As a copywriter and creative type in general, I’m a big fan of the Apple brand and its many polished products. But it hasn’t always been easy to be a member of the Apple faithful. In fact, my loyalty has been tested by two elements: fire and water.
Apple Flambé: What Happened to Compatibility?
About three years ago, my office decided to convert our web copywriting company into a full-fledged Apple operation, complete with MacBook Pros, doc stations, Airport wireless, servers — the whole bit. We made the switch from PC in the hopes of better reliability and to get more in sync with our web designer clients. At the same time, I decided to go ‘all Apple’ at home. Everything was going great until I decided to charge my iPod Shuffle via my new MacBook Pro.
“Daddy, maybe Apple and Apple things shouldn’t go together,” observed my young daughter after watching the iPod Shuffle disintegrate into a bubbling mass of flaming plastic 10 minutes after plugging it in.
Luckily, we were present when the iPod decided to iCombust and were able to quickly extinguish the flames. We tried not to think about what might have happened had the Shuffle decided to meltdown the night before, positioned on the dresser next to photos, brochures and other kindling. (And, fortunately, it wasn’t in anyone’s pocket — check out Hot Pants, another crazy scenario.)
The MacBook Pro seemed completely un-phased by the event (kudos to its aluminum casing), but we hesitated to plug in any other components without having a fire extinguisher handy.
This experience didn’t seem to support Apple’s core values of good design and compatibility.
iPod Shuffle Goes for a Swim
Fast-forward three years. Returning home from the gym, I stuck my current iPod Shuffle in my pocket so I wouldn’t forget to charge it. I got home, tossed my clothes in the wash, started the ‘standard’ 59-minute warm/cold water cycle, and headed to the kitchen to blend a protein shake.
A couple hours later, I realized my iPod was missing. I looked in my gym bag, my car, my home office — and then it hit me. Sure enough, I found the music player in the wash with my freshly cleaned track pants.
I sighed, removed the earphones, placed the player on my desk, and let it sit for a few hours. That night, I tried to turn it on. No light, no response. I tentatively plugged it in its dock to charge. The power light came on. I waited a few more minutes, plugged in the earphones and violà — Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks came through loud and clear.
Today, thanks to the wash cycle, my faith in Apple has been restored. I wouldn’t recommend dumping your Apple devices in the laundry, but by all means plug them into your laptop (maybe keep an eye out, just in case). Long live Apple.
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I wonder if the Zune would have survived the wet ride! In all seriousness, that’s pretty impressive. Maybe Apple could start promoting the iPod as waterproof. :P
Nasty meltdown!! Thanks for sharing the story and photos!