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My songs won't show/play when connecting to another device

1493 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 17, 2013 8:25 PM by zeusnhp RSS
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Dec 9, 2013 3:57 PM

I have over 1,000 songs on my iPod 5th generation.  But when I connect to any device via a USB (dvd player, smart blu ray, tv), it only shows 167. My files are all mpeg 4 (.m4a). How do I get all my songs to show/play?

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,005 points)

    The .m4a extension is used for the AAC audio format, which is the default format used by Apple for iTunes audio encoding and songs downloaded from the iTunes Store.  My guess is that your equipment supports MP3 only, and not AAC.  167 of the over 1000 songs on your iPod are  in MP3 format.

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,005 points)

    some of the songs that do

    That do what?  


    The AAC format is the audio component of "MP4" (or "MPEG-4").  So, if something is described as MP4 and it is audio, it is essentionally AAC (although the file may have a different extension).  MP3 is different, and it is the more common format used for audio files.


    In iTunes, for the songs that do not play on the external equipment, what does it say for Kind on when you do a Get Info and look on the Info window's Summary tab?  What does it say there for the songs that do play?  Any pattern...?

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,005 points)

    The Kind for those files (in the Get Info window in iTunes) should say something like


    AAC audio file

    MP3 audio file


    Those are the typical types of audio files that most external non-Apple players can play (and some can only play MP3 audio files).  iTunes on the computer is more flexible, and can play other types of audio files.  If it says "MP4" or "MPEG-4" as part of the Kind description, then it may be an audio file, but it is not typical AAC or MP3.


    I know it will not say only "MP4" for Kind in the iTunes song Info window, so what does it say exactly?

    I am thinking that this is a copyright issue that is blocking most songs being played directly from my iPod to any other device via a USB.

    MP3 cannot be copy-protected, I believe.  AAC can be copy-protected, and Apple previously used their form of "DRM" in the early days of the iTunes Store.  Those audio files are called


    Protected AAC audio file


    for Kind in iTunes.  It's possible those "protected" files will not play on external players that are not from Apple.


    In the last few years, songs downloaded from the iTunes Store have not used DRM.  They are standard AAC files, but they are called


    Purchased AAC audio file


    for Kind in iTunes.  But the bottom line is, it needs to say "AAC audo file" or "MP3 audio file" as part of the song's description for Kind in iTunes.  If it does not, it may be an audio file, but it is not a typical audio file format.


    Another characteristic of audio file is the "bit rate" used to encode (compress) them.  This is shown on the Get Info window in iTunes as Bit Rate.  It is possible that the external players can only play song files below a maximum number.  So you may want to look at that Bit Rate number for songs that do play and songs that do not play, to see if there is a pattern.


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