Previous 1 2 Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2010 10:37 PM by Cerulean73
Juliator Level 1 (15 points)
Hi everyone,

*Since I upgraded my iPod Touch* to the latest available software update +(for the 1st Gen is 3.1.3)+, it has become *unable to properly play any music encoded above 128kbps*. Before the upgrade, my iPod could play music encoded in any higher bitrates like a champ! All the way to 320kbps, variable, even Apple Lossless format used to play flawlessly.

Suddenly after the last *firmware update*, most of the songs in my iPod Touch would *skip, glitch and garble, making electronic glitches and annoying noises* for no apparent reason. On occasion, the iPod would even *add several second of silence in the middle of random songs*. It's bizarre!

It definitely took me a while to figure it out, and spent weeks testing and researching what could be the problem. It was truly driving me nuts! The result of all these tests was clear: the *iPod Touch now CHOKES on any music file encoded higher than 128 kbps ACC*. Truly pathetic for such an expensive little jukebox. Even the early MP3 players I owned 10 years ago were able to play variable rate MP3 files without a glitch. *_This is a major bug that needs to be solved_*.

For those interested, I did the following tests through my weeks of research to find out the culprit to this problem:

- - - Reinstalled the device software

- - - Reformatted the device, then updated the software

- - - Uninstalled all apps, reinstalled and tested my music after reinstalling each app

- - - Disabled Wi-Fi (no difference)

- - - Copied over my music library from scratch, several times (it was painful)

- - - Reformatted a few albums in different bitrates, from 96kbps, all the way to 320kbps, both in constant and variable rates, and tested them one by one. This took days.

In the end, there is one thing that was consistently clear: *any songs encoded over 128kbps would skip, glitch and sound corrupted. Time after time*. All those music files I had encoded at higher rates +(192 kbps, variable 240 kbps and beyond)+ would make the iPod choke.

There is one temporary solution to this mess, but it involves reducing the quality of your music files: The only way I can now play my music collection in my iPod Touch without skips and glitches is by downconverting my files to the now *obsolete 128kbps*. Only when I converted my music to 128kbps, the annoying skips and glitches stopped. For an audiophile like myself, this was an absolutely painful decision, as I can tell the *obvious loss in quality and nuance in my music files since i had to downconvert them*.

Funny: this skipping problem *also affects any files purchased from iTunes* +(encoded at 240 kbps variable rate)+. Should I ask for my money back, Apple?

I find this irritating and painful, since *the ONE THING the iPod is supposed to do well* (aside from apps, games, and web browsing) *is to PLAY AUDIO AND MUSIC FILES*.

I spent a lot of money on this machine, and until recently it worked like magic; I just wished it played music again like it's supposed to. It's what the iPod was built to do. *Apple: Please fix the software!*

I wonder if there's a forum where I could post my detailed findings, so Apple engineers can take note of this *MAJOR BUG*.

PS: I have recently learned this is a very common bug, and tons of people are reaching out telling me they are experiencing the same annoying problems. Furthermore, *this seems to affect not just the 1st Gen, but ALL generations of the iPod Touch*. It's a *widespread software issue* that was not properly addressed in the latest software upgrade. I'm starting to worry about Apple's quality assurance process.

Quad Core PC, Windows Vista, 32GB iPod Touch 1st Gen - Firmware 3.1.3
  • Fegg Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi everybody,
    unfortunately for me silence is only one of the troubles I'm having with my ipod touch.
    My Ipod also has problems with image library. Some of the images are scrumbled in big squares and also video have wrong frames in preview.

    Silence problems started randomly with the upgrade to 3.1.2 version and got worse with 3.1.3 (with 2.x it was great and also video playback had no problems, no green screens ....).

    I think the problem is between PC and Ipod during Sync.

    I bought some songs from ITunes from Ipod using WiFi and they played perfectly.
    Then I tried to restore the machine to avoid the silence problem on other songs.

    Syncing back almost all songs where corrupted, also the ones that played well.
    Every song is fine on my PC.

    After that I bought other songs with wifi and they are perfect (no sync yet).

    Hope this helps.
  • r1beaver_man Level 1 (0 points)
    yea my ipod touch 2nd gen ios 4.0.2 will stutter and the turn off while i use the speaker and when i try to change the music it will just freeze n my only solution is to turn off my device please if you have found any solutions please notify me as soon as possible thank you very much
  • acmedia Level 3 (580 points)
    Replying to this thread to bump it - I originally thought the problem was a new set of earbuds I'd bought, that the remote was broken, but it looks like it's the OS.
  • StuStJohn Level 1 (0 points)
    Why one earth has no-one from Apple addressed this issue? This is now my third evening of looking around the Web, using Google, etc., to try to shed light on a very important issue: My son has just spent a year saving up for an 8GB iPod Touch and it does its apps very nicely, looks cool, locates us within 100m using Google Maps - but it CANNOT PLAY MUSIC PROPERLY!

    All of the songs I have loaded start playing a few seconds into the song, then jump back to the start after a few seconds, then skip elsewhere in the song. All bands, all styles of music. If I was in my son's shoes I would think that Apple have created an utter disaster here! Can anyone please tell me what's going on?!

    Fortunately my son has temporarily become absorbed in some free app or other that he downloaded, but in the next few days he is going to want to listen to his music. I am currently resetting the factory settings (I started downloading before I read this thread) but it now appears that by doing so I might make the problem even worse. Someone please help!


  • Juliator Level 1 (15 points)
    Hi Stuart,

    I feel your pain. I've been dealing with this issue for months, and there's no other solution than taking all the MP3 songs, and reconverting them all again into a lower quality 128 kbps format. To me, this is not what an iPod should require.

    Lower quality bitrates for encoding music, like 128 kbps, were OK in the earlier days of MP3 and digital music, like the late 1990s.

    Today, the vast majority of devices can play higher quality bitrates. Even iTunes now sells all their music encoded as 256 kbps. It's considerably better, the music sounds better and cleaner when encoded in higher rates.

    Funny enough, even the music I buy from iTunes (as 256 kbps) skips and glitches like crazy. It is extremely frustrating that their own devices can't play properly the music files they sell. Wonder if I should get my money back at this point.

    The only solution they have for this is converting your high quality music into a crappy, low-fidelity format. Then your super-advanced iPod Touch would be able to play your music. Seriously, it is frustrating.

    What is it going to take for Apple to solve this bug? Every day I meet more people experiencing the same problem. It is an issue.
  • ITTech Level 1 (0 points)
    I have the exact same issue. Apple seems to care less that their latest software upgrade has wreaked hvoc on all of the consumers that use their products. Trying to discuss this with tech support seems futle at best. Downgrading the quality of my entire music library is not a viable solution. Come on Steve, one of your guys screwed up. How about fixing the problem? I have a 64GB 3rd generation Ipod Touch that worked great until the latest software upgrade. 4.0 worked fine but 4.1 is a nightmare. Anyone have an easy way to get back to version 4.0?
  • drukus Level 1 (0 points)
    I also have a 64GB 3rd generation Ipod Touch that worked fine until the latest update. Apple products seem to really be heading downhill.
  • David. Level 4 (2,145 points)
    "The result of all these tests was clear: the iPod Touch now CHOKES on any music file encoded higher than 128 kbps ACC."

    I don't have trouble at all with music playing properly on my 4G touch, or my wife's 2G touch, running 4.1. Nor did I have trouble with 3.1.3, or 4.0.1, or 4.02 (on hers). Music is encoded at 320 AAC.
  • Juliator Level 1 (15 points)
    I'm glad to learn that not everyone is experiencing this issue. You are lucky. Many of us are having a hard time with our iPod Touches since the last update, and are unable to play music encoded at a higher bitrate. I wonder if this is a combination of issues that make it difficult to narrow down (computer system, operating system, iPod version, etc).
  • Cerulean73 Level 1 (0 points)
    Mine played fine with the last iOS3 update, 32GB 3rd gen iPod.
    With 4.0, it played fine . . . through the headset port.
    Connect a USB cable, and digital playback skipped like a scratched record. Randomly, never necessarily in the same spot either.
    With 4.1, the skipping has stopped. Now, through USB cable with digital playback, I get random bursts of static. Again, never necessarily in the same spot.
    Or, short version:
    With the 4.x iOS updates, DIGITAL audio playback through USB is messed up for me, while ANALOG audio playback isn't.

    Message was edited by: Cerulean73
  • Juliator Level 1 (15 points)
    Hi everyone. Thanks to a tip in another forum, I think I had a breakthrough regarding this problem. I have the strong suspicion it's not the software for the iPod Touch, but instead, the problem comes from *iTunes and how it handles USB 2.0 transfers*.

    To make a long story short, all your *music that's encoded above 128 kbps gets corrupted when you transfer it to your Touch from iTunes through your USB 2.0 connection*. That's where the problem is!

    I performed this simple test:

    *PART 1 - WIFI*

    - I connected my iPod Touch via Wi-Fi to the iTunes Store. Bought an album encoded at a very high bitrate (Coldplay's "Viva la Vida", encoded at 256KBPS).

    - Downloaded the Coldplay album directly to my iPod Touch via Wi-Fi.

    - Tested every song in the album, and they all played flawlessly.

    *PART 2 - USB 2.0*

    - Now, I erased the Coldplay album from my iPod Touch.

    - Connected my iPod Touch to my computer, and downloaded the album again via iTunes. I copied the very same album to my iPod Touch, this time using the USB 2.0 connection.

    - I tested every song in the album. Guess what: most of them are corrupted, skipping, glitching, making garbled noises.

    I think a reached a minor "eureka" moment. *It's not the iPod Touch software: It's iTunes, and how iTunes deals with your USB 2.0 connection*.

    Now, I'm not an engineer, and I don't know how to fix this problem. I wonder if there's anyone out there there that knows why high bitrate files get corrupted during the file transfer. Hope anyone can shed some additional light on this issue, so we can find a solution.
  • esc_in_wa Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi, Juliator. That doesn't solve it for me (and I think for a lot of others, too). On my iPod Touch, everything is always fine when using the headphone out. It only skips/stutters if playing back over the USB dock connector to my home receiver and my car stereo.

    Still radio silence from Apple... If iOS 4.2 doesn't solve it, I'll sell my iPod Touch.
  • Juliator Level 1 (15 points)
    Hi escinwa,

    I agree with you this does not solve the problem. It just merely points in a direction that could help the Apple engineers solving this problem once and for all. I think it has to do whit the usb connection
    What I have noticed too are the variations of this issue, how the skips and sound glitches appear in different forms among those of us experiencing the problem. One things I wanted to figure out is the following: Are these problems happening to both Mac and PC users, or to us PC users only? It could help further narrow down the problem, I think.
  • Cerulean73 Level 1 (0 points)
    PC user, Windows XP SP3.
    Song does not glitch over headphones.
    Does not glitch over Bluetooth connection (although the audio sounds "tinnie" like there's too much treble when played over Bluetooth).
    Only glitches over USB/digital connection, never the same glitch in the same spot.
    Turning the iPod totally off and on again will often, but not always, allow one song to play glitch free over the USB connection.
    Songs on the iPod when iOS3 was installed, and I seem to remember playing correctly over USB connection, have not since iOS4 was installed.
    My guess?
    Something they did to get the "multitasking" feature to work is interfering with song playback through a USB connection. Maybe randomly taking up processor cycles and causing the stutter or static.
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