Apple iPod (3G)

iPod Wikipedia

Heck the damn iPod can run Linux as well. And you  can run a perfectly unusable and battery draining Wikipedia in it!

iPod Reflection

Of course I wanted an iPod as soon as I learned about it. But the things were prohibitively expensive at the beginning and there was no way I could justify that, particularly as I have a rather slim and well-working discman. But with time passing and me nagging my parents I finally got a third generation iPod two years later. Not just any but the big 40GB version.

The iPod was ordered with a »Where is my mind?« engraving and I named it よしみ which is always a good challenge when you want to run some Unixoid tools on one of the iPod's folders.

Getting the large version really paid off as it took me another few years until I had actually ripped enough music to fill it up rather than starting to touch that boundary right away. And while the iPod's scroll wheel system isn't all that user-friendly once you get in the region of 40GB of music with the number of band names that comes with that, it is serving me well.

There are three main problems I had with the iPod. After three quarters of a year, the iPod started opening a little. I had read reports on that it's not that easy to open an iPod – and mine tried to open itself, so something must have been wrong there. But after my bad experiences with Apple's customer service when dealing with my PowerBook, I wasn't so keen on Apple's customer service.

Luckily I passed the Apple Store in London at some stage and thought I'd give their ‘geniuses’ a shot. Luckily they managed to squeeze me in with my quick question (despite a pre-christmas rush) and confirmed that something must be broken with the case. As I wanted to keep the engraving on the iPod, they told me to go through the phone hotline back in Germany. Which I did and which worked all right after I told them their colleague had referred me to them.

It took a few weeks but I essentially got back a new looking iPod (although mine was not scratched badly) and I guess that also came with a new battery.

A bit later my iPod headphones started breaking around where the wires for both phones separate. I always had the impression that the plastic used for the wires wasn't the best (it became really stiff on cold days) but I wasn't too annoyed about that because I didn't find the iPod headphones too comfortable anyway.

After two additional years – expectedly – the iPod’s battery life went down to 4 hours and then to perhaps 2 hours of music playing. Which in a way ruins the whole beauty of the toy. So I decided to buy a cheap replacement battery from eBay rather than giving up on the device. Replacing the battery wasn’t exactly fun, but it was doable. And it restored the battery life to the original 6-8 hour range. Unfortunately, said cheap battery stopped working completely after another year. As I still had the original battery around I reinserted that one and relegated the iPod to sit in its Dock next to the kitchen stereo. Shake-sensitivity and the poor battery life aren’t relevant problems there.

While the iPod keeps working,  I have the suspicion that its hard drive will break sooner or later. At least it is really shock sensitive by now and sometimes music will skip when the iPod tries to load now songs while it is being moved around. I am also seeing a lengthy hard drive check when I attach the iPod to the computer afterwards.

In total the iPod is a mixed experience. As much as I love the idea of having all – or at least a significant fraction of – my music with me and as revolutionary as the iPod was for portable music players, it probably wasn’t worth the high price it had. It's designed as just another piece of throwaway electronics with a very short life span and it is a bit hard to navigate when used at full capacity. My next music player will be one of the cheaper and smaller ones that have become available since.