These things sent to try me

It’s me. I’m back. Did you miss me (or notice I was gone)? No, I don’t believe in child labor, but when you’re feeling lazy and uncommunicative and you have a precocious, web-savvy nine-year-old begging to be a guest-blogger, well it’s hard to turn that kind of offer down.

Anyway, by the time you’re done reading this one you might be wishing Hyla goes back to posting tomorrow.

Ordinarily, I might not write about this particular bothersome situation, but since I’m writing every day and this issue has been very much on my mind lately, here goes.

I lost my iPod a couple weeks ago. No, not a tragedy in any sense, but a frustration because I like my iPod and it keeps me company on long walks and on trips and in the car when I don’t feel like listening to NPR (nearly the only thing worth listening to on the radio in the Upper Valley). And even more, I felt really dumb for losing it: I should have paid more attention; I didn’t want to spend good money on replacing what was a fairly new “toy” when we have other, more pressing things to spend money on (See also “goat barns”).

So I resigned myself to living without an iPod, at least for awhile. But I have a wonderful, thoughtful husband who could not bear to let me live without an iPod (or maybe he could not bear to hear me whine about my lost iPod, but either way, he did this out of kindness) and who had been trying to convince me for a long while that my old Palm Pilot was woefully, nay, embarrassingly out-of-date and, hey, if I got one of those new iPod Touch thing-a-ma-jigs I could replace both functions with one really cool new gadget. In a low moment, I agreed, and within the hour, he had gone to the local iPod retail outlet and purchased one, spanking new, beautiful, cool iPod Touch.

He brought it home that evening and we all had fun playing with the touch screen interface, figuring out how to hook up to our wireless network and browse the web from the tiny thing. Hyla immediately figured out how to download free applications (read: games); I figured out the calendar and address book functions (these were the things I had used my Palm Pilot for). I got excited and forgot how stupid I was to lose my perfectly lovely iPod.

Which I found the very next day. In my car’s glove compartment (where I swear to you I had looked at least twice already).

If I had felt stupid before, I now felt like a complete moron. A moron with a nifty new toy I was not willing to give up. We reasoned that Hyla was due for a nice video iPod, so she got my old one. That decided, I set to work on the serious business of learning to “sync” the new iPod with my computer’s calendar and address book so that whenever I made a change in one place, it was reflected in the other. I figured out how to export all of my address data from Palm Desktop on my Windows computer to the Mac address book on my Mac. This was not as straightforward as it sounds, and it took some research and I felt a little proud of myself for figuring it out.

All was going pretty well, except for one little thing. I couldn’t figure out how to drag selected songs from iTunes to the new iPod. I could tell it to sync everything up (that is, copy every song on my computer to my iPod), but I didn’t want that. For one thing, we have much more music than my iPod can hold; for another, I don’t want some of that music on my iPod; and, finally, I’d kinda like to have some say about what goes on my iPod. Despite what Apple thinks, iTunes does not rule my life.

I tried dragging and dragging and dragging, but it just wasn’t happening. And so I’ve walked around with a new iPod for almost two weeks and had no music on it.

But guess what I found tonight? The magical check box in iTunes that tells iTunes to let me MANUALLY choose what songs I want to put on MY iPod. And so I selected that check box, and I selected a song and put it on my iPod.

It was a small triumph, but my mood changed in an instant. I went from iTunes victim to iTunes master. Maybe it says something about how little control I feel I have in my life sometimes that this simple victory means so much. Or maybe it means that the interface designers for iTunes should have done a better job making this function clear (or clearly labeled, at least). Or maybe it just means I should take things a little less seriously. It certainly means that I can check that frustration off my “to do” list. After all, I have other minor annoying things to deal with.

Did I mention that I dropped and broke my camera a few days after losing my iPod?

One thought on “These things sent to try me

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