Dead., Part Deux


(Note: I started this post last night, February 25, 2014. You will see references to “today” throughout the post and at a certain point, I will explain why. Trust me, you will enjoy it.)

In a post on February 3, I mentioned that my iPod touch had suddenly and unexpectedly died and there was nothing I could do to revive it outside of visiting an Apple Store and speaking to a…Genius.

Fortunately for me, that won’t be happening. I have something to show you.

Photo Feb 25, 10 05 18 PM

See the date? That’s today. Okay, maybe that’s not enough proof. Here’s a shot with the year.

Photo Feb 25, 10 14 31 PM

As you can see, it does indeed show February 25, 2014 or today’s date.

Ladies and gentlemen, my iPod has risen from the dead like a messiah. It’s back to 100% functionality and I’ve been slowly filling it up with the music it once held, a task I really, really despise since I have so many songs in my library.

So what did I do to get this thing working again?

Dunno. I suppose if I knew exactly what I did, I would gladly tell you so that you could perform this same operation on your iPod/iPhone should it ever be terminally stuck on the “Connect to iTunes” screen no matter what you do to it:

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I tried so many different ways of resetting it that I ran out of ideas. I mean , honestly, how many can you think of with only a volume rocker, power button, and Home button? Which ones do you hold down and for how long? It’s things like this that drive me nuts about Apple and their not-so-forthcoming instructions on resetting your iPod. Makes me mad.

At any rate, I’m not entirely sure of which buttons I pressed in order to get it working but if I had to guess, I’d say it was the Power button and the Volume Down bottom.

I had read somewhere that doing so and holding them down simultaneously for around 40 second, gdio


(Flash-forward to February 26, 2014 – the REAL today)

Alright folks, here’s the story.

I worked my first eight-hour shift last night at my new job. It was from 12pm – 9pm. It was fun but tiring and the first time I worked such a shift, or eight hours in general, in a long time. I walked to and from work, a brisk 10-minutes from home, and being the job requires me to be on my feet all the time, I was pretty tired by the time I got home.

Then I thought it would be a good idea to try and write a blog post and you can see by the sentence that ends in “gdio” I didn’t quite finish. In fact, here’s a screencap of what happened while I was writing the draft:

Capture

I fell asleep a few times and managed to wake up in time to grab this, a screencap in which my hand apparently came to rest on the V key.

So there’s my explanation. Back to the post.


Anyway, yes. Holding down the Volume Down key and Power button apparently did the trick because after holding it down for so long then connecting it to the PC, iTunes happily told me that my iPod was now in Recovery Mode and had to be reset. Victory, finally! Being it was useless at this point I figured I might as well blast the drive clean and start over.

So it was done. The iPod was restored back to like-new condition (internally, at least) and complete with the “most advanced iOS ever,” aka iOS 5.1.1!

Photo Feb 23, 8 52 57 PM

Hey, it’s old. It can’t be upgraded past this version.

I’ve since started to slowly fill it back up with music which as I stated before, is a pain with my collection. Obviously, I also lost all of my apps and am slowly going through my account to see which ones I had on there when it decided to implode. I’m looking at it this way: if I can’t remember them then chances are I don’t need to download them. I’m using more apps on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and my phone anyhow so it looks like my newly revived iPod will now be dedicated 100% to music.

That’s fine with me, because looking at my downloaded app history, I have no idea why I had a Poo Tracker app on it anyhow.

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Dead.


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Joe Mama and Motodork. Those are the respective names of the iPods you see here.

Joe Mama was purchased in 2006 after much debate over features and dimensions. My other choice was the Zen Vision: M, a player that like the iPod has seen various changes over the years. Joe Mama has served me well despite being “only” a media player and its 30GB capacity has always seemed to be just right, even if I have a 32GB card in my phone and rarely use it for music. Joe Mama has only seen one battery change since its purchase, a battery bought on eBay and replaced by yours truly. I still use Joe in the car and whenever I want to take my music with me. It’s held up flawlessly.

On the right we have Motodork, the name inspired by a perpetually jobless individual who had nothing better to do but ride his minibike up and down the streets over and over.  Motodork, originally dubbed Meatwad, was purchased in 2010 after I realized that an 8GB iPod was pretty much useless to me. Sporting a whopping 64GB in storage space, Motodork was all the iPod I would ever need and more: apps, WiFi, email, etc.

But Motodork pretty much lost any value it had left with me once I got an Android phone and started using apps and streaming music, checking email, etc. on that device. Eventually it ended up becoming my alarm clock because I didn’t need it for much else and it was even more useless when I got my tablet.

And that may be what made it angry.

You see, about a week ago, I woke up and saw the screen you see in the picture above: the “Connect to iTunes” message. I had had that message show up before and it disappeared when I either did what it said or plugged it in. The culprit is usually a battery that is so dead that it doesn’t have enough juice to even start up.

This time after trying both, nothing happened. I then tried the old reset and still nothing.

I hit the Internet and searched for relevant terms and found solutions, provided my computers would recognize the device when I connected it. At this point, iTunes can’t find it and Windows lists it as an “Unknown Device” without drivers.

I have been trying without success to revive Motodork even though Joe Mama is the true music workhorse. Apple Forums, tech blogs, advice from friends – none of it has helped.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that Motodork, which is not jailbroken I might add, is officially a paperweight after less than four years of service. And whenever I turn it on, it’s telling me to connect it to iTunes. It’s pretty much dead. The good thing is that I was in the process of selling it to a friend but I held out for whatever reason. I would have been embarrassed if it stopped working after the transaction,

But Joe Mama just keeps on plugging along, playing music just as it was intended to do, after eight years of use. It’s a testament to less being more, and more not always being the best in the long run. In fact I’m still considering a 160GB iPod Classic somewhere down the road to replace Joe Mama.

As for now, I’ll still use Joe until it decides to take a dump which is fine. I’ve already got a replacement battery ready to install.

RIP, Motodork. I hardly knew ye.

AnotheriPodholeinyohead


Something occurred to me the other day: there are one hell of a lot of iPods around this house.

This thought didn’t really come out of the blue, either. What really made me think about this is the fact that I won an iPod nano from a contest I entered on NikeRunning.com, which arrived while we were out on vacation. And being I haven’t had much to blog about, I thought I’d entertain you with my list of iPods, starting with the oldest.

Version: iPod Video (5th generation)

Capacity: 30GB

Name: Joe Mama

Purchased: 2006, $299.99

Ah, my first iPod, but not my first MP3 player. That honor goes to my Archos FM Jukebox Recorder with a whopping 20GB of storage space. But the cool thing about that one its line-in and built-in mic so that you can record…stuff onto it. That was followed by another Archos, the Jukebox Video that, like the FM Recorder, could be fitted with all sorts or accessories such as a camera lens and media card reader. Both served me well and have since been retired to the bottom of my desk drawer. I still, however, use the Jukebox Recorder should I need to digitize an old cassette or something like that.

Anyway, about Joe Mama. It was named after the server at one of my jobs and was purchased back in 2006. As you can see in that post, not only did I think this was “small” compared to the Archos I was used to, it was a toss-up between this and the Zen Vision: M and because the latter wasn’t quite available when I was looking to buy, I went with this one and never regretted it.

During its life, it was used mostly for music because putting video on it just clogged up valuable space for my music. And although 30GB held most of my collection, I often had to make sacrifices in order to fit whatever my current mood was. As you will see later, this problem was rectified earlier this year.

I’ve replaced the battery in Joe at least twice and like all of my iPods, it was sheathed in a protective plastic sheet and then stored in a hard plastic case since the day of purchase. Because of this, it’s in pristine condition today. While I never noticed the hard drive at work, now that I’m used to the Touch models I currently own with their flash memory, the running drive is definitely noticeable.

Version: iPod nano (2nd generation)

Capacity: 4GB

Name: Ann’s iPod

Purchased: 2007, price unknown

I bought this iPod for Ann to sort of introduce her to the world of portable music players. At the time, none of our cars had the auxiliary input and we didn’t have cassette decks, either, so using one in the car–one of the main reasons to own an iPod–had to be done with the use of an FM transmitter.

And if any of you have had an FM transmitter, you probably know that not only is the signal awful, most of them run on batteries which don’t last long. In addition, most of the pre-programmed frequencies are already taken in the Los Angeles area.

All things considered, this iPod rarely got any use until Anthony came along. It is now “his” iPod and is used to play a selection of his favorite songs at night so he can go to sleep. He doesn’t get to touch it and this iPod is also in a plastic case for protection, but that needs to be removed when placed on the radio’s iPod dock.

Oh, what’s on his playlist? Just some kid’s music along with Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein”, Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and The Beatles’ “Two of Us.” He’s definitely my son.

Version: iPod Shuffle (2nd generation)

Capacity: 1GB

Name: Figaro

Purchased: 2008, $69.99

Once I decided to get my ass busy and lose some weight, I also found that Joe Mama was a bit too large to stuff in my pocket when walking, working out, etc. Sure, I could have used the nano but after seeing that the Shuffle had a built-in clip, I figured it would work better and chose to buy one.

Figaro’s harsh handling is evident by the numerous scratches and dents all over but through it all, it’s held up perfectly. In fact, it’s the only iPod in the collection that isn’t in some kind of protective case. And it’s a good thing that I got this model because Apple’s revamp of the Shuffle saw the unit get stripped of all buttons in favor of those idiotic controls on the earbuds. It’s downright amusing to check the prices of the 2nd generation models on eBay and compare them to the cost of the 3rd generation models: the 2nd-gen, low-capacity models tend to sell for more than the 3rd-gen, higher-capacity versions. You think consumers are a bit disappointed about the 3rd generation version?

And in case you’re wondering how I came up with Figaro, its colors reminded me of a Nissan model from years ago that wasn’t available in the U.S., unfortunately.

Version: iPod Touch (1st generation)

Capacity: 8GB

Name: Blackjack

Purchased: 2008, $307 (included headphones and DLO Action Jacket)

My first venture into the world of iPod Touches and although it was ridiculously priced upon its introduction, it cost me a lot less than you may think.

Its 8GB capacity was definitely not enough for my collection so while I used this one frequently, I still had to rely on my 30GB model for most of my music. If anything, this was a gift to myself when I reached the 82 pounds lost mark.

But here’s what sucks about buying the first model: it had no speaker, no built-in Nike +, no Bluetooth. Playing games, while fun, required earbuds which wasn’t very ideal considering you had to twist the unit to control some of the games. That’s unless you didn’t want any sound while playing, but most people (like me) do.

Once I realized that this wasn’t going to be the best iPod I’ve ever gotten in terms of capacity, it was soon delegated to be my portable e-mail, Google Calendar, and Internet device more than anything else. It came in handy a few times with free Wi-Fi connections. Now, however, Blackjack rarely gets any use outside of white noise/nature sounds apps when docked on my clock radio, which also charges it.

And that’s another thing. Why does Apple have to screw up accessory compatibility with each generation? I have three (iPod dock) clock radios in the house and the 2nd and 3rd gen Touch models don’t work with any of them, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy three new clock radios just to have them work with the newer models. What a clusterfuck, Mr. Jobs and Company.

Why Blackjack? It just seemed to fit.

Version: iPod Touch (2nd generation)

Capacity: 8GB

Name: Annie’s iPod

Purchased: 2008, $299.99

As you can tell, Ann isn’t too creative when naming her iPods.

Either way, I bought this one for our anniversary a few years ago once she saw how cool Blackjack was. Her collection isn’t nearly as large as mine so 8GB does her just fine, and she uses it all the time for e-mail and apps.

Version: iPod Touch (3rd generation)

Capacity: 64GB

Name: Meatwad

Purchased: 2010, $399.99

Finally, after shuffling between Joe Mama and Blackjack, I get an iPod that will hold all of my music and still have plenty of room for movies and apps.

And because of this, Meatwad–named after a character from Aqua Teen Hunger Force–definitely gets more use than any of my previous models. It’s pretty much my everything iPod now and goes with me wherever I go.

The one big difference between this and the previous model are the Voice Control and Voice Memos options which, I have to admit, I don’t use very much if at all. For one, the Voice Control option requires the use of Apple’s lousy earbuds with microphone. I can’t tell you how much I despise those things: they sound shitty and they have never fit in my ears properly. Not only that, the Voice Control is a bit choppy and had a hard time recognizing what I was asking. And Voice Memos? Never used it.

(A side note: I hate iPod earbuds so much that I still have three pairs in their original packaging. The others were either used and thrown away, or just thrown away–period.)

But the good? I use it to keep track of my runs on the NikeRunning Web site, a site which also offers contests open to all participants. In fact, if I didn’t use Meatwad to keep track of my runs, it wouldn’t have gotten me my most recent iPod.

Version: iPod nano (5th generation)

Capacity: 8GB

Name: Terrible Herbst

Purchased: Won via NikeRunning.com

I would have been perfectly happy with my current collection of iPods. Really, I would have.

But no, I had to go and enter a contest on the NikeRunning site and end up being one of the winners of an iPod nano. Stupid me.

It will be nifty, however, once I get the Nike + Sport Kit so that I can use this for my runs, as opposed to Meatwad. As it is, this iPod has a built-in pedometer that also posts your results online which is pretty handy.

At any rate, despite its small capacity, Terrible Herbst is sort my new favorite iPod in that it’s small and shoots video. Check out this one I shot the other day at PetSmart (and if I could have adopted this kitty, I so would have!):

Well, there you have it. And while we’re on the subject of name inspirations, this post’s title was inspired by Prince’s song “Anotherloverholeinyohead.” I’d post the video but Mr. Nelson doesn’t appreciate having his videos posted on YouTube–or elsewhere, for that matter.

“You need another iPod like you need a hole in yo head…”

iPod Upgrade, Part Deux


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It seems to be a tradition with me: I buy an iPod every two years.

Doesn’t it feel like only yesterday when I was contemplating purchasing a new iPod Touch? Only back then, the price of a 32GB model was a whopping $499. How freaking crazy was that?

In the end, I bought a 8GB model for $299. While I definitely loved the thing, its puny capacity left a lot to be desired. Damn my limited budget at the time.

But good things come to those who wait, especially for those who waited for the 3rd generation model.

Shortly after we got our taxes done and paid off our remaining credit cards, I was thinking of something to get myself for my birthday (which Ann and I tend to do). At first my mind was set on a new Trek bike which ran somewhere near $329 or so. But then I got thinking if I really needed a new bike when my current Trek is holding up just fine. I was also wondering if I really needed to spend the money on a new iPod.

So I sat down and thought about both for a little bit and just as I was about to call the bike store, something changed my mind. A few hours later, I was at Best Buy spending some of my tax return money on a 64GB iPod Touch which is destined to be my everything iPod, replacing my ancient and clunky 5th generation iPod Video (which I also had trouble deciding on).

What I Love About It

There’s not much to dislike about my new iPod Touch. I now have twice the storage capacity of my iPod Video, I’ve stuffed it with everything I own along with some videos and movies, and still have room for more stuff. I also transferred all my apps so I’m right back where I left off with my 8GB model.

The volume control buttons and speaker are both added benefits. Playing games and having no sound or wearing headphones was a bit of a pain but with the speaker, everything’s cool.

Its overall speed is also impressive. It runs everything much faster than my 1st-gen Touch, and that was one of the things I hated about it: it was slow. It seems my problems are now solved. (Note that speed improvements do not apply to the 8GB model.)

The addition of the built-in Nike + app also adds value to the new iPod Touch, and I’m finding myself using it quite often. As a matter of fact, I’ve been walking every day and tracking my progress on the Nike Running site. All you need to run this app now is the Nike + sensor (not the entire Sport Kit) that fits in Nike + shoes or, if you don’t care for Nikes *raises hand*, you can buy a small sensor pouch that fits onto your existing shoe. What a great way to track your distance, calories burned, etc. Through the Web site, I also signed up for a few challenges: 210 Miles in 2010 and the St. Paddy’s Day Lucky Runner Challenge (10 miles between 3/7/10 and 3/17/10).

And the overall size of the iPod? It’s amazing to think they crammed 64GB into such a small package.

What I Dislike About It

Apple does a great job with the designs of most of their products but if there’s one thing they really should improve upon, it’s their awful excuse for earbuds. These things are so useless that I still have two pairs in their original factory-sealed condition. They suck—plain and simple. For me, they never stay in my ears and the sound is just shitty—and that’s sitting still. How in the world do they expect them to stay in my ear while out for a run or walk? It’s just not possible, so I’m still using my old Sony earbuds that were free with the purchase of my first iPod Touch. The hook around my ear, fit inside perfectly, sound great and don’t slide out.

Using said earbuds, however, leaves me at a slight disadvantage: the lack of a built-in mic means I can’t use the iPod’s Voice Memo or Voice Control features. But after trying it a few times and realizing how horribly it responds to my commands, I don’t think I’m missing anything at all. Great feature, poor execution.

One of the other things I dislike about my new iPod is that it can’t be used with any of my old clock radios with integrated iPod docks (and neither can Ann’s 2nd-gen Touch). I have three clock radios with docks on them and if you think I’m going to go out and replace them all, then you’re nuts. Actually, I could probably replace the one next to my bed since I tend to use a few “white noise” apps to help me get to sleep sometimes. Then again, I could just use my old iPod Touch for that.

While the new generation models don’t play well with older accessories, I did find out that one of the watches I bought for my birthday does work with it. I picked up a Timex Ironman iControl watch for $30 and decided to attach the transmitter to my new iPod Touch. Much to my surprise and delight, the thing works brilliantly. I’ll gladly sacrifice Voice Control in order to use my watch for controlling volume, skipping songs, etc.

All in all, I’m very happy with the new iPod Touch. Now let’s wait and see what I decide to buy in another two years.


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iPod? iPhone? iCaramba!


First of all, let me start this post off by stating that I’m not a techie. Sure, I like all things tech but I’m not into casemods and things of that nature. I just don’t have it in me for that but again, I love the stuff.

Second, this topic may have already been covered elsewhere but since this is one big series of tubes, I haven’t bothered to search any more than I already did. At any rate…

Last night–well, this morning, technically–I was goofing around with the Facebook app on my iPod Touch when I noticed something peculiar. And just so you know I have an iPod Touch and not an iPhone, here are the specs:

ipod-blur

After viewing some photos through the Facebook app, I exited and went back into it for some reason. Now keep in mind that this was nearly 1 a.m. and I perhaps I thought I was being a bit dullisional about this, so I tried my hardest to get a screengrab of what I thought I was seeing.

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