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.

I’ll Never Part With You

IMG_20130902_155345Me and my old iPod Video have been through a lot. Heck, I remember the day I bought it and how, up to the minute I walked to the register to pay for it, I was still contemplating buying the Zen Vision:M (but they were out of stock).

But in the end I felt I had made the right choice, especially after seeing a coworker’s face beam with jealousy after showing it to her – she was still using one of those old music-only models with the LCD display in 2006.

I’ve had my share of accessories for it including a Timex watch that, with the dongle inserted into the charging/data dock, allowed me to control the music as well as volume from the watch (the music controls being limited to skipping and rewinding). This would have been great if I was into running at the time, but did come in handy on those road trips we took with it.

Flash-forward to when I bought my first iPod Touch. Once I was taken in by everything this nifty little gadget could do, my old iPod Video started collecting dust in the drawer, rarely to see the light of day. Why should it? All it did was play music. It had no WiFi, no apps (although I did have Tetris on it when Apple actually sold games for it via iTunes), a small screen, and was bulky. From that point on, it pretty much because useless.

But I refuse to get rid of it, even if Apple has made deleting songs from it such a monumental task. In fact I had to download different software to do it since Apple virtually bricked this thing with the latest iTunes “upgrade”.

This iPod is ugly, it’s clunky, but it’s in near-pristine condition due to the great care its owner gave it. From Day 1, it’s been wrapped in a thin plastic protective sheet and then encased in a hard plastic case for further protection. The silver backing is practically scratch-free save for the few marks I left on it when changing the battery, something that is darn near impossible with the new iPods.

And I still love the thing.

So much so that selling it is the furthest thing from my mind. It’s not worth the time or trouble to do it anyway. Here’s what Best Buy is offering for it as part of their trade-in program:


It doesn’t matter if this thing was touched by the hand of God and signed by him/her in gold ink, they wouldn’t give me a dime for it. I checked Amazon and the going rate is around $16 provided it meets their criteria. And eBay? Pfft. $30, tops. That’s exactly $1 per gigabyte of storage.

To me, it’s just not worth my time to go out of my way to sell the thing when the sentimental value I have in it far outweighs anything anyone is willing to give me for it. Not only that, it’s still cool to bring out and use now and then for nostalgic purposes even if the nostalgia is only 7 years old.

Yes, my current iPod does more than this one and my phone does even more than both. But even so, I’m holding on to this classic piece of technology for as long as I can and continue to use it as I see fit.

Well, that’s until Apple decides it doesn’t want to support it anymore…


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, 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

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…”