Excellence in Technical writing

I was reading the manual for my iRiver a few days ago. There are lots of details and acronyms in the digital music world, and it’s sometimes hard to figure things out – especially if you aren’t very technical. For example, the player will display an icon telling you what format of file you’re listening, but not everybody knows what an OGG format is.

The folks at iRiver have taken that into consideration, and they’ve included this handy graphic:


Now that’s helpful.

Comments (7)

  1. moo says:

    OGG > OGG

    MP3 > MP3

    ASF > ASF

    WMA > WMA

    WAV > WAV

    GENIUS! Well that sure cleared that up!

  2. moo says:

    Its almost as good as Windows or Windows application’s error messages! Ooooohh below the belt I know.

  3. For beta testing Office 2003, I received a similar gem of technical writing that I scanned in here: http://www.joshchristie.com/weblog/archives/000046.html

  4. shawn says:


    Now that is the funniest thing I’ve seen. It’s like they just ran it through an early 90’s language translater and left it at that.



  5. Curt says:

    This good folks at http://thisisbroken.com would surely enjoy seeing this. 🙂

  6. S.K says:

    A diffrent point of view!

    IMO the acronyms are good enough. If you give the expanded name, it is not going to wise the person up any better if he is not savvy enough to fathom different audio formats.

    WMA = Windows Media Audio, ok, I am at the same square unless you give me a dummy’s tuto on the various compressed formats.

    Hence, Ogg is OGG (Vorbis) and MP3 is better that MPEG Layer 3!!

    To sum up, if those darlings are Greek and Sanskrit to you, why go in for that gadget, in the first place! Buy a lawn mover instead!!

    Do not flame me for differing from the crescendo!!