Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sudden iPod Loading Disasters

After years of enjoying my iPod without a single incident, loading it with Gigs of music and multiple volumes of audio books, I had a disaster a week ago when the drive finally gave up the ghost. Because of a seizure disorder, it's been recommended by my neurologist that I listen to audio books. It helps keep the synapses connected, and makes the brain function more smoothly. They're also quite amazing, as you can do a multitude of things while listening to a novel that you can't do while reading a book.

We live just over an hour from the Apple Store, and I didn't know what was wrong with the iPod, so we drove to the Genius Bar and they treated me the way a customer always hopes to be treated in any store. I left with a "remanufactured" iPod, the same size (160 Gigs) as mine, that has never been owned. I was thrilled. I got it home, charged it and tried to download my library. I had about 130 Gigs to download, so I didn't expect it to be quick. After about six hours, it crashed. It was almost through with the download. I was devastated when I got the message that said I would have to reset the iPod and begin again.

I reset, and after about ten gigs, I got the same error. We went back to the Apple Store and they were very nice, and gave me another iPod, but first attached it to his machine to make sure he could put some stuff on it. He put about 650 MBs on it, and we said thank you and took it home. Again, we were treated to professionalism and courtesy. They really are nice in there, and knowledgeable. He told me that if we had problems again, to bring in the computer as well as the iPod.

The same thing happened. Five hours of download time passed, then the iPod crashed and demanded a reset.
After about four hours of sleep, I got back up and decided to start again. When no progress had been made by 8:30 a.m., John packed up the computer (not a laptop) and the USB Drive that has the iTunes Library on it, and we drove back to the Apple Store. They sure are nice in there. I didn't have an appointment, which you're sure supposed to have, but I had logged on to get one and found out they were booked solid. I was too frustrated to care. I figured I'd take my chances. They only made me wait about fifteen minutes. Like I said, they're extremely nice. It was our third day in a row going there. Each day we spent a total of about 2 1/2 hours on the road. John was very patient, but I could tell he would rather be doing just about anything else. By the time we left, it appeared to be working. Appeared is the operational word here.

Unfortunately, I had an mounting/ejecting problem for about two hours. Every time I attached the iPod, I'd get the message saying, "Connected" followed immediately by another message saying "Ejecting." I kept doing the soft manual reset on the iPod itself. I looked up the message thread on the Apple web site, and finally found one little message that suggested switching the iTunes connection to "Disc Mode." Great idea. It must be connected to switch it to disc mode, though, so it took me over an hour to get it to stay connected long enough to get it switched to disc mode. Once there, it stayed connected.

The genius bar guy at Apple had told me to try downloading in segments, by Playlist, so that I don't have parts of the computer, like the drive the music library is on, suddenly going into sleep mode. He thought that might be the problem. I put five gigs on with no problem. Then I made a playlist with another five gigs and put that on. I was pleased. After getting the fourth five gig playlist copied, I decided to go to bed for the night. It was well past midnight. I ejected the little thing and went to scroll through what I had copied. Obviously, I expected 20 Gigs to be on it. Nope. Five gigs. The last five gigs. Nobody told me that if it was in Disc Mode it would erase everything already on it whenever you put something new on it.

Congratulate me. I didn't throw it, and I didn't cry. I went to bed.

One suggestion they made at the Apple Store was that our iTunes Library is on a removable USB drive, which isn't a very fast drive. They said it would have been better to have it on a Firewire drive, since they're faster and made for bigger jobs. OK. John went out to Best Buy, about forty minutes from home, and bought me a 500 Gig Firewire 400/800 drive. That's the good kind. We took five hours to transfer my entire library, 180 Gigs, from Air Supply to ZZ Top, from the USB Drive to the Firewire Drive. Of course, not all of that goes on the iPod. Then I tried again to download. I've been at it for three straight days. This last time, I managed to get only 45 Gigs on it before it crashed, demanding a reset. That took me nearly eight hours.

Guess where I'm going Monday morning? I have a ten o'clock appointment. I don't expect to be home quickly.

No comments: