Monday, October 09, 2006


Is it just me, or is there some sort of iPod conspiracy out there? First I had an iPod mini which was great, but it had that whole "lets recall them because the battery doesn't work" problem. Nothing like having to charge it every five minutes, then I got the new iPod 20GB "Photo" ipod. This model was on the market for about five seconds in between the iPod Mini, iPod nano and the new fifth generation iPod "video". Well, the other day I'm out in the car and it freezes. I do the whole "reset" thing. Then what happens-- I get the "sad" iPod icon. This is basically a very small picture of your iPod and on the screen are two "x"es for eyes and a downturned frown. Also accompanying the "sad" iPod is an exclamation point inside of a triangle. The same sort of thing you see on the Autobahn when your coming around a sharp curve and rocks have fallen.

What does all of this mean? According to the website and the instruction booklet, I may have a "hardware" problem. That sounds omnious given that all the iPod is is a piece of hardware. I follow the instructions on Apple's website, and ultimately give up. The next step is to sign up for service (you can either sign up and have the offending sad iPod shipped or you can visit a store in person, I opted for shipping)... I fill out the forms (am of course told my iPod is out of warranty) and am then asked to input my credit card information since it will cost $277.77 to "fix" my iPod. (Mind you, Apple is selling a 30 mb "video" iPod for $249...) Excuse me? What? Can you explain? You haven't even seen it and you're telling me it will cost me more to fix this antiquated iPod than it would be to buy a new one? You haven't even seen it. What if I didn't follow the "reset" "restore" instructions properly and you could actually fix it with a few key strokes? $277.77? Are you crazy???

So I guess that helps make that whole mac or pc question that much easier to answer. I mean, is it me, or are they designing these things to break? I wouldn't even mind if I had really gotten a lot of use out of it, or if I manhandled it. Come on my iPod had been in its jelly-protective sheath since I brought it home. It lived inside my purse and I used it frequently but I'm not one of those crazy people you see on the subway who have actually had their headphones permanently implanted into their ears... I would use it in the car, on the train, occasionally while cooking (thanks to the Bose iPod dock).

Now what? Sure, the price of a new iPod is approximately what I may monthly for cable (which says more, I think about my cable bill than anything else). But still, I'm really disappointed. The best invention of the 20th century right next to air conditioning seems to be a moneymaking scam. I've had cell phones that are more reliable, and that's saying a lot.

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