This past Friday, my iPod died. I was sitting at work listening to some tunes and cranking out a project brief, when all of a sudden it just stopped playing. When I picked it up, the back of it was smoking hot to the touch, and the software was freezing and sputtering. If it was a car, it was the equivelant of lurching and choking and shaking violently.
As any normal person would do, I started to hit every button to see if it would start playing again but nothing happened. Then, I went to the Internet. How can I reboot this thing? Maybe it just needs a little refresh as in my 1.5 years of owning it, I’d never rebooted it. As we all know, we all need to reboot every once in a while.
A ha! I found it. A very informative iPod site detailing exact instructions on how to reboot my iPod. “Your data will not be effected when you reboot your iPod.” it said. I hit the “Menu” and “Play” buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds (yes, I had the 3rd generation iPod which I’ve always been somewhat bitter about, being that I purchaed it all of two weeks ahead of the 4th generation release…but we won’t go there) and it rebooted. Ok, this is good, I said. It appears to be working fine now. But to my horror, every song, podcast, and piece of information on my iPod was gone…Casper…no where to be found. Yes, everything was in iTunes on my home computer, so it was not an unmitigated catastrophe (unless you consider the commute home that evening), but this was not expected based on what I read (Mistake #1: Everything on the internet is not fact). And the iPod was still smoking hot on the back too. Now I knew something was seriously wrong.
I wake up on Saturday and try to sync it with iTunes, and again it fails. I bitterly head downstairs to eat breakfast, and there it is…slapping me right in the face. Its an article in the NY Times by Joe Nocera titled “Good Luck With That Broken iPod” (fyi…the online article is behind the NYTimes “Select” service, so I can’t link to it). The timing was impeccable. The article essentially said that if your iPod breaks, there is little that Apple will do to help other than saying “Go buy a new one” and offering an extended warranty. Bitterness turned to frustration.
On Sunday, fearing the worst, I took my injured iPod to the local Apple store right when it opened. One of the salespeople took it and tried to bring its software back to factory condition. Alas, that did not work as he determined it was a component issue, which costs $250 minimum. As the article said, “Go buy a new one.” So I did, reluctantly. Some silver lining is that I was able to give my broken one back to Apple and they took 10% off the cost of my new one. This time, I did buy the warranty.
So now I have the new iPod Video with an extended warranty. My plans to replace my 5 year old behemouth of a digital camera will have to wait another year or so. I use my iPod every day when I commute to work. I’m not going to say “its more trouble than its worth” because there is no way I could survive my commute without it. But still, its been a rocky relationship….