I popped into the Apple Store on Regent Street last week, my ailing iPod cradled in my arms. The worst thing is, it doesn't know how ill it is, so its little screen looks perfectly normal, like someone walking away from a carcrash waving and smiling at people while the back of their head gapes open to the world.
The chap at the Genius Bar said he might be able to restore it, and asked if I minded him wiping the hard drive, so I nodded, and he wiped it, and said 'no, it's fecked'. I could have a new hard drive installed for a hundred and sixy quid, or, he said, I could try ukipodrepairs who could do the same job for fifty quid.
Except I've just asked them, and they can't. They can do it for a hundred and fifty quid. There have been some some good articles on the perils of ipoddery of late, and further persual of these has revealed that my make of ipod (the 40G) has even been withdrawn, it went wrong so very often.
For a hundred and fifty quid, I may as well buy a new one, except I can't afford it, so I won't. My love affair with Apple isn't entirely over (OS X is a beautiful, reliable system, and I'm sticking with it), but like many people expounding the simple beauty of the ipod when it all began, I now feel like a complete arse. I'm also still waiting for my Powerbook to be repaired, as it has, hilariously, my copy of Final Draft stuck in the drive, and I've had to restore the software on my ibook (which, if you remember, also went kaput), leaving me without the one tool I could reasonable be said to need to do my job. Yes I can use Word, but it's a pain in the hole to write scripts with. I could probably get the repair people to prise the CD out with a dinnerknife and post it to me, but there are way too many variables in that equation. Phone calls get misunderstood, things go missing in the post, postmen get eaten by tigers. Although my local postie lives four doors down from my mum, so at least we'd find out about that one fairly quickly.
When I get some actual money though (my agent gave me an advance on a sketch show I'm writing for, which as PP pointed out, sounds like something from the fifties: embarrassed agent in office scratching out a cheque for humble impoverished writer who promptly runs to The Gay Hussar and spends it on peacock and champagne. Or my case, Marks and Spencer, blue brie and bournville (no 'e' there, quite right) chocolate), I do need some kind of MP3 player, as five-hour journeys to London are pretty unbearable without Mark Kermode's film reviews or In Our Time. Or Stephin Merrit's back catalogue.
I suppose I could just get another ipod, but sticker it with every warranty going. Still, if any uses a good iTunes compatible player, feel free to recommend it below...
UPDATE: Well, Apple might be rubbish, but John Lewis are great.
The Powerbook is dead, so they're giving me a new one, along with the hard drive from the old one just on the off chance I can get anything out of it. I was going to get it couriered down, but there's stuff to sign for (and I want to make sure I get the memory card and Final Draft CD out of the old one), so I'm going to make a trip to Bristol instead. Ah well, it's a day out I suppose.
Lesson from this: If you're foolish enough to buy Apple products, get them from places that guarantee them for two years, as John Lewis do. Now to find somewhere that might be able to pull the stuff out of the old hard drive...