Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I should say first that I am a gal who dislikes the directions that come with anything. I will look at them if I am putting together a bookshelf or something and I don't want to put it together backwards, but I generally read just enough of the instructions so that I can fill in the blanks myself.

And, second, I should point out that I am in fact not a tech geek (not that there's anything wrong with that), so anyone who is and is reading this will have to excuse me as I stumble along in my discussion of the technology in my life.

Anyway, my impatience with instructions may contribute to my frustration with my new iRiver. But I doubt it.

I bought a iRiver IFP-795 last summer (512MB, or something like that). I didn't want to buy an iPod for several reasons. First, iPods are an annoying shape - the iRiver is much, much smaller and not a big, flat rectangle. And the older generation of iPods didn't have rechargeable batteries, whereas the iRiver runs on an AA or AAA. Also, the iRiver is non-proprietary, which means that I am not wedded to iTunes or to Apple for anything. And I can easily listen to files from iTunes (after converting them, which is a simple process) on my iRiver. However, the IFP-795 requires iRiver software in order to download anything onto it. Not a big deal - the software is free and somewhat simple to use, once you get the hang of it.

So, I liked my iRiver so much that I just bought a new, 1G one - the iRiver T30 - which is even smaller than the other one (yay!).

Now, I realize that iRiver is getting out of the MP3 player business and that this must affect their customer service. However - if the early generations of an MP3 player require a specialized music manager...wouldn't you think that the later generations would at least be compatible with that music manager, so that you could easily transfer your music onto the new player?

No. That would be too easy.

My new T30 only uses Windows Media Player. Now, almost all of my music is already on there, so that in itself is not a huge problem. What IS a huge problem is that I seem unable to download playlists without the playlists being taken apart in the process and reorganized by artist. That's fine, if what I want to do is listen to cds by different artists. If, however, what I want is a methodically ordered mix to listen to while I work out, then I am fucked.

I am fucked.

I like to think that I'm a smart person. I managed to get through a Ph.D. program (some would argue that that is no indication of intelligence). I know how to use a computer even if I'm not a tech geek. I can usually figure things out for myself.

I have tried eight times to sync these music files to the T30. I've looked in WMP "help" and I've read the directions many, many times.

I am now considering praying to whichever saint is the saint of computers (anyone?).

If you know how to do this so that the playlists remain playlists - you know, in a directory hierarchy - and don't get reordered by artist - for my "convenience" - please advise. But I have a feeling this is just one of those stupid things that happened when they were designing the thing. What must that conversation have sounded like?

"Hey, don't forget to fix it so that they can download playlists."
"Nah, it's lunchtime. Let's not bother."

I mean, seriously. What is the point? Would the thing have had to be bigger to recognize playlists?

Much, much later:
OK, I don't know how or why, but it at least downloaded my songs in the order I wanted. But no directory.

No comments: