Friday, October 19, 2007

New or Refurbished: Advice For the Technologically Challenged (me)

About a week ago I got an e-mail coupon from my very favorite online shopping site, I purchased Christmas gifts entirely from Overstock one year. It was great. The only problem is when I try to order something for my dad. Those are the only instances when the product is either wrong or doesn't arrive on time. But that's not the story.

The coupon was for 10% off and I didn't intend to use it, but I still browsed for fun. I got to electronics and realized that, at some point in our marathon training, Eric and I will want something to distract us during long running sessions. I've never had an MP3 player. The prices of iPods nearly choked me, so I decided to look at other brands. I ended up choosing the RCA Lyra Jukebox. I thought it would be better to buy two quality refurbished 4GB MP3 players that cost less for both than to buy one of its iPod counterparts. My piano (keyboard) was a refurbished purchase from Overstock and I've had no problems. Besides, how could I resist when one of the selling points in the product description is "On/Off button"? Who doesn't need an on/off button for their electronics? I'm surprised they don't list that for things like chainsaws or alarm clocks. But, once again, that's not the story.

We received our MP3 players yesterday. I immediately read the one page of instructions that tells you the user guide is on the CD that comes in the package. My favorite part was the first paragraph that tells you they put effort and passion into their product and thanks you for being a customer. "Thank you for thinking different. Thank you for being different." That's really what it said. I assume the translation for that is "The iPod is kicking our butt." It is also interesting to note that music purchased from iTunes is incompatible with this MP3. Hmmm...bad blood?

Another of the selling points for me was the 100 free songs from It took a while to figure how to redeem that, but once I did I spent way too long searching for the songs I wanted. If you like karaoke and tribute bands, this music site is for you. If you like music from the original artist, good luck. They didn't even have original Beatles stuff. Or Aerosmith. I did, however, find the Bare Naked Ladies Christmas CD. Sadly, there wasn't much else from them. I ended up looking on the audiobooks section. It's difficult to see the progress on your downloads, so I got The Golden Compass twice. I have one more book left and I'm torn between Pride and Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables. They both give me the warm fuzzies. But that's not the story.

This is the story: Refurbished is not necessarily the best idea and I'm not as tech-savvy as I thought. The MP3 player I opened works like a charm. Its USB cable not only allows you to install music, but doubles as the charger. I didn't know USB cables could do that. I plugged mine in to the jack and continued reading. Eric was not so fotunate. The jack on his player didn't fit his cable. We thought that was something they might check at the factory. Guess not. Lucky for him we had a left over cable from a piece-of-hud digital camera we got (for free) that fit in the hole. That was not the only problem. The player is supposed to turn off automatically when you disconnect it from the computer. Eric's doesn't. Thank goodness for that on/off switch.

The problems with my player stem from the user. I became really frustrated with my inability to scroll down any lists. Eric told me to move the dial, to which my reply was, "What dial?...It spins?!? Cool!" So I still live in the Stone Age, so what? Did I mention the only time I've ever had a cell phone was on my mission? I'll pick one up as soon as we figure out the technology for telepathy.

1 comment:

Abbie said...

You seriously don't have a cell phone? Wow. I wish I could be like that, but I've become too dependent.