Video iPod Problems

I consider myself a very pro-Mac kind of guy. I love my desk top and lap top, they are great machines. I really like GarageBand, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes. When I began my podcast, I wanted to make it one of the nifty image enhanced podcasts so I could share images, band photos and so on with my archived music. It’s like a non-stop Mac celebration here at SuperFan Studios.

Since it’s Christmas time Mrs Malone wanted to get me one of them there Video iPods so I could take my podcasts and videos with me. Where I’d be taking them, we were unsure, but none the less, she was convinced this was the obvious gift to get me this season since I’ve started this podcast. I said, sure, sounds like fun, lets visit the online Mac Store and check it out.

Now let me start this story with the fact that I am a grumpy old man, and am a stickler for the customer experience when shopping or purchasing expensive gear. That’s what brought me to using Mac computers in the first place. They allow me to do all the multi-media stuff I enjoy – right out of the box. Gotta love that.

I also know that the iPod is one of the only successful money makers Mac has had over the past few years. It’s become a big trendy thing to own, and I wanted to support Mac and get one too. I’ve just been waiting for the Video iPod, and now that it’s here, I was excited.

I have to say I hated the on line experience, and it made me mad trying to read all the details on what accessories I needed. Nothing seems to be sold with the iPod. Even the recharger requires purchasing the cable AND the part that plugs into the wall separately. What the hell is that? Now I know I can charge the iPod via USB as long as I drag my laptop computer with me everywhere I go, but if I want to charge it via the wall – I have to purchase a cable AND the wall plug. They are like $19.99 – $30.00 each. But then I realized I’d have to purchase a Dock to make it work. So there’s another $30 or $40 bucks for the Dock. Or maybe I don’t need the dock…geez who knows at this rate?

Now, as a customer I’m completely confused, and have “Buyer Stress”. I don’t know what I really need. All I know is that it’s NOT INCLUDED regardless. I did not want to make the purchase because I was not sure what I really needed. I also imagined a big tangled mess of wires and crap, when all I wanted was a small compact device I could enjoy. I imagined myself battling wires and cables, and getting all stressed out. Plus the cool thing with the iPod is that it’s small. What good is it if I have to carry my laptop or a bunch of stuff (dock, cable, wall plug) just to recharge it. Well let me tell you, it’s not good.

I asked Mrs Malone, is there like some $500-$600 package that just includes it all? I don’t want to drop several hundred dollars and then be held up because I still need some cable or thing. There is nothing worse than having a way cool gadget, and cannot start using it because some stupid wire is sold separately.

Sadly enough there was no All In One package for a customer like me. Like I said to Mrs Malone, I don’t care if I have a cable or two I don’t need, I just don’t want to get the thing, and have to wait another 3 weeks shipping just to enjoy my device that was supposed to be a simple fun thing.

The online Mac Store is very bold in the way that they allow customers to post opinions where they sell all their gear. I was amazed at how many people were as frustrated as I was at having to spend so much time figuring out what accessories they would need to enjoy their iPod.

I have to say I define the word “accessory” as something that is optional, NOT something that is mandatory. The fact that several people wrote that they were angry that the iPod did not come with the cable so that they can sync their iTunes music to their iPod is ludicrous. The fact that one has to separately purchase the wall adaptor in order to charge the iPod away from a computer is just silly. How can Mac afford to frustrate so many customers is beyond me. It’s as if the iPod is a one time use disposable unit the way it’s sold now. Maybe Bic should put out a disposable unit to compete??? Who wants to recharge their unit anyway? Just throw it away and buy a new one!

How many loving parents have bought an iPod for their kids, only to find out Christmas morning, that they needed a $20 cable just to load music from their computer? So sad. To shell out so much cash, only to disappoint the ones you tried so hard to please. I can understand that selling everything separately is a way to make more money, but that’s the best way to make someone that loves Mac, turn away and run, or worse, turn around and blog.

Plus if they are so interested in making money, where is the top of the line Video iPod that comes in a box with every damn accessory ever needed? We would have bought that one, regardless of price. If I have to spend over an hour reading a site, and am still not sure if I’m getting everything I need, how many others out there like me are NOT purchasing an iPod this season?