Boot up iPod for first time in two weeks and the icon of a sad Mac stares me in the face, with (most excellent) Xs for eyes, its tongue lolling out. An ominous clicking sound emanates – telltale sound of a shot drive. Hmm… just enough time to race to the Apple store before work. Genius notices that I bought AppleCare for it, calls me “his hero” (yeah, right). Goes in the back, pulls a brand new replacement unit from brown cardboard, sends me on my way with a new unit 10 minutes later, no questions asked. The experience could not have rocked harder. Always buy AppleCare.
Interesting: Asked if I could cross-grade to a Nano, and he said no. What I didn’t know: All Apple hardware replacements are like-for-like. Even though my iPod model is no longer sold, they still manufacture them as replacements. Apparently, Apple keeps manufacturing every device they make for seven years after they stop selling them, for just this reason. Otherwise people would intentionally damage their Macs to score upgrades.