Slow songs are great and all, but not if they're supposed to be fast songs.
January 22, 2011 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Some songs on my iPod and through iTunes seem to be running slow - just enough to be noticeable and to drive me crazy. Songs that I've downloaded recently seem fine until I play them enough, and then it's almost like they wear out - what gives?

I noticed this about two months ago, only for certain songs on my iPod. I considered wiping it and starting again but then I noticed the same thing was happening when I played songs through iTunes on my computer, and I figured the problem might thus be replicated on the iPod if I tried wiping it. It's very subtle, but definitely there, it only seems to apply to the songs that I play regularly, and there's no other apparent trigger besides frequency. I'm not the only one to have this issue - I found other sufferers through googling, but every post I found about it (i.e. 1, 2, 3) is unresolved.

Please help me, Hive! I'm cramming for exams until March and if my music keeps croaking, I'm not sure what that will say for my academic progress...!

Oh, for the record:
I run Windows 7 Premium 32-bit, I have an 80GB iPod classic (about three years old), and have iTunes The problems didn't seem to start with an upgrade of iTunes, Windows software, or any damage/changes to my iPod other than just syncing.
posted by AthenaPolias to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If it's subtle, its probably just your imagination. Seriously. I can't think of any reason why this could happen.
posted by The Lamplighter at 9:54 AM on January 22, 2011

Get a friend to play the affected song through a few different media players (e.g. Windows Media Player, etc.). You don't see what your friend is doing -- all you hear are the results. You then try to guess which media player is playing the affected music track.

In the case of iTunes vs WMP (for example), under the presumption that it is the iTunes media player at fault, if you can't guess better than 50% then you might be imagining the effect.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:05 AM on January 22, 2011

Are you absolutely sure that it's happening, and that it's happening on both the PC and the iPod? It's probably worth playing one of the 'slow' songs at the same time as the exact same song on CD or some such, just to be absolutely sure it's not your brain playing tricks on you.

If the iPod really is playing certain songs slower, it definitely won't hurt to wipe and restore it (so long as everything on it's backed up).
posted by Catseye at 10:11 AM on January 22, 2011

I can't think of a technical reason why this would happen, especially just to some songs. I mean, maybe there's a 1 in a trillion chance of one device's timing mechanism going slightly bad, but that's more likely to cause either uniform slowness or break the device, not cause subtle and selective slowness. And two devices is so unlikely that we can rule it out as a possibility.

When I really like a song, it makes me very excited to listen to it. I get energized by it. If I hear it enough times, I get less jazzed up by it. Sometimes, I'll listen to a song that I used to love, and now I 'only' really like it, and I'll be surprised by how unenergetic it sounds. Sometimes it even feels like the song has slowed down - so much so that I wonder if it's the same song. In fact, I was practicing drumming along with some Wolfmother this morning, and I had had a tough time keeping time because I wanted the song to go faster and have more energy, but the fact is the tempo on the CD hasn't changed a bit.

I'd bet your experiencing a similar phenomenon. You say these are songs you listen to regularly. I bet you're expecting to experience the same rush that you always do, but as you've gotten more familiar you're not getting that jolt. And then one day you think "man, this song isn't as exciting as I thought - I mean, it's so darn slow!"

Happens to me all the time.
posted by Tehhund at 10:12 AM on January 22, 2011

Time the song with a stopwatch and compare it to the quoted running time.
posted by fairmettle at 11:44 AM on January 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

fairmettle, curse you and your simple, obvious answer.
posted by Tehhund at 12:00 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

The iPod does have the ability to speed up and slow down audiobooks. Perhaps you could be running afoul of that?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:08 PM on January 22, 2011

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