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Just the iPod facts, ma’am

Macworld logoLast Friday, a relatively huge article in the Living section of The Oregonian caught my eye. As you can see in the picture at right (hover and click for a larger version), it was hard to miss this article.

Paper imageExpecting to find a shocking exposé on the hidden faults of the iPod, I started reading...and started getting angry. The article was nothing more than a writeup on one user's connectivity issues between her iPod nano and a Toshiba laptop. That alone would have been fine. But the article attempts to bring in other "evidence" of iPod nano flaws, and that's where I feel it overstepped the bounds of reasonable journalism (even for something in Living).

So I wrote up my thoughts for Macworld's site, as I felt it was unfair to let something like this sit without some form of response. I have also sent the paper a copy of my writeup, though I'm not expecting much in the way of follow up.

3 thoughts on “Just the iPod facts, ma’am”

  1. I saw this one too and stopped reading it after the first paragraph in disgust.

    Local(-ish) News + Hot Topic (iPods) + Reporter Needing a Story = Crappy Piece.

    About the Genius resetting the iPod: having previously worked behind the bar myself I might have some insight. Often when a customer brings the iPod they don't bring their computer in, so that doesn't leave many options for the Genius to check. So most of the time, the best thing to do in this case is to reset the iPod using the Mac on hand. Erasing & resetting the whole thing A) ensures the latest firmware, and B) ensures that there aren't corrupted songs on the Pod (a common problem with people who get most of their music from P2P sources like Kazaa & Gnutella).

    As for "the Genius should know to ask basic questions such as what machine the iPod is being used with." Most of the time the customer was asked about this, but it's pretty easy to tell based on problems the user describes and the formatting of the Pod. However in all cases, we would still reset the iPod to Mac formatting because Macs can't reformat iPods in PC format and we didn't have a PC behind the bar. While this may sound problematic, iTunes on the PC should still actively recognize the iPod and prompt the user to reformat it using the iPod Software Updater (again, ensuring they have the most updated software).

    Thus, this is really the best way to verify that the iPod itself is working correctly and prompt the user to get updated software when you don't have access to a user's home machine.

  2. Going with what Nick said, I've had the same experience helping friends with their iPods. I have an iBook, my friends are all anti-mac computers. When its time to troubleshoot, I usually do an erase/reset from my iBook, they take it home and its as if it were a new iPod.

    I read through your rebuttal article, all very well said, minus the Genius bar part :)

  3. It’s called common sense. Something that I guess people these days have forgotten. Naturally if you are going to blast your iPod in your ears at full volume you will have hearing problems. If you can’t control the volume then you shouldn’t own any kind of stereo equipment at all because they can all damage your ears easily. Apple or any company cannot be your baby sitter for what you do with your equipment every second of the day.

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