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"Instead of staying with my wonky-but-free ways of doing things, I shifted all of my stuff over to the Mac. It gladly embraced all of it ... Now when I want to get back out, I have to do all of the work I thought I had managed to avoid by using a Mac in the first place."
Geoffrey Knauth's profile photoChristian Lynbech's profile photoPiotr Kalinowski's profile photoMARINA FUNES's profile photo
This is actually quite a silly article. 

Regarding music in iTunes: "Or, I can try to grovel around in their grungy database and try to make sense of it and "export" things, but I'm sure that will be even worse."

Nonsense. Just go to "~/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music". It's all there, organized by artist and album, and tagged. Ready to import into any alternative music system you wish. Nothing to "make sense of".

"I've cropped, rotated, geotagged, sharpened, level-adjusted, and done countless other things to my thousands of pictures. They all also live in some database which is effectively opaque. While there's probably some way to get it out, it will be far from trivial."

Here we go again. Originals in "~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Masters", modified versions in "~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Previews". I admit, "Previews" isn't obvious, but for someone who claims to be a Linux user it isn't that hard to poke around. (Or you can go to "Originals" and "Modified", symbolic links created when upgrading from an older iPhoto.) In these directories you will find all the photos organized by year and event, ready for importing into another photo app.

No grungy databases to grovel around in. Just directories and files. Just like you would hope.

Ms. Kroll would have done well to study the matter a bit more before writing her article. For someone who claims to be proficient with Linux, she seems surprisingly oblivious to the fact that under the hood, her Mac is just another Unix system waiting to be explored via the command line---with bash no less.

Or perhaps she limits herself to GUIs like GNOME or KDE when she's on Linux? Does she really believe that such limits won't "lock her in" there, either?
I don't know about the specifics of the article, but I think there's often a trade-off between wonky-but-free and platform lock-in. I do some things in LaTeX, for example, that are kinda wonky compared to using MS Word, but there are compensating advantages.
I hear that. LaTeX just doesn't fit the Mac experience, but I live with it, too.

But what's different with MS Word compared to iTunes and iPhoto is that with the latter, the raw data is not sucked into some proprietary file format. They remain individual image & music files in standard file formats, and not only that they're well organized for manual searching and manipulation. The wonkiness of these two Apple apps is but a veneer.

One potential complaint you could lodge at iTunes here is their use of less popular audio codecs. I grant that if she has ripped all of her music to Apple Lossless she's going to need to convert it all to FLAC; and while there are likely utilities that make this easy, there's still the effort to find and run it.
It could have been worse. Her company could have mortgaged its future on Lotus Notes. Apple has nothing on that kind of lock in.
She just seems really cranky. I can sort of see her point, but I also clicked through and read her Chromebook article - she's pretty hard to please, and I think most of her complaints are personal issues. For me, I pick and choose what parts I want to use. I have a Macbook Air but don't use iPhoto or iTunes, and my Android phone is just fine. Each to her own. But maybe that's her point: no one is developing products that suit what she's looking for. I'm just not sure what it is she's looking for, and I don't know if she knows either.
I use LaTeX (and Emacs) all the time on the Mac. If I couldn't, then that would be trouble.
Agreed, LaTeX and Emacs works fine on the Mac. Unlike Windiws, ine feels the power of having a full UNIX at the bottom. 
You actually don't need command line to inspect those "databases." Just right-click in Finder and choose "Show Package Contents."

I actually moved to Mac from Linux after yet another problem with software audio streams mixing (seriously? one active audio source and you add all that hiss dmix?). It was fun in the past, but now I am more interested in things like creating software rather than never-ending tweaking of the configuration.
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