Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I prefer Advertisements to Silence:


This month I am using the MLB iPad app to watch Major League Baseball. I paid for a month of video that covers almost all the games. It’s a seductive pleasure: Let’s see what games are on now. Do I care about any of them? Cleveland scored 8 runs in the first inning, a few days ago. Wow, let’s watch, I want to see how they did it. (I bought the video feed for this app to help me learn about the team I’m newly rooting for, the Nats.)

But here’s the peculiar thing. In between innings, the baseball video ceases. Instead, I see a static graphic that says, “commercial break.” The iPad is silent, and there’s no indication how long this dead silent break will last.

It’s even possible to get stuck with this “commercial break” screen while the game goes on. Suppose I go away from the MLB app during a break and check my email, then return to the MLB app during the same commercial break. I’ve learned that in order to see any more of the game, I have to dismiss the video and reselect the game. That’s a bug of course, but it contributes to my unease during the “commercial break” silence.

For $25 less per month, I can follow a schematic of the game and listen to the game’s radio broadcasters. Sometimes, between innings, I’m allowed to hear ads on the radio feed, instead of silence, and that is so much more reassuring!

I always thought I would prefer to skip advts, but there I am: I’d rather have ads than silence.

My weight is wavering in the 218, 219 range. When it gets higher or lower than that, I’ll let you know. The diet continues...
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