Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I have been having more technology angst; so much so that I can barely sit at this computer ONE SECOND LONGER to type this.

It's a long story; but it essentially stems from the fact that I have an ancient Graphite iMac, circa 1999-2000. (Perspective Alert! I just found one on eBay for $9.99.) It's been a decent computer, though I've had to pimp it out to the extreme of its little capacity. I've bought it all the new operating systems, done firmware updates, bought tons of RAM, an external CD burner, and a nice USB-2 extra hub, so it still qualifies for the bare minimum of what you would expect from a working computer.

So...the iPod. My beautiful little iPod, whose hard drive is more than DOUBLE the size of Old Bessie. As it turns out, all those song files take up a lot of hard drive space on the creaky old girl, so I went out and bought her an external, 160-gig hard drive to put all those songs onto. After some messing around, I finally figured out how to drag all the music files (2200+) onto my new hard drive, after which I trashed the files from Old Bessie. The transfer took like three hours, but the iMac went from having 2 gigs free to having 12, so I assumed that was a good thing.

However, yesterday, I began to have problems dragging new CDs that I'd downloaded from my library into my iPod. It would start to copy them, and then iTunes would freeze up, requiring me to force quit out, and then restart my computer. Over and over this happened. I put a call into Apple, who connected me with an otherwise nice Indian fellow, except that made me ERASE MY IPOD - even though I begged him not to; the iPod wasn't messing up, and plus I had a couple of movies on there that I will never get back - and re-download iTunes. He swore that would work - and when it didn't, I decided to drag all of that music BACK onto my hard drive, because I figured the new drive had to be the problem.

So, after three more hours of this, I try again. No luck; still can't transfer anything. I call Apple back, I meet another nice Indian fellow, but I can tell he doesn't have any idea what is going on. He then connects me with an American guy - who is NOT a nice fellow; he IS in fact Jimmy Fallon's Computer Guy character. This is a more or less exact transcript of our initial exchange:

Asshole Apple Guy: "So, where'd you get the music?"
Me: "It's all from my CD's, except for maybe 20 songs I bought off of iTunes."
AAG: "Are you sure ALL of it is from your music?"
Me: "Um, yes; I copied some compilations, but there's only a few of those."
AAG: "Did you use iTunes to download them?"
Me: "Yes...I only have a Mac, and I only have this one."

Some futzing with getting info on the songs ensued.

AAG: "What format are your songs in?"
Me: "Um....this says...MPEG 1."
AAG: "Well, then, you couldn't have used iTunes. It only supports AAC"
Me: "Um...YES, I DID, I only have ONE COMPUTER."
AAG: "Well, iTunes doesn't do that."
Me: "I ONLY HAVE ONE COMPUTER, and it ONLY OPENS ITUNES. Look, everything worked for a month, up until yesterday. Do you have any idea why these files are, as you say they are, WRONG, and how this happened?"
AAG: "No. I just know that you'll have to convert every one of your songs to AAC."

There was more insinuating that I'm a music thief and/or a complete computer illiterate, and there was a HELLISH wait period while he made me try his theory. I put down the phone for like 20 minutes and surfed the web. (It is NOT OK to treat a Type A person like that. I was about to start biting through the gel wristguard.)

For better or for worse, AAG's theory appears to work. So, at about two minutes per song to convert, and about 2400 the time it'll take me to manually delete all the old files after they, in only 80 hours, I'll have all my songs back onto my iPod.

Maybe I should just go fucking well buy a new computer. But, I swear to you, the thought of downloading ALL those songs again makes me want to slam my fingers in a door. Plus, as I've previously noted, we've (meaning I'VE) been on a spending binge lately, and we really need to pay all that off first.

Off to bed, where I will dream of 250 Gigs. Those drives...they're so big...and so, well, HARD...



Bookhart said...

You know as far as I'm concerned the whole downloadable music thing is run by magic. I don't know where it comes from and I don't care. If all of my tunes disappeared in some kind of case like this, I'd just assume the Internet fairies got it. You're a better woman than I.

Karla said...

I'm with bookhart. When it comes to computers, my whole philosophy is this: DON'T TOUCH IT OR CHANGE IT. Because if I do, bad things happen.

I swear, Rich is always going after my PC laptop and uploading things, and every time he works on it, it gets slower. This supports my theory of DON'T TOUCH IT.

I have now password protected it and blocked him from access so he won't "improve it" anymore.

If my music went away, I don't know what i would do. I think for me the harder part would be finding all the podcasts again. I did buy a big ol' backup drive and I backup to there once a month. And you are right, it is big and well, hard.

(I am now the devil on your shoulder). "Mags. Buy the new iBook....Mags...BUY IT."