Today I wanted to load some podcasts onto my Ipod, so I plugged it into the USB cable, then pulled up iTunes to sync it. Apple told me the syncing was complete, yet the podcasts were nowhere to be found on the Ipod. I could see and play them on iTunes, but that was it. I want to be able to listen to them during my run, and those 5 miles are going to be a lot more difficult with a desktop PC tower strapped to my back the entire way.
In order to discover the podcasts weren’t on the Ipod, I had to first ”eject” the Ipod from iTunes (a tedious step, which involves finding the counterintuitive, tiny triangle that means “eject” on the iTunes screen – evidently it makes too much sense for Apple to spell out “eject” anywhere near that button). So, when I plugged it back in, for whatever reason iTunes did not recognize my Ipod this time around. I tried restarting iTunes a couple times, but no luck. It also seemed my Ipod was frozen. No big deal. I’ll just turn it off.
Wait. Where’s the On/Off button? It also makes too much sense to have one of those, so Apple didn’t include one. Yes, that’s right. An electronic device in the 21st century without an On/Off switch…nice job Apple.
After searching around on the Internet, it became apparent I needed to know what “generation” my Ipod was. I looked on the front, the back, the USB cable, & my iTunes program…nothing said “4th Gen.” or anything like that. So, finally I figured out it was an Ipod Nano, 4th Generation based on pictures of the different generations on Wikipedia (thank God for Wikipedia, a company that knows what it’s doing).
I then did some searching on how to shut this 4th-gen Ipod off – you have to hold the Menu button and the center button down together for 6-10 seconds…how intuitive. If you locked me in a room for 3 days straight doing nothing but trying to figure out how to turn this thing off, I probably wouldn’t have thought of that.
I could understand all this if I was new to electronics and computers in general, but that is not the case. I’ve been building websites, pages and blogs for almost 15 years, and worked in & around tech and communication firms for years, so I know my way around computers. I was an early adopter of CDs, mini-disc players, and various sound editing & mp3 programs so I probably know more than the average person about this kind of thing, yet everything with the Ipod is counterintuitive with me. I’m sure there are thousands of teeny boppers rocking out to Justin Bieber who figured out how to use their Ipods, so why can’t I?
Who is designing this thing? Why doesn’t it do what it’s supposed to? Why are there no directions? Why is everything a symbol rather than English? Why didn’t these problems come up with test consumer groups? Where’s BASF when you need them? So many questions…
Here’s one more: Why does Apple’s customer support disown you after 90 days? Even for the 1st 90 days you own your Ipod, you’re only allowed to call once with a problem – after that you have to pay $29 for Apple’s tech guys to diagnose your problem. Yes, that’s right, not free, not $2.90, it’s $29 to ask a question. I know b/c I called & had to discontinue the call - we were nearing the point where Apple might actually give me diagnostic advice, which would trigger a fee.
Apple’s website says “Most Apple software and hardware products include unlimited complimentary support incidents within the first 90 days of product ownership.” However, this does not include the Ipod. This wouldn’t have helped me anyway, but maybe this advice can help someone out there who recently bought an Ipod.
Don’t even get me started on using the iTunes program, trying to find functional car adapters for the thing, or getting it to warn you you’re close to maxing out your storage space on the Ipod’s hdd (hard drive) so you can easily delete songs to clear up space.
Oh, and I didn’t just get this thing yesterday. I received it as a very thoughtful gift over 2 years ago to use when I work out, and unfortunately have struggled to ever get it to perform well despite trying really hard to figure it out. Oh well. Maybe I’ll just invest in a CD player or a vintage Walkman – maybe Best Buy still sells them?
In closing, here’s a hilarious rant by someone else driven crazy by their Ipod back in 2008, enjoy.