Friday, January 26, 2007

Download experience from iTunes using the Verizon EVDO card

So I was looking through email, and I saw that iTunes has the America's Game TV show, which is an NFL Network original series documentary style about 20 previous Super Bowl champions. Being an NY GIants fan since childhood, I decided to download America's Game #13: 1986 Giants, which I have very fond memories of, using the Verizon V640 EVDO card.

Ah, the experience is a little rough along the Northeast Corridor NJTransit line. First, even at full signal strength, I don't think I was getting 3G speed. It took about 14 minutes to get to my first 10 MB of 496.5 MB. That is not very fast. After I got out of Newark though, I must have changed cells and got a huge speed boost, since the 26.3 MB came down in 5 minutes, now we're cooking.

Then some jackass drops popcorn on my MacBook Pro, since NJTransit was heavy delayed tonight, the train is standing room only, dude is hovering like right over top of me, eating popcorn, and I know it's just a matter of time before his butter fingers lose control of a slippery kernel, and boom, popcorn on my keyboard. So of course it happens, and I am pissed. I swipe my hand across the keyboard to remove the greasy invader, and what do I do, that's right, I hit the EVDO card, it goes flying across the train under popcorn man's feet, and he starts shuffling around to try and "help" me find it. I bark out the "don't move" command and he freezes. I as delicately as possible, so not to spill the laptop on the floor as well, get the card back.

In the meantime, OS X and iTunes yell at me. OS X tells me I can't take this card out while it's in use, and iTunes tells me some error caused my file to stop downloading. Thanks. Thankfully, I plugged the card back in and reconnected, and the result is the tale you have just read. My conclusion, even 3G at its speediest is no competition for actual broadband, look at the latencies I was getting to the Apple server that handles incoming iTunes Store URLs. Downloading is an exercise in patience, and I am not sure if I would do it even occasionally if iTunes allowed over the air downloads to the iPhone, for example.