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Friday, 12.9.05:  iPod Frustrations, For the Record

Spiritual leaders warn us not to get attached to our material possessions. But we can't help ourselves. Some people freak out when their car gets scratched or makes an odd sound. As for me -- my car is dinged but who cares. It's my electronic devices that obsess me. Their imperfections make my head explode. For the record, here's the chronology of my recent iPod madness.

  1. Mysterious "corrupt file" messages when downloading tunes to iPod on Bluejay (desktop computer)

  2. Nevermind. I rebuild my computer for other reasons. "Bluejay" becomes "Ewald" (hoping for the saintly patronage of my fix-it grandfather). Music folders are put back in place.

  3. Clean install of iTunes. Clean install of iPod Updater. I go to Restore the iPod -- plan to wipe it clean and start over. Error: "Firmware update failed. Disk write error." Try again. Same message. Then "Can't mount iPod." Try again. Then in the lower corner. "Unknown USB device." I look at the iPod. All it will give me now is the Exclamation Point of Death with the message to go to Apple Support.

  4. Apple Support is totally mysterious. They like the image that their products never break down. But $29.50 later (for "shipping and handling" of my 8 month old device), it gets sent to Apple for some magic elixir.

  5. No complaints about Apple speed. IPod is back to me within the week. "Fixed. No need to replace."

  6. Reattach to Ewald. Same sequence of messages as in #3. Same resulting Exclamation Point of Death. I scream.

  7. Spiritual leaders warn us not to get attached to our material possessions.
  8. Thanks to my sister's advice, I discover there is an Apple Store in town. I head for the mall.

  9. Apple guy is friendly and courteous. He takes my baby to the back room for magical incantations. It comes out fixed. But they can only format for Mac. I still have to install the iPod Updater. He gives me a new set of "clearer" instructions. If it doesn't work this time, they'll give me a new one.

  10. Home. Plug it in. "Firmware update failed. Disk write error." My head does not explode. I knew this would happen.

  11. Just for fun -- just in the spirit of good troubleshooting -- I go though the installation process on my newish laptop Cosmopol. Oh, my God! It worked! My iPod was functional again.

I hate it when I get all angry and righteous and then find out the problem is within my own system. Where am I supposed to go with that???

So the iPod was functional but getting my music back on was another issue. I reattached it to Ewald. It pretended to download my music, but didn't download a thing.

So can there be something squirrelly with my USB ports? Everything else is attached just fine.

To hell with it. I transfer my music folders to Cosmopol. They download fine through its spanking new USB port. Hmm... I guess my iPod will be a cosmopolitan from here on in.


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