hyperbolic in 1984 as they are in 2009. And what potential customer wants to watch a commercial that depicts him or her as a compliant zombie? (I’d like to see Apple open up iTunes myself, but I don’t feel like I’m part of an army of lobotomized drones when I use it–nor do I think that Steve Jobs is any more of a terrifying Big Brother than whoever was running IBM in 1984.)
On the other hand, DoubleTwist’s first anti-Apple prank–getting a huge ad seemingly displayed on the outside wall of one of Apple’s flagship stores–is one of the greatest practical jokes ever played by anyone on anyone. May whatever DoubleTwist releases next week live up to the imagination it showed with that bit of guerilla marketing…