Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pandora App: One Week Later Or How I've Learned to Hate EDGE

After a week of use, I am still enjoying my iPhone and the Pandora app. However, it's become increasingly clear that all the woes I've encountered have occurred only when the phone slips out of wifi or 3G and into the EDGE network. It turns that the vast majority of RFI noise occurs when the iPhone receives data over EDGE. Furthermore, the streaming of music on EDGE can become unlistenably intermittent (two to five bars of music intersticed with silence of similar lengths broken only by the RFI bursts). I do not know whether the iPhone or the app is to blame for these problems, but I've learned to switch to the iPod app whenever the RFI noise appears.

Thus, I've ended up playing the iPod more than I've expected or wanted to. I now only play Pandora on the commute when I'm east of downtown Oakland, and I often have to switch the iPod on for lunch. You'd expect that San Francisco, of all places, would be thoroughly covered by the 3G network, but even sitting stationary at my desk, the iPhone can switch to EDGE. Thus, I am not sure whether it's a coverage issue or a capacity issue. Turning the iPhone off and rebooting when I'm at my desk seems to consistently recover the 3G connection, but doing so takes a half a minute or so of my precious Pandora time. Fortunately, I've only had to do so at most twice in one day and some days require no such fiddling at all.

I had one moment of panic this past Sunday when the iPhone got stuck in the favorites page. The home button would not take the phone back to the home page, nor would the phone turn off. Eventually, it white-screened, and I had visions of having to visit a genius bar. However, when I got home, I learned how to force a reset (press and hold the home and sleep buttons for ten seconds), and it's been fine since then.

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