Lather, Rinse, Repeat

A man goes through what I have, he's supposed to learn something.  I'm trying to figure out what I learned.  You think I learned something?
-Roy McAvoy

So this happened…

Yesterday was Cyber Monday, and if you sell things on the Interwebs you know just how insane this particular variety of Monday can be.  I had a pleasant commute to work yesterday, listening to the This Week in Tech podcast on my Lumia 1520.  The podcast was about 2 hours long, and I managed to make it through nearly 30 minutes of the show on the way in.   I set my phone in its cradle on my desk, and then met the craziness the day brought.

About 3 weeks later (or, according to the temporal confidence game designed by the Swiss, 9 hours after I started), my day was finally over and it was time to head for the bus and home.  And that is where today’s installment of “Fight Club – Windows Phone Edition” begins.

As I said, I managed to listen to about 30 minutes of the podcast on the way in, so it was my intention to log more time with the dulcet tones of Leo Laporte and John C. Dvorak.  Apparently that was not the intention of the phone.  I turned my headset on, started up Podcast Lounge and resumed the show.  What I got was the sound of silence – not the Simon and Garfunkel song, but the actual sound that silence makes.  Literally a minute went by with no sound.  The controls on the phone looked like something was playing – the play symbol was replaced with the pause symbol.  After that long minute, an error message appeared on the screen, and it was a good thing I was staring at the phone because it did not make any sound.

The error?  “Cannot find local file (insert path and file name here).”  Yes, there was a path and file name, but that’s not important right now.  What is important is that the phone made no sound when the error occurred, and the message was on the screen for maybe a few seconds.  Then the controls reverted back to the play symbol and that was that.

Trying to disprove the theory that doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity, I hit play.  Again, a moment of silence for what increasingly is appearing to be a dead local file before the controls reverted back to the non-play state.  Only this time I did not get any error message, so my results actually were different and I am not insane.

Having seen every episode of The IT Crowd, I decided to turn it off and back on again.  I rebooted the phone and started Podcast Lounge again.  During the reboot, the app forgot where I was in the podcast and when I hit play, the podcast started at the beginning.  I tried a couple of times to manually advance the playback 30 minutes in, but every time I did this the podcast just started from the beginning again.  It seemed as if the app was determined to make me listen to the first 30 minutes all over.

At this point, I realized that I had been standing at my desk with my coat on, backpack on my back and silently cursing the phone.  Thankfully most of the people who would normally have been around me were elsewhere dealing with their own personal Cyber Monday hell, so I quietly admitted defeat in the podcast battle and decided to just listen to music on the way home.

And that is when my journey detoured down the rabbit hole.

In the first installment of this series I talked a little about the music apps on Windows Phone.  Since that time, the Nokia Music app I had been using disappeared.  I guess there was an upgrade, and the app formerly known as Nokia Music became Nokia MixRadio (and yes, I know there is no space between those words).  I don’t know about you, but when I am thinking “local music play” my mind does not immediately turn to the word “radio”.  But then I was also the one trying repeatedly to get the podcast to play, so maybe I am not the best judge of these things.  Regardless, once I blindly stabbed at the icon to launch MixRadio, I learned (after navigating through about 13 screens) this was the new place from which I should play my music.

I hit the “Shuffle All” link on the songs screen and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” played.  Precisely 3 minutes later, CeLo Green’s “F*** You” began.  I was not really in the mood for this song, so I hit the track advance on my headset.  MixRadio obliged by starting “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” again.  Thinking I might have hit the track back button (twice), I made sure my finger was on the advance button and hit it.  “F*** You” began.  I hit advance again, thinking I had come full circle, and was rewarded with “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”  One more press of the advance button and I was back to “F*** You”, which I now understand was the message my phone was attempting to convey to me.

I pulled the phone out of my pocket and made a move to break out of the boot loop I was in.  I stopped the player, located the song “Bad Day” and started that.  The song played all the way through, and when it was done the next song was “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”.  Pressing the advance button took me to “F*** You” and then to “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and then to “F*** You.”  Phone out of the pocket again, manually located “I’m Still Standing” (not realizing at this point that I was also sending a message to the phone in response to it giving me the finger).  The song played normally all the way through.

If you can’t guess which song played next, you haven’t been paying attention.

As the final act of a desperate man on a bus, I rebooted the phone.  After the phone restarted, I opened MixRadio, found “Don’t Answer Me” and started the song.  Normal play.  Song over.

“The south side of Chicago is the baddest part of town, and if you go down there you better just beware of a man named Leroy Brown…”

Windows Phone: 1; Dave: 0.

I turned the music off and sat in defeated silence the rest of the way home.  This morning?  Podcast Lounge would not play This Week in Tech at all, but it did play the AutoPilot episode all the way through.  When that was done, music played normally through MixRadio with no repeats for the 15 minutes at the end of my commute.