dear griffin technology

May 24th, 2007

I’ve always enjoyed not only your great products, but your ethos of making cool stuff first, and selling it second.

Alas, that all came crashing down back in January, when I got a much-anticipated TuneCenter. I cannot understate how disappointing it was. I’ve waited this long to mention it to you because I was hoping some sort of firmware update would be released that would address some of my concerns, but that doesn’t seem to be in the works.

Here are some things that make me not use my TuneCenter. I apologize if the list is incomplete, as I haven’t used the thing since the day after I plugged it in.

• No album art. Even if the iPod won’t transmit that data as you say, the TuneCenter is capable of getting online. Query Amazon or something. Huge value-add there.

• Sluggish response. Trying to accurately fast-forward through a song is more or less an exercise in futility.

• Just doesn’t work consistently. Often I have to place and replace the iPod a few times to get it to connect to the TuneCenter.

• Can’t navigate videos with the remote. Let’s be honest here people. That is what the damn thing is for. I could have bought a $29 cable and saved $100 if I wanted to walk to the TV to play a movie. And it would be easier to use the scrollwheel if it wasn’t in the dock. I don’t think the backlight works when I’m doing this either, but I could be mistaken. The great irony is that I need the remote to set the TuneCenter to video mode, which in turn, renders the remote useless.

• Can’t fast forward through videos. See above on the saving $100 angle.

In the end, the TuneCenter is pretty well unnecessary as an iPod to TV conduit, since the remote is effectively unusable. As for listening to music, I find it quicker to walk upstairs to the computer, find my selection, and send it to the livingroom via AirTunes than it is to find the artist I am looking for via the TuneCenter interface.

So to sum up, the TuneCenter is a dog, and a real disappointment given your otherwise great stable of products. Too bad, as it had such great potential.

Disappointed in Cleveland Oakland

2 Responses to “dear griffin technology”

  1. Jeff says:

    I thought you lived in Oakland?

    Ghaaah. I’m so out of it.

    Clearly, in hindsight, the TuneCenter was a gizmo rushed to market to enjoy the small temporal window of opportunity Apple provided between when 1) iPods started to play video and 2) the AppleTV had not come out yet. It’s a compelling idea, certainly — all your videos on one gizmo! — but too bad it apparently suxxors.

    If you want, as consolation, I will make you an XMBC. Old XBoxes go for, like $40 on eBay. You will need a wired network though.


  2. Ben says:

    Just need a wireless bridge, like a Netgear ME101 or a D-Link DWL-G820 or a Linksys WET11. :-)