2 Big Reasons not to put U2 on your iPod

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As you'll see this coming Friday, I like U2. Call my taste in rock'n'roll mediocre, call me a sell-out, or just an old geezer (all are true to some degree), but I've been following the band loyally since their first album 102 years ago.

But I don't like the band as much as I used to, and it has nothing to do with the direction they've gone in. Here's why:

In 2004 I bought my first iPod. For a couple months the thing worked just fine. Then one day I was at the gym, listening to U2's "Walk On" and the thing froze right in the middle of the song.

I tried all the fancy reset instructions in the manual, but alas, the thing wouldn't unfreeze and the battery eventually lost its charge because I couldn't turn it off, either.

I took it to Apple and, after confirming that it was, indeed, stuck on "Walk On" they replaced the iPod on the spot. (Luckily, it was still under warranty.) I was able to walk on out of the store with a brand new iPod, which, after syncing to my Mac back home, was a mirror image of the old one. No harm, no foul.

But cut to this past weekend, three years later, and I'm at the gym once again, this time listening to U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" and ONCE AGAIN the iPod freezes in the middle of the song "“ something it never did before.

Now, you're either thinking all I listen to is U2 or I should stop going to the gym so much. But verily I say unto thee, my 40 GB iPod is nearly full, so even if I had every U2 album on there (and I think I do), that still leaves space for thousands upon thousands of songs.

So, once again I go through all the rebooting steps in the manual and this time it seems like it works, but then suddenly, as it's rebooting, boing! I get a sad-face iPod on the screen basically telling me there's been a meltdown.

So I take it to the Apple iPod Bar near me, just to confirm. And, indeed, the hard drive is kaput (it's the 4th Generation version, pre-flash at this size HD) and the warranty is out-of-date. With no special Apple Care, I can do nothing at this point short of buy another (I'll buy an iPhone this time and kill two birds with one stone because I'm not into my BlackBerry, which is only slightly better than my old Treo.)

3460-u2ipod.jpgThere's a lot of irony nesting here, if you care to look. First, as you might know, U2 has a deal with Apple. Some have even suggested that in shuffle mode, the iPod will even play U2 songs (and other bands) more often than other songs (Apple jiggered the algorithm to favor certain bands, some say). More than that, there was, at one point, a U2 iPod "“ a 4th Generation version, that had all the band mate's signatures etched into the back cover.

So here are my questions:

1. Have any of you had issues with U2 and an iPod?
2. Anyone know if there's a way to save an iPod that's "fried"?
3. Have any of you had to trash an iPod? What happened to yours?

[update! - my dead iPod is now working again, thanks to one very helpful comment from you readers. tune in thursday for your chance to win a special thank-you gift from me to one lucky reader who can correctly identify the cure!]

April 14, 2008 - 11:20pm
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