AughTunes (aka Hanson Last Month)
by H.notes Staff Writer mmm_marica@hanson.net

If you read my last month ramble you may know that I have a spanking new wiz bang monster of a PC. And please, I am not bragging. I am telling this so you pity me. Seriously. But let’s start this story with a very happy ending from its sad beginning.

The first thing I did on my new PC was installing QuickTime 7 – so I can dive in the wonderful world of the little FUTYs of which I was totally deprived. While I was installing it – it kindly asked me if I wanted to install iTunes as well but I firmly said no. You see, I didn’t own nor planned to own an iPod. Many reasons - the main one being this visual of me putting my reading glasses so I can see the blasted thing on my palm, not to mention the miniscule display with the songs titles or whatever it displays. I still prefer the CD player and when you shove it in your bag – people don’t know that it’s the daggy CD player from the last millennium at the other end of the headphones. The second reason: (looking around) those gizmos with oh-so-user-friendly icons really look intimidating to me. Cell phones, remote controls, blackberries, digital cameras… all of those that come with hundred page manuals. Forget it.

So I installed only QuickTime 7 and all was cool for a couple of weeks. I could watch my precious FUTY videos and everything else offered here on hanson.net and the living was fine.

Then mid-last month, this piece of quote wonderful unquote news was posted on both the public and private side of hanson.net:

HANSON launch video Podcast "Taking The Walk" with the free episodic release of acclaimed documentary film "Strong Enough To Break". Podcast continues with new episodes documenting the making of new album.

I jumped of joy of course. Man! I, with every Hanson fan and their gold fish have been waiting for this doco for 30 years! Since, like forever. And we are getting another documentary about the coming album! Amazing. Can’t wait!

I continue reading:

In anticipation of the upcoming release of HANSON's 4th studio album "The Walk", the band will launch a new docu-series podcast by giving away their critically acclaimed documentary "Strong Enough To Break". In an unprecedented move the film will be available for free, in episodic form on iTunes...

Yep. Italics, bolded and red. This means that I need to install the blasted iTunes on my PC. It’s spanking brand new and wiz bang and now I have absolutely no excuse to not follow Hanson to the edge of the latest in the internet technology.

Ah well. The things we do for the guys.

With a strong feeling of trepidation and just a little slighter feeling that a new chapter of my life was opening up - I downloaded and installed iTunes. I even dared to go into the customised installation where I ticked and un-ticked a few things. That’s how bold I felt.

That went like a charm. It didn’t even ask me to restart my PC. Phew. So far so good.

Then I got annoyed with myself. You are an IT professional woman, remember? You have done a lot more complicated things than this for living! Installed Microsoft Service Packs full of bugs on Windows servers, rolled back or worked around them or fixed them and lived to tell the tale. How can this be more complicated? It should be a breeze!

So I sit there and I look at my cute iTunes icons. One is on my desktop. And the other one is in the Quick Start tray near the clock. Which one?

I click on the desktop one and presto! The iTunes open up. But instead of the guys doing a podcast song and dance straight away as I half expected – I look at the empty iTunes screen.

You don’t need to know the details of what ensued – not because they are boring but because they are embarrassing. For yours truly. Or maybe not. See for yourself.

I try to sign up for the blasted thing because it seems the right thing to do. I mean you have to sign up for everything on the Internet, right?

It appears that I can’t sign up because my credit card is not American. It told me that after I spent half an hour filling the form. So it re-directs me to the Australian iTunes. I try to sign up there but I can’t since I am already signed up. Or so it says. I have an account there already. Okay. I must have done it in the past – from work. Shhh...

So I try to sign in. None of my usual handles, passwords and their combinations work. Then I see “Forgot password?” button. Click that, but it wants my Apple ID. I almost type “Granny Smith” I am so frustrated, then I see “Forgot Apple ID?” button and click that and it wants email address and the previous email address. As any normal Internet user I have about a dozen of those. Which one?

I give up and then go for the “Search” box. I type “Hanson” and hold my breath again to see if the guys do a song and dance. Nothing happens of course.

By this time two hours have passed, the family is screaming bloody murder requesting dinner, my beer has warmed up and my wits are at their end. I decide to drop all for awhile and try again later. Then... I see the little envelope in the bottom right corner of the screen. New mail has arrived.

Now, I need to tell you something. My house may be on fire – but if new mail arrives in my inbox – I have so check it. Ninety nine percent of the time it’s spam – but because of that 1% that may be crucial for the survival of the human race I have to check it. Don’t you?

And what do you know! Email from somebody with a hanson.net address telling me that the podcasts are posted (or whatever they are being done to) on iTunes and that “you can find them here on ‘this link’”.

I smile ironically and go, “Yeah right!” but click on the link anyway and lo and behold! The iTunes white screen comes alive, it’s grided; I see familiar Strong Enough To Break Episode 1 and Taking The Walk Teaser 1, I see Hanson, I see a small orange pinwheel. It’s doing something! Then I see a little screen in the bottom left part and the photo of the guys in a field, I press the play button and Ike starts talking! I am there! I am in the podcast! No signing up, in, out, over, above - no anything! That easy!

I yell to the family to call for some food to be delivered while I rush to the hanson.net forums to announce my joy to the Hanson world and to thank the good soul that sent the link. Then I get a new drink and watch. A podcast. Ah. Bliss.

The guys posted another two episodes of Strong Enough to Break since then and another Taking The Walk teaser. And every time they did, I opened my iTunes and those puppies would show up. And I was and still am amazed. I know, I should be amazed by the guys doing their proverbial song and dance and I am. I swear, I am – but I am more amazed by this iTunes magic. So amazed that I will actually do the unthinkable and get me one of them iPhones bad boys when they hit the shops. I saw that the display is quite big – I actually will not need my reading glasses.

Deal Or No Deal guys?