Monday, August 4, 2014

Giga Bites

I worked out at the gym Saturday July 19th, listening to music. It helps pass the time, somehow easing the strain, sweat, exertion and strangely slow-creeping moments spent rowing, running, walking or pedaling on any one of a number of infernal gym machines! I drove home and, on the way, stopped for gas. Somewhere in there, after hearing it on the radio, I decided to buy the Calvin Harris song, “Summer”. I got home and bought it off itunes. A few minutes later when I tried to play the song on my ipod, the device stated simply, “no songs”, “no music”.

I inhaled a series of deep breaths. I remained calm, fairly certain all my music was still in the device and fairly certain I’d be able to access it again in the near future.


In the hours and days that followed, considerable effort was made by friends and family to retrieve my music and while we came close, we weren’t able to resolve the problem. Later that week, quite resigned by now, I made an appointment to have someone at the Apple store look at my ipod. Apple employee Guillaume nonchalantly chalked it up to “a hard drive error”, “a random file problem”, concluding my music was irretrievable. I had lovingly crammed nearly 7000 songs into this little device and they were no longer accessible!

My ipod Classic had been a birthday present and, for me, a revelation of unbridled fun! It’s been the subject of several blogs, from “Somebody Stop Me” (8/25/10) to “Podaholic” (1/28/11) and from “An Apple A Day” (9/12/10) to “Song 5000” (5/29/11).

I had made a rather large personal investment in this device temporally, financially and musically. It’s pretty frustrating to have technology inexplicably and unapologetically fail, an experience not lost on my wife, Susan, who is repeatedly frustrated by a series of faulty Fitbit fitness monitoring devices.

My wife and son had warned me about this in the past. They had sagely tried to prepare me for this kind of eventuality. I brashly insisted that if and when it happened, I would deal with it. Evidently, I had more faith in technology than it deserved.

There was good news and bad news. All the music I’d bought on itunes was still available in my library or, in the case of purchased songs I’d blown out of my library, through icloud.
The albums I had loaded into my ipod were another story! After loading them into my ipod, I would blow them out of my library, fearing storage of all those songs would slow my personal computer’s memory and processing. The music from those countless albums was gone; dust in the wind.

That's all she wrote

Throughout this process, I had been warned several times restoring the device to factory settings would definitely destroy all the stored data in the ipod but, what the heck, I wasn’t able to access the music anyway. On Thursday July 24th, I restored my ipod Classic twice, always encountering the same problem.

Are you mad; it’s unthinkable! I can’t possibly use the rowing machine at the gym for 20 minutes without my music. I can’t run on the treadmill or walk uphill on the idiotic machine without my music! Music makes it practically palatable.

How can I sit at the dealership waiting for my car to be ready without music? It’s just not possible!

I’m not ready to buy another Classic and pack all those albums back in it. Perhaps once my PDBT (People Disappointed By Technology) group therapy sessions end, I’ll be able to get back there again. Systematic desensitization dictates I start with a smaller ipod that I can use to get myself through gym workouts, long car rides and dealership appointments. Yesterday, I bought an ipod Nano. I can use it for my BOE (Bose On Ears) tweets, although I won’t have access to the same massive range of songs that I did with the Classic’s 160 gigabyte memory. We’ll see after that. My therapist tells me it’ll take time. Right now it’s about learning to keep my expectations of technology, realistic.

I don’t blame Calvin Harris.

Now, tediously, every time I sit down at my computer, I load another album into my itunes library.

I’m dealing with it.