Monday, December 15, 2008

A Tale of Two iPods

Once upon a time I had two iPods. One was a Shuffle and one was a Nano. Approximately one week ago, tragedy almost struck both of them.

First, on my way back to my car after church meetings on campus, I noticed my Nano in its protective leather case lying on the parking lot next to my car. It looked as though it had fallen out of my pocket as I left my car earlier that morning, and also looked dangerously in the line that the car next to me would have taken to park after me. I picked it up and amazingly noticed that it looked virtually unharmed, and when I tried playing it in the car, it worked perfectly. I figured the car next to mine must have gone right past it, without actually running over it. It wasn't until several hours later when I was plugging it into the computer to recharge/reload with podcasts and new music that I noticed something odd: The adapter to the computer wouldn't fit into the iPod's slot, even though it had previously clicked into place easily. I realized with a sickening pit in my stomach that it must indeed have been run over, and the slot had been narrowed ever so slightly, making it so that the adapter would not fit...

Second, after going on a run last weekend, I foolishly ran a load of laundry without checking the pockets of my shorts. It wasn't until I loaded up all my darks in the dryer and heard the loud rattling of something not clothes-ish being tumble-dried. I thought perhaps it was just the buttons on my jeans, but instinctually opened up to check, and imagine my horror when I saw my poor Shuffle, headphones and all, tumbling around with my darks!!! I usually don't put it in my pocket after running, but for some reason this day I had. I examined it and noticed that it looked and smelled linen-fresh, but I realized that this poor device had been soaked, soaped, spin-cycled, and now, even tumble-dried. This was especially frustrating, since, you may or may not recall, this is not the first time I've soaked an iPod...

Fortunately, and amazingly, the end to both of these tales is happy.

...After panicking about the grim prospect of using my Nano until the battery slowly died, with no hope of recharge, and after a little bit of working the slot and examining the negligible damage, the adapter suddenly clicked once more into the bottom of it! It takes the slightest bit of coaxing but the hearty little device is otherwise unharmed. So the Nano is so small and thin that it can be run over by a 4-Runner and still be in nearly perfect condition?? Amazing!

...I went about this wetness predicament quite differently this time. I did research again online to discover the best way to handle a possible resurrection of a drowned iPod, and found that this time, my chances were infinitely better for many reasons: 1) The iPod was NOT playing when it was soaked, in fact it was switched to "off," 2) The headphones WERE plugged in this time, rather than leaving a wide open entryway for the water to go into the inner-workings, 3) I did NOT immediately turn it on to see if it would work, but rather waited several days, 4) The Shuffle apparently has no inner moving parts, which leads to less likelihood of it going on the fritz, 5) It had plenty of time to dry, not only in the dryer, but also in front of a desk fan for several days, and 6) It was probably in the pocket of my shorts for the duration of the wash (I don't know if this would actually affect it in any way, but it seems like it might). SO, after several days, as instructed and with the slightest apprehension, but with Julie's moral support and encouragement, I plugged it into its adapter, and a few long seconds later, the little light started blinking and it appeared in iTunes, starting syncing with my running playlist and I was back in business. So the Shuffle is so sturdy and resilient that it can be soaped and squeaky clean from a turn in the washer and eventually work like new (not to mention smelling so nice and clean)?? Incredible!

The moral of these tales is that I'm either cursed or clumsy or irresponsible, or some combination of the three, when it comes to handheld electronics on which I rely far too heavily. I know I have two of them, but they have their unique advantages, and if one were to disappear, it would be quite a weight on the temporal side of my heart.

So, much to my astonishment and pleasure, both iPods are still in working order, both appearing almost as if nothing had ever happened. It's a Christmas miracle!


  1. You are crazy. Stop killing ipods!!

  2. Yeah! Stop killing! I spent a lot of money on the one you just dropped into the pool last time! BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously. You and your gizmos! They will be the death of me!

  3. Once I washed a movie ticket on accident. It's not really the same as washing an iPod..

  4. We managed to wash my husband's graphing calculator once. It did not survive, sadly. :(

  5. oh my crazy, drew! that's like the best unintentional experiment that i've ever heard about ipods... i wish i was lucky enough to have two... wow. oh... and stop being forgetful... this may annoy your future wife one day when she buys you a new cell phone and you keep leaving it places... like the plane in the DC airport. don't worry... we got that back too. miracle again. You're such a silly man.

  6. Why are you surprised? Its an Apple! (NYSE:AAPL)


  7. Lili, that was a total accident and it breaks my heart to this very day!

    Control, I too have washed many movie tickets, and while it is admittedly dramatic, I agree it's not at all the same thing.

    And Ben, if all it took for a product to be indestructible is the fact that it's Apple, kindly explain to me why my previous iPod is now a thing of the past!