A call to action

Apple geeks unite!

It's not often that I want to watch a video clip on NBC.com or MSNBC.com, but when I do, I am infuriated by the fact that both of these sites require the viewer to use Microsoft Windows. There is no legitimate technical reason to restrict content this way, so I believe it's purely due to Microsoft's influence on NBC.

Every time I find myself wanting to view a clip on either of these sites, I send feedback to the offending site and tell them that I am unable to view the video with my Mac, which has all of the major multimedia players installed, including Windows Media Player, Flash, RealPlayer, and QuickTime. Sometimes I remind them that there is no reason for such a limitation, and that the obviously Microsoft-imposed restriction hurts their credibility as a news organization. However, I feel that ranting, or implying any sort of technical understanding may leave those messages more easily ignored. It's probably best to go with the "I'm an NBC viewer and I think your website is broken, because everyone else's works fine" approach.

I am only one person, so I'm sure that big old NBC won't make changes just for me. What the broadcast networks do care about is pure numbers. Leave niche audiences to cable. So, let's let numbers talk. If you're a Mac user, or even a non-Mac user who agrees that such an unnecessary OS requirement should be changed, please contact NBC or MSNBC and tell them that you can't watch their content on your non-Windows computer.

To contact NBC.com, email: webmaster@nbc.com

To contact MSNBC.com, you have a few options:
1. Click on the "Support" link in the lower right corner of the MSN Video window, and submit a request for support.
2. Click on the "Feedback" link in the lower right corner of the MSN Video window, and use the comments section to give your opinion. You probably want to go with "- -" for the "Usability" rating.
3. Fill out their general technical support form (choose "Audio/Video problem" in the "Subject" menu)
4. Email multimedia@msnbc.com.

Thanks for participating.

Posted: Thursday - October 27, 2005 at 03:34 AM