Apple “Just Works”? Yeah right!

A friend gave me an iPod Touch a while ago.  I finally got around to setting it up, only to have it devolve into most of a day of frustration.  That’s right, folks, even we pros have issues sometimes.

Ipod touch 4g
As you may know, iPods require iTunes in order to be iActivated.  Unlike products that “just work”, one must install a bloated piece of junk called iTunes 10 that barely functions at all in order to make this piece of hardware work at all.  I bit the bullet and upgraded to iTunes 10 today.  That went as well as it ever does so I said to myself, “Well maybe this will be easy after all”.  Hah!  Read on!

Plugging in the iPod went pretty well.  After that, it was all downhill.  Here’s a quick list of the errors I got:

  • Error: “The iPod <name> cannot be synced.  The required file cannot be found.”  Yay.  I clicked OK.
  • Error: “The iPod <name> cannot be synced.  An internal device error occurred.”  I clicked OK.  Then it looked as though it would sync.
  • Now I got “The iPod <name> cannot be synced.  A duplicate file name was specified.”  I clicked OK.  Again.
  • It then said “Sync finished”.  I thought, well it could have been worse!
  • Sure enough, it got worse.  I downloaded an app or two then synced again to test.  (I was cynical by now, you see.)
  • Error: “iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPod <name>.  Go to the Summary tab in iPod preferences and click Restore to restore this iPod to factory settings.”  What the ….. GAH!!!!!

At this stage, I wanted to smash the iPieceofCrap into small pieces.  I calmed down and figured maybe it was my computer.  I mean, it is a bit over a year old so maybe it’s getting senile?  (I don’t mean it, baby, I never should have doubted you.  Daddy loves you!)  Yeah, computers are like … uh, cars.  You have to sweet talk them sometimes.

So I uninstalled every trace of Apple form my system, reinstalled and got the same darned errors.  At this stage I seriously considered calling Apple but, quite reasonably so as they don’t know me from JimBob the redneck, they may have doubted my troubleshooting ability.  so I tried all this on another computer, my main work “bench backup and test” machine.  This is a well kept Vista Ultimate computer and there’s very little to go wrong as far as software conflicts, etc.

I install iTunes on that system, download the iPod update because it says it has to wipe it and then go through the same bunch of errors.  I took a walk, bought some hairspray and ate dinner.  Then, figuring I’d exercise all due diligence before going intot he Apple store tomorrow and raising hell, I decided to try this on my Media Center computer.  Now that’s a new-ish system but it runs good old Windows XP Media Center (2005 Edition).  Theother 2 computers were running 64-bit Windows, one Windows 7 and the other Vista Ultimate.  Apple knows how to handle “high end computers” and 64-bit computing is mainstream now so one would imagine things would be fine on them.

I fully expected to have the same trouble on the Media Center.  Did I?  Nope, it worked fine!  Great, Apple.  You can’t make stuff “Just Work” on a modern operating system but you can on a 6 year old one?  Seriously?

It just goes to show folks, Apple is not all it’s cracked up to be.  They provided all the software responsible for this fiasco, basically it sounds to me as though they can’t write modern 64-bit drivers to save Steve’s turtleneck!

Now to see about making this thing do something useful, like scan barcodes and track me some geocaches!

Image: Found via a Google search. I don’t have an opinion for or against the site it links to; they’re just nice enough to allow use of the image.

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