Barney, my beloved 16-month old iPod, suddenly stopped working on Tuesday morning.  I can only suspect that he was jealous after hearing the news about the forthcoming new addition to the family.

The saddest sight in the world

I don't really know why he should suddenly give up the ghost, I've always treated him well, keeping him snug and safe in a bright blue iSkin.  He began the day working just fine, and I travelled to work listening to Dot Net Rocks as usual.  I switched him off when I arrived at the office, but then when I tried to switch him back on again a short while later, I just got that infamous "Sad iPod" picture staring back at me.

On Thursday I called in to an Apple Store to seek advice from the guys at the Genius Bar.  They broke the bad news that a hard disk failure is likely to blame, and repair would cost £145 from UK Ipod Repairs - ouch!  They suggested that I'd probably be just as well to sell Barney on eBay for spares / repairs, and invest in a shiny new 80Gb fifth generation model - currently £230 on Amazon.

Given that Barney's always been so well looked after, it really surprises me that his little hard drive should die at such a young age, and I have a horrible nagging feeling that maybe this is a really easy problem to rectify.  The cynical side of me suspects that it's in-built obsolescence, designed to boost sales of new models.  But, *shrug*, what can I do?  So - anybody want to buy a faulty iPod?

Updated [2006-01-07] - a week later, and Barney is back in the land of the living!  Read how it happened here.