Wednesday, 20 August 2008

In Search Of Perfection

You might remember that a few weeks ago my MP3 player was broken in a Chinese poison related incident a few weeks ago. According to the blatantly 'in India' call centre guy I spoke to the price to fix a broken screen is "at least $400". Given that the thing only costs $430 in the shops that was hardly an option, so I set off on a search for a new player that fit the only two requirements I have,

* Is at least 60gb

Easy? Well, you'd think so wouldn't you. And to answer your first question, which was pretty much the same thing that the guy in JB asked me ("Just how much stuff do you have?"), the answer is "heaps". The second obvious question "what's wrong with the Ipod" should be blatantly obvious to anyone who has ever attempted to use one.

So, somehow on the strength of a few half read reviews I ended up bidding on a used Toshiba Gigabeat on Ebay. Got it for $120 (including postage), sat back thinking how smart I was to pick somebody off for it in the last few seconds, and waited for a new era of music technology. Then I got a message from the seller saying that their "kid" had "messed" with it and now it "didn't work" unless it was attached to the mains power. Obviously they just weren't happy with the price they got for it and came up with some bullshit story to cover the fact that they want to relist it later. I could have called their bluff, but presumably if I'd done that they would have put it under running water for two hours before posting it to me (still wet) and laughing maniacally when I complained. So I took the refund and went back into the market for another one - the next auction to finish was going for $85 but without any of the leads, chargers etc.. All that shit was on sale from dodgy bastards in Hong Kong so I decided to pull the same last minute sniper job that I had on the first one. Two days of waiting later I get into the last minute of the auction (up to $99), lose my mind spectacuarly and somehow end up paying $180 for it.

All good. Arrives today, pre-loaded with the previous owner's amusing awful collection (The Best Beer Songs and Australian country? FORMAT!) and the USB/power connections from the Creative player worked. Everything's looking good! So, I go looking for the actual software I need to transfer files, and suddenly we've got the first signs that something's going wrong. You can't get it anywhere other than where somebody has uploaded it to one of those pissweak file sharing sites that people usually put pr0n and Slipknot albums on. Anyway, as long as it works eh? But it doesn't. Maybe it's just me, I'll Google up and find out if there are any other people having the same problem. And there were heaps. Apparently it's a software disaster. Thrillsville. There's a different kind of software that you can put on it which is, apparently, infinately better but guess what? Their website is porked and nobody else ever thought to mirror the downloads.

So, after a couple of fruitless attempts at putting something on it (post formatting to get rid of the stench of local country) I just rebooted my computer and tried to open the program. Nothing happened, and then ten minutes later while I was doing something completely different (not involving the aforementioned pr0n) the program suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I transferred a few tracks over, all of which got given the same album cover against my will, and it crashed never to be seen again. Until I rebooted, tried again and once more had it suddenly appear ten minutes later when I'd forgotten I even wanted it.

Finally having got some stuff onto it, with most of it displaying a sign about Domestic Refuse that it had somehow picked off my computer and assigned to each track, I started to play around with it and it's really not doing much for me. If the transferring of files was quick and painless I could probably put up with it for a year or so, but the prospect of trying to get 150+ CD's and god knows how many thousands of tracks from hard drive onto it when the software is as stable as an Italian government terrifies me. That's got nervous breakdown written all over it.

If I had half a brain I'd relist the Gigaslop on Ebay, palm it off to some other sucker, cut my (presumably considerable) losses and go back to the only player that ever really made me happy. It would be like going to back to a decidedly average childhood sweetheart after realising that anything good looking will turn out to be shallow, useless and heart breaking.

You know how depressed I am by this whole thing? I even looked at an iPod earlier. That's like having a relationship that destroys you so much that you turn gay just to see if it feels any better. Sure, I might have 'experimented' before, but it was vastly unpleasant and I don't think I could subject myself to it again. I also once owned an iPod and didn't enjoy that either. Fnar.

So, any links to players that fit the magic criteria would be much appreciated. Please note - any suggestion that no sane person actually required 60gb (plus!) of storage space will not be taken seriously. If you're going to have one Toto song, have them all that's what I say.

UPDATE - I could have had this for $300. The fuck is wrong with me?

UPDATE 2 - Yeah, I bought the Zune and the slopfest is back on Ebay. If I get half of what I paid for it back I'll be happy. After this glowing review I'm sure you'll all be searching for it. Would make a great Father's Day gift - if you hate your dad.

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