If they give an award for Eye Candy of the 21st Century, Mac OS X’s Dashboard Widgets will be a big winner.
Take widgets and TV. Puhleeze. What do you want a TV widget to do? Let you truly watch television, not spit out a list Monk reruns.
I’m being a bit harsh, but we live in the internet age. Everything is digital these days. Music, CDs, DVDs, our photos. Why not a little digital TV in the form of a Dashboard Widget.
It doesn’t take much effort to find a closet full of Widgets that do TV. But not television you can sit down and watch. Television schedules, which, by the way, are available in umpteen gazillion ways.
Newly promoted by Apple’s online Widget machine is TV Forecast which, if you look for the secret message embedded into the name of the Widget, delivers TV show schedules to your Mac.
I know how it is. You’re all queazy inside; either from delight at having such trivial knowledge, or from frustration and want to know who to throw something at.
Widgets have uses. We’ve had Widgets for a couple of years and I still check stocks, read Dilbert, look at weather forecasts, and, um, uh… I’m sure something else. It’ll come to me later.
A quick search of the Movies & TV section of Dashboard Widgets on Apple’s site reveals more of what you expect, but less of what you want. There’s Dave’s Cool TV Show Widget.
Widgets are graphical and visutal by nature, and Dave doesn’t disappoint us with a Widget that looks just like TV set—from the Jetsons, circa 1966.
What I really want is a Widget that plays MTV. It’s my generation. True, MTV pretty much sucks these days, but it’s that or TV Land’s Green Acres re-runs?
I always thought Eva Gabor was prettier than her sister, Zsa Zsa, who, as it turns out, is still alive and married to the guy who claims to be the father of Anna Nicole’s baby. See what you can learn on TV? How much more could I learn with a Widget that does MTV?
Widget Television VF3 comes close with different channels including music, news, government, sports, and so on. Monk? Nope. No TBS for you.
There are quote generator Widgets from famous, various, and sundry TV shows such as Futurama and The Simplsons. There are TV show schedules, movie schedules, and the Top 10 Lists Widget from The Late Show With David Letterman. But no MTV.
The Daily Show with Jon Steward has flash movies of interviews, daily fake news, and reports from various fake reporters, but I still can’t watch CNN, MSNBC, TBS, or Fox in a Widget.
The problem would appear to be Economics 101. That means there’s no money in Widgets, and if there’s no money trail, then there’s likely not going to be any free TV in Widgets any time soon, and that’s disappointing.
Yes, I could fork over a few hundred dollars for Elgato’s EyeTV and plug it into my Mac. That’s decent TV that acts like a decent, albeit ungawdly expensive, DVR. But no Widget.
Maybe the problem is in the Widgets themselves. TV watching is not an active sport, but it requires time, both to surf through many channels, and to actually view something.
Widgets, on the other hand, are quick little tools that get something done, or show you something you need. You’re in, you’re out, you’re done.
What’s wrong with popping up a Widget that’s playing a music video, or showing off some grilled smile’s latest crib toys? I want my MTV in a Widget, not just another list of schedules, of which I have half a dozen already.
So, do you want TV on your Mac? How? What form should TV take in the digital age to make you happy? Share your frustration, outrage, and dreams in the Comments section below.