About six months back, my colleague Jason Snell tossed a penalty flag at ESPN.com for promising -- and then failing to deliver -- a Mac-compatible version of its ESPN Motion streaming video highlights feature. And while the development process has droned on longer than Chris Berman narrating a Niners-Bills highlight, we have to give credit where credit is due -- ESPN updated its video player today to add Mac compatibility.
I gave ESPN Motion a test run this morning ("No really, Boss, watching these sports highlights is part of the job..."), and I encourage Mac-using sports fans to do the same. You'll need a Web browser -- Safari, Netscape, Mozilla, and Firefox are the recommended programs; Internet Explorer offers only limited compatibility -- and Macromedia's Flash 6 plug-in.
I don't know yet if ESPN Motion is going to be a regular stop during those unscheduled jaunts around the Web when I should be working. But it's nice to finally have the option to drop in and watch the baseball highlights that Windows users have been enjoying since last season.
Of course, ESPN.com is just one Web site. There are plenty of others that continue to keep Mac users out in the cold, at least judging by the e-mail we get. As one subscriber wrote when bemoaning a lack of Mac compatibility with a handful of Web-based applications:
I used to think the lack of [compatible] software would sink the Macintosh. Now, I am much more concerned about the lack of compatibility with ASP web sites.
I don't think the situation is quite that dire. But being unable to enjoy the same Web-based services PC users are offered is definitely annoying.
So what Web sites are making you feel like a second-class citizens of the World Wide Web? Maybe by calling them out publicly (and I hasten to add, politely), they'll follow ESPN.com's lead by adding Mac compatibility -- and pull it off in a lot less time than it took ESPN.com, to boot.