So I get my wife's new Ipod Mini (green). And I go to set it up, expecting the legendary Apple experience.
It turned out to be excruciating. Install the software. Plug it in when requested. USB picks it up. Ipod begins formatting and never ends. It starts flashing between remove and do not remove every second or so. Resetting the Ipod doesn't help. Reflashing the software fails. Manually formatting fails (even though it is seen as a drive).
An hour or two of troubleshooting later (interspersed with several hours of doing other things while occasionally checking on it, I discover the problem. As part of the initial beta testing of Windows XP, I decided to do something different. My hard drive is on F:, not C:. So the first removeable media device installed is mounted as c:. This causes some problems with Windows 95 era software that expects a fixed path (which is why it was good for beta testing). Once I switched the Ipod to a normal drive letter, it worked like a champ. But there is no mention of this problem on any Apple website or third-party forum that I could find. It appears that there is internal logic in the software that will not allow formatting of c: but does not provide an error message. In the "old days" (and still for most factory installations) refusing to format c: made perfect sense. But it caused a heck of a problem in my case.
Now I get to transcode a ton of OGGs, FLACs, etc. to AAC. Delightful. I have yet to find software that will perform a very simple task -- automatically transcode and maintain synchronization during file movements, retags, etc. from FLAC to OGG (RIO Karma) and MP3.