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New Toy

I finally got my hands on my new iPod this morning, after a series of nail-biting delays. I’d paid for the two-day express shipping when I ordered it, and it shipped on September 12, so I’d expected to have it by the middle of last week, and certainly in time to have slick music portability for this past weekend’s trip to Louisiana.

What I did not take into consideration was, first, that the iPod was shipping from China. That Airborne’s recent merger with DHL had resulted in, not more efficient overseas shipping service, but total discombobulation. That DHL/Airborne would ship the iPod from China, through the Port of Los Angeles, to their distribution center in Fresno, to the local branch in Ontario, and then on to me. And, finally that, upon encountering an shipping address that appeared to be unavailable due to construction, one with clearly posted signs redirecting deliveries, rather than actually redirecting the delivery, or even calling to ask what’s what, Airborne would opt instead to return the package as undeliverable.

In a fit of what I can only describe as “pique,” I sent a very terse e-mail message to the Apple Store’s customer service folks, telling them how displeased I was with the situation, after which I got on the phone with Airborne and attempted to have the package redelivered. Half an hour after sending the e-mail message, I had a response from Apple, telling me not only that they would refund the amount of the two-day shipping charges (which refund appeared on my credit card the same day) but that they had contacted Airborne and gotten a commitment that the iPod would arrive the next day.

Which it did — two hours after I flew out of town. Apple, 1; Airborne, 0.

I’m forced to admit, however, that it was worth waiting for. The packaging itself is worth seeing — to the extent that I really wish I had a digital camera so I could post some pictures of this box, or at least better pictures than the images I found of the 30GB version’s packaging. The basic package is a cube, the outer vertical edges of which are wrapped in a thin cardboard sleeve. Slide off the sleeve, and the cube splits in half; fold the top half over to the left so that it sits beside the bottom half, and each of the interior faces opens to reveal the neatly packed iPod, dock, and other accessories.

Once unpacked, I plugged one end of the FireWire cable into the dock and the other into my Powerbook, and then put the iPod in the dock. iTunes started automatically and brought up a dialogue box in which I was asked to name the iPod, and after clicking OK, the program automatically transferred my music library. No hassles; no settings; just did it.

It took just a minute or so to figure out how to use the iPod as a FireWire disk and how to sync my contacts and calendar to it. It’s certainly no replacement for a PDA (happily, I have another toy for that purpose), but it’s nice to have the extra backup.

Enough gloating. Suffice it to say I’m happy.


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