Monday, January 14, 2008

Finicky Little Bugger...

Here are the details to the war the MP3 player and I had this weekend. But first, a little background:

Hubby and I bought ourselves MP3 players during this year's (well, last year's now) annual day after Thanksgiving shopping binge. They came with a free 30-day trial to Best Buy's digital music library, but I haven't had time to sit down/sign up/peruse music downloads what with finals/holidays/etc. So this weekend I found myself waiting for Hubby to get out of the shower so I could clean our bathroom, and thought that since I had 20 minutes or so to kill, it would be a perfect time to install the software quick and download a few tunes.

I grab the disk and insert it (Best Buy makes you install a specific software to download music from its digital library). It begins like any software installation. I tell it I accept its licensing agreement, I tell it that I do not want its icon on my desktop, and then I tell it what type of files I want to be able to download. So far, so good. But then it tells me that it needs to check for updates, which it does...and then it asks me what type of files I want to download. "Wait," I thought. "I just did that." But maybe it just didn't "take," so I do it again. It says it needs to restart, so I tell it to go ahead. It shuts down our computer, doesn't seem to be able to restart our computer. The computer goes black, with one lone blinking cursor staring back at me. "Uh-oh." I think. I wait for the computer to wake back up. It does not. I manually shut down the computer, and hold my breath hoping that it will restart and the black screen I saw a few minutes ago was just a fluke. This time it starts up just fine. I go to launch the software so that I can start downloading music. I open it, and it asks me to accept its licensing agreement.

I don't understand why it's making me repeat steps in the installation process. It's starting to make me a little crabby. But maybe something went wrong in the installation process, so I take a deep breath to calm down, uninstall the software, reinstall it, and try it again. I tell it I accept its licensing agreement, I tell it that I do not want its icon on my desktop, and then I tell it what type of files I want to be able to download. It tells me that it needs to check for updates, but this time it says that no updates are needed, and asks if it can restart our computer. This time it actually does manage to shut it down and restart it properly. "Success!" I think. I launch the software, asks me to accept its licensing agreement??? What is going on here?

I decide to go to Best Buy's Web site to see if they have a help section. I find the page for their digital music library, sign up for an account, and see that you can download the software directly from their site. I decide on a whim to try this method of installation to see if it works any better before having to resort to tech assistance. I uninstall the software I just reinstalled, and then go back to Best Buy's site and download it. I tell it I accept its licensing agreement, I tell it that I do not want its icon on my desktop, and then I tell it what type of files I want to be able to download. It tells me that it needs to check for updates, says that no updates are needed, and asks if it can restart our computer. It shuts down/restarts fine, I go to launch it...and it launches!!! Hallelujah! Maybe there was something wrong with our CD? I sign into the account, and begin perusing their music library for tunes. Hubby is out of the shower by now, and I should really stop goofing off and do something productive, but I figure I won't be too much longer.

I make my selections, download them into the "my library" section that Best Buy has created for me, and then transfer them to the MP3 player. The MP3 player tells me that the transfer was not able to be successfully completed, because Best Buy's digital music library could not verify the MP3's certificate of authenticity. Huh? I notice a link for a help menu in the error message. I click on the link. It provides a list of seven possible solutions as to why this error might have occurred. I begin to try them all, in order of easiest to hardest. I make sure the date/time on my computer matches that on my MP3 player. It does. The next easiest solution is to shut everything down and start it back up again. I turn off the MP3 player, unplug it from the computer, exit out of the digital library and reboot the computer. Then I launch the digital library, plug the MP3 player back in, turn it on, and try the transfer again.

"Certificate of authenticity could not be verified."


I rack my brain to try and figure out why this isn't working. It shouldn't be that difficult. What can it be? Hubby sees my frustration, and suggests that since I have been downloading the music into the "my library" section, but not directly to our hard drive, maybe this is what's preventing the transfer. That makes sense, so I redownload all of the music I have selected directly onto our hard drive instead of my library, and try to transfer it directly from there to the MP3 player.

"Certificate of authenticity could not be verified."

ARGH!!! I decide that maybe I can trick the system. I exit out of the digital library, shut down the software, retrieve the music files from our hard drive, then open the MP3 player through our hard drive, and once again try to transfer the files.

"Certificate of authenticity could not be verified."

No, no, no, no, no, NO NO!! All the "easy" solutions have been eliminated. Now I either have to figure out if the MP3 player is formatted correctly, or if it really IS compatible with the software Best Buy said it was. Yippee. I have no idea how to format an MP3 player. I read the help section again, hoping that within it will be contained the directions for how to do just this.

"Please contact your product manufacturer to ensure device is formatted properly."

I make a mental note to inform the Webmaster of Best Buy that its "help" section has been improperly named, if I am ever afforded the opportunity. Instead of "help," it should have been called "thwart." I go to the Web site of the product manufacturer. It makes you enter in the product information before directing you to its FAQ. I enter in the requested information. There is nothing in this list that discusses how to format the device. I do a search. The search yields the same "FAQ" I just read.

I go back to the help section of the digital library, hoping to find something there. I peruse the help section, and find nothing. It has now been two hours since I sat down for my quick, 20 minute time-killing music downloading session, but I decide that I am not giving up without successfully downloading some music. This is somewhat problematic for a minute or two, as I realize that even though I'm not giving up, I don't know what else to do.

I look for a "contact us" button on the product manufacturer's Web site. All it gives you is an e-mail address. I don't want an e-mail address. I want an answer. I go back to Best Buy's site, and visit its "contact us" section. There is a number. It says it is currently staffed. I call, on the off chance that someone on the other end of the line might know how to format my MP3 player.

"Hello, und tank yu fo callink Bes Buy. Mih naem isz (and I have no idea what his name was). How caon I bee of assistunss?"

Thank you, George W....

I explain to the guy on the other end of the line, which apparently is located in India, in my best, clearest, slowest-without-being-too-rude, annunciated English, what the problem is. I tell him what I have already done to try and rectify the problem, and that I am out of ideas.

"So maom, eef I unterstant yu correktlee, yu are havink deeficultees transsfurink muuzik to yor eempeetree playir?"

I answer in the affirmative.

"Maom, I neet yu tu go tu de settinks menoo on yor eempeetree playir, and heet rezet. Caon yu du dat fo mee?"

I think about what would happen if I told him no, but decide against it. I go to find the "settings" menu on the devil-spawned MP3 player I have somehow come into possession of, except...I can't find it. I hit the button that takes you to the main menu, and there is nothing there that says settings. I hit the arrow buttons, but still no settings menu.

"Maom, haav yu heet de rezet buttan yet?"

I tell the guy that I'm having trouble finding it. He keeps telling me to go to the settings menu. I finally tell him there doesn't appear to be a settings menu.

"Maom, I tink yu are cunfuzd."

I tell him, that indeed, I am very confused, and, just as I am doing that, I find the settings menu! Oh, you hit thhaaaaat arrow. Oh, wow, look at all these menu options! I hit reset, and the guy on the other end of the line tells me to try the transfer again. I plug the MP3 player back in. The computer won't read it. I unplug it, shut the MP3 player off, plug it back in and turn it back on. That did the trick.

"Maom, wut iz happeneenk?"

I explain that it is taking a little longer than I anticipated, but that I am trying the transfer again. Then I tell him what the computer just told me, yet again.

"Certificate of authenticity could not be verified."

The MP3 player has just earned the number one spot on my boo list.

"Dat iz ok, maom. Now I want yu tu trie tu formaht yor eempeetree playir. Go tu de formaht menoo und heet ok."

I go to the format menu and hit okay. says it's formatted! Wait. That's it? That's IT??? I sat here for three hours trying to figure out how to do something that took literally three seconds??? Must. Control. Self.

Sure enough, that's all it needed, and you will be happy to know that I now have actual music on my MP3 player (although I never did get to those bathrooms, as those of you who read my
previous post know.)


1 comment:

Laura said...

Good Grief Charlie Brown!!
I'm so worn out and frustrated reading this post! I'll second that "oi-vay!"