Damn You, iPod. DAMN. YOU.

Michelle is in the air at the moment, probably rapidly descending into New York by now.  Last night, one of the things that she asked me to help her out with was getting access to the iTunes Music Store and her iPod itself on her computer at home.

She runs the latest version of Ubuntu, at her own request.*  I thought that this should pretty easy anyway, since she has a virtual Windows installation on there for stuff that you, well, y’know, have to have Windows for.**  I would just make sure I could get the USB rokkin on the virtual machine, install iTunes, and she’d be done and done.

That turned out to be a lot more complex than I thought it would be.  I never did manage to get USB working in VirtualBox OSE, but I’ve got it all set in my VMWare Windows machine on the laptop.  I probably spent an hour or more trying to get it fixed on her desktop.  The recent upgrade that I did complicated running the virtual machine itself, so there was a good chunk of that hour wasted right there…

Then when I moved this iTunes-installing-and-using operation over to MY laptop, there was a whole different problem of just being able to get the virtual machine to recognize that the iPod was plugged in.  It was as if Ubuntu didn’t want to completely give it up.  Finally, I managed to get that to happen, too, but I quickly managed to initiate a process of “sync”-ing the iPod, which, apparently, will go ahead and wipe everything off of it.  Which is on one hand, total bullshit, and on the other, awfully disheartening when you’ve been working on getting this damn thing to work for 3 hours.  This is not to mention to fact that the syncing process took FOREVER, given that the USB support, while present in VMWare, is merely of the version 1.1 variety (versus the standard, commonly recognized, vastly superior, HIGH-SPEED USB 2.0).

I do understand, on a basic level, why these frakkin iPods are so locked down and a pain the ass to try to work with.  I dig that you can’t use the Music Store with anything but a Mac or a Windows PC.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t bitch about it.  I thought it was a profound drag that I spent so much time dicking around with this problem that I’ve never had copying mp3s over to an SD card and plugging it into my PDA, for example.

What this did make me decide I should do, though, is come up with an more effective means of using Windows on the desktop machine.  Dual-booting would be one option, but I don’t know if I’m interested in blowing the hard disk space or the partitioning effort on that.  How often do I really need to use Windows?  I think I can count all the occasions in the year on one hand.  I’ve become much more interested in scoping out this Windows-on-a-thumb-drive option.  Not only is it more complex than re-partitioning and installing Windows on the side, I’ve never done it before, so it will require quite a bit more effort.  Right up my alley, where personal computing is concerned.

I think I’ll get started on it now, since it’s relatively early and the Brewers are getting smoked once again

* – Granted, her request was not necessarily for Ubuntu, but when I set up this machine that she has right now and offered to install XP, she said, “Well, I don’t really want Windows…”  Very sexy.

** – Those would be things Netflix, TurboTax, and goddamned iTunes.

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