iPod nano Replacement Got Upgraded!

iPod Nano Replacement

I sent in my first gen iPod nano I purchased on launch day because of the battery defect issue. Apparently due to supply constraints, we are getting upgraded to the current gen with twice as much storage!

Dear Apple Customer:

Thank you for participating in the iPod nano (1st generation) Replacement Program. Please find your replacement iPod enclosed.

Serial Number
Please note that your replacement iPod has a serial number different to that of your original iPod nano. In some case due to limited availability of replacement stock of iPod nano (1st generation) Apple may have replaced your iPod with a more recent iPod model of equivalent or better specification. Always retain a record of your serial number(s) for future reference.

Warranty
Your replacement iPod product is warranted to be free from defects for 90 days from the date of service.

To ensure that your iPod software is up to date, download the latest iTunes from Apple’s website at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download. Questions regarding the operation of your iPod can be answered at Apple’s online support site at http://www.apple.com/support/ipod.

iPod nano (1st Generation) Replacement Program

I just got the following email from Apple:

iPod nano (1st generation)Dear iPod nano owner,

Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006.

This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages.

Apple recommends that you stop using your iPod nano (1st gen) and follow the process noted below to order a replacement unit, free of charge.

Note: This battery issue is specific to the iPod nano (1st gen) and does not affect any other iPod.

Replacement Process

You may order a replacement unit via the web. Click here to begin.

Your iPod nano serial number will be checked to verify that it is eligible for this program. You will receive a replacement unit approximately 6 weeks after we receive your current iPod nano (1st gen).

If you have a personalized iPod nano, you will receive a non-personalized replacement. Make sure to use iTunes to back up any data on your current iPod nano before sending it in for a replacement unit.

Additional Information

Identifying an iPod nano (1st gen):

  • It has a black or white plastic front and a silver metal back – later iPod nano models have a metal front and back.

If you need assistance with placing an order, please visit an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) and bring your iPod nano with you for serial number validation.

Your replacement iPod product is warranted to be free from defects for 90 days from the date of service.

Thank you for participating in this program.

Sincerely,

Apple

I still remember the day Apple announced the iPod nano and I knew I wanted it. I just started working at Microsoft for a couple months and the deal hunter in me still didn’t purchase things at full retail price. But it was SO tiny! When I found out that Microsoft got a discount with Apple, I pulled the trigger the same day.

These days I leave it in my car as my source of music, which works out well because it’s so tiny.

Not only am I surprised that Apple is still supporting this device given that it’s already over 6 years old (released in 9/2005), but that they actually have spare 1st gens to replace them with. Maybe they’re just replacing the batteries, but if that’s the case, it might just be cheaper to replace them with the current or previous generation iPod nanos. I guess having reports of 1st gen iPod nanos bursting into flames will always be bad PR.

Looks like you’ll have to ship the old one back in order to get the new one.

Thank you.

Your request has been submitted.

Apple will send you a box with shipping instructions to mail your iPod nano to us. Apple will then send you a replacement iPod.

Please save a PDF of this page for your records. You can check the status of your request via Check My Repair Status using your Repair ID, shown on the left of this page.

Update: It’s been confirmed by Mashable that the replacements will be 1st generation iPod nanos. Now I’m really curious how they still have stock!

Ano Hana

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I posted anything anime related.

So Sankaku Complex had a post on the Top 10 Most Beautiful Anime (nsfw) voted by users on BIGLOBE. It’s definitely not a definitive list and they tend to be newer stuff. I’ve seen half the stuff on the list already, but was interested in the remaining content. “Beauty” was defined as beautiful composition as well executed scenery, expressions and motion whilst specifically excluding consideration of story, character design, music, etc.

  1. Time of Eve
  2. Hanasaku Iroha
  3. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
  4. 5 Centimeters Per Second
  5. Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
  6. Clannad
  7. Angel Beats!
  8. GitS: Stand Alone Complex
  9. Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance
  10. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Time of Eve

I started with Time of Eve (イヴの時間). It was a 6 part web series later combined into a movie. It’s a scifi story based on Issac Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics, but it’s completely different from iRobot. It explores the idea that if robots were sentient, what if instead of destroying the human kind, they strive to become our friends, to be accepted as more than just a robot that accepts commands. <SPOILER>The premise of the story takes place in a cafe where humans and androids are equals.</SPOILER> The anime was indeed extremely beautiful, but I found the story a bit too artsy. It was still fun though.

Ano Hana

However, as the title of of this post may have already suggested, I’ve started watching a new series called Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない), which gets shortened to Ano Hana. The title translates to “We still don’t know the name of the flower we saw that day.” The anime is still ongoing and only 5 episodes are out so far.

Despite this being a TV series, the production and drawings were top notch. You’re introduce to a boy named Jin-tan and a girl named Memna. Initially I thought this was going to be a fan service anime with Memna jumping all over Jin-tan, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. By the end of the first episode, I was crushed with sadness. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Memna has a wish, but can’t remember what it was. Each episode reveals a bit more of what happened on that day. Memna is so adorably cute, yet they mix it so well with such a depressing story. From what I’ve seen so far, I highly recommend this series.

Another interesting tidbit is they’re using ZONE – secret base~君がくれたもの~ as their ED song. I’ve had this song in my mp3 library since college. When I first heard it, I knew it sounded really familiar. Initially I thought it might’ve been from another anime, but I guess this is one of the songs my friend shared with me. Apparently it’s been 10 years already since this song was released and the ED uses the 10th anniversary version.

Happiness can’t be described by a visible color

It’s been a long time since I posted about an anime series. There hasn’t been much released for the past few seasons that really stood out , but I’m really enjoying Bakuman. From Wikipedia:

The series follows talented artist Moritaka Mashiro and aspiring writer Akito Takagi, two ninth grade boys who wish to become mangaka.

I really enjoy the OP: Blue Bird by Kobukuro

Lyrics:

青空飛び交う Blue Bird
あの鳥が見えますか?
幸せはいつも 見えない Color 感じている
Your love

心配ごとばかりが 積もる春の空を
見上げて うつむいて
また顔を上げてる
この街で 見つけるって決めた自分
無くしちゃいけないものを 胸に

Your love
青空飛び交う Blue Bird
あの鳥が見えますか?
幸せはいつも 見えない Color 感じている
Your love
(Your love)

English Translation (provided by gg):

Can you see the blue birds,
fluttering through the blue sky?
Happiness can’t be described by a visible color, but I can feel
Your love

Every worry floats up to and fills the spring sky
I look up, look down,
and find myself looking back up at the sky
I swore I’d find myself in this town
I tuck away all my important things into my heart for safekeeping

Your love
Can you see the blue birds,
fluttering through the blue sky?
Happiness can’t be described by a visible color, but I can feel
Your love
(Your love)

The way 無くしちゃいけないものを 胸に was sung triggered my memory and reminded me of One more time, One more chance by Yamazaki Masayoshi which I first heard from 5 Centimeters Per Second.

Rock Band 3

Rock Band 3 Wireless Pro-Drum and Pro-Cymbals Kit So I’ve finally got my own copy of Rock Band 3 (thanks to Perry and Sathana). But I’ve also been playing it previously over at Chad’s and also at Ryan’s place.

Here’s my initial impressions.

Songs

I wasn’t actually that impressed with the new song list. There were a few I recognized, but I think it’s gotten to the point where most of the popular songs have already been released and the ones that aren’t either are in the works of being released or the rights holder aren’t cooperating.

Existing Song Upgrades
No one was quite sure how’d upgrades would work, but with the recent release of Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits 12-track DLC, Harmonix has announced the following:

Hey gang,

Sorry for the confusion surrounding the DLC announcement this week. The information I posted earlier may not have been the most helpful, partially because it wasn’t entirely correct. A lot has happened in the last two hours. The long and short of it is that we’re going to have new RB3 files that add keys and harmonies as well as add-on content that enables Pro Guitar and Pro Bass. The new information is that the add-ons for Pro G/B should be available for both the new RB3 file and your existing file.

To be clearer, this means there will be three files you can download in the future for Legacy DLC songs where Pro Guitar/Pro Bass is being made available:

· The new “RB3 Version” of a song, including traditional GBDV, keys (pro and regular) and harmony vocals
· A “Pro Guitar/Pro Bass” upgrade for that “RB3 Version”, allowing you to have the whole experience
· A “Pro Guitar/Pro Bass” upgrade for legacy “RB2 era DLC”. This will skip Keys and Harmonies being added (those are only in the “RB3 Version”, but allow you to purchase the Pro Guitar/Bass add-on without rebuying the core song file.

To reiterate, if you stick with your RB2 legacy track and want to upgrade to pro guitar/bass – you will not have access to Keys, Pro Keys or harmony vocals. If you want that latter content, you need to purchase the “RB3 Version” of the file.

As for the Bon Jovi tracks coming out next week, you’ll currently only be able to get the Pro Guitar / Bass upgrades for the RB3 Versions of the tracks, but moving forward you should see Pro Guitar/Bass upgrade options for legacy re-releases. We’ll update this thread when we have a timeline for those add-ons. Sorry again for the mix up, and I’ll continue to clarify in this thread as more questions pop up.

In other words, people who purchased the original DLC are screwed if they want to get harmony + keyboard support. They’ll have to rebuy the RB3 version at full retail price of $2, rendering the previously downloaded DLC pretty much useless.

Gameplay

The gameplay had a bunch of enhancements which were greatly appreciated:

  • When someone failed, you can continue playing the song in No Fail mode
  • You can change difficulty in the middle of a song
  • It now shows you the difficulty of your instrument for the chosen song when you’re selecting the difficulty for your instrument
  • All instrument mode allows 7 people to play at the same time: guitar, bass, drum, keys, + 3 vocals
  • Song selection has a lot more filters
  • Song rating/recommendation will allow me to play songs I prefer and never show me songs I dislike
  • All songs are unlocked from the get go. No need to play career mode to unlock songs. I think there are still some Rock Band 2 songs I haven’t unlocked yet
  • When the game is paused or settings are changed in the middle of a song, it rewinds back 5 seconds and lets players prepare themselves
  • Players can easily sign in, drop out, and swap instruments

Changes I think would make the game better:

  • Don’t show or gray out modes that aren’t supported (e.g. Don’t allow me to select Harmony if there’s no harmony part)
  • Show the vocal score even if they’re not “considered” 1 of the 4 players

Keyboard

I was originally excited about the keyboard since I used to play the piano. However, I found the Pro Keys experience very lacking and complicated. Maybe because I’m more used to reading sheet music than little notes scrolling down the screen. I also haven’t gone through the training yet (if they have one), so maybe it’ll get better afterwards…

When I first started playing, I treated the keyboard like a computer keyboard. The screen only shows 10 white keys at a time, so armed with 2 hands and 10 fingers, I placed each digit on a separate white key. Unfortunately this made playing the keyboard very boring and I felt like I was typing instead of playing. I was told to actually use one hand instead of 2, which made a lot more sense as I believe the notes they tell you to play are really chords.

A big difference between this and the plastic guitars is that you can hold down notes on the plastic guitar and they’ll tell you which buttons you’re holding. This won’t count against you as long as you’re not strumming. However that option is not available for the keyboard and being disoriented with where my hands are when I’m always staring at the TV screen, I found myself wishing the screen would tell me which keys my fingers were touching, since it does count against you if you push down a key.

Drums

Honestly, the drums is now my favorite instrument. I can’t believe how much more fun adding cymbals would be! Rock Band 3 now supports Pro Drums which actually differentiates between when to hit the cymbals and when to hit the pads. I originally was going to just keep using my original RB1 drum set, but after finding out how much fun cymbals were, I went and purchased the RB3 drum set. $130 was a bit high, but they were just so fun!

The new drum set also supports 2 pedals. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I’m not skilled enough to need to utilize 2 pedals just quite yet.

Vocals

All songs allows 3 vocalists now in both Solo and Harmony mode, which is pretty cool. What’s even cooler is that 3 people can sing a song in Solo mode on expert and as long as one of the singer is on key for each section, you can ace it. We were getting so many 5 gold stars Friday night.

Guitar

Not much to say here yet since neither pro guitars have been released yet. The toy one with 102 buttons will be released on 11/16, retailing at $150. The one I want is the real electric guitar that supports Rock Band 3, but unfortunately that’ll be released in March 2011 and even more unfortunately at a retail price of $280.

I don’t know if I want to wait till March before trying Pro Guitar, but do I really want to spend ~$450 for 2 Rock Band 3 guitars?

Kick-Ass is Kick-Ass

Hit-Girl Poster My favorite movie of the year (or maybe decade) is still Inception, but Kick-Ass comes pretty close. I had mean to watch Kick-Ass in the theaters, but never got the chance to before it went off the screen. Then I had to wait a couple months for it to show up in Netflix and even though it’s been #1 on my queue for some time, I finally got it this past week. As the title of this blog post suggests, Kick-Ass is awesome!

The story is pretty straight forward and there aren’t really any surprises. However, they were able to make the movie funny yet serious at the same time. Most movies that try to do that usually fail horribly, however they got it just right for Kick-Ass. The story is based off a graphic novel and the characters are very well developed. My favorite character like many others is Hit-Girl. There’s just something awesome about having a small girl kick ass. Add an awesome soundtrack (composed by John Murphy) and you have a formula for one of the best movies of the year.

There really isn’t much to review about the movie itself. The storyline is pretty straight forward. I did want to talk about a few other things related to the movie. I will try not to spoil (though one of song titles on the score does contain a spoiler).

After watching the movie, I knew I needed to acquire the soundtrack. I found the soundtrack on Amazon and Zune and it really just contains the songs they used in the movie and not the musical pieces that were used to build up tension and so on. Though the soundtrack does contain a couple pieces I really enjoyed:

After a bit more searching, I found out there’s a different album called Kick-Ass: The Score. I found it strange that neither Amazon, iTunes, or Zune carried it. I did find it on Amazon UK and they had the option for MP3 downloads. There are so many pieces that I enjoy off this score!

After a bit battle between Big Daddy Kills, Marshmallows, The Corridor, and Flying Home, I’ve decided Marshmallows is my favorite out of the set. Don’t be deceived by its fluffy and sweet name, Marshmallows really just refers to the scene when they used it. The song is made of pure awesome.

For awhile, the guitar riffs from The Corridor kept reminding me of another song. I finally figured out that it reminded me of 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite, which is why I probably really dig that song too.

One of my favorite lines from the movie is:

Gangster: The fuck is wrong with you, man? You’d rather die for some piece of shit that you don’t even fucking know?
Kick-Ass: The three assholes, laying into one guy while everybody else watches? And you wanna know what’s wrong with me? Yeah, I’d rather die… so bring it on!

Not sure if this is at all related to the movie, but I would like to think the movie has had some impact on me. Just 2 nights ago as I was driving home, there was a car parked in the middle of the street with its hazard lights on. I didn’t see anyone waving for help, so I wasn’t planning to stop. But as I drove past the car, I saw a young boy sitting on the curb with his face buried in his hands. Normally given how late it was (~2am) and the fact he didn’t seem to require immediate assistance, I would’ve just left him alone. But something in me kept telling me I should check on him and make sure he’s alright. I busted a U-turn, lowered my window, and asked if he needed help. He looked up and told me everything was alright and thanked me for asking. We said our farewells and I continued driving home. About a few blocks later, I saw a tow truck and I guess that was what the boy was waiting for.

If you have not seen this movie, I would highly recommend it and I can promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

New Music

If you don’t see any embedded videos, you can visit the original blog post.

fancy string musical instrument

I’ve really only been listening to the Inception soundtrack for the past week, but today I’ve returned to my regular music. It was time to clean up my Current Favorites playlist, so I wanted to blog about some of the new music I’ve been enjoying before they disappear into my 1600+ song rotation.

Side Note: I never understood why some music videos can’t be embedded. Then again I never understood the concept of purchasing music videos since they’re really just advertisements for the music. It’ll be like purchasing a movie trailer. Shoot, did I just give movie studios a horrible idea? Maybe if the music video came with the song, it might be worth the extra cost. But nope, I have to purchase that separately.

I’m also trying out YouTube’s new iframe embedding so not quite sure how it’ll turn up in RSS feeds and so on. But goddamnit, their new iframe embedding code is still not XHTML compliant!

The following songs aren’t in any particular order. If anything, they’re probably in the order they were added to my playlist.

Timbaland – If We Ever Meet Again ft. Katy Perry

Timbaland is usually a hit or miss for me. This song with Katy Perry was definitely a hit.


Mayday Parade – Kids In Love

A Rocket To The Moon – Like We Used To

I found these 2 songs to be very similar for some reason. I guess I originally confused them to be the same song when I was listening to it on the radio. I think if you like one, you’ll like the other too.


Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Zephyr Song

I forget if I saw this song on Rock Band first or if I heard it on the radio first and then purchased it for Rock Band. But this song is just awesome!


B.o.B – Airplanes (Feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore)

This is probably my favorite song out of this list. It was so good that it’s the only song that was due for removal from the playlist that I actually kept. For some reason the chorus is just so catchy. I wonder if the clapping has anything to do with it. Or it could be the fact that it’s the vocalist from Paramore that is singing the chorus.


Black Eyed Peas – Rock That Body

I originally didn’t like this song, but after hearing it on the radio several times, I just started to dig the beat.


Eminem – Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna

This is the 1st song from Eminem’s new album that I really like. You’ll notice a catchy female chorus in a rap song is a good formula for getting me to like the song. This music video also features Megan Fox and that Simon guy from FlashForward. I think he was also Charlie in Lost.


OneRepublic – Secrets

My sister introduced me to this song a long time ago when I told her that there was a new OneRepublic song that I liked. She asked if it was Secrets, but it was actually All The Right Moves. However, after hearing Secrets on the radio several times, I’ve begun to like it more and more.


Ne-Yo – Beautiful Monster

Song is definitely very fun and the term beautiful monster just conjured up images in my head. The music video on the other hand is very weird. I’m not quite sure why he’s fighting some random yakuza.


Enrique Iglesias – I Like It

Another really fun song. I didn’t even know Enrique Iglesias still made music. The beats just makes you want to dance.


Drake – Find Your Love

I think the Hey Hey Hey sold me on this song. Haha. ;p


David Guetta & Chris Willis ft Fergie & LMFAO – Gettin’ Over You

I didn’t realize Fergie and LMFAO were part of this song until I saw the music video. But the beats in this song are definitely rocking.


Eminem – Not Afraid

I first heard the parody song done by the Key of Awesome: EMINEM Not Afraid Parody: Key of Awesome #26 and it was just hilariously awesome. The song/melody wasn’t bad either, so I decided to check the original out.


3OH!3 – Double Vision

For the longest time I thought this was a Timbaland song (when the guy sings I’m thinking maybe I can have relationships), but after searching for it, it turns out it’s 3OH!3 instead. They’ve released a couple good songs, but this song sounds nothing like their other ones.


Linkin Park – The Catalyst

Very typical Linkin Park. Just catchy repetitive shouting.

The new Medal of Honor game also has a trailer out featuring this song in the background: Medal of Honor / Linkin Park – “The Catalyst” Trailer


Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are

I’ve never heard of Bruno Mars until my sister told me about this song. We were talking about Miranda Cosgrove’s Kissin U and she said she was also listening to Just The Way You Are. After a few listens, I really began to dug it. This song has been playing on repeat for some time today.

I also didn’t know that Bruno Mars was part of B.o.B – Nothin’ On You (Beautiful girls, all over the world) and Travie McCoy – Billionaire


I’ll end this post with a small random treat.

Ore Ska Band – Jitensha

So I first heard this song on Naruto Shippuden as their 13th ED and found the animation really cool and cute. I initially thought it was really weird how this ED has nothing to do with Naruto, but someone else later pointed out that the girl in the ED is Hinata and then it sort of made sense. But 自転車 (Jitensha) just translates to bicycle and it just seem really fun to shout Jitensha over and over again. You can download the ED here.

Also how can you go wrong with adding trumpets and sax to a pop song! 😀

You can also see the original PV on YouTube.