iPod woes

It's supposed to be the best mp3 player on the market. For me it has meant nothing but trouble.

Where I work, at the computer science department at Chalmers, we have a very nice tradition to buy a gift for any person who successfully defends his or her PhD thesis. This spring it was my turn to get a present from my colleagues and to my delight they gave me a fifth generation iPod sporting 30Gb of memory and the capability of showing movies. Awesome. Or so I thought.

It all started when I unpacked my brand new iPod and plugged it into my computer. For once I had actually read the manual and did exactly what I was told to. Yet after a short moment the player became unresponsive and it seemed like there was no way I could get it to do anything with it, even turn it off. This is why one of the first things I learned about my iPod was that it has an equivalent to Ctrl-Alt-Del, a key combination which reboots the player. So after rebooting things went fine for a while.

Unfortunately I've needed the rebooting feature quite a lot. It often happens that when I plug the iPod into my laptop it just freezes. But this is not the only annoying thing it does. Often when I've synchronized it with my laptop it seems like the iPod was totally erased! I can't see a single file, music or otherwise. The first time this happened I was quite alarmed. What had happen to all my music?

Fortunate things work much better when I synchronize with my wife's computer. First of all the iPod doesn't hang or lose all it's music. But what's even better is that it restores all the music that seems to have been lost. I think what happens is that the file system on the iPod becomes corrupted when I sync with my laptop and my wife's computer can somehow repair it.

What am I doing wrong? I'm running both the latest ITunes and firmware on my iPod and I haven't fiddled around with it in way that could potentially be harmful. I'm playing strictly by the book.

It seems there is a short term solution to this and that is to only use my iPod solely with my wife's computer. I find this rather unsatisfying as her computer is painfully slow and it makes me very impatient. I guess I'll have to buy her a new computer :-) But at the end of the day, I'm rather disappointed with the instability of my iPod. I had quite high expectations on the ease of use and robustness and it has failed miserably in this respect.

Steve Jobs, if you read this, please fix the software on your music player so that it doesn't behave like a Windows computer from the 90's.

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