Help me with this iPod freezing behavior...
October 11, 2004 6:17 AM   Subscribe

So I have a 40GB iPod that's two months old, and one suspicious behavior had mutated into calamity: [simorede]
posted by blueshammer to Technology (15 answers total)
Quick before one of the manners police from mefi come in and trash you and starts a thread about how much you suck, add some info.
posted by damnitkage at 6:19 AM on October 11, 2004

Often when I would select a song from a playlist, the 'pod would wait a second and then begin playing the next song on the playlist. I chalked this up to me fumbling and brushing the click wheel en route to hitting the select button ... but then this weekend the problem went malignant. Tracks would freeze mid-playback and, when finally coming out of the freeze, would then skip ahead two tracks in the playlist. I tried to do a sample to see if it happened more frequently with recently played tracks than never-before-played tracks to see if it might be a memory issue, and that was inconclusive. But it did always seize up at the exact same point in the track, even though the same files have played perfectly well through iTunes and as burned CDs. I tried setting it to "hold" to determine if maybe the click wheel was "sticky," but the behavior continued to manifest.

I know how to reset the iPod, blah blah blah, but what I don't get is *how* it can happen. Maybe I'm naive, but it seems to me like the iPod OS should be extremely naive -- essentially ten inputs (menu, play/pause, select, skip back, skip ahead, clickwheel clockwise, clickwheel CCW, hold, headphones in [which I count as an input because the iPod pauses when you remove the headphones] and power/data in), and, since I never use the calendar or games or anything, one basic function: to convert the mp3 or AAC or AIFF into audio. Can someone explain what, exactly, can go so wrong?
posted by blueshammer at 6:25 AM on October 11, 2004

Do you encode with VBR? I had this problem a while back with stuff I encoded that way, and it largely went away when I want to a normalized encoding scheme. Still happens once in a while, though my iPod is 1st gen, and I suspect the drive is wearing out.

At any rate, absolutely go to your local Apple Store now, with your receipt and iPod. You've got a one-year warranty, and if you complain just right, they'll swap it for a new one.
posted by mkultra at 6:50 AM on October 11, 2004

Sounds to me like a fail(ing|ed) HD... Get it replaced!
posted by benzo8 at 7:06 AM on October 11, 2004

Could I have done anything to accelerate the HD's failure?
posted by blueshammer at 7:18 AM on October 11, 2004

Probably not- a certain percentage of HD's are just faulty out of the box. Trust me, the Genius Bars at the Apple Stores exist for this kind of thing. Just don't forget your receipt!
posted by mkultra at 7:49 AM on October 11, 2004

FWIW, I also had this problem when using VBR encoding.
posted by adamkempa at 8:22 AM on October 11, 2004

Probably not- a certain percentage of HD's are just faulty out of the box.

Blasphemer. It's an Apple product. It's infallable. It was created by The Jobs to lead us to salvation, and if The Jobs made it, then it is Good.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:22 AM on October 11, 2004

If I have the iPod in my pocket when I'm walking, it will tend to freeze up on me after some semi-random amount of time. When I hit the forward button, it will jump ahead about 4 tracks. I've had the same problem with the past two iPods that I've had. If I keep the think in a holster on my belt, I don't get the problem.

It happens around 20 minutes in, so one theory is that it bounces around more if it's in my front pocket than it does on my hip, so it can't cache the next bit of music. But, the freeze happens in the middle of a song, so that seems questionable.

I've also wondered if it's getting too hot sitting in my pocket. I don't know what the deal is, but it's reasonably predictable, and it sounds a bit like what you're describing.

I have the button lock on, and again it's happened with my last two Ipods, so it looks like a pattern to me anyway.
posted by willnot at 10:21 AM on October 11, 2004

MC: Sadly, the hard drive is a Toshiba inside your Apple sleekmachine... As I understand it, HD manufacturers have a very lacadaisical attitude to quality control, accepting it's cheaper to just replace faulty good than check them all before they leave the factory...
posted by benzo8 at 11:46 AM on October 11, 2004

willnot, the iPod has a twenty minute buffer, so if you keep bouncing it for 20 minutes it will freeze up because it ran out of buffer.

blueshammer, go to the local Apple Store's Genius Bar, and have them fix it. Most likely they'll eventually have it replaced.
posted by riffola at 12:15 PM on October 11, 2004

I would wipe all the music 9off the drive, reformat the drive and reinstall everything, and see if the "behavior" returns
posted by Fupped Duck at 12:50 PM on October 11, 2004

riffola - yeah, one of my assumptions was that it might be the buffer, but would the iPod freeze in the middle of a song? I would have expected that it would cache as many complete songs as it could fit in memory and that if it was moving around too much to access the hardrive, the freeze would happen between songs.
posted by willnot at 12:58 PM on October 11, 2004

The same exact skipping and freezing happened to me, and after the same exact two-month purchase period. A couple days after the first incident of skipping, my ipod completely crashed. I got the 10G in March 2004. I only had it for 2 months, and treated it very carefully. I kept it perfectly stable in a very shallow, padded purse, never converted a single file, never used it for anything besides listening it mp3’s, and used it maybe 2 hours per day. I had never dropped it or shaken it at all. I kept it charged constantly, and never let it “crash”.

I went through reinstalls to try to fix it, but nothing worked. I went into ipod forums for help, but nothing. Anyway, after that, I enrolled in their online service program and they sent me a box. I sent it back asap with their ups account number, and they sent me a brand new one within 5 days. It was extremely efficient. I’ve had the new one for months now, and no problems yet. Good luck. I suspect this 2-month shit batch might be a big pool of deficient ipods that they should actually recall.
posted by naxosaxur at 1:19 PM on October 11, 2004

Yes I believe it will stop mid-song, I'm guessing that must be to allow long files such as audio books or say a debate.
posted by riffola at 1:21 PM on October 11, 2004

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