Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's not always easy being a 21st Century Mum


It started here...innocently logging onto www.inthenightgarden.co.uk.

The aim was to find out if it was possible to buy the music that's featured in the programme, as I have two boys who are both absolutely mesmerised by the twinkling tunes and funny rhymes.

For those who are not regular watchers of BBC's Cbeebies pre-school programmes, In the Night Garden is brought to us by the production staff at Ragdoll, the company behind the teletubbies. If you thought the Teletubbies stretched the imagination somewhat, try the world of Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka, The Tombliboos, Upsy Daisy and The Pontipines et al.

So having discovered the magical sounding album "In the Night Garden...A Musical Journey", I saw the tempting option that offered the possibility of downloading the album from iTunes, a popular online music store......


That was yesterday ... when .... I suddenly found myself in Digital Rights Management technology hell!

...............ARGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH

My idea with the download option was that I could copy the album onto our MP3 player so that the children could play the music over and over, again and again, without scratching or destroying the CD. Practical and sensible I thought....

Great idea...until...

I downloaded the purchased tracks onto my laptop (which went very well)

and then attempted to copy the tracks to the MP3 player

which didn't go at all well.

It certainly wasn't straightforward.

Doh!....after installing the drivers for my MP3 player onto the laptop, the first hurdle was the major discovery that iTunes would not not recognise the device....and the device wouldn't recognise the iTunes tracks either.....

Now in this day and age....let me just say...."That's PANTS".

However, as I discovered, there is lots of advice on the Internet regarding what I now know is a well-known issue (I guess that's demonstrative of the number of people who have also had the Doh experience)!

Ah..ah...the solution seemed to involve burning the tracks onto a CD and then reimporting them as MP3 files, which my MP3 player could then understand. Great Idea....

Except...

Every time...

I found what I thought was a blank CD...

The system told me...

It wasn't good enough ......


AAAAAAAAAAAArrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh


Hooray, I eventually found a blank CD...


It was all systems go, you know...Green Light territory until....

iTunes tried to burn the CD and then beat me around my already much battered head with the message that it couldn't burn tracks downloaded from its iStore....

What! It couldn't burn tracks that I had downloaded from its very own music store.

What the Hell......! Life is just too short for this nonsense man!

Look...in my defence, I understand the music copyright industry. I worked in the sector for 5 years and that included researching Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology before it hit the consumer market big-time.......So I understand the issues and why both the music and the technology industries want to protect their big piece of the action.

But why does it take so many steps for a piece of downloaded music to play on a device that is not an iPod?

I presume the reality is that iTunes is jealously guarding its music and doesn't really want the files converted into a format that could be used in a different player, so it is presenting a few barriers which makes it a pain in the butt, even though if you persist a solution is available.

If you have become lost in Geek Hell, I apologise. However, for those who want to know the solution of converting the iTunes protected M4P format file into and Mp3 file....here is what you need to do....

Burn your tracks onto a CD, as instructed, but before even attempting this, you need to click on the Edit menu option, then select Preferences, then Advanced. Then click on the Burning tab and choose the Audio CD option.

Then finally.....yes....finally, you will be able to rip the music off your newly created audio CD into Mp3 format for you to transfer to your music device.....yippee!


Of course, it would have been quicker to have nipped down to Woolworths and just ripped the music off the CD....

Or just play a sample of the songs at:

www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/inthenightgarden/songs/index.shtml?song_page1

Thank you for bearing with me....my rant is now over...and...

I have two very happy boys who have been in bliss, playing happily along to the tunes and the rhymes...

The only thing that I have left to say on the matter is:

Makka Pakka,
Akka Wakka,
Mikka Makka moo!

Makka Pakka,
Appa yakka,
Ikka akka, ooo

Hum dum,
Agga pang,
Ing, ang, ooo

Makka Pakka,
Akka wakka,
Mikka Makka moo!

Honestly, I haven't gone mad....You just have to listen to Sir Derek Jacobi narrating this to believe that I am thankfully still sane!


11 Comments:

Erica Douglas said...

Erin loves In The Night Garden, we have bought the figurines set with ninky nonk, a bit expensive at £20 though!

picklesmum said...

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

I won't let Pickle watch this show, she calls that train 'a manky nob' instead of 'ninky nonk'. I can't cope with that!

Tina said...

Thanks for the info Karen, I'm soon to start updating my MP3 player ready for Thailand... So will no doubt revert back to your instructions!!

On a completely separate note, I've just put a post on Escape England about parenting in England and the new "Children's Plan" - would love your thoughts on it!!!

xxx

Perfect Housewife! Yea Right!!! said...

Isnt getting stuff for your kids a nightmare! My little one wants the hoobs teddies which they dont sell anymore, try telling a baby that! Like your blog very funny Gemma
http://yummystepford.blogspot.com/

picklesmum said...

AW, loved The Hoobs. Try EBAY?

Laura McIntyre said...

Thanks now my 2 year old has a must have item on her list to Santa, she is a major Night Garden fan - is curled up watching it just now. Is the CD any good? Think i may just buy it from the shops though

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Erica - the ninky nonk is still tempting me...so far I haven't succumbed but perhaps my 6 year old will when he goes out to buy a present for his brother ;-D

Hi Picklesmum - ROFL! Note, it is actually the Ninky Nonk that I'm interested in and not the other ;-0

Hi Tina - glad to be of help ;-D Are you sure you don't need a geeky assistant with you on the beaches of Thailand ;-D. Will go and have a look at your article now ;-D

Hi Gemma - The Hoobs are fantastic. I especially love Roma the reporter. Great idea from Picklesmum by the way. eBay is often good for that kind of thing. Thanks for popping over to visit ;-D


Hi Laura - that CD is excellent and I find it is brilliant for calming down the children as well. It lasts for about an hour and is fabulous value...yes, I agree, it's a great idea to go and get if from the shops ;-D

picklesmum said...

My fave Hoob was Roma too. Loved her sexy voice! Hooble toodle doo!!

21st Century Mummy said...

Hooble toodle doo...

Ah...the memories ;-D

grumpyoldwoman said...

I havent a clue what you are all going on about - but it sounds spanking!

21st Century Mummy said...

I think that a morning spent with CBeebies is just the tonic for the Christmas break, and has for any music downloads, best pour yourself a G&T first. ;-D