28 May 2007

Mediabee is not for me

In a previous entry, I mentioned that I would be looking at two different family calendar solutions. The two in the running were Mediabee and Cozi. My initial plan was to live with each of them for a month and see which one I liked better. However, it only took me five minutes of stumbling through Mediabee to realize that it would not work for us.

My main complaint with Mediabee is that it is cluttered with lots of stuff that I don't need. When the application loads, the first thing you see is a primitive user page that reminded me of Yahoo! about five years ago. It has news, weather, sports, and ads galore. I don't mind using ad-supported software, but Mediabee isn't even pretty. Even the bare-bones Google Calendar has a more pleasant interface, ads and all. Also, if I want news and weather, I have several other sites that I check regularly for that information.

Mediabee doesn't stop there. It is clear that the creators want this application to be the first thing I open in the morning while I drink my coffee. There is an address book, TV listing, an email and SMS client, and even Flash games. The majority of these links take you to outside sites. Most of these are sites I already visit directly, but when I want to work on my calendar I don't want the distraction.

The calendar function itself is confusing. Appointments have to be entered in a specific syntax. It wouldn't take me long to figure it out, but I can tell you that ABM would get frustrated quickly. It was not easy to see everyone's commitments side-by-side or to add an event to more than one person's calendar at once.

Perhaps Mediabee is suffering from comparison to Cozi, but I doubt it. Even if I had installed Mediabee first, I think I still would be removing it the same day. Cozi may be a bit simplistic (more on that another time) but at least my family would be more likely to use it. Mediabee is for someone who is accustomed to spreadsheets or database programs and has a lot more time to spend at the computer.
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