Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Apple Nano, Nike Plus, and bumps in the road

A couple of comments I wanted to respond to on runners that have said that they have problems with the Nike Plus App on their Nano, iPod Touch or iPhone (are any of you using it on an iPad? I'm waiting to see that at the club next...)

The main complaint I hear is that a runner will be running with the Nano and then, all of a sudden they hear the spoken feedback say: "Workout Paused" or "Workout Resumed" or the dreaded "Workout Ended". There are variations of this problem, such as the music they are listening to has the song keep restarting or the skipping to the next song.

So normally, a runner has to slow down or stop to try to correct the problem. But backing out of Nike Plus or doing a hard reboot of the Apple device seems to have no effect. Even if later on that day, you delete the app and reinstall it, within the next couple of days the problem is back. What's worse, is that the problem continues if you start using your iPhone/iPod instead of your Nano.

About now, you are ready to quit Nike Plus altogether. It must be a bad app, right? Well, I'm thinking that's not the case.

If you are one of these runners, I have good news, I know what's causing your problem. It's not your Nano, it's your earbuds.

I found this out the hard way. Trips to the Genius Bar even had them stumped. Replacing my Nano didn't help. Okay, initally for a few days the problem went away, but sooner of later it would come back.

What I noticed about the earphones is that I was using the Apple stereo earbuds. I loved using them because they allowed you to skip a song, pause the music, change volume, etc. But I have a theory [that I prove in practice] that if you generate a charge through the earbuds, by something as simple as your running shoes on the moving treadmill belt, it causes your Nano and any other device to read the earbuds as if they are sending a pause, stop, or advance order. I even experienced this when I had a Timex iPod watch.

I've noticed that this also happens if you use a Nike or Apple device, such as a wrist band remote, or any other type of remote. That static electricity will do wonders for your frustration level.

The simple answer is to change your earbuds. I now only wear ones that do not allow for advancing, pausing or resuming the songs.

Hope that helps many of you that are having this problem. And if you gave up on the Nike Plus app, hopefully this will give you incentive to try it again.

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