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May 14, 2008

Nokia Music Adds to the Bloat

by Matthew

Nokia released Nokia Music to Beta Labs Tuesday. The application is a paltry 64MB addition to PC Suite, yet another sign that Nokia continues to develop applications that have increasing become bloatware. If Nokia Music were a standalone application such as iTunes (~75MB installed + ~75MB for QuickTime) I wouldn't complain however Nokia Music requires Microsoft's .Net. Putting aside the issue about Nokia's move to .Net, PC Suite which has grown from requiring 150MB to 250MB for the standard PC Suite install. NSeries PC Suite 2 is even worst at over 500MB with all the components installed. None of this accounts for the .Net installations approaching 500MB for .Net 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1. Together with .Net the cost of NSeries PC Suite is 1GB. My install of Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook) is only 280MB. Can Nokia honestly say that PC Suite is more useful and functional that MS Office?

Putting the footprint of PC Suite and other Nokia PC software aside for a moment ask yourself, have we gained additional functionality or reliability? Reports are increasingly more common of issues with installation and function; admittedly Bluetooth does work better now than it did back in the days of the 3650. Nokia's Music and Video managers are little more than players and converters for playback on any number of Nokia devices. Neither can edit said music, audio or video and barely pass as players worthy of installation on a PC. I certainly never use Nokia's media player for anything unless absolutely necessary. Both applications along with PC Suite in general tend to be huge resource hogs. Using the Apple example, QuickTime can play, edit and convert audio and video with far greater flexibility than Nokia's software with reliability and fewer dependences.

I'm not saying Nokia is any guiltier of creating ever expanding software packages than other software developers today. I am saying for the excess we should be seeing drastic improvements in quality and dependability, neither of which can be claimed by Nokia today. PC Suite in many regards has changed little if at all since S60 came on scene say for its girth. Synchronization, one of my most used functions, is notoriously buggy. I have lost countless hours fixing PC Suite's "synchronization," designed to help. When Nokia acquired Intellisync, a software package I loved back in the PalmOS days, I had great hope PC Suite would finally progress and develop with more advanced options, such as field mapping. PC Suite has neither progressed nor improved since the Intellisync acquisition in regards to synchronization.

I hope someone at Nokia is reading this and understands that while I love the devices the PC software is severally lacking. I would challenge Nokia to stop releasing updates and advancements to PC Suites and other applications if they are not worth the trouble of upgrading for the consumer.

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Comments

Henrikki

Hi Matt,

putting aside the size of the installation, I have to say I really like the new Music app. The UI is very nice and I instantly felt at home. As a music player it is better in this regard than Windows Media Player. I will be using it as my music player. When the player is integrated to the Nokia Music Shop (this will come later), the functionality will increase even more. I mean this is hands down best Nokia PC app I have ever used (and I have had zero problems with PC-suite BTW).

There are some bugs at this point, but it's still beta. But as a funny side note, it is already playing those files I purchased from Nokia Music Store without a hitch. A feat WMP couldn't do. My Vista machine and WMP had the same kind of problems with EVERY online music shop (I only could burn the files to a disc or transfer to phone and then use them, but couldn't play them with my PC).

I'm really excited with this new app! As you can see..:)

pete

Welcome to 2008. How many GB of free space do you have on your C:\ drive? And what did you plan to do with that?

Storage is cheap - get some.

Oh - and does the bloat affect the application operation in anyway? Maybe that might be a relevant question to answer?

Sorry to sound short, but I'd appreciate some news on the application itself.

-Pete

Adam

This description of the footprint of Nokia's software is a bit of a crude oversimplification, and the comparision with microsoft office is somewhat biased.

I can asure you that having done several thousand installations of different versions of microsoft office, that it's footprint is nowhere near just 280MB. That's of course leaving aside the fact that it also requires the .net framework which you have chosen to miss out.

I wholeheartedly agree that we live in an age of bloatware, with software consistantly swelling to meet the space provided by modern power and storage (much like the adage of expenses always rising to meet you wage cheque). However I think that this general bashing of nokia's attempts isn't helpful.

I have been at the recieving end of nokia's "hiccups" with the recent problem with nokia software updater forcing me to construct an extremely elaborate workaround, and wasting at least 3 or 4 hours of my day. I can't however fault the fact that I can install extremely complicated firmware onto one of today's most advanced pieces of consumer electronics, with nothing more than a pc and a usb cable, and as yet (touch wood) with neither myself nor any one of at least 30 or 40 people I know having any critical failures of the process. Isn't that an achievement in itself?

Mr. Gunn

Yeah, that's definitely WAY overboard with the bloat.

TCWIZARD

All comments so far have a vaild point, however we are talking about 'Bloatware' not the complicated device we carry, not the fact you can make the SS Enterprise out of a bean can and a rusty fork or the fact with one click you can start world war 3 from your mobile, it about bloatware and quite rightly why should a music player take so much hard disk space just because space is cheap?
how many of us love the fact when we find a small piece of code that does a huge amount of things, example early versions of RA we think what a clever clever bit of programming. This however is not all Nokia's fault as Microsoft forces the world to conform. I wonder if the bloat is as bad on the open source scene for the N95, if it exists.

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