Out of Hanwell

April 7, 2010

How I Got My iPod

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Matthias Miller @ 1:42 pm

The first sign that my MP3 player was failing came early one morning this past winter as I was standing out in the cold, jiggling the headphone’s cord in the jack so that I could get music to both my ears while I jogged.

I’d gotten my 40GB Toshiba Gigabeat on eBay, and I chose it mostly because I wanted something inexpensive (that is, used), something big (which 40GB used to be), and something that ran Rockbox. Indeed, this player was a great choice, joining me in my journeys across the globe.

But this was the morning things started breaking down. Several months before, I wrapped electrical tape around the frame to hold it together, but that hadn’t affected it functionally. But now, whenever I plugged up to my MP3 player, I had to jiggle the cord. Of course, this was inconvenient but it wasn’t a big hassle. I just had to twist it a little bit, and it would always start working. But as time went on, finding that magic spot became increasingly difficult. One day I discovered, much to my surprise, that the player worked if I squeezed the top of the player together, so for a while I carried an MP3 player that was held together by electrical tape and rubber bands.

It’s no surprise that several weeks ago, the player finally went over the edge, and I found myself digging through eBay listings, looking for an MP3 player on a budget. I had pretty much exhausted all the options except one–an iPod that seemed to be in good condition, only the seller said it didn’t sync. In fact, he said, none of his Apple gadgets sync’d with his computer. “Sounds promising,” I thought to myself. “It’s probably just a software problem.”

Sure enough. Not long thereafter, I got my iPod. I first tried installing Rockbox, but the player kept spontaneously rebooting. After fighting with it for a while, I finally relented, reset it to Apple’s firmware, and began syncing it with iTunes. The sync was nearly complete when it failed with a cryptic error.

Maybe the seller had been right, after all.

But there was something else I noticed. The iPod didn’t seem be charging, and I began to suspect the battery. Perhaps the USB had too little current to fully power the iPod, and the sync had depleted what little charge the iPod had. I left it plugged in overnight, but in the morning it still showed basically no change.

The next day I began looking for batteries online. I looked on eBay again, but I had no luck there. I tried Google and came across Milliamp’s ipod battery replacement kit, which, best of all, was on sale. “For $30, it’s worth a try,” I thought.

Sure enough. I got the replacement kit just this past week. The instruction sheet informed me that opening the iPod would be the most difficult part, and difficult it was indeed! Nonetheless I finally got it open, and it didn’t take much to replace the battery. Still, I held my breath.

The big moment came when I tried to sync my iPod. One thousand, two thousand, three thousand songs…and wouldn’t you know–it worked! I unplugged it from my computer and trying playing music–it still worked! I tell you, I was so happy to have an MP3 player again that let me listen to music with both ears!

So, that’s the story of how I got my iPod. 🙂


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