iPod Death and Rebirth

sadipodEarlier this week, after arriving in San Diego for a tradeshow, I was struck with the real horror that my 60 GB iPod Photo had died. It had frozen up, and when I manually reset it, I was greeted with a “Sad iPod” icon, and a URL instructing me to visit Apple’s iPod support site. No manner of clicking or key combos would change the fate. Charging the iPod didn’t make a difference, nor did connecting it to my laptop in a futile attempt to load its contents.

I was sure I had lost it for good. (See: Today, My iPod Left to a Higher Place) One friend of mine even said I should just take it in to the Apple Store and get $35 from Apple to recycle my dead iPod.

Another guy, laughing, said “Did you slam it on a table? That worked for me.” Right. That’s like checking out a used car by kicking the tires. Yet, yesterday, after I had convinced myself I was ready to upgrade to an 80 GB iPod Video, I tried something just like that. I dropped the iPod.

When I dropped it, the screen flickered to life and went into Diagnostic Mode. A few clicks later, and I had my iPod back to life as if nothing had ever happened. Despite six days of assured fatality, it had come back. I hurriedly connected to my PowerBook to back up any data I didn’t have. While on first connect it said the iPod was potentially corrupt, I unplugged and connected again, and we were back in business. Not because I went to the Genius Bar or ran any kind of software utility, but because I had given it a vertical free-fall.

Relaying my success, I called one unnamed Apple Store Employee, who said, “Of course. Banging it on the table works with the 3rd gen and 4th gen iPods, but not the 5th.” Needless to say, I didn’t see anything about dropping my iPod on Apple’s Support pages, but it did work. Now, I’ll continue backing up my data ever more frequently, but I’ve emotionally moved on past my current iPod. After all, it tried to leave me.