Just Stick Apple in Some Rice

My wife and I had a bit of a crisis over the weekend. It wasn’t quite as bad as this incident, but it is one of the worst things you can do to an electronic gadget. We ended up putting her precious iPod in the washing machine. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of the iPod and its proprietary infrastructure, so you may wonder why we have an iPod. My wife is a big Apple believer and loves the design of any Apple product, so she is in love with it.

Anyway, I remembered a tip I had heard on a podcast that said you should try putting a device in rice in order to try it out before you try powering it up again. After verifying on the web that it was a good idea, I dried it off and let the rice do its thing.

While it didn’t bring it completely back into perfect working condition, the rice trick did allow it to start up and power on. We are still having some flickering screen problems, but I’ll have to see what magic I can do to try and fix those problems.

Since we’re talking about Apple, I should also mention a very interesting battle going on between iTunes and music publishers. The Times of London has a great article describing the situation. Basically, Apple is threatening to shut down iTunes and the billions of dollars that it produces if a ruling forces them to pay music makers higher fees for each downloaded song.

If you haven’t been following this battle for a long time, the music industry really resents the amount of influence Apple has over the prices of songs. Apple maintains that market is not prepared to accept an increase in cost for downloaded music, since piracy is still rampant and very easy. Apple also says that it is paying out so much money per track that it may end up taking a loss for each track if this rate increase were to go through.

Surprisingly, I tend to agree with Apple on this issue, while I’ve been an advocate of Amazon’s MP3 music store, since they offer higher quality music without copy protection, I acknowledge that most people buy their music with iTunes. Apple is right that people do not value music at more than 99 cents a song. I find it hard to even justify that much most of the time, but I’m not a big music fan.

I hope song prices stay where they are and that the music industry wakes up to the apparent reality that they simply are not as important as they were in previous decades.

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