Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

So Much Music, So Little Time: A Dead iPod Nano

Just a small smattering of my CD collection that contains some CDs never opened.
I'm not the kind of guy who likes being chained to his computer. Despite the fact I put a roof over my head by writing – much of it requiring Web-intensive research – I don't spend one second more at my keyboard than is absolutely necessary.

And, other than sending out half a dozen Instagrams/tweets each week, I refuse to be one of those people bent over my smart phone clicking away every waking moment of every day. I don't suffer separation anxiety if I can't get online for a couple of hours. I still don't feel the need to be connected 24/7.

However, I've been spending more time than I like in front of my computer this week because I have endured a technological crisis: My iPod Nano went belly up.

I am sure there are some of you out there slapping his or her thigh, laughing hysterically that I still utilize an iPod rather than using my smart phone to stash my playlists. Laugh away. There are times, like at the gym, when I don't want the interruptions carrying my smart phone would include. Like I said, I don't need to be connected 24/7.

So, I have spent an inordinate amount of time this past week stocking music on my replacement iPod.

Here's what happened....

On my recent drive to and from South Florida, the Lexus CT 200h I piloted had iPod interface. Using the iPod's USB cord, I was able to connect directly to the car's audio system, controlling it through the head unit. Somehow this froze up my 10-year-old iPod. It would connect to and operate through the car's system just fine, but refused to work when disconnected from the car.

This happened once before a few years ago. Apple has instructions for unfreezing an iPod that worked just fine the last time around. However, nothing Apple recommended worked this time. In the process of trying to unfreeze it, I managed to wipe its memory clean.

A gift from a Jaguar – I know because it has Jag's “Leaping Cat” logo etched on its back – at the media launch of some vehicle more than a decade ago, this First Generation iPod only had 2GB of memory. I maxed out its capacity years ago and could only add a new song by deleting an older one. Even so, I was satisfied to do this rather than fork over $150 for a new Nano or $250 for an iPod touch or an iPod of some other stripe.

Yes, my children, this is what a steam-powered First Gen iPod Nano looked like.
I refuse to keep paying more and more for evermore sophisticated devices that do all manner of things I don't want nor need like storing and playing movies. All I want is a device to store and play music. $250, my ass!

I got on eBay and purchased a reconditioned Fourth Gen iPod with lots of memory. In my tech-challenged opinion, it was a steal at $35.99. It arrived in three days: free shipping! Works brilliantly. Yes, I am a genius!

I had my Jag Nano a year or so before I actually began uploading music and using it. At that time, I ripped music from my CD collection – I know, laugh your ass off, old Uncle Russ has a CD collection – to create playlists. I didn't begin buying songs from iTunes until five or six years ago.

All of the songs I ripped from CDs were backed up on a PC that died and was buried seven or eight years ago. All of the ripped files were buried with it. I was able to retrieve all of the music I purchased from iTunes, but everything else was lost.

So, this week I have been ripping songs from CDs. It's easier now than it was a decade ago because I can utilize iTunes to do the work, speeding things up a bit. But, it's still a mind-numbing slog. I am nearly through my 200-plus CD collection, grabbing a song from this CD and two or three from that one. So far I have about 20 hours of music stored.

I'm sure there is a quicker, more-reliable, better way to do this, but I'm an old-fashioned guy doing this the old-fashioned way. It's just really boring.

But on a positive note, I'm refamiliarizing myself with my music collection. I have CDs that I never unwrapped. What?

And the beat goes on.....

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