How Frank Zappa killed my Ipod

Yes, it’s true.  Frank Zappa killed my iPod and I’m not sure how but I’m curious if anyone else had encountered this issue.  About a year ago I was presented with the gift of a 30GB iPod and for the most part it has worked rather well; I believe I have about 4,000 songs.  Some of the music was uploaded bydisc and others legally purchased through iTunes. 

About 6 month’s ago one of my colleagues gave me 25+ cd’s of Zappa and like a kid on Christmas I was just so excited; for an audiophile like me it was like winning the lottery!  I spent neary 3 hours ripping each CD into my iTunes catalog and seeing my personal Zappa catalog grow and grow, and grow.  The albums played fine on the iTunes player and I thought I was all set.

After a day or so I decided to take my newly aquired Zappa collection and upload them into my iPod, I just couldn’t wait to be able to play these anywhere and anytime of my choosing.  As I watched the first 200 songs upload I reflected on just how cool technology had become and how great it was to own an iPod, gone were the days of scratched cd’s and broken jewel cases, or so I thought.

At about song 250, my computer screen politely pops a dialogue box (I’m not sure why they call it a “dialogue” since it pretty much seems like the beginning and end of any “conversation” you wish to have with your computer) notifying me that I have encountered a problem “error code – 69”.  What’s an error code 69?  I hadn’t ever encountered any error codes 1 – 68 in the years I’ve owned it, so why this error and why now?  The Apple website offered no help, naturally that is where I figured I would find the definition of the error, nope.  So, the next natural step was Google, and I was surprised to find that others had encountered this issue as well (not specfically with Zappa, but with other songs they had ripped).  It both made me feel better and also worse, after I read that there was no solution other than deleting each problem song one by one until likes what’s left in your catalog, what?  Rebooting your Ipod doesn’t work and also updating the latest of version of iTunes is worthless as well, so after trying all of those things my natural deduction was to delete the entire Zappa catalog (a painful thought in so many ways!), but believe it or not, it worked. 

One of my friends asked me “so, why didn’t you just take it to the Apple Store?  I’m sure they would hook you up”, no, they don’t.  Actually the dude at the “genius bar” put it to his ear and said “yeah, dude, looks like it’s got a problem…don’t know what to tell you, but if you would like to trade it in, well give you 15% off of another“, yeah, that’s just what I want to do buy another $300 Ipod when this one works just fine.= Great customer service, oh, an it was 2 weeks past the 1-year warranty and they would not honor fixing it or giving me a replacement, nice.

So, after deleting the entire Zappa catalog I had literally spent hours ripping I’ve decided to go with Windows Media Player and have chosen not to get an iTouch for my next phone.  Media Player actaully liked every Zappa album I uploaded (and actually identified each song and album cover too!).  I’m not sure if Ryko Disc (the company that Zappa agreed to re-release his entire catalog) has a glitch with their code or what, but the saying that “Zappa was very protective of his music” seems to apply to my iPod as well, just weird.  I just ripped Lamb of God’s “Ashes of the Wake” to my iTunes and it worked fine, so it must be a disc issue with Ryko.

I’m curious to hear readers thoughts about issues they have had with their iPods and if anyone has encountered issues with Media Player as well.  Can anyone recommend a good MP3 player that works with Media Player?

2 Responses to “How Frank Zappa killed my Ipod”

  1. 1 Nipco
    September 4, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    A sign o’ the times.

    A device that rejects the music of FZ, but has no issue playing whatever other slime you can put in (in terms of Lady Gaga, Jason Mraz, etc.) is a striking, telling sign…

    as for GENIUS, that application should be nothing else but a folder containing nothing else but Zappa’s music from A to Z, with endless royalties coming to the Z Family.

    However, FZ is supposed to be played on a more deserving device than a iPod.


  2. 2 jacobull
    September 6, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    I could not agree with you more!

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