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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Gizmos: iPod Nano repeatable freeze-up bug

I have an iPod Nano which I use to listen to podcasts and audiobooks on my regular walks around the village. The detalis of this gadget are as follows:
Model: MA497
Software version: 1.1.3
Capacity: 7.45 Gb
Format: Windows
This unit is configured with a “smart playlist” in iTunes to update only podcasts and audiobooks from my library; the About page lists a total of 51 “songs” in its memory. I am using iTunes under Windows XP to download and install data on this iPod.

Ever since I first started using this iPod, every single time I download new podcasts, the next time I start to play a podcast or audiobook, even if previously downloaded and already in progress, the iPod freezes in the process of scrolling from the selection screen to the in progress screen for the chosen recording. The only option at this point is to reset the iPod by holding down both the centre and Menu buttons until the Apple logo appears—this does, however, always seem to work and afterward there are no problems until the next download. (Apple's documentation claims that in order to reset a frozen iPod with a click wheel you must first move the “Hold” switch to the hold position, then back to the normal setting. This is, in technical terms, a bald-faced lie. They so instruct their “consumers” to avoid customer support inquiries from folks who have simply put the iPod in hold mode either accidentally or deliberately and then forgotten about it. For a vendor so sanctimonious about their dedication to the customer experience, you'd expect more of a commitment to honesty.)

This crash appears to be specific to the iPod Nano. I have a 60 Gb video iPod (Model MA147FD, Version 1.2.1) which is updated from the same library (although in “update everything” mode as opposed to a playlist), and I have never experienced the lock-up with it. As far as I know, the firmware version on the iPod Nano is current.

Posted at June 30, 2007 22:09