O NOES! My iPod Has Gone Tango Uniform!

We went to my mother-in-law’s house this weekend, because my wife was singing at her mom’s church yesterday morning. We had a nice time, and had some great Southern cooking for dinner yesterday.

But on the hour-and-a-half drive home, tragedy struck: my iPod started dying. We were happily listening to ABBA’s greatest hits, when suddenly, the song paused. Then it came back a second of so later, then went in and out a few more times. At first, I thought it was interference from a nearby radio station, since I use an FM transmitter to get music from the iPod to the car speakers. When we stopped at the Dairy Queen for treats, I inspected the iPod, which means I sort of looked at it longingly. I said to myself, “Self, perhaps it’s a bad spot on the hard drive, directly under ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,’ that is causing your woe, and not the whole disk. Try a different song!” Agreeing with myself, I tried a different song by hitting Shuffle. What came up was “Sheila Nee Iyer” by Dervish. It started playing, but half-way through, it paused. I started clicking the button(s), and while they made their little “tick” sound, the UI didn’t respond. I immediately went into slow-mo, contorting my face in pain and screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”

Thus, I spent the last 40 minutes of the drive with no music, which is not something I like to do. I’m going to plug the mostly-dead iPod into my Mac and see if iTunes can diagnose it or fix it or anything. I don’t have much hope for it. I’ve had it for five years, and it’s been used almost every day, for at least an hour or so, sometimes as much as eight or nine hours, so it’s gotten quite a workout. I suppose I should be happy for the time we spent together.

So last night I went online to see how much a new one could cost me. The iPod Classic, which is a 120G system (mine was only 60), is $249. Ouch. That’s a bit much, right now. So, assuming mine is well and truly dead, I’m going to try to live with just the space available on my iPhone. I had already pared down my music collection from 110G to 60G to fit on the old iPod, so paring it down to 8G is going to be tough, but I’m going to have a go at it. Wish me luck!

02/02/2009 12:59:23 Update: I put the iPod into diagnostics mode, which didn’t tell me much. I then did a full factory restore on it, followed by a re-sync of all my music. Once that was done, I randomly picked some songs on it, and they all played fine. Here’s hoping that it was some bad sectors or something, and that the restore got around them.

2 thoughts on “O NOES! My iPod Has Gone Tango Uniform!

  1. The iPhone will tide you over, but it may not be a perfect solution. With the iPhone, because of the space limitations, you have to be content with more of a “shuffle” mindset, rather than dialing into a specific song. Also, my stereo head unit has some trouble displaying the track data from my iPhone and navigating the playlists — I do get forward and backwards, but that’s it. Meg’s 3G works perfectly in the same unit, though!

    I have a playlist on the iPhone that takes 4GB 4 and 5 star rated songs that I haven’t played in the last two months (ordered by least frequently played), and that’s usually what I have on shuffle. When you sync, it takes away the music you’ve played and swaps in new music, so you are always getting turnover. Trouble is, a lot of what I thought was “4+ rated” two months ago isn’t quite what I want to hear now. So, I end up doing a lot of skipping. It seems like the skip counts / last skipped data don’t transfer from iPhone back to iTunes, either, so I can’t filter the playlist based on “last skipped”. I’d like to be able to rate down the songs that I seem to skip when they come up. I also peridoically “rebuild” the list (by switching to “select by random” and then back to “select by least recently played”). This completely swaps things out and gets rid of some of the crusty-build up — songs I really don’t want to hear anymore, keep skipping, and still seem to stay on the syncing playlist.

    I’ve just supplemented the playlist above with a new one: 1 GB of 4, 5, or unrated songs, ordered by most recently added. So, this should have some music more reflective of current moods (or at least shopping habits). I wish there was a way to build a playlist on “date rating was changed” (rather than on “last played” or “date added”) — I’d use this instead.

  2. I use a “station” smart playlist for music on my iPod touch. It always gives me a nice rotation of music, so there’s always something different playing. Give me a holler if you want me to send you the various smart playlists you need to create it.

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