A watched ipod never syncs
October 9, 2007 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Any ideas why transferring files to my ipod (over usb 2.0) starts out fast then gradually slows to a crawl?

A little background: I had a hard drive failure a couple of weeks ago, and had to reinstall Windows XP. I then bought a new ipod, and have been trying to sync my ~10GB music library over to it. If the computer's been off for some time, the transfer will begin at normal speeds (say a song every couple of seconds), but by the time 75 or so songs have transferred, it will be going painfully slow (a song takes a minute or more), and on several occasions my laptop has suddenly just shut itself off (I assume because the processing load got too high?). Any subsequent attempts to transfer will be at the slow speed, unless I shut down the computer for some time and restart.

This never happened with my old ipod. I'm confused as to what could be causing this apparent bottleneck. I appreciate any suggestions or thoughts.
posted by pardonyou? to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You may want to check your memory usage (hit control+alt+delete) and see if you're maxing out on memory. Wouldn't be surprised if that's what it is.

Have you tried closing out every single program running in the background that you don't need?
posted by DMan at 11:03 AM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: Yes, I made sure that the only running program (at least the only one I choose to run) is iTunes.

I'll have to check the memory issue. But it seems to me that wouldn't explain why I never had this problem with my old ipod (or before I had to reinstall XP).
posted by pardonyou? at 11:21 AM on October 9, 2007

Are you using the iPod cable included in the box or a 3rd party cable?
posted by ijoyner at 11:44 AM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: I'm using the cable from the box. Although I suppose I could try the cable from my old ipod (I believe it's the same connection) if there's a chance it's a cable issue.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:52 AM on October 9, 2007

Needing to turn it off for "some time" just screams overheating to me, doubly so for a laptop. I think you'd probably notice, though, if it was getting seriously burny hot, so maybe your new Windows installation doesn't have the right drivers and thus thinks your computer is too hot when it isn't (double check that you have the most recent versions of all drivers). Or maybe it's your IPod overheating.
posted by anaelith at 12:40 PM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestion. I will check the drivers. Also, I haven't actually had it on my lap, so it could be getting excessively hot, for all I know.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:59 PM on October 9, 2007

Seconding anaelith - your laptop harddrive is probably overheating leading to a fatal crash. Check your error logs.

A quick-fix solution would be to put 4 somethings under the corners of the laptop so it's not directly on the desk. This should help a little in the cooling department.

If you have the time/software, quickly see how fragmented your laptop harddrive is. Heavy fragmentation = more movement and speed change = more heat.
posted by porpoise at 4:47 PM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. I will try them out when I get home tonight. I appreciate the help.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:32 AM on October 10, 2007

Make sure both devices (iPod and Laptop) have AC power while the transfer is occurring. Laptops usually throttle their CPU to save battery life.
posted by tehloki at 3:15 PM on October 10, 2007

Let me guess - your new iPod is flash-based (new Nano? iPod Touch?), and your old one was hard-drive based?

Hard drives can write streams of data much faster than flash memory can. When transfering many songs to your iPod, the first few songs will fit in the iPod's RAM, which is very fast. The iPod writes data to the flash as fast as it can, but as soon as the RAM it's using as a buffer fills up, it has to make the remaining songs wait in line.

If you're not having any other troubles with this PC, then I really doubt that anything is actually wrong with your equipment.
posted by LightStruk at 4:50 PM on October 10, 2007

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