Monday, October 25, 2010


At the risk of sending the Apple empire into freefall, I just want to announce that iPods have a number of deficiencies. You wouldn’t have thought so, would you, but they do.

One is that when you are charging or changing the content on them you cannot tell how much power they have in reserve. So, you can’t tell how charged they are, or whether they are finished charging, without disconnecting them. And that (like USB things generally) is a hassle and a drag.

Another is this stupid format thing of mp3 files and wav files or whatever they’re called. It’s difficult in iTunes to distinguish between the two types of file, since iTunes on the computer will accept either, but the iPod will only play mp3s I think. I could be wrong about this. Like a true 2010 consumer, as far as I’m concerned if I am wrong, it’s the fault of the developer of the system for not making it sufficiently user friendly. Anyway, I had to refresh my iPod a few months ago and iTunes did it itself, I can’t remember what happened, and I still occasionally find wav files on there, you can’t play them and they take up bulk space.

Another is the fact that you can’t delete stuff off there without using iTunes. When I had my iRiver at least you could delete on the unit itself.

Another is the fact that it’s quiet. It doesn’t have to be I know that because you try and boost the volume and it does it for a second and then reverts to some kind of safety setting. Isn’t it my choice to have my iPod loud enough to block out the fucken myki announcements? Touch on, touch off I don’t care.

…THEN: I wrote the above late last week and to my dismay (you know all that stuff about computers and other software ‘talking to each other’? Who knew!) my iPod completely died – I can think of no other word though that one is inaccurate for a number of reasons – on Saturday morning. The weirdest thing was I almost now feel like I knew the instant it happened, when I pulled out the stereo jack, though plainly that is not possible and must be a hindsight thing. But I had just finished listening to the Radio 4 Film Program… no, that’s already a false memory, because I started listening to the Radio 4 Film Program or is it Programme? And then I quickly appreciated it was either a repeat or a compile, and life’s too short. So I must have just finished listening to something else. Anyway I pulled out the jack and something was wrong, and I looked down and the thing’s screen was utterly blank and none of the usual massaging (also known as ‘toggling’ – when is that word going to make it into non-computer speak? Probably already has) got even an error message. It might as well have been an empty prop.

I had too many things to worry about the rest of that day, to do much about it except plug it into the computer (not the computer I’m writing on right now but the big one) and think that somehow exposure to a larger computing form would be a beneficial influence. The next day, Sunday, I had the time inbetween my ineffectual gardening attempts to get down to the business of trying to get a solution to this problem because, like being able to see out of both eyes or walk, you don’t realise how important your iPod is until you don’t have it. So it’s the usual process of buggerizing around on the Apple website to try and find a way to get the thing fixed. You can take it into a range of insufferably inconvenient places to speak to a person called a ‘genius’ (I may have mentioned before that being neither a guru or a genius myself and not even being entirely sure that such things exist or should exist, in the classic sense anyway, I am always irritated by reference to geniuses and gurus, even though of course it’s always in airquotes or with a ™ after it) about this problem. If it was a case of traveling to Chadstone to bop a genius on the nose (or ‘schnozz’) I would be totes up for that, but that wasn’t an option listed and no-one seems to bop anyone on anything anymore, it’s all toggle this toggle that.

So there were a bunch of options most of which were For Dummies, i.e. people who had accidentally turned their iPod off (the only way to do this is accidentally, as they don’t really have off switches) or were looking at the back of it . There was no option for absolutely no response, just assumptions that you had some kind of message on the screen, which I didn’t. Eventually I booked a call to a genius or something similar – I look forward to seeing how quickly the geniuses respond to these kinds of things.

Anyway to cut a boring story boringer, last night I went and looked at it again and it was working again. So it was just 30 hours or so of iPoddery I will never get back, at least till this happens again.

* Conspiracy theory # 2 – the laptop crashed soon after I wrote the above. Obviously Apple has a program in its computer to destroy all complaints about Apple written on Apple products. Except when I restarted the above was all still there, so it was I guess just a warning.


fxh said...

I don't have an ipod thingo nor am i a guru but i do know they have volume limiting thingo - to protect your hearing. There is a pretty straightforward workaround - legit.

I'd advise caution tho - damaging hearing is easy its not pure volume but a combo of time spent and not enough total rest from volume.

See Pete Townshend's sad story re his hearing damage - not from onstage but basically long hours / high volume studio headphones.

I'll email my bill to save postage.

fxh said...

David Nichols said...

I appreciate the quietness on that front, don't get me wrong. But it does seem to suggest the myki announcements are at pretty damaging volume.