Friday, January 05, 2007

Two iPods = trouble

Update:  I'm getting tons of hits on this post from people doing Google searches, so I guess this is a common problem.  If the information here solves your problem, or if you know of another solution, please leave a comment so that others can benefit from your experience.  You can also stay and learn something about classical music.  8^)

I know that this isn't specifically  about classical music, but it is music related and I am an IT guy.  Two years ago, I bought my wife an iPod Mini for Christmas, which she loved.  It had to be replaced seven (yes seven) times by Apple under the AppleCare extended warranty, but when it was working, she loved it.  And no, she wasn't careless with it, drop it or in anyway cause the problems.  I think that hard drives and portable music devices are a bad combination.

Since the AppleCare contract was about to expire, this seemed like a good time to 
upgrade to a second generation Nano, which I expected would have far fewer problems since the storage is flash memory instead of a hard drive.  So I ordered one from Apple, with a sappy sentiment engraved on the back, and that was her big Christmas gift (along with an armband, Applecare extended warranty and iTunes gift card).  It was a big hit.

The problems began when she hooked it up to our windows based computer at home to transfer all of her music onto the new Nano.  It stopped showing all of her MP3's.  She got "file missing" error messages all the time.  So she called Apple support, and the first person she spoke to told her that it was defective, and to return it.  No way, she said, it's a software problem, and she demanded to speak to a product specialist.  When she got a hold of someone who actually knew something about the Nano, he told her that iTunes has problems with two iPods hooked up at the same time since it assigns them the same drive letter.  He walked her through how to assign a new drive letter to the Nano in Windows, and that solved most of the problems.

The only problem that she continued to have was that she would get "missing parameter" errors when she tried to move large blocks of files to the Nano.  I have run into this before with my Sandisk Sansa player, and it has to do with going through our USB hub instead of using one of the USB ports built into the computer.  So I moved the Nano's USB cable to one of the Dell's own ports, and that problem went away.  Her whole library of songs transfered to the Nano without a problem in about five minutes.

Life is good.

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