Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life without iPod

When I spilled some water on my desk, I thought I had whisked the iPod to safety in time, but the next day I noticed telltale droplets on the bottom surface and it wouldn't turn on or charge.

I Googled various combinations of "ipod water damage", and the gist of the suggestions was to keep the iPod turned off while letting it dry (under gentle sun where possible) for up to a week. I had already made some attempts to turn it on, which may have sealed its doom. I haven't been able to get a peep out of it after several days. All the advice seemed to be for a disk-based model, and I have a flash-based Nano; don't know if the all-memory models are more susceptible to damage this way.

This poses an interesting conundrum for the commute by car. I have a 6-disc CD changer, but it only reads music CDs not MP3 CDs. The compromise I've settled on is:

- 3 CDs worth of music.
- 3 CDs worth of podcasts. (I'm working my way through the early CS courses of UC Berkeley, just to see what it is that makes Silicon Valley companies so snooty when they ask where you went to school.)
- Music CDs burned at random from one of my favorite playlists, suitable for driving.
- Music CDs not labelled at all, so I can swap 3 in randomly from a bigger selection, and have no idea what will come up.
- Podcasts carefully labelled (title and episode number), so I can fill up slots 4, 5, and 6 and keep track when wrapping around. E.g. sometimes I put the next 2 episodes in CD slots 4 and 5, before I've listened to the earlier episode that's still in slot 6.

The downside of podcasts on music CDs is that one episode takes a whole CD, assuming it's reasonably long, regardless of the bit rate / sound quality.