Thursday, December 14, 2006

Toasted Nano

My mp3 player, a 1gb Zen Nano, died last week. No warning; I plugged it in to transfer files and the display told me that it had a File System Error. Half a dozen e-mails back and forth with Creative's tech support later, it's toast -- unrecoverable, and out of warranty. I'm debating what to do now; possibly get a memory card larger than my current 256 for my Axim PPC and listen to music on it, possibly get another mp3 player, possibly use my old CD discman that plays mp3's in the meantime. For now I'm not spending money on anything, partially because I'm cheap, partially because our pre-Christmas ban on buying stuff for ourselves is in effect.

As a side effect of having no portable audio player, I'm discovering again that radio sucks. X103, Indy's rock station, has a bad repertoire; this morning, immediately following the station blurb that says, "Indy's best new rock first," they played "Heart-Shaped Box" from Nirvana (1993), "Dragula" from Rob Zombie (1998), and "Vasoline" from Stone Temple Pilots (1994). Good songs, sure, but it'd be nice if the "new rock" station played more music from this century. And it's probably the best staion in town. Flipping channels in the car over the past two weeks I've heard bits of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" five times and Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" four times. I don't actively hate "Werewolves" (and it contains Laura's favorite musical alliteration: "A little old lady got mutilated late last night"), but it's a sign of how limited Indy's airwaves are for variety and music choice. It'd be nice to hear more music I don't already know all the words to....

Also, I've gotta mention that Creative's tech support -- based in Singapore, I believe -- isn't great. There are real advantages to having your tech support speak English as a native language, even if it will cost you some cash. Not only that, they don't actually think. When you call them, like most tech support these days, all you get is the spoken-word version of the MS troubleshooter interface. I e-mailed them a detailed description of the problem, including the fact that my computer wouldn't recognize the player when I plugged it in. And they e-mailed back that I should connect it to the computer and try to access the files. I cut-and-pasted text from my original e-mail pointing out that the computer didn't recognize the player and sent it back. They sent me back another e-mail suggesting I try formatting the player from the computer. I once more reminded them that my computer didn't know when the player was connected, and it finally clicked with them.

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