My iPod Classic is my ultimate companion. In a world where everything is mobile, what better than a tiny silver piece of genius to accompany me on my endeavours, day after day. With the capability to hold more than 40,000 songs, my inanimate best friend entertains, intrigues and uplifts me (or rather, the music it contains does) and to suddenly be without it would be an awful, albeit minor, tragedy.
So imagine my utter devastation when this morning, my 160GB iPod Classic played its final song.
What followed the final few notes of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Sarah’ was silence, as each song on my playlist failed to play and it awkwardly skipped along to the next as if embarrassed by its fault. Foolishly, I wasn’t fazed by this and tried the go-to method of iPod resetting by holding in the ‘menu’ and centre buttons. Unfortunately, this prompted a rather unsettling red cross to appear on screen. The cause of death was later determined after a short inquiry; the hard drive was corrupt and unfortunately, it was terminal.
I wasn’t about to give up hope. Desperate for a solution, I turned to the Apple forums to try and discover a way to heal my iPod. After a few shady suggestions, including physically abusing the poor thing, I decided it was time to face the facts. My iPod, Tony Harrison (The Mighty Boosh character, not the poet), was put to rest this morning at approximately 10:46.
Unfortunately, I must confess that Tony is not the first iPod I have owned, nor the first to be taken before its time. Before him came Alfred, the green 16GB iPod Nano (6th Gen) who’s fate was not dissimilar to Tony’s. Alfred too encountered a technical error which meant that even when I sent it off to Apple under my insurance policy, it was never returned to me. Unfixable they told me, and I was given the money to purchase another iPod, who would later become Tony Harrison.
Previous to Alfred was the nameless purple 8GB iPod Nano (5th Gen). Granted, the death of my first iPod involved a toilet and being in a rush for something but nonetheless, Tony will be my third iPod fatality to date.
You might wonder why I’ve shared with you such a detailed history of my iPod ownership. The reason is that I often ask myself why I keep returning to Apple for my MP3 Player needs when they have let me down so severely on what is now more than one occasion. And to be honest, I can’t be the only one.
I am far from an Apple lover. I’m a PC, not a Mac and my phone has been an array of brands, but never an iPhone. However, the iPod remains unrivalled to me. When my second Nano died I wanted to be rid of Apple forever, however after hours of searching for an MP3 player with the same level of elegance, ease of use and more importantly, storage space, I could find few MP3 players that broke through the 8GB barrier. I did a similar search on Amazon today and found a total of 5 devices that even managed to break the 60GB barrier. But what’s the point in straying from the iPod when it has and always will carry the quality and mentality of ‘anything you can do, I can do better’.
Through no fault of my own I have lost two iPods from technical faults and it seems sort of pointless investing up to £200 (or an extortionate £300 if you’re planning on getting the latest iPod Touch) in an iPod that is almost guaranteed to break within a few years. Alfred the Nano was mine for just a short year whereas Tony the Classic lasted a slightly more modest 3 years. If I had the choice, I would most certainly opt out of the Apple owners’ club.
‘What do you mean, if you had the choice’ I hear you scream. Well that’s the problem isn’t it? Effectively, I don’t have a choice. I would prefer not to use my phone, as it would waste battery and memory that I could use in better ways. After all, it is a phone and not a music player.
As I’ve already established, there are few choices when it comes to alternative music players that can provide the sort of memory I would require. Clearly I would never be able to fill my 160GB iPod entirely with music, but I am given the privilege of never having to worry about what songs will make the cut because I simply can’t fit them on. I filled my 16GB Nano with ease, so I refuse to downgrade and be put through the painful process of choosing which songs deserve to be listened to.
So you see, the news that my iPod had taken its last figurative breath this morning was more upsetting than it should have been. While I am going to have to try and dig out my insurance forms from the depths of my wardrobe, I do so hesitantly. Hopefully I will be given the money to replace it or it will be fixed, but in the end what choice will I have but to buy another iPod that is effectively its own time bomb? While I’m not one for conspiracy theories, the notion that electronic items are built to break once their warranty has expired seems more and more plausible these days.
As I say goodbye to Tony the iPod Classic and lay him to rest, I dread having to accept another iPod into my life. As an avid music lover, I feel as if I require a separate device for my music consumption and therefore I (or hopefully, my insurance company) will be reluctantly handing over a hefty sum to Apple for a replacement.
For that reason, I say thanks once again Apple, for letting me down. The only device they produce that I would be happy to purchase is becoming increasingly difficult to justify. As I look further into my iPod’s issues, I realise that the methods of contacting Apple about this are few and far between. No Twitter handle, no Facebook page… I’m inclined to believe that perhaps the number of public complaints would be far too high and embarrassing to display. All I can do now is suggest that Apple spend some of those billions of pounds they have on improving the lifespan of their iPods before they lose a customer for good, and perhaps many more.