Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I took the ipod back.

My wife got a small bonus at work and she decided to spend it at the Apple store near where she works. She bought an ipod nano, 1GB. I can't tell you how excited she was, and we set down after work and plugged the thing up, and were instantly disappointed. We had to install drivers for an mp3 player, silly enough on its own, and we had to reboot twice to do that. Then we get it all together only to find out that it doesn't work with windows the way that regular mp3 players do, it only interfaces with itunes. iTunes is quite probably the single most frustrating piece of bloatware I have ever used- it uses 60MB of RAM to play mp3s, and it insists on grouping all my mp3s by "genre" instead by the FOLDERS THEY ARE ALREADY IN. So I set up the ipod to just drag and drop files like a normal mp3 player. It would not recognize them as songs. So: she had an "mp3 player", designed to play mp3s, and it would not recognize that the mp3s on it were meant to be "played"- they were just data until itunes magically tells the ipod that they are "songs."
Victoria and I agreed that we can't stand to spend money on products that limit how we can use them after we buy them- that's the same reason we refuse to spend excessive amounts on cell phones: they're chained to one company, and leave you slave to only option. itunes had way to much control of my music collection- it made my 11gb of mp3s into 22gb by copying EVERY SINGLE MP3 on my computer! Because I never know when I'll need a second copy. Unless I "purchase" the file on itunes, then of course I CAN'T copy it.
So I took it back to the store, where the customer service took 20 minutes to get around to me, and then had the audacity to tell me that they "normally do not accept returns, but would make an exception" and were so good as to accept my not 24hr old ipod with a $15 return fee, thereby guaranteeing that I never buy another product from them. They asked me why I wanted to return it and I told them i really didn't like itunes, and was unable to get it to work with about 3 hours of work and looking over the support documentation(it kept trying to convert all my wma's to aac after i told it not to, and refused to let me just drag and drop files, only "synchronize" my whole music collection to the ipod) and they just said "yes, itunes compresses all the files." And I said "my files are already compressed, and i don't want software that does anything without my telling it to." Reception was totally cold, and I was severely dissappointed with the attitude of the staff(this is the Green Hills Mall Apple/Mac Store in Nashville, TN- a mall notorious for obnoxious staff who won't help anyone who looks like they don't have unlimited money anyways) and most of all, dissappointed at the unneccessary restriction of the unit itself.
I'll be going to newegg.com today and buying a unit with double the capacity for half the price from someone like samsung or sandisk that has been good to me in the past, and I don't think I'll regret it.