santa rants

Normally I don’t do product reviews here; in fact, I’ve never really done such a thing except to gush uncontrollably about my iPod mini, or possibly complain about my ancient digital camera, etc.

I don’t imagine that this post will develop into more than anything but a rant, either, but hopefully something within the rant might help someone else. Oh, who am I kidding. It’s just a rant.

So yesterday I spent doing Santa’s work. Which, in this lovely technological age, involves batteries, unintelligible technical instructions, and much cursing. My very lovely, and very puerile (in a GOOD way, a fun way) father who is way off in Iowa gets great ideas for Christmas presents, and this year found mp3 (SanDisk Sansa e100 512 MB) players for the older girls in the family. So he sends them to me first, so that I can load them up with music for Charlotte and Hannah. I am, of course, happy, and excited even, to do this, because I know well their taste in music and already have most of it on my iPod for Hannah. (This also means that I can take Backstreet Boys off the iPod!! Yay!! Justin Timberlake, however, is staying put.)

So, since I have a spiffy iBook, I’m thinking: plug n play, drag n drop, bada boom, bada bing, I’m done.

And for the most part, it could have worked that way, except for a couple of bumps in the road:

The large majority of what I have in iTunes for Hannah has been purchased from iTunes. This, of course, moves quite swiftly to the iPod. But because I’m such a trusting soul, I figured it won’t matter—it’s a music player, right? I bought the music, right? I can put it on the music player, it doesn’t have to be an iPod, right?

Wrong. I am now quite schooled about DRM and AAC protected files. I’m also quite schooled in matters of hymn, jhymn, and the fact that jhymn still is not up with iTunes 6, which I think I downloaded last week or something (insert favorite expletive here).

Expletive, expletive.

So, a dear friend, who shall remain nameless so when they come to haul me off to prison I won’t have narked on anyone, had just showed me the wonder that is LimeWire not a week before. I entered that murky world, feeling sneaky and paranoid.

And spent an ENTIRE DAY finding music. O.M.G I found stuff that I’ve wanted for SO LONG and just have put off getting. I found stuff I didn’t know I wanted. And then I remembered I was supposed to be finding stuff for the girls. Whoops.

So I was able to fill up the mp3s with the greatest stuff—and I didn’t even have to go through and convert anything etc.

Which is where we come to the next bump: once you drag n drop files onto the player, good luck trying to get them off. On a mac, anyway. There were some lame ads programmed into the thing, and I inadvertently put the non-radio version of Black Eyed Peas’ “Hey Mama” (dis dat shit [not beat] dat make ya groove, mama”) onto one of them. So I’m thinking: drag n drop to the trash, right?

Nope. The files would be gone from the file window thing, but when I unplugged the USB and turned on the player, all the songs were STILL THERE.

I finally gave up and plugged the thing into B’s PC, and found that the mac actually creates an INVISIBLE trash folder on the device, and instead of deleting the files just moves them into that INVISIBLE folder. And of course the damn thing cannot read folder names—I cares not for HOW you arrange your stuff; if it’s on there, it plays it in alpha order of the song title. Even if it’s in a folder called trash. Sheesh. The user manual says to delete files you must highlight the file and hit the delete key, which B claims the mac doesn’t have, that they’ve simply named the backspace key “delete.” This of course is looking like it proves his theory. So to put files ON I can use the mac, but to delete them I have to use the PC.


But, now that I’ve figured everything out, I’m pretty happy. And I like the mushroom headphones, even though at first glance they scared me because of their rather invasive-like nature and strange rubbery condom-y cover things.


So. In other news, the well ran dry last night because our toilet stuck and ran for a few hours once everyone went to bed. B, who can sleep through a 3-way screaming fight over Saturday morning cartoon options; who can sleep through my not-so-subtle kitchen banging, washer-dryer-and-dishwasher-running, my vacuum running, etc; he hears the well pump’s repeated turning off and on at 4 in the morning and gets up to turn it off. And thankfully this morning the well has recovered. I wish he would have told me that that was a possibility. I laid awake the rest of the night worrying about how we’d survive until the spring without running water.


5 thoughts on “santa rants

  1. so, you’re saying i should bite the bullet and get myself a ipod, rather than a cheapie? even if i have pc’s? just thinking about my xmas money….

  2. Well, you’re going to pay @ $100 for a really good cheapie. These, that my dad found, were $70 with a mail-in rebate, and they’re just good. Like, the sound is decent (though that might be improved w/ better phones), but the iPod is really much more versatile in terms of arranging your songs (it keeps your playlists intact, and can shuffle, etc) AND the iPod has a much better ass-er, I mean bass. No, I really meant ass. 🙂

    I would go with the iPod. You’re a big girl, you’ve got a real job, get the *really* good stuff. 🙂 You deserve it.

  3. You have to be my tech guru for a sec here.
    DRM?AAC! (those are the sounds I make when I try to figure this stuff out)
    It’s Mary’s 40th bday and I want to get her something big which for us would be an Ipod and one of those dock thingies with speakers so she can listen in the house not just the gym (she ran the wineglass marathon in October, by the way, 4 hrs 3 minutes, brag, brag). We have a PC and I don’t know the first thing about this. God I miss records, I miss album covers, I miss used record stores. Anyway, I have the yucky feeling I’m about to buy something that millions of teenagers can use with no problem but that we will sit staring at on the kitchen table waiting for it to hatch.
    What should I be thinking about when I buy this thing? What should ourcomputer be thinking about? Are you my mother? DRM! AAC!

  4. lol!
    now whenever i see an ipod i’m going to imagine it hatching, & some slick electronic lizard running up the user’s arm & into (usually her) expensive faux-fur-collared fluffy coat & causing screaming. WHEEE!

    ::lowers dark sunglasses which are an excellent disguise::

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