My love/hate relationship with the iPod Nano

My inconsistent running BFF

My running frenemy

On Christmas 2011, B bought me an iPod Nano – not a romantic gift, but a very sentimental one since he saw how I ooh’ed and aah’ed over the radio and run tracker features and knew that was the perfect gift for me.  Plus, it was pink!

So I created playlists galore, stocked up my iPod, and became acquainted with my new running BFF.  I learned that the fitness feature wasn’t very accurate (though I’m sure it would be had I bought the accompanying Nike+ pod thing for your shoes), but that you can set a given amount of time like 2 hours, and the lady-voice will tell you how long you’ve ran in 10 minutes or so increments.  I loved the feature of the radio, since if you like a song, the iPod will let you know the title and artist.  I didn’t like the jiggle feature which would automatically skip to the next song since I would run with it, but learned that it could be turned off and I could just use the face or sleep/wake button to skip to the next song.  It was all sorts of all good until one overcast April morning, when I decided I didn’t want to listen to a song, I tried to fast forward with the sleep/wake button, and it became stuck.  In complete denial and mild panic, I tried to fiddle with it to see if I could “pop” it out, but it was all pretty fruitless.

Fairly annoyed since I didn’t have complete autonomy of when I can fast forward (control freak much?), I went to the nearest Apple store and made a beeline to the Genius bar.  Apple employees always seem to have a hipster, mellow feel to them, and the guy that helped me was no exception.  He explained that since it was under a 1 year warranty, that I could either have it shipped off to get it repaired (because B had engraved sweet nothings in the back of the clip), or I could get a replacement one.  Not wanting to be without an iPod and since I had already given my previous iPod Shuffle to my cousin, I went ahead with an instant replacement.

So, I populated this iPod with my favorite playlists (I’ve since learned to create playlists in iTunes rather than straight to my iPod), and for a year, this became my new BFF, accompanying me at the Big Sur Marathon, America’s Finest Half, and numerous runs, hikes, and weights sessions.  This was all well and good until this past weekend, when I was out on a run and the sleep/wake button became stuck again.  And not only was it stuck, but it was on a repeat loop.  And not only was it on repeat loop, but on repeat of Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Membrane.”  Rather than continuing my run on one big musical acid trip, I decided to turn it off by unplugging my earphone, shorten my run, and make a beeline to the Apple Store again.

This time, the warranty ran out, so my option was to either 1) buy a replacement for $60 (actually it was $75, but the guy misquoted the price) or 2) get 10% off the new iPod nano.  Originally, I thought about getting the iPod Shuffle again, since it’s simple, straight forward, and didn’t have this mechanical problem.  However, since it’s limited to 2G and it costs $44, getting a replacement nano with 16G at $60 that included the radio and fitness feature seemed the better deal.  I wasn’t considering the new iPod nano, since 10% off $150 was just too high of a price point (plus it doesn’t have a clip feature from what I could see, which I like on the nano and shuffle).

So, I went ahead and just bought a $60 replacement (which I’m going to cheat and just put in my May “fun” money category), but I’m still bothered by it.  One, the original cost B $130-150, so to have two of them break down in less than 1.5 years just seems unreasonable.  Two, I’m so wishy-washy that perhaps I should have just gone with the more reliable and simplistic Shuffle, and not the “pretty” but unreliable Nano.  And three, the $60 replacement only has a 90 day warranty, when I think it should be for a year since it should be essentially new (though I’m pretty sure replacement ones are refurbished), and I think the sleep/wake button is pretty faulty since I’m not the only one to voice this matter.

B, God bless his calming and diplomatic soul (I’ve seriously seen this guy mad 3 times in the two years I’ve been with him), said to not trip when I was going batsh!t mad over it, reasoning that it’s the nature of electronics, and that in terms of cost per use it was a great deal since I work out almost every day, and for 1-2 hours a day if not more.  I’m still a bit mad over it, because I still think phones and gadgets should last at least 2-3 years, especially with a company as popular as Apple.  But perhaps that’s just not reasonable since that’s how they keep their business running, and I do admit that iPods are pretty bad arse so I don’t see myself straying from it.  So I suppose I just have to suck it up.  What do you think, or anyone else had experiences like this?


25 thoughts on “My love/hate relationship with the iPod Nano

  1. Well, if it makes your feel better, a toaster we got as our wedding present decided to not work recently. Even though we had it for 2 years, we used it only around 10 times. How hard is it to make a decent toaster? I don’t use it much, but I do want the thing to work when I actually use it. Like B said, at least you used it every day for the past 1.5 years, around 547 days.

    • Wow, only 10 times?? That blows – you might be able to still sell in on Craigslist since people are always looking for parts? At the end of the day, I agree that I made good use out of it.

  2. I don’t really have a constructive comment here, just wanted to say that I LOL’d at “Insane in the membrane” on continous loop. Sounds like something they would do to torture prisoners (and I like that song). 🙂

  3. Ha, I am going to have that freakin’ song in my head all day, now! 🙂

    Electronics are the one thing that makes me see red, honestly! When they don’t work, I get soooooo angry. Electronics should work and when they do not, I can’t think straight and get super mad!!

    • This is exactly what I felt when it got stuck for the second time (and first time, too)… I saw red, but then I’m so darn codependent on it that I went back for more. Hopefully it will last longer than a year!

  4. I can’t stand it when my electronics start to eff up and I’m on your team where I just lose it. Technology is the worst. (too bad im addicted to it)

    • This is actually the only Apple product I own, but I guess since they’re so popular I’m surprised that it broke so quickly. Maybe future generation ones down the line won’t have this mechanical problem!

  5. Apple stuff is usually pretty good, so I’m sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Every Apple product I own going back to my 2002, 2nd generation iPod is still in working order. My iPhone even survived a brief swim in the toilet (Ummm, don’t ask).

    Freakin’ Big Sur is awesome. Keep on talking about your state and I’m going make a beeline for Yosemite and the ocean!

    • LOL at the iPhone kerfuffle…. I won’t ask, but the imagination just made up 20+ scenarios of what happened! The 6th generation one is the only malfunction I had, to be honest – I had the first generation iPod nano and a shuffle and they worked fine, but from what I’ve read on the interwebs I wasn’t the only one with this problem. I don’t know if you’ve seen my Big Sur report, but I put in some cool pics from the race since I went slow/injured – it was beautiful and I definitely want to visit again!:

  6. This happened to me as well – the ONLY BUTTON ON THE WHOLE DEVICE got stuck and the Apple store replaced it for me. Seriously Apple, there is only one button, at least get it to work right! Thankfully though this Nano was given to me by a friend – I would not pay for a new one or a replacement if the button stops working again.

    • I know, and you need that button to “wake” up and interact with the face to replay or skip a song. I reasoned in my pea brain head that at least the first (and second) were “free” and that ultimately I’m just paying $60, but yeah, I sometimes wonder if I should have bought it in the first place. Running’s just not motivating enough having to listen to my gasping for air, though, hahah… I guess we’ll see what happens this time around!

  7. My Ipod’s battery is dead and I’m too cheap to buy a new one right now! ugh, I hate when technology doesn’t work properly either. It’s like, it’s supposed to make your life easier, not harder! Glad that B can help calm you down, I’m the same way!

    • Haha, yeah, he’s pretty good about calming me down when my feathers get ruffled. 🙂 And ahem, I’m incredibly nosy and want to know the deets about your job! Or how NY went! 🙂

  8. My first ipod was a work horse. I remember being so mad that I bought it right before they went to color screens. I used it for at least 6 years and it was still going strong when bf bought me a new one for xmas a couple years back. I think the newer ones aren’t made as well (but just based on experiences, not actual knowledge of the product). I’m completely ignorant about tech stuff.

    • I had the first one, too! I ended up selling it so someone else could enjoy it when I “upgraded” to a new generation – it served me well for years, I agree that the newer stuff might not be made as nicely. I just hope this one lasts longer!

  9. That’s interesting, I’ve only had good experiences with Apple stuff. I had a shuffle for a while and it rocked. Eventually I realized that I was too lazy to download more songs because I always just use Pandora from my phone, so I sold it. But I’ve never run into a single Apple issue, so that’s interesting.

    • To be fair, I do agree that my first iPod Nano and Shuffle were awesome and I didn’t have issues with them, so maybe it’s just the 6th generation. I was thinking this morning that the first iPod Nano had a sliding feature for the on/off button whereas the 6th generation has a button feature, so maybe they’ll go back to the sliding feature. I love Pandora!!

  10. Hey a girl has GOT to have her music running and being on repeat with Insane in the Membrane is not going to cut it…although it’s a very funny image to think about. I use my iPhone with arm strap which i like, but I’ve had weird issues come up with the phone that usually a restart will take care of, but it’s so frustrating when you’re in the middle of a run and you just want shit to work. I thrown a mental tantrum like veruca salt. But I want it “fixed” nooooowwwwwww! 🙂 Anyway, can totally understand your frustration!

    • Haha, I do admit I was pretty amused like “of COURSE it would have to be this song that repeats.” 🙂 I have the same mental tantrum as you, except it was probably a little physical too with the frustration on my face! I know out of anyone, you’d understand – music is helpful especially on longer runs!

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