The December fifth meeting featured a competitive demo of The Leonard Maltin Movie Guide, demo’d by Michael Rothstein of LandWare, versus PocketSensei’s VideoHound movie guide.

Disclaimer: I'm very biased, in a couple of directions. LandWare was my publisher back in the Newton era, and my wife likes the Maltin guide. On the other hand, by far the most important feature for me in a movie guide is the writers' index, which the dead-tree version of Maltin lacks, and hence so does the PalmOS version. (CP. the old IMDb PQA, which I loved.)

Wins/Losses for VideoHound:

  1. Win: More powerful interface, once you figure it out. E.g., just tapping on an actor/director/writer's name takes you to a list of his/her films.
  2. Loss: The interface can take some figuring out. At least one of us didn't find the actor/director/writer listings, and none of us, except the competitor from LandWare, figured out what tapping on the hound was for.
  3. Loss: The lack of reviews if you don't buy the Rex add-on didn't go over well; the more realistic price seemed to be $15 + $13, not $15.
  4. Draw: The ability to add pictures was potentially nice, but none of us seemed eager to go to the trouble of doing so in advance. Doing it over the air might potentially be interesting, but probably not.

Wins/Losses for Maltin:

  1. Win: Simpler interface to figure out, and more PalmOS-like.
  2. Loss: Simplicity is sometimes annoying. E.g., having to tap on a director's name, then tap on his name again in a dialog which included only his name, could have benefited from some tap-counting.
  3. Win: Complex searching was much faster.
  4. Win: Maltin's reviews were already a big hit with some of the audience.
  5. More Wins, pointed out by Michael Rothstein:

Flash Sheridan 12/5/06