Thursday, October 02, 2008

Another gadget snafu

This morning was wasted by my hare-brained last minute initiative to get an audiobook to listen to during my trip to Fencon. Not long ago I bought an iVO Sound MP3 player. No, I haven't heard of this brand either. As it turned out, this proved to be the problem.

I bought an download of an audio recording of Robert Charles Wilson's "Axis" from When you buy a recording from them, it does not come in a clean, neat MP3 file. No, you have to install an Audible Manager software on your computer. Then you use the manager to transfer the recording, which is in a proprietary format, to your MP3 player. Before you begin that process, the Audible Manager asks what kind of MP3 player you have. Lo and behold -- in the list of 20-30 players, there was no iVO Sound! So I called their customer service. After putting me on hold, the guy determined this player was not compatible with Audible format, because it lacks some kind of universal plugin.

I asked him for a refund. (Those audiobooks are not that cheap.) The customer service guy tried to remind me that I have other ways to listen to audiobooks, such as on my computer. I told him I bought this recording specifically for listening on a trip, so playing it on a computer is not an option. After putting me on hold (probably to confer with a manager) he said they'll issue me a refund. It should show up in my account in 24 hours. We'll see if it does or not.

What a waste of time. It all could have been avoided if listed the MP3 players they support on their website! How hard can that be?

When I come back from Dallas, I may actually return the iVO Sound to the store and buy a more common brand of MP3 player. The iVO is decent, but not the easiest player to operate. Its user interface is kind of screwy.

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