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 worldI 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.