My iPod froze while “on shuffle” a few days ago. I tried to do a reset, which only resulted in a computer icon with a pouty face. Sad computer.

After unsuccessfully trying more resets and various methods learned on the web to get the iPod back to working condition, I plugged it into an AC adapter and left it for the night. The following morning, inexplicably, it seemed to be working again. I unplugged it and took it with me to listen to in the car. I had only been listening to a playlist for three minutes when the iPod froze once more.

Something was definitely not right with the iPod. I needed to consult an expert. I left work around noon yesterday and went to the “Genius Bar” at the Apple Store. “Genius” is apparently synonymous with “surly,” as my assigned Einstein seemed irritated by the mere sight of me. She plugged my iPod into some Apple diagnostics then walked away for ten minutes. Maybe she went across the street for a cookie. I get hungry at work–maybe she does, too. When she came back, she delivered the news: “It looks like your hard drive is going. The Apple icon’s not turning over like it should.” I expected that answer, though it was still an unwelcome one. “That means I’m screwed, right?”
“Not necessarily,” she said. “When did you buy it?”
“About 13 months ago.”
“Do you have ‘Apple Care’?”
“Well, it shows that the warranty expired on June 25.”
“That means I have to buy a new iPod?”
“Pretty much. I hate having to tell people that.”
“Do you have to tell people that on a regular basis?”

The guy next to me at the Genius Bar leaned over. “I’m having the same problem, and my iPod’s only seven months old.”
“Yeah, but yours is covered by warranty.” Fucker.

My iPod’s limping to the finish line, and still works in occasional fits and starts. I’m going to treasure our last days together, and let it know how much I loved it. Then I’ll have to let go.

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