June 3, 2010

iTunes: unlike

We all do our best not to let the Web eat up our time pointlessly, Blog. I’m not talking about when a person chooses to do something, like play Mafia Wars, that someone else might judge as a waste of time but that individual enjoys. I’m referring to those time-sinks where your first click was hopeful for a fine reward, but in the end you realized you just expended 15 minutes for nothing.

This recently happened to me with iTunes. I saw on Facebook that a friend of mine had gotten a free download of an album of Latin Alternative songs from iTunes (and Kurt, this post is not in any way against you). I thought, “Wow! I love Latin music, there could be some great new group or artist in there!”

(To clarify, by “loving Latin music” I mean I enjoy any music with a Latin beat: salsa, tango, rumba, cha cha, etc. And to me flamenco guitar is basically aural sex (see my old blog post on that.)

Unfortunately, the lure of “Latin Alternative Sampler” was about to lead me into the Swirling Vortex of Infinite Clicking.

I wish I could remember the exact steps of the torture so as to relay them to you accurately. However, eventually it all became a nightmarish blur. It was something like this:

1. Click on link to free music – arrive at free download page
2. Be told you must be a fan – click on “become a fan”
3. Arrive at on iTunes Facebook page – be misled into becoming a fan of the App Store
4. Realize this wasn’t what you meant to do
5. Repeat steps 1-5
6. “Like” the correct Facebook page for iTunes
7. Be directed to new page with link for the free music
8. Click on link and be told you must be a fan to get free music
9. Repeat steps 6-8 several times, each time also being prompted to launch iTunes
10. Find that iTunes is suddenly requesting a password, but won’t accept your password
11. Repeat steps 6-10 several more times
12. Marvel at the fact that eventually this repetition actually launches the song download

At this point my cookies were frosted enough that as soon as the music had downloaded, I “unliked” both the iTunes and the App Store pages. I admit I am a PC and the iPod is my first venture into Apple products, one I would have avoided if there were a better mp3 player available. I like Ipo (the name of my iPod, for you newbies) just fine, but he has his quirks. Most of my anti-Mac feeling comes from the smug Mac commercials to which my response is: “Lower your prices to some level the average human can afford and then we’ll talk about your superiority.”

Okay, back to my little adventure. At this point I was really hoping my lost ten minutes would prove worth it somehow. Sadly, I lost more time listening to the free tracks. There were a couple I liked well enough to give trial time on the iPod (although I’m not confident they will qualify to stay), and the rest were all pretty awful. To me, that is--someone else might love them.

The only good thing about this whole experience is that it gave me fodder for a blog post. I wish I could say that I learned something about wasting time on the Web, but alas, I truly feel I had no warning what an epic fail this foray into iTunes was going to be.

On the brighter side, about twenty minutes after that I was in the basement dancing with my cat Cody to “I Saw Her Standing There” by the Beatles. Thanks to Ipo, who was accompanying my weight-lifting session. (Doesn’t everyone make cat dancing part of their workout, Blog?) Now THAT was fun. Except for the three times Cody bit my chin.

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