The parade of bad electronic news continues. First my television set broke down in January. Then my computer had all kinds of problems, which forced me to try reinstalling Windows, which made things even worse for the most part. Then my MP3 player seems to have gotten fried when I tried to recharge it. My pocket digital camera also needs to be replaced as it’s been acting really screwy for quite some time.
So, first the good news. The new TV set seems to be working fine. The new computer that I’m writing on now also seems to be in good shape. Now the bad news.
I bought a new stereo/surround sound receiver with HDMI connections to go with the new TV. I thought the new unit was working fine, until I noticed that I was hearing static coming out of the right surround speaker. I know that the problem is with the receiver, because when I wired the right surround speaker to left surround output and the left surround speaker to the right surround output, the static sound followed with the right surround output to the left surround speaker. That pretty much proves that the output on the receiver – not the speaker – is the problem, meaning that I’ll have to take the thing in for service. Wonderful.
Then there’s my new iPod Touch. For one thing, I already got a small scratch on the screen. It probably happened when I put it in a little bag with the earphones that came with it. Luckily the scratch is on the end and not in the middle, and probably won’t be too noticeable to someone who doesn’t know about it. (If I meet any of you, dear readers, and I show you photos on my iPod, please forget that you read this.)
Still, that’s not really what I want about regarding the iPod. The thing does play okay, I must admit, and for a long time, too. I had it running off its internal battery for about six hours when I was printing photos last weekend and it seemed to use only about ten percent of the battery power, if I can trust the little battery icon on it.
That would make it good for listening to in the car when on long trips. (It would even be good for shorter trips, as I wouldn’t have to decide which CDs to bring along with me.) I actually got that idea from my friend Dave Levingston, who was playing his iPod in his truck the whole time we rode from Ohio to Chicago and back. I just had to get the required attachments to have it play through the car’s stereo system.
I planned to first use it Monday of last week, when I had to pick up some passengers and then make the long drive to my cousin in New Jersey for the holiday dinner (and then drive back, of course). A perfect opportunity to listen to a variety of music for several hours without having to change CDs, I thought.
As not to have to rely on iPod’s internal battery, I got another power cable with the adapter to plug it into the car’s cigarette lighter. When I got down to my car, I plugged it in and the iPod powered up. Excellent. Next was to plug in the audio adapter that I had bought, which connects the iPod to the car stereo via the cassette player.

I put the thing into the cassette drive and the music from the iPod started playing. Excellent – for about thirty seconds. Then the music stopped – and started – and stopped – and started – and stopped…. Eventually, the cassette player ejected the adapter. I tried it again several times, pressed the ‘Tape’ button, but the same thing happened every time. Great! Yet another electronic device that doesn’t work.
I had no time to go back up to get some CDs to play, but fortunately I had left in the car a couple of CDs I’d put together containing the Beatles first four albums plus their singles from the early days. At least I had something to listen to for the long drive.
Before returning the defective adapter, I decided to go to my car after work a few days later to try it again, but to also see if the cassette player was working properly. I was going to take with an old cassette plus the adapter, but after speaking with someone at my office, I decided to bring my portable CD player, too. My co-worker, who’s into music in a really big way, told me that he’s experienced problems with those adapters using iPod and other MPs players, but said that they work fine with regular CDs. Dave L had no problems playing his iPod, but I thought I’d give it a try, anyway.
So, back to the car I went. The first thing I tried was playing the cassette, which played perfectly for several minutes, indicating that the cassette player is not defective. Then I tried the CD player to see if it would work connected with the adapter. I happened to bring with the CD with the Beatles first two albums to play, so I connected it up, put the adapter in the tape player, and on came the first song from the album, “I Saw Her Standing There.”

It looked like my co-worker was right, that CD players played fine with the adapter. I thought that for about thirty seconds, anyway, after which the music stopped – and started – and stopped – and started – and stopped… (you get the idea) before the adapter was ejected. So, I guess it was the adapter after all that was the problem and not the iPod.
Still, I thought I’d try putting the adapter in just one more time with the CD player, but for the sake of something different, I skipped on to the second song on that Beatles album. What was the name of that song that (temporarily) came on next?
How appropriate, I thought.
(If anybody out there has any advice to offer regarding this, please let me know.)

At the top, a photo of Alison from 2004.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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3 Responses to Misery

  1. Go back to 8 tracks. They worked every time.

  2. Those tape adapters are cheap and cheaply made. In my experience about 1 out of 3 actually work, and different ones work or don't work in different tape players. Just get another one…I'd suggest a different brand…and give it a try. I have one that works fine in the truck, but I have another that works in the main stereo in the office at the studio, but not in the boom box I have down in the shooting area.

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