Have you ever felt the dread of knowing something that’s just happened will have terrible ramifications?
Well, I have. This morning (it’s just after 10am here in Tallinn) I had some tea, checked my email, lit some candles, and decided to put on some music to set the mood for some design work I need to get done. Music is right up there with books and food on my list of loves, so before leaving the States, I added all of my CDs to iTunes. I wanted to bring as little as possible, so I left the DVD/CD player, receiver, speakers, and CDs behind. iTunes uses too many resources to run it while I’m working, so I knew buying computer speakers would just create new problems (and not give me the sound quality I wanted). And just using my iPods (Morimoto and Hugo) and headphones wouldn’t suffice. So, I bought the fabulous Altec Lansing inMotion iM7.
Now this is a product that has great sound quality, adaptability, and a nice design. I stick Morimoto (the iM7-dedicated, silver iPod) in and press play. That’s it.
Until today. I turn Morimoto on, and it starts playing wake pig by 3 as I scroll through to find something more subdued. I immediately notice that the subwoofer is working and the right speaker is working, but there’s no sound coming from the left speaker. I play the next album I scroll to(Give Up by The Postal Service), thinking that maybe there was something funny with that last album. But, still no sound from the left speaker.
Frantically pacing around the room, I consider my options. How did it break? It’s just been sitting there on top of the bookcase, and I’m sure I would have noticed this problem sooner if it’s been broken all along. I google the problem, but don’t find anything that helps. I begin to think that moving to Estonia was a mistake. I think, “My life, as I know it, is over. How can I live with imbalanced audio output? Is this happening because I drank some carrot juice on Yom Kippur?”
Then I remember that I have a user manual. On my knees on the livingroom floor, I flip through to the troubleshooting section and run down the list of various audio problems: “Your iM7 calls you a fat slob.” No. “Your iM7 never listens to you.” No. “Your iM7 has a crackling sound coming from the speakers.” Not exactly, but let’s check the solutions anyway. “Check connection if iPod is in the docking station.” Puh-leez, that couldn’t be it. I know how to put the iPod in the docking station. You just slide it in and push down… oh. I heard a distinct click. My heartbeat sped up as I hit play.
And there you have it. I felt that incomparable sense of relief. It’s better than the feeling of finishing a big exam, but probably not as good as biopsy results that are negative for cancer (though I can’t be sure). Still, I sank to the floor and uttered the sound that has no spelling in the English language, a wimper of relief. Now that the iM7 and I have been through this experience together, I’m even more attached. I put on Shostakovich and think, “Please don’t break, please don’t break, please don’t break…”