03 August 2009


A friend died this morning.

After nearly three years of dutiful service, my iPod has stopped shuffling, and just shuffled off.

I should have seen the warning signs. It's not been well for some time. The screen had developed faint black lines across it like LCD crows feet, making video playback useless. It's memory had been full for over a year, and failing fast, and every new thing it had to remember was at the expense of something else. It had become increasingly neurotic - even when I played my favourites on shuffle, it kept playing the same ones, and completely ignoring others.

A few months ago it coughed up a lung, or part of it's headphone, into my ear canal, but rather than retiring it, I tried to nurse it back to health with some lovely new headphones (Goldring GX200's - with Comply foam earpieces that work like earplugs - block out pretty much all extraneous noise. Fucking sweet. Thanks Gingerwarrior for the tip), but to no avail.

It was tired of amusing me, so after playing me a podcast from Adam & Joe last night we both went to sleep.

It never woke up.

I tried to resuscitate it on three different chargers, used the 'magic sequence of buttons' to try to initiate a soft, then factory reset, and plugged it into the laptop, but to no avail. The laptop wouldn't even recognise it as an external storage device.

It's dead. I'd like to think it didn't suffer. It probably enjoyed a little chuckle to Adam & Joe before it slipped away to technology heaven in it's sleep.

So after a brief period of mourning, which took about as long as it takes me to walk to work whilst listening to nothing but the traffic, I decided I should replace it as soon as possible. It's what it would have wanted.

I managed to stay at work for at least 4 hours before I gave up for the day and headed into town (Fuck off! I'm owed hours, alright?), and straight to the Apple shop. Once I finally managed to corner an assistant amongst the throng of people who weren't there to shop, just wank over the shiny white goods, it was a quick process.

"My iPod has died, I need a Classic replacement"
"Black or silver?"

Box out the draw.

"Card or cash?"

Assistant had a hand held card reader.

"Do you want a printed receipt or an e-mailed one?"

Key my e-mail address into his card reader, and I was out within a minute of making eye contact. Job done.

Safely home, I need nothing out of the box except for the iPod itself. The dead one was only 60GB, and since we have way more music, audio books, videos and podcast subscriptions than that, I had to manage the content manually.

Now I've just connected it up and said "knock your self out".
As I type it is now 'copying 6100 of 12484'. Greedily devouring the contents of my hard drive like an electronic baby suckling at my digital breast.

Trouble is, just like a greedy child, once it's done, I'm going to have to burp up some of the shit that it should never have swallowed.

I keep a pretty eclectic library. Some things that are not really my cup of tea were allowed to reside on the old iPod just in case they were ever needed on group holidays or gatherings. Cheesy party tunes and 'classics' by the likes of Abba, or Britney.

But there is stuff in the Library that has been added to make playlists for specific occasions, or to rip into a 'significant' cd for someone, that I will not have on my new iPod, for fear it might accidentally play it at the slip of a button. Better safe than sorry.

The other problem is this new child also needs to be taught not only what it should never have swallowed, but what is actually very tasty and nutritious. Part of your musical 'Five-a Day'.

Because I had to manage the old iPod manually, and both Mrsslippy and I used the same library, all my playlists and ratings were in the actual iPod itself. I don't have to rank all 12,500 songs, but as I like to use smart playlists, I am going to have to tell it what I would rank as 4 or 5 stars, so if I want it to play a selection of all my favourites, or stuff I quite like from the 80's, it can do.

And the best part? Not only do I have a nice shiny new iPod that I can fit all my stuff on, with plenty of room for more, I also have yet another pair of shitty white headphones that came with it. I think that makes six pairs between the two of us now. They're not even coming out the packet. They're going straight into the big box of wires and other such gubbins in the loft where all electrical equipment goes when it dies, along with a very dear, but very dead, old friend.

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