Troubleshooting songs that skip

While playing a song, iPod unexpectedly skips to the next song. Find out what you can do if your iPod unexpectedly skips while playing a song.

Install the latest iPod software

Always update your iPod with the latest software before troubleshooting.

Install the latest iTunes software

Always update your iTunes software with the latest version before troubleshooting.

Use compressed songs

iPod's skip protection works best with compressed audio files. This allows multiple songs to fit into iPod's memory cache. If your audio files are large or are uncompressed (such as songs in AIFF format), you may want to compress them. And when importing new songs, use the MP3 or AAC compressors.

Consider breaking large files into smaller files. If your songs aren't compressed—if they are in AIFF or WAV format, for example—they take up much more space. Instead of holding 25 minutes of music, the cache can only hold a few minutes. This means that the hard drive has to work harder to keep the cache full. Because it must turn on more often, the hard disk is more prone to being affected by movement as it loads the cache. This could make a song skip. More hard drive access can also affect battery life.

Avoid shaking iPod if using iPod, iPod video, or iPod classic

iPod provides skip protection by playing music from its solid-state cache. When iPod has played all the music stored in the cache, the hard drive copies more music to the cache. Shaking iPod while the hard drive is copying music may cause songs to skip.

Make sure song files are not damaged

If a specific song skips when you play it, it may be damaged.

1. Delete the song and update your iPod.

2. Insert the CD you used to import the song and import it again. If the CD is scratched or dirty, iTunes may not be able to import the song. Try cleaning the CD or use a different one. If the song was imported or created using a third-party application, try the following:

  1. Use iTunes to import the content directly from the CD.
  2. Convert the content to an iPod-compatible format using iTunes.

3. Update your iPod with the new copy of the song.

Defragment the hard drive on your iPod, iPod video, or iPod classic if you are using it with a Windows computer

Refer to the instructions that came with your Windows computer if you are not sure on how to use Disk Defragmenter or similar software.

Unplug the USB cable or turn off the EQ

If you have an iPod (with Dock Connector) model and you're using a Windows computer, unplug the USB cable from iPod or turn off the EQ.

Reset iPod

Resetting iPod can sometimes help. When you reset iPod all your songs and files are saved, but some customized settings may be lost.

Restore iPod

If all the songs you play skip and their file sizes are small, you may need to restore iPod.

Warning: The restore process cannot be undone. All the songs and files on your iPod will be deleted. Always keep a backup of your important files. Content in your iTunes Library will not be affected by restoring your iPod.

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