This is a maxim that software designers seem to have forgotten.
I installed a sound card in my machine finally, this week. As you might expect, this implies that I finally set up RealPlayer. Used to be that Real Player was just a player.
Not any more.
Now, it's a "multimedia management system".
I JUST WANTED A PLAYER, THANKS!!!
I don't need Comedy Central to put up a splash screen wider than my monitor, with a tiny 160x120 window in the middle for the picture. I don't need CNN to put up an HTML page with links that don't work inside my player -- I have a browser for that, thank-you-very-much. I just need the video, and the controls. There isn't even a configuration switch to turn all the crap off.
ICQ is the same way (and don't even get me started about the fact that ICQ doesn't 'really' exist [there are no identifiable humans there]). It used to just do presence and messaging. Now it will scramble my eggs and put out my trash, and there's no way to hide at least half of that crap I don't want.
Admittedly, there have been a few worthwhile enhancements to ICQ, and I've always preferred it to AIM. But that does not excuse the extraneous bullshit it makes me deal with, and as soon as there's a viable option, I'm outta there. This is a lesson Real would do well to learn, too; no company is immune.
Let's hope they climb on board the Clue Train pretty soon.
UPDATE: I went to Real's website, to find an address to which to send a pointer to this rant, they should know I was unhappy directly.
(Stop me if you'd already figured this out:) there isn't one. The 'Public Relations' address is only for the press; everything else on that page is either sales, technical support (for paying customers only, presumably), or comments... about the website. Nowhere that I could find was there a place to which to send comments about the company and it's products.
Of course not. I certainly wouldn't want to hear people bitch.
And, of course, just like eBay, finding those email addresses is next to impossible. I had to bounce over to the corporate website at realnetworks.com to find any contact information at all.
Why does RealPlayer keep telling me I only have an 8-bit video card? Not only did I already know that, but the "don't tell me this again button is checked.