Tag: iPod

RANT! Be careful buying iPod Touch from BestBuy

RANT! Be careful buying iPod Touch from BestBuy

My 3 teenagers have all purchased the iPod Touch from BestBuy.  Actually, the youngest one just received his as a birthday gift and that is what is prompting this rant.

There are a variety of gadget sites that talk about the deals available at BestBuy (see here and here). The forums are split as to buying the warranty (here and here) but Apple doesn’t have a great track record on iPods and the BestBuy warranty has replaced 3 separate iPods for my family over the years so we think it is a good deal.

So when my youngest son wanted a new iPod Touch to replace his nano, it was natural for us to go to BestBuy. He was ecstatic when he opened the gift and it was plugged into the family computer within minutes.  Imagine his disappointment when his brand new Touch had pre-2.0 software on it and iTunes wanted him to upgrade for only $9.95!  This OS upgrade was announced almost a year ago.

I wouldn’t have been too upset except for four issues:

  1. this same thing happened when my daughter bought her iPod Touch 9 months ago and we had to fight BestBuy for a resolution
  2. if we had bought the unit from Apple, it would have had the latest software (according to the Apple customer support person when we dealt with this issue on my daughter’s iPod)
  3. because of the experience with my daughter’s iPod, we had asked the BestBuy sales person upon purchase if it had the latest OS and was assured that it did (I am not sure why I trust a young man that still is suffering from teenage acne though)
  4. the rude treatment that I received on the BestBuy support call

I have already written to BestBuy complaining about their support call as well as their shady service.  But they don’t get off that easy.  I am also going to complain here.

I have no quibbles about the software not being up to date for a product that is shrinkwrapped and unopened.  I fully understand that BestBuy is buying their Apple products by the truckload (or container load) and that some of these may sit on the shelf past an upgrade.  However, they should be clearly marked as having the old OS and there should be an automatic coupon printed at the time of purchase to allow the consumer to upgrade the unit. The unsuspecting consumer should not be penalized for BestBuy getting a great deal from Apple because they bought a million iPods at once.

I almost wonder if this is a plan by Apple and BestBuy to lure some unsuspecting consumers to pay for the upgrade to the new OS even though they are legally entitled to that upgrade for free.

So what was the resolution?  The same as it was for my daughter’s iPod.  I called BestBuy, complained, and told them we would be returning the unit if they didn’t make this right.  After a bit of grief that was inexcusable for customer service rep, they promised to send me a $10 BestBuy card to cover the out of pocket cost for the upgrade.


Lesson learned for any readers out there: check the OS on your iPod Touch that was recently purchased from BestBuy. If you need to upgrade to a current OS then call BestBuy for a gift card to cover the cost.  Don’t pay for the upgrade yourself!

, , , , ,

RANT! Left Right and Center is named incorrectly

RANT! Left Right and Center is named incorrectly

I regularly listen to KCRW’s “Left, Right and Center” on my iPod. While I enjoy the intelligent discussion I think they should rename the program to “Left, Very Left, Ultra Left, and Pretty Far Right”. The show now has a blog so I think it is fair to chastise them a little and condemn them for not being as open as they claim that they are – if they disagree they can say so on their blog.

Tony Blankley does an excellent job of holding down the right. His opinions are typically well thought out and his intellect does a decent job in offsetting the radical left. My biggest complaint is that he always seems to have predicted everything and wrote about it months ago and it is amazing that us mortals have only just now got to where he has been for a long time. It appears that, in his opinion, if we were just smart enough to read his column every week we wouldn’t have any problems in the world.

Arianna Huffington is on so infrequently it is a joke. She used to be on the right when Bill Clinton was the President but now that we have George W. Bush, she has decided to be on the left. She does fine representing the left when she bothers to participate but she is out promoting her books or getting interviewed by the rich and famous so much that she is rarely there. When she is there it seems like she is sending emails on her Blackberry when someone else is talking.  She supposedly represents the “progressive blogosphere” (whatever that means) but this doesn’t make sense since Bob heads up TruthDig.com so they really don’t need both Arianna and Bob.

Robert Scheer is so ultra left that he is embarrassing and just saying he is on the left is insulting most of his true positions – they are farther left than just left. I assume the only reason he is on the show is that he is old, can’t find someone else to employ him and he needs the money. To him all of the ills of the world were caused by the Iraq war, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove. He will go to great lengths to find some obscure way to link every bad thing to one, both or all three of them. He is so out of touch with mainstream America that he even supported Dennis Kucinich for President!  Bob lives up to his left title though in insisting that all taxes are good and all money should be taken from everybody and given back to those that the government thinks should deserve it.

Matt Miller is supposed to be the center and he is the moderator.  Occasionally, he is out doing something else and then we get to hear a real center as the fill in is almost almost always a true centrist.  How does someone that worked for President Clinton and is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress call himself a centrist?  He is not as far left as Bob and Arianna so I guess that gives the producers the freedom to call him center.  He must be right of the producers!

All of them do a very good job of promoting their books.  I don’t have a big problem with that but it is obvious that they see this show as a way to sell more titles.

As much as I deride their non-balanced viewpoints, the show is actually quite good.  The three of them (when Arianna shows up) try desperately to outwit Tony and, for the most part, fail miserably.  They bring up weak ideas and Tony points out that they don’t have all of the facts.  Tony usually does the show from Washington DC and I have this feeling that he is laughing at them when he is off microphone.


I am done with this topic for now but I reserve the right to rant more on it someday.

Did you know that you can have these articles emailed to you? Click on the Email link in the upper right corner Subscribe section, fill out the details, and you are set. No one will see your email address and you won’t get more spam by doing this.

Technorati Tags: ,,
RANT! Music formats should get along – 2 of 2

RANT! Music formats should get along – 2 of 2

So why don’t iPods support WMA and similarly, why don’t other devices support AAC (Apple’s format)?

The why is simple. WMA is the format that many companies (e.g. Yahoo) use in their stores to sell music. WMA is developed by Microsoft and it is a competitor. Is it a better sounding format? For the most part, no it is not – the formats are essentially tied in audio capability for the average listener and the average audio speakers.

So it is a competitive issue. Apple makes the best device on the market with something like 90% market share. They don’t like Microsoft, so they don’t play nice to Microsoft. It definitely is not a revenue issue for selling songs on iTunes since at 99 cents per song, Apple isn’t making a lot of money on the songs. They do make a bunch of money for every iPod that is sold though.

They can still have iTunes be the pre-eminent way of managing your audio and video collection by supporting WMA. I even bet there is code within Cupertino somewhere that has iTunes playing WMA.

Hey Apple: Allow WMA on your iPods!! This doesn’t make any business sense! And while you are at it, allow other companies to license AAC to play on their devices – once again this will promote your iTunes product and store.

I am done with this topic for now but I reserve the right to rant more on it someday.

RANT! Music formats should get along – 1 of 2

RANT! Music formats should get along – 1 of 2

I will dedicate my first rant to one of my least favorite things to deal with and try to circumvent: music formats.

I spend a lot of time listening to audio. I drive a great deal in my car so I regularly hook up my iPod to my car stereo to listen to music, audible books, and podcasts. I have owned a lot of different portable music devices over the years and the iPod is by far the best designed. At its basic level, it supports AAC, MP3 and WAV format. It doesn’t, however, support WMA. Why?

Why can’t all portable audio devices play all formats? Why can’t my iPod play WMA? Why can’t my daughter’s Creative Zen play AAC?

This makes no sense.

More on this topic later…