Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Apple praise (but more new gripes).

I have one piece of praise for Apple... but a few MORE gripes about my MacBook Pro (and one HUGE one about Apple in general).

First for the praise. I brought my MacBook Pro with the non-functional power adapter into the Apple Store for my "Genius" appointment on Friday night and I was in and out in less than 10 minutes with a brand new power adapter. The "Genius" I got wasn't one of the two I've seen in the past... but he plugged in the adapter, connected it to his MacBook Pro, said "Hmmm... that's not right... How old is your computer?" and went and got another one off the shelf after I said it's about 1 month old. I plugged my computer into his power cord and it fired right up so I don't think anything was wrong on the laptop side of the not charging issue. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I was in and out. (Although they really couldn't argue that the adapter wasn't working... and it wasn't abused... the laptop has never left our apartment except for in it's original box for it's two previous (return/exchange attempt) trips to the Apple Store.)

Anyway, moving on to the new gripes, first I'll give you all some background: I was ripping a bunch of CD's into iTunes last night for my girlfriend's brother who just purchased a new iPod Classic but doesn't have a computer capable enough to house his iTunes collection. The plan was originally to use my old iBook G4 which is now my girlfriend's computer. I took all of her music off and copied it to a spare hard drive in an external USB case. (Hard drive space on the ol' iBook was a limiting factor.) We then started to import CD's. We were then planning on syncing the iPod, backing up his music library to another external hard drive and then putting her iTunes back together.

When I realized (last night) that she'd never have it done by the time he left to head back to Washington (today) I chipped in on my MacBook Pro. I created a new account so I didn't mess up my iTunes library and started ripping when the new gripes started happening. We'll get to those in a minute, though. The rest of the plan was that I'd rip until we were done, copy the stuff I ripped to a data DVD and then import them into the iBook's iTunes and sync the iPod on that as planned. I'd then delete the account on my computer that I created to do this task with all of the music and back up all of the music from the iBook to an external hard drive (again, as previously planned) just in case we ever needed to resync his iPod again.

Here's what I noticed:

1) If I tip the computer even SLIGHTLY off level while a CD is spinning it sounds like the CD is rubbing on something inside the drive and sometimes it doesn't stop even if I level the computer back out. A couple times I had to stop the import, eject the CD and then put it back in and start again. (For the sake of comparison, the iBook did not do this, I tipped it at a 45 degree angle and it didn't make any unusual noises. I miss my iBook... well I did until we get to number 4.)

2) While importing certain CDs in iTunes, iTunes was freezing while the CD spins up and down endlessly and wouldn't respond to attempts to stop the import or eject the CD. I had to Force Quit iTunes probably a dozen times last night on 2 CD's that I remember specifically. The first time it happened the last track wouldn't import at all after a few attempts. I ended up trying just that track in my old iBook G4 and it worked fine. The second one, after trying a few times, I noticed that it was scratched pretty badly which is probably the reason for all of the drama. I understand that CD's get damaged and I don't expect the computer (or any CD player) to read them properly, the issue I have here is that there was no error message, there was nothing to indicate that something was wrong other than the fact that the CD drive was spinning up and down, up and down but no progress was being made with the import. After waiting unsuccessfully for anything to happen I ended up having to Force Quit iTunes multiple times before the application actually quit and I could eject the CD which was just spinning up and down, up and down. I've VERY RARELY had to Force Quit applications on my two previous Apple computers.

3) A few times when I put a CD in it would get spit back out immediately and wouldn't stay in until I took it completely out, pushed the eject button (which made a noise like it was ejecting a CD even though nothing was in the drive) and then tried again. Sometimes this happened more than once with the same CD... I gave up on one and then went back to it later and it worked.

4) After all of the iTunes importing was finally done (around 2:30 - 3:00 AM this morning, since he was leaving to head back to WA today while I'm at work) I burned all of the mp3's that I ripped on my MacBook Pro to a DVD and moved the songs to my girlfriend's laptop as planned. To refresh, my girlfriend's laptop is my old iBook G4. My old iBook is still running Panther (10.3.x) because I never felt the need to upgrade to Tiger (10.4.x) which I have on my PowerMac G4 or Leopard (10.5.x) which is on my MacBook Pro. Around 3:00 AM my girlfriend plugged in the brand new iPod Classic and we were met with an error message that the new iPod wouldn't work with anything before some version of Tiger (10.4.x). Seriously, what reason is there to not allow a brand new ~$250 iPod to work with an operating system that is only a few years old? I know that Tiger and Leopard are good... I use them both... but my iBook ran great with Panther.

So sometime after 3:00 AM this morning I plugged in an external drive, copied all of the iTunes library off of the iBook, created yet another account on my MacBook Pro, copied the music from the external hard drive onto the MacBook Pro, realized that the music my girlfriend tried to import to her iTunes from the DVD I burned wasn't in the iTunes library, logged out of the third account and back into the second, shared the music folder, logged back into the third account and imported the music from the second account to the third. I then deleted the second account after making sure all of the music was in the newest iTunes Library on the third account and then finally somewhere around 4:00 AM I finished syncing the new iPod.

How user friendly was that ordeal, Apple? If I was a typical person with one slightly older iBook and no other computer in the household and I bought a ~$250 iPod and couldn't get it to work with my computer how do you think I would have reacted?

Do you think I would have run right back out to the Apple Store for a copy of Leopard? (Wait, it's 3AM the Apple Store is closed.) Would I have hit up the online store to purchase Leopard? (Wait, I won't get it for a couple days and then I still have to install a new operating system before I can get my new iPod to work.) Then what if I DID decide to upgrade to Leopard and purchased a copy but my iBook had a sub 867MHz G4 processor and the Leopard update didn't work? Do you think I would have run right back out to upgrade my fully functional computer (aside from not being able to sync a new iPod) to a new computer (A new APPLE computer?) after JUST buying an iPod and a useless copy of Leopard? (Mine was a 1GHZ model, so I would have been OK a few days later after I shelled out some more money for Leopard... but... come on!) What reason is there that the iPod wouldn't work with Panther?

I know if I didn't have other computers in the apartment I probably would have been PISSED! (As it is I'm not too happy even though I was able to solve everything that came up...)


Jennnnnnnnna said...

I hate computers. This is exactly why.

Don't the Ipod boxes have the specifications of what OS you need?
I thought they (and whatever else people buy for their computers) usually say "for windows 95 or better/higher" or in this case Tiger 10.whatever or higher?

If apple is already moved on two cats from Panther I'd think it probably wouldn't work with what I had.
I hope it at least works with whatever her brother has at home.

Jennnnnnnnna said...

Can I edit comments on this website?

I just wanted to add that even on the website

Mac | PC

* • USB 2.0 port
* • Mac OS X v10.4.9
or later
* • iTunes 7.6
or later
* • Internet connection
Broadband recommended; fees may apply.

So even if someone buys one on line they can check if their computer is man enough to handle the newer ipods. Technology is a bitch.