If Moore’s Law is something that can be proved to be correct every six months by new CPU designs and speeds, then Randy’s Law of Technology can also be proved to be correct randomly throughout the years. What’s Randy’s Law of Technology? Steve, of FurryGoat.com fame, first identified it: If there is a new or relatively successfully technological product on the market, and Randy should opt to buy it, Randy will be fucked by said purchase, within two months. No lie. It’s on going. The iPod is just the most recent, and some how more painful, proof of the Law.
I don’t blame Apple – they were very sympathetic when I called them with my problem, but as I didn’t order from them, they surely can’t help. I can’t blame PCConnection, who I ordered the iPod from, because their only “sin” was having the iPod in stock and kick-ass shipping department that doesn’t screw up their orders. I could blame Steve Jobs, for successfully keeping his secret new iPod line a real secret from the public; the rest of the Industry doesn’t do this well. Nokia – those bastards – will announce a phone about nine months before they make it available. I should blame the majority of MP3 player manufacturer for sucking so badly, which in turn makes the iPod look so damned good. I won’t blame myself because I still have a great MP3 player; the problem is that there’s now one better.
I paid $499 for the 10GB iPod. I then went on a case hunt, since there wasn’t one included. I found a new rubber sleeve for my new iPod at CompUSA ($30) and a FireWire port cover (Yahoo! Shopping @ $15) as well as the PC based syncing software XPlay (direct from MediaFour @ $29.) Also, throw in the FireWire 4-pin to 6-pin cables (I needed two)at about $50 total. Not too bad – I wanted the iPod that badly. Well! Apple announced, released and made available an entirely new family of iPods just yesterday. There’s now 6 models; 3 different sizes and a Mac and Windows version of each. The hardware storage sizes are 5GB, 10GB, and 20GB; the software is iTune3 for Macs and some other partnership for Windows – in this instance, I still would have bought XPlay. XPlay does the job extremely well; this partner program is something akin to a “jukebox” that tries to do stuff for you… never a good thing. Anyway, the 10GB model is the one I instantly focused on – it’s not just a new packaging deal… there’s more things involved. They include a leather holster case now. They also integrated a FireWire cover. They also added new headphones, a remote control for the iPod itself, and new firmware. According to the site, the new software handles Calendar and Note items, in addition to the Contacts. Contacts are supported for the PC (with some help from Outlook) but the other two items require a Mac – just a matter of time before that changes though! Here’s the kicker. This new faboo 10GB iPod is $399. So not only is it $100 off my retail price but about another $100 that I could have saved in accessories (bought or could buy to get this new case and remote separately) that I’ve spent.
As far as the screwing goes, it’s just monetary – usually a real technological rogering would have included something new hardware-wise… like a new feature that integrates GPS into the iPod so it will vibrate when it nears a Starbucks or something… I must admit that three business days for the shafting was a new speedy record. Usually it takes at least a week. The fact is the iPod still kicks ass. The fact that Apple updating the the product line makes everything better for you if you don’t have one yet! The 5GB model is down to $299; Windows software is included meaning that Apple will support it for PCs. I still recommend the extra $29 for XPlay but that’s now an added option.