iOS 4 wastes a night

I still don’t have a cell phone but I do have an iPod Touch that goes with me everywhere. What a boon to aging minds!

Apple released the latest software update for iPhones and iPod Touches (iPods Touch?) this week, called iOS 4. The update brings new functionality to the devices, including multitasking (running more than one app at a times), the iBook reader, and app folders.

I decided to update my second-generation iPod Touch last night. It took a lot longer than I expected.

Previous updates have been painless, like a long sync. My download of iOS 4 went smoothly, but something interrupted the installation. That was my first clue that the process had gone wrong. iTunes gave me a host of error messages that told me my songs could not be found. iTunes itself played the songs well enough so I knew it was an iPod problem.

The rest of the iPod seemed to be in shape. The apps were there and iOS 4 was in place. The problem I tried to open some apps and not all were working. I tried again, and again it stopped in the middle and warned me of the errors.

I took a bold step and tried to restore the iPod, which resets it to pristine condition. . The restore function erases all data and reinstalls all apps, music, and what have you. You lose passwords and accounts and game scores, but that’s not a big deal. The big deal was that the restore did not fix anything.

At that point, I noticed that’s Audioscrobbler had been trying to scrobble (i.e. record for posterity) the songs I’d played on my iPod since the last sync. I figured that was interrupting the installation so I closed Audioscrobbler, and synced yet again. The apps were working but iTunes told me there was no room left on the iPod for more than 24 songs. Looking at the capacity diagram of my beloved Zapp Brannigan (my iPod’s name), I noticed that 5.89 MB of the alleged 8 MB total (which for some reason is only 6.83 MB) was taken up by Other data. That’s why there was no room for songs. (Huge chunks of Other data is normal for jailbroken devices, but mine’s regulation.)

I have no idea what that other data was, but my only hope was to try to restore the iPod again, this time without Audioscrobbler’s interference. I wasn’t hopeful that this would work, since other than being full, the iPod was now working perfectly – but work it did. Finally by 3:30 a.m., I had a properly functional iPod Touch.

I can’t prove it, but it sure seems like Audioscrobbler screwed with the installation. Reports here and there online reveal some problems with iOS 4 installations elsewhere.

The irony? After all this consternation, I discovered that second-generation iPod Touches only benefit from iOS4’s mail threading and and app folders. The rest of the advances don’t work.

Bonus “Futurama” review:

No, not by me. Tim Surette of says everything I want to, so why repeat it? My brief note after watching the shows was that it has promise and a lot more nudity. To my pleasure, the new episodes match my taste much better than the DVD movies did.

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