Friday, March 11, 2005

Save TiVo and the perfect machine

In an article called "Save TiVo!", Farhad Manjoo writes about TiVo's goal of building the "perfect machine":
    [TiVo is] embracing our self-indulgence, greed and laziness by working toward a device that I like to call the Perfect Machine: a cheap, small, quiet, stylish thing that sits in your living room and can display all of your entertainment, from TV shows to music to movies to photos; it also hooks into the Web and gives you access to all manner of audio and video available online.

    The new project -- which TiVo calls "Tahiti" -- essentially aims to create a souped-up super-TiVo, a box so inviting, so enthralling, you'll never leave the couch .... The Perfect Machine ameliorates laziness, refines sloth, embellishes indulgence.

    The Perfect Machine is flexible in the way that a computer is, but works as flawlessly as a DVD player. The Perfect Machine, the ultimate hybrid of a PC and a consumer electronics device, would be upgradable and minimally programmable, but it would never freeze up or slow down.
The article makes TiVo users sound like lazy slobs, but I think it's just exaggerating to make a point. People want things that make their lives simpler. It should be easy. It should just work.

And why shouldn't entertainment be this easy? I want a box that has my TV, movies, and music, all available, all the time. And I'm so lazy, I don't even want to try to find content. I want a box that helps me discover shows I didn't even know existed, that finds content for me. It should all just work. It should be that easy.

I hope TiVo does build the "perfect machine". At this point, it looks like they're either going to build it or die trying.

[via Jeff Nolan -> Om Malik]

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