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Why Apple Added Another Button to Their Remote Control

The answer to a question Dan Benjamin and I discussed on last week’s The Talk Show. On the old remote, there was one button for Play/Pause and Select. In a menu, the button meant “Select”; in a media playback context, it meant “Play/Pause”. The new remote (which, yes, came out before the new Apple TV, but it’s new to me) adds a separate dedicated Play/Pause button. In most contexts, both buttons do the same thing, so why add another button?

Because music can play in the background. If you’re playing music, the Select and Play/Pause buttons are no longer interchangeable: Select applies to on-screen UI elements, Play/Pause applies to the music.

Monday, 4 October 2010