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Greg Christiana
Works at Google
Attended MIT
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Greg Christiana

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Steve, I can't express the depth and breadth of your contributions, both in the technology industry and in my life personally. You were and will continue to be one of my greatest heroes. But rather than contribute to your glorification, I find myself reflecting on my belief that we all share a good deal of the potential that you so successfully actualized. You were "only" human of course, but you raised the bar and defined how powerful and insanely great that can be. Thank you.
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Greg Christiana

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Dear iTunes,

We've shared a lot of memories, and music of course, over the past 8 years. I fondly remember your launch, watching behind the scenes while working at Akamai when you went online and we watched the initial wave of traffic roll in. But a lot has changed in these 8 years, and some has not. And for these reasons, it's time for me to cut the cord (both Firewire and USB) and take my music elsewhere. Yes, my music. You never accepted that, know matter how many times I proved that I had paid for it. Know that I never had any intention to cheat anyone. But you always treated me like I was a cheater.

As a final insult, you've required me to re-purchase some of my music before I could use it elsewhere. Sure, there are illegal (or at least legally vague) DRM-stripping utilities to unshackle my music files, but I'm choosing the higher road (which is more than I can say about you) by paying up. And no, I didn't appreciate your proud claims that you were "upgrading" my music by throwing more bits at it, which I'm sure I can't hear. Nor did I appreciate your claims that you were doing me a favor by discounting the "upgrade" vs the "full price". Gee, thanks for not charging me full price for music I already purchased from you. Sigh.

Oh yeah, that was only the penultimate insult. The real final insult was after I clicked the "Buy" button to "upgrade" my locked music. You first claimed you didn't remember me. After reminding you, you then forgot that I asked to upgrade my music. So I clicked again. Then you decided to change your terms of service yet again. 120 pages of legalese later, you then needed the security code on my credit card. Fine. Yet again you forgot that I requested to unlock my music, just smugly staring at me like it's my turn to say or do something. So I went back to the upgrade page and clicked "Buy" yet again. Finally you say you'll go ahead and handover the new unlocked replacements. Great. Except that the files don't appear and you eventually spew some cryptic muttering about losing your network connection. How convenient. Finally, I had to ask to download previously purchased content and eventually my music got unlocked. (It's always been about power with you, hasn't it?)

With the sound of freedom ringing, I started down the path of finding my music a new home. Please don't be angry, but I've decided to go with Google Music. They've been wooing me for a few months now, and I really think I'll be happier there. I think we both saw this coming, so hopefully it isn't too much of a shock. Sure, it's more complicated and doesn't have all the experience that you do (not to mention no ability to purchase new music directly), but they seem to really get that it's my music. For once I feel respected and appreciated.

I see you're taking the next natural step with iCloud, and no doubt would like me to reconsider. But I can't put aside your past transgressions. I've trusted you too many times and been hurt. No more. Not again. That said, I wish you the best, and I'm glad to see that you're seeking self-improvement. Despite how you've treated me, I really am happy for you and wish you the best.


P.S. When I started writing this I had all the bitterness of Alanis Morissette, then I mocked your greed with The Beatle's Money (That's What I Want). Then I lightened up a bit more but still with the negativity of Denis Leary's A##hole. But by getting all this off my chest I find myself bobbing to Vitamin C's Smile. My music finally has freedom, as I listen to it streaming (and pinning for offline use under my ultimate control) to my new tablet which has never and will never connect to your authentication servers, which is to say it's not an iPad. What's not to smile about? =)
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P.P.S. Full disclosure: I'm a Google employee, so no doubt have my biases. That said, most of my frustrations with iTunes predate that employment, due mainly to inconvenience and inflexibility (rather than some higher principle, but the two are clearly related). E.g. any device outside the iTunes walled garden being shut out with DRM, or requiring that syncing be done over cables (last decade called; they want their USB cable back). Granted, the situation has been improving with iTunes Plus (at least there's a way out, even if I need to pay for it) and upcoming iCloud. As for the iPad, I think it's an awesome tablet. But I was once again inconvenienced when I bought my 2-year-old daughter one this week (don't worry, I use a 10" Galaxy Tab myself) and couldn't set it up ahead of time due to reliance on being tethered to a computer with iTunes. Again, I'm sure that'll be addressed in upcoming wifi syncing in iOS 5. But I'd rather not wait around for these basic conveniences.
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Greg Christiana

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Rock Soil Water. Add Remove. Rain Evaporate Erode. press&drag mouse to look, SPACE=create/remove, scrollwheel=editsize, W=forward, S=backward, A=left, D=right, Q=down, E=up. Website Github Youtube...
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Greg Christiana

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Our Mac-o'-lantern.
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I like the number π. There's something about numbers that don't look like numbers.
Bragging rights
Wrote a rap song about π and performed it to an audience of thousands.
  • MIT
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  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2006 - present
  • Akamai Technologies
    Software Engineer, 2002 - 2006
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