I imagine I’m not the only one holding on to an old, balky iPod while waiting to see how Apple refreshes the iPod line ahead of the holiday season.
I’ve already made my hopes for the 6G iPod clear: iPhone - phone + HDD + white finish, something that Daring Fireball considers more or less a slam dunk, even though the rumor mill points to a minimum-effort touch-up (or does it?)
But until such a device debuts in the hotcool, sparkling dark glare of the Reality Distortion Field, we’re going to have to make do with what we’ve got.
And in my case, that means a 10GB, 2G iPod. One with a hard drive so long in the tooth, it sometimes makes a rattling buzz about as loud as a power drill. One which declares itself completely screwed and in need of a reset every few months. One which doesn’t work at high altitudes or in airplanes — it displayed the “warning folder” icon throughout a four-day conference in Crested Butte, CO, then worked again when I continued on to the lower altitudes of the SF Bay Area for some O’Reilly meetings.
It’s basically wedged. So what do you do with an iPod like this, when the Next Big Thing is probably just one Apple Event away?
One option is the various send-out iPod repair services. Google for
ipod repair and you’ll get a number of these companies, including (in no particular order):
They generally work the same way: they’ll cover shipping for you to send your iPod to them, and they’ll get back to you via e-mail with a repair quote, at which point you can approve the service and pay by credit card, or punt and have them grovel your iPod for parts and give the rest of it a decent Viking funeral.
I opted to send my iPod to one of these services (not saying which one… things are not yet resolved) in early July, and considering that I don’t have a working iPod back yet, you can imagine this story doesn’t end well. It sat awaiting testing for a week, then they gave me a $120 estimate to replace the hard drive (throwing in a new battery for free), which I approved. The iPod came back a few days later via UPS… and had exactly the same problem it shipped out with. So, I sent it back, and it has been sitting for more than a week, awaiting a new evaluation.
At this point, I’m obviously having second thoughts about my decision to send it out for repair. I’m out $120 (actually, $130, since I had to pay out-of-pocket the second time I shipped it to them) and have been iPod-less for over a month. For just $150, I could have bought a brand new nano to tide me over until the Next Big Thing iPod comes out. Or forget the NBT and jump from 2G to 5G for $250, picking up new functionality I’ve never had on the 2G, like video, enhanced podcast support, games, three times more storage, notes, photos, compatibility with iScrobbler, better form factor, etc.
So, readers, what do you think? Have you had good experiences with third-party iPod repair services, or is the iPod better thought of as a commodity device that should just be thrown away when it starts to fail or its feature-set falls too far behind the curve?