Saturday, April 10, 2010

iPod Frustration

I'm beginning to detect a pattern here.

Day I Don't Remember How Long since I've been able to download any new apps onto my iPod Touch, or -- here's today's new wrinkle -- even sign into my iTunes account without getting a "network timeout" error.

Apple, in its correspondence with me, seems to think it's an I-D ten D error, which, if you use numerals rather than "ten" comes out like this: ID10T. In other words, something on my end is wrong.

I'm gathering some strong evidence now that convinces me otherwise.

The latest Apple e-mail says I need to check my firewalls, random settings, and to verify, through some mysterious process, that my network connection is working. I already know it's working since I can blog to rant about Apple, watch YouTube videos, check my e-mail, babble on Twitter, et cetera, without any trouble whatsoever. The problem arises when:

1) I foolishly try to download a new app onto my iPod Touch. Then I get the message saying the terms and conditions have changes, please read them here to accept. I click. the iPod churns, and a few minutes later, a whole lotta nothing.

2) I foolishly try to log into my iTunes account, for which I get the famous "network timeout" error.

So I ran iTunes' own network diagnostic software, and it tells me that Seti Alpha Five checks out. I was also, on my iPod Touch, able to download a free podcast from the BBC. That would imply that my network connection is not at fault. I also perused some of the forums that Apple recommended I visit to see if others could point me in the right direction. What I found was a frustrated group of people who are experiencing similar errors and have, by trial and error, found ways around it that only worked temporarily or only worked for some people, not all. So Apple basically referred me to a group of people who are also frustrated with Apple and the cookie-cutter responses they're getting from people trying to fix the problem. That's like telling a teabagger to calm down by sending them to a states' rights convention. (I hope no one is offended by that metaphor.)

I've restored my iPod Touch four times, I've reinstalled the correct version of iTunes, and I've tried all sorts of rejiggers with my firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs, to no avail. The problem persists.

And I'll probably get another I-D ten D response from Apple. I realize the app I'm trying to download -- a new, free SpongeBob Square Pants game -- isn't the most cerebral thing in the world, but I'd still like to get it. And I'd like to know I've got a product I can use, not one that I look at with loathing because the feature that lets me try new and interesting things on it is the only damned thing that's broken.

I swear, if cars operated like computers and software do, we'd have mechanics who want us to wiggle the windshield wipers when the damned things won't start.

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