Friday, September 12, 2008

You are not helping your cause, Apple

I finally broke down and bought an iPod. I'm not one of those ardent anti-Apple folks; in fact I rather like the Macbook Pros. But I have had a non-Apple mp3 player forever that has done the job just fine for a few years kthnxbai. Do people even call them mp3 players anymore? Or is everything just an iPod now? I have no idea. I am so not hip when it comes to music anymore.

Lately my mp3 player has started to show its age and it's a bit too big to stick in my pocket and generally gets in my way. Plus I lost the battery cover on the subway. Not a formula for success. So I've been eyeing a Shuffle for awhile. I'm not really a fan of the iTunes store but there isn't really anything comparable out there so I buy music from there occasionally or not at all. I actually use Windows Media Player more than I use iTunes for playing music anyway. This is normally the part where'd I'd go into a tirade about the music industry but the truth is they lost me a few years ago. I listen to the same music as I did in 2004 and add about 15-20 new songs a year. Sad really.

But I digress. What convinced me to buy an iPod was not the cool features or the big was the colors! I've been wanting a Shuffle for a little while to run with and when I saw the new more jewel-based tones I decided to take the plunge. Plus $79 is about $100 less than I paid for my iRiver in 2005 and I got one more gig of music storage.

So pretty.

I went to the cube in midtown and was helped by this awesome rock star guy. I wish I had caught his name. It took me like 10 minutes to buy it. I got it back home, USB'ed it up and added music from my library. This morning was my first commute using it and I liked it well enough. The earphones are too big for my ears though which sucks. Makes for extra bass but missing mids. But overall it's awesome -- I just clipped it to my shirt and was done with it. And it's a pretty green color! (Thank you Apple, for not just making it in Silver and Pink. Really.)

Half of my music collection is on my home laptop and half is on my work laptop. But when I plugged my dock into my work laptop, I got a nasty error message: "Your iPod can only be synched with one music library." My choices were to erase all my music and sync with work laptop, transfer my purchases to work laptop library, or cancel. So I chose transfer purchases...and it didn't work. Great. Awesome. Terrific. Isn't Apple supposed to be the leader in usability and synchronicity? What kind of bullshit is this? Who uses only one iTunes library???

With a melodramatic sigh I did a quick Google search and was directed to one of Apple's Customer Service articles. It looked like it was exactly what I needed! A manual setting so that you could add music from more than one library.

I followed the steps:
1 - Open iTunes.
2 - Select my iPod from the Devices menu.
3 - Click the Summary There isn't one.
4 - OK, look at the pretty picture. It has a summary tab.
5 - Look at my iTunes. Hmm, I have no summary tab.
6 - Look back at the pretty picture. It has a summary tab (still).
7 - Look back at my iTunes. I only have Settings and Contents. Still no summary tab.
8 - Unplug iPod.
9 - Plug iPod back in. No dice.
10 - Restart computer. (Cures all, right?) Still the same.
11 - Check to make sure I'm running most recent version of iTunes. Yep, just updated to version 8 with Genius. Funny, I'm not feeling like one.

I wondered if this magical supposed manual setting doesn't apply to Shuffles, but Shuffle is listed as one of the iPods this article is valid for. Better yet, the article was just updated yesterday, so surely if the Shuffle wasn't included they would update that...right?

12 - Look one last time at the pretty picture.
13 - Look one last time at my iTunes.
14 - Grrrrrrrr.

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