Wednesday, September 02, 2009

How Many Dial-up Hours Does It Take to Download iTunes?

A year or so ago I wrote about wishing I could download Sound and Spirit programs. I got a little MP3 player and managed to put a few songs on it. But the Sound and Spirit programs are in a format that I never did figure out how to download - even with helpful advice from readers.

So, I got an iPod Nano for Christmas. Remember Christmas? Eight months ago? The friend who gave it to me populated it with a few Sound and Spirit shows and some audiobooks which I've enjoyed. But I wanted... more.

iPod comes with this pathetic little 16 iPod Nano size page, line-drawing pamphlet which passes for instructions. It starts right out, "Download iTunes." Last week I guiltily spend $20 on OReilly's Missing Manual. Simon writes for OReilly. So, I'm thinking it will help. But I feel guilty 'cause I know children figure this out without the $20 help. Maybe if I just applied myself...

The Missing Manual made the iPod sound like so much fun and Saturday was rainy so I confronted the problem head on and visited the iPod website. I followed the Missing Manual suggestion and unchecked the boxes that offered me updates. In the interest of time, I skipped the fine print about hardware and software requirements where, I now know, the eighth bullet point is:
  • A broadband Internet connection to use the iTunes Store

Optimist that I am, I just clicked "Download Now." The little download screen popped up telling me that the download time was unknown but it was working at a whopping 2kps. Fifteen or twenty minutes later, I lost the dialup connection. Oh, well. I started over. An hour later, as it reached 7MB I realized I might be in trouble and started browsing around the iTunes site to figure out more about what I was getting into. Sure enough. It said the download is 72MB. Hmm...

At about 16MB I was disconnected again. Well, I've download things before that, when interrupted, start up where they left off. So I tried again. No such luck. It started over at 0 and chugged along at about 2kps. I didn't want to do anything else online that might slow the download. So I went pessimistically to bed.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up to find it still running. Not that I was surprised by how long it was taking, just surprised that I hadn't lost the connection. Better yet, it said it was at 68MB! I watched for an hour as it reached 72MB, then 73. Even 73.8 before, alas, it was disconnected. Sigh. There are many pleasures of country living. Apparently iPod isn't going to be one of them.