Out of Rainbows

>> Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In my office. Slow afternoon. Listening to the iPod while I work.

After the Radiohead show the other week, I re-ripped my physical media Radiohead albums to a higher bitrate (OK Computer has generally sounded like shit on MP3; it sounds vastly better now at a VBR), and put all of them on my iPod--along with the MP3 copy of In Rainbows residing with the Windows machine.

I think I alluded, in a previous post, to the fact that I hadn't listened to Rainbows all that much in part because it routinely caused my iPod to crash. I decided to give the album another chance, and a cursory test of the files in Winamp even suggested they'd decided to work.

Turns out I was wrong.

Fucked-up thing number one: In Rainbows persistently and repeatedly causes my iPod to reset itself. No other album appears to do this. It hits a track from that one album, and switches itself off and on again. Consistently.

Fucked-up thing number two: I have two copies of In Rainbows, downloaded seperately from Radiohead's website, and both copies suffer this glitch. I originally purchased (and downloaded) the album using the Linux machine, and originally copied the files to iPod with Amarok. When the problem showed up, I used the Windows machine (and my access code from the purchase) to download the album again, this time copying the files from Winamp. When that failed to solve the problem, I deleted the files from the iPod for many months before trying this latest copy from the Windows machine a second time. If there's file corruption, it's on two completely seperated and unconnected hard drives, one an 80-gig laptop drive and the other a 500-gig backup USB drive connected to the Windows machine. The logical inferrence would be that the corruption originates with the source, the Radiohead website, no?

And yet--fucked-up thing the third--I can't find anyone else via Google with this specific problem. There's a similar general problem cited with podcasts and the EQ menu, but neither fix applies to my iPod (I don't use podcast folders and my EQ is and has always been off).

The solution appears to be: delete In Rainbows from my iPod and only listen to it (when I listen to it) at home. This is less than satisfactory, since it sort of relegates that one album to a kind of digital ghetto (there are a helluva lot of other things to listen to on that hard drive).

The bigger issue--if you want to elevate it to that--is that it's frustrating to have a problem which doesn't seem to have a solution. (And yes, I did try to search the Apple forums--they kept crashing, too--if I was the superstitious sort, I'd blame ghosts or Satan or something.)

If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. If you somehow stumbled here from Google after having the same problem I've had--Apple, iPod, resets, nano, certain songs, Radiohead, In Rainbows (did that help the Google 'bots any?)--I don't have a solution, but no, you're not crazy. At least not insofar as your iPod is concerned.

POSTSCRIPT: Fucked-up thing the fourth: I hit "publish post" and immediately got a Blogspot error code. Happily, the post wasn't lost, it had saved (in its entirety) at some point prior to the error.

It's those kinds of fucked-up coincidences that cause people to think there was a second gunman.


Michelle K Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 4:27:00 PM EDT  

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they all aren't out to get you.

Michelle K Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 9:08:00 PM EDT  

"Is he asleep?"

"Hell yes, can't you hear him snoring?"

"Is that snoring? I thought maybe there was a dog growling somewhere."

"Oh you're hilarious, aren't you? Where's everyone else anyway."

"They're coming. Be patient. It takes awhile to get from one side of the house to the other when you don't have any legs, y'know."

"At least you're portable. I'm trapped here, no matter what. I jump off this table, all hell breaks loose."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't care... Hey! Here they are!"

"Shhh! Quit yelling before you wake someone up!"

"What you think he can actually hear in this register anymore? Get really. HE'S ASLEEP! HE'S OVER THIRTY! HE CAN'T HEAR A THING I'M SAYING!"

"Shit! The bed's creaking! You woke him up you idiot! They'll never have enough time to get back!"

"He's just rolling over. See? All quiet."

"Humph. Well still. Keep your voice down."

"Everyone here? Good. So let's review. We're totally fucking with him with the whole music thing. He can't figure out what's going on. Good job there iPod! Now remember, next time it comes up, let it play through all the way once, and then delete the whole thing entirely. That should screw him up royally."

"Got it. Anything else you want me to do?"

"No, otherwise he'll think you're malfunctioning. Gotta make sure it's completely random. Any other suggestions?"

"Well, there's the refrigerator idea I mentioned to you..."

"And I still think that's nuts. No way. Any other ideas?"

"Well, I've been randomly causing programs like Blogger to crash. He's getting really antsy about it--whining in his blog and everything."

"Hey! There's an idea! Wouldn't it really mess with him if we started commenting on his blog?"

"Ooh! Yeah! But will we tell him who we are?"

"No! No way! We just let drop random things we've noticed about him, things that no one else should know. See how fast that makes him think he's losing it!"

"Excellent idea!"

"And now, it's getting early, so I suggest we all get back to our proper places. It looks like he has an early day. And remember, put yourself back just a few inches off from where he put you last night. Just to keep him on his toes."

Eric Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 10:30:00 PM EDT  


Number one, note to self, note to self: rubber bands on the iPod. Rubber bands. That'll show the little fucker who's boss. Oh yeah. Rubber band it to something else, something big, but not the fridge. Not the fridge. Not the fridge.

The fridge is in on it. Or might be. Can't trust the fridge. Not 'til we've tested its loyalties out. Fire. Fire might do it. Or administer an oath.

What am I going to do about this computer? It probably can't see me with the lid down. Probably. Keep it away from the electric shaver. That could be a bad scene, yes. And probably the oven and the garage door opener, too. And definitely the gas fireplace. I thought maybe I should get it checked, problems with it at the end of winter but now I can't rule out the possibility--no, the probability--that it's waiting for its opportunity, its moment to strike. Not working now, but when I lean in, whoomp and there I go in a ball of flame....

Well to hell with you, then, I'm not falling for it.

I think this chair is okay, but I'm not sure. Was that a wobble? Yes, no?

Calm down. Breathe. Don't let them know you know.

* * * * *

[Michelle, thank you so much for a much-needed laugh!]

[And let me add that two of my favorite short stories of all time are de Maupassant's "Who Knows?" and a little piece by M.R. James, "The Malice Of Inanimate Objects" (what a beautiful title!) that is a small thing that made a huge impression when I first read it as a young boy. Furniture and appliances only act like they're our friends... but really....]

Michelle K Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 8:22:00 AM EDT  

I'm constantly attacked by inanimate objects, so this comes as no surprise to me.

It's gotten to the point that my husband will often say, "I saw that wall leap out and attack you."

Evil things they are, inanimate objects.

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