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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Skipping Music on iPod

When your music sounds bad or skips during playback, here's what to look for:

1) You may have a bad pair of headphones. I ruined a pair last year when I accidentally left my iPod on while inside my backpack. I think the volume was turned on full blast and blew out the headphones after playing until the iPod's battery ran out. After that, all my music sounded like crap. But when I hooked up a new pair of headphones, everything on my iPod sounded fine.

2) Also check under SETTINGS for the EQ function. You may have a weird setting like TREBBLE BOOST on. This would make all your music sound like AM radio. Change it here on your iPod: Settings > EQ (adjust to your liking)

3) Music glitches, pauses and skips on your iPod probably mean one thing: a fragmented hard drive. Do you have a disk utility program? Try a program like Norton Systemworks (PC) or Disk Warrior (Mac) and run it on your iPod, as if it were an external drive. You may also need to erase the music on your iPod and start fresh.

4) If you have problems with music skipping on your computer, you should run the same defrag programs mentioned above on the hard drive that contains all your iTunes music. If you are still getting music glitches in iTunes, the file may have gotten messed up during import.

When you import CDs into iTunes make sure:

  • You have enough hard drive space on your computer.
  • If you have a slow computer and/or not a lot or RAM, quit all other programs (besides iTunes) during the import process.

When I imported a few CDs on an old slow computer, I got lots of bad quality audio files. The skips and glitches in your songs may be your computer choking during the import.

The other reason for skipping tracks could be some form of copy protection. Read the fine print on the back of the CD cover and on the disc itself. Some additional information about copy protection issues may be provided.

5) If you defragmented your iPod and are still having issues with the audio, you can try to restore the iPod to the factory settings or erase it.

6) The iPod's skip protection works best with compressed audio files. This allows multiple songs to fit into iPod's 32 MB memory cache. If your audio files are large, or are uncompressed (such as songs in AIFF or WAV format), you may want to compress them, and use the MP3 or AAC compressors when importing new songs. Just put the original CD back in your computer and change your import settings in iTunes. Import the music. Then delete the bad music off your iPod and copy the newly imported music onto it. Also, if you are having problems with high bitrate MP3s, convert the files to AAC files at either 160 or 128.

7) Your iPod may be suffering from a bad sector issue. You can try putting your iPod into diagnostic mode and scan the hard drive for bad blocks. If you find some bad blocks, try running a a full read/write test. This will remap what bad sectors it can and erase all the data on your iPod.

8) If nothing listed here works, you may also hear a loud irregular clicking or spinning noise. That's the sad song of a bad hard drive. Your only real option now is to send it out to get fixed or replaced. Try our VIP Repair Service. Well if you do have to send it in to get fixed, you might want to upgrade the hard drive size while you are at it