Monday, October 03, 2005

Bang Head on Floor Dumb – adventures in iPod formatting

Will’s back! The celebration just keeps on happening, and between sipping Starbucks, reading new books to Caroline, and listening to Will play his steel guitar, (all items freshly lugged over the seas) I’ve been getting to know the iPod I sent Will for his birthday.

Working your way around an iPod takes about 30 seconds. It should be Edward Tufte’s next case study in design usability. Blinded by its hockey stick learning curve, I thought I’d just go ahead and hook it up to our computer, download some more music and be ready to roll the next day with a pod full of tunes.

Will was a little wary about this. “Maybe wait until tomorrow” he said. Blithe me replied “Baby this is just a computer, if there’s anything I know, it’s computers!” and disappeared into the dark cave of our study. Dark because it backs Caroline’s room, and her sole window shines into it. Dark because a little light while C is falling asleep and you have a baby on the edge. It was 8:30 and I’d just finished the routine of songs and stories, wuv yous and night nights. I was ready for some music and solitude.

I popped the port connection into the computer and started up the installation process. Very very shortly afterwards the ominous words “Formatting iPod” appeared on my screen and I watched as the little blue thermometer crept towards done.

Within seconds, Will’s first collection of 136 tunes (downloaded from a Mac) had disappeared. Stone cold with dread, I flipped on the light then, to get a better view of the wreckage, and saw the cd slip case for the first time. “Install software before connecting iPod.” Crimey-ola!

I’m still not sure what would have happened, had I remembered the cardinal rule for installing drivers (1st install the driver THEN plug in the device). I know the Pod needed to change its format from Mac to PC somehow, but perhaps we could have saved those songs. It’s not in the documentation. But here and now I do declare that I will at least try to read and follow the instructions, next time. Cross my heart.

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