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Archived - Troubleshooting songs that skip on iPod

Find out what you can do if a song skips while playing.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Install the latest iPod software

Always update your iPod with the latest software 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 use the MP3 or AAC compressors when importing new songs. Consider breaking large files into smaller files. If your songs aren't compressed, in AIFF or WAV format, for example, they take up a lot more space. Instead of holding 25 minutes of music, the cache can only hold a few minutes. This means the hard drive has to work a lot harder to keep the cache full. Since it has to turn on a lot more often, the hard disk is more prone to be affected by movement as it loads the cache, and that could make a song skip. More hard drive access can also affect battery life.

Avoid shaking iPod

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

Make sure song files are not damaged

If just one 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.
  3. Update your iPod with the new copy of the song.

Unplug the USB cable or turn off the EQ

If you have an iPod (with Dock Connector) model and you're using a Windows PC, 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.

Related documents

93318: iPod: Maximizing skip protection
302392: How to back up your media in iTunes
61003: iPod shows a folder icon with exclamation point when you turn it on
61771: iPod does not appear in iTunes or on the desktop, an exclamation point or sad iPod icon appears onscreen
61711: Your Windows PC doesn't recognize iPod

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Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Article: TA26488
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