Songs Cut Out on iPod

Q: There are several songs on my iPod that cut out after a few seconds. The timer at the bottom of the screen gives the full play time, but the song never makes it through. I can hear the iPod struggling with the song. They are complete files on my computer, some have been downloaded and some ripped from my CDs. What’s going on? How can I fix this?

– j2718

A: It’s hard to tell with any certainty what the issue could be. While iTunes and the iPod appear to be a seamless system, they use wildly different hardware and software decoding algorithms. Unfortunately, a song that works great in iTunes can’t be guaranteed to work on the iPod – especially if you’ve ripped it with a program other than iTunes.

However, your problem sounds extreme even considering this. We have a few suggestions, but none are guaranteed to work. Try them in this order:

  1. Your iPod might just need to be reset. Reset your iPod, and try the problem files again.
  2. Perhaps the songs were copied badly to your iPod’s hard drive.  Use the iPod Software Updater to “Restore” your iPod, wiping it clean. Reload your iPod with the music in your Library, and try the problem files again.
  3. Perhaps the problem lies with the files themselves.  Re-import the problem songs with iTunes’ own import functionality (to better ensure compatibility), and try them again.

If none of the above work, it could be a problem with the iPod’s own hard drive, and you’ll likely have to contact Apple support for service. We’re thinking it’s more likely number three than numbers one or two.

Jerrod H. is an iLounge Contributing Editor, with frequent contributions to our iPod 101 and 201 tutorials, plus occasional hardware and software product reviews.
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