4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2014 3:07 AM by turingtest2
pegaudet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

This is not a question. It may not even be a solution (yet), I have not been able to test this long enough yet to say it's the cause. I'm thowing this out there so hopefully others (such as apple employees perhaps?) will find this information useful.


My set up:


     - 160gb ipod classic bought about 3 months ago (because my ipod touch is not big enough any more)

     - about 14,000 songs

     - about 50 podcasts

     - about 15 movies

     - about 280 tv show episodes


For several months I only had songs and podcasts in itunes (and sync'ed to the classic). For the past month or so, I started to load movies and only about 3 weeks ago tv shows in itunes and to the ipod as I would load them in itunes. As I loaded more and more movies and tv shows, I found the classic would spontaneously lock up, more easily or spontaneously reboot more often the more I loaded on the ipod.


My library was finally large enough last week I would format/wipe clean my ipod classic (zero write the entire HD in disc mode and full factory restore in itunes) and the very first movie/tv show/podcast I would try to play would cause the classic to lock up, and sometimes, just playing all 14,000 songs would do it too.


The prescribed "reboot" from a lockup would screw up something and it would get stuck in the reboot/crash before doing anything/reboot again infinite loop or just sponaneously reboot when I tried to do anything.


Diagnostic mode showed there was nothing wrong with the harddrive itself, so I suspected the OS was crapping out. I thought, what could be taking up a lot of memory? My ipod touch takes forever to copy the 10,000 genius data files so I figured I could leave out the genius data as a test to see what that would do.


I was able to restore stability of the classic (so far) this way:


- Create a playlist that has NOTHING in it called 'blank - do not add'

- Create a separate smart playlist named 'ipod classic list' that has the following rules:

    - Media kind is music

    - Playlist is not the 'blank - do not add' playlist (this extra playlist might not be necessary, but I figured if I wanted to leave out some songs, I would hadd them to blank playlist)

- Factory reset the ipod classic, manually manage the ipod

- Only add songs found in the 'ipod classic list' playlist (do NOT copy genius data) (I also did add several other playlists that I use most often, and so far it seems to not be a problem)

- Add all movies

- Add all tv shows

- Add all podcasts


Several syncs between each media type add were done so I wouldn't overload the sync process, though I'm not sure that's necessary, but I did notice that the progress bar on the "OK to DISCONNECT" status between each sync went a whole lot faster without the genius data than it did when I was copying the genius data as well.


My theory is that the classic is using up too much RAM memory for genius data when you have a large library (though I don't think mine is all that big) and when you try to play a video that is too large (or not) (I have older NTSC tv shows at 640x480, but should be within the capability of the classic), the memory required to play the video stomps on something it should not have and there is memory mismanagement/corruption going on. The end result is you get a hard lockup/crash and burn. When that happens, the disc is not written to and you get corrupted library files / filesystem corruption (e.g. you start playing a video and it goes to update the 'last played' field for that record and it doesn't get properly flushed to disc).


Once something gets corrupted, the player starts to crash and reboot unexpectedly. I also believe it is a corrupted file, since a "check filesystem" doesn't find anything wrong, nor does it say it fixed anything. iTunes does not seem to find or fix anything in the music library on the ipod either. A wipe/rebuild from scratch does fix the problem, until the next hard lock up. Given that the classic "feels" better (more responsive) without the genius data, I think I found the root cause of my problem (for a while at least).

iPod classic 160GB (Late 2009)
  • pegaudet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    My long winded post above does seem to have resolved my classic corruption problem.


    I still experience random spontaneous reboots after a sync, but so far, it has not hard locked. I find the click wheel interface very hard to use with a large library and resort to smart playlist syncing on my ipod touch for daily activies. I keep poking at the classic and use it some times over the touch, but it's mainly my "leave no tune behind" device. I'm still not sure if it's truly a fix short of using it daily for months at a time...


    Basically, experimentation tells me the genius data on a classic that has more than 12,000 songs seems to make it suceptible to "hard locks", far more suceptible as the numbers go up. I'm up to 14,000+ songs.


    From what I can tell, a random spontaneous reboot will not necessarily cause the player to corrupt itself, but a hard lock will almost certainly cause it to crap all over itself and likely take a permanent vacation, requiring a wipe/format/restore fix....

  • micturion Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)



    I think im having the same problem recently when I added a lot more songs to my itunes library.

    My iPod seems to crash when I synced my complete library (20.000 or so..just music). The iPod boots I can select songs...but seems to crash quite soon. IPod reboots and gets stuck on the apple logo. Reset wont do anything.

    Hooking it up to itunes wont work either...its not recognized.


    Done so far;

    -iPod into disk mode...recognized by windows. Seems good.

    -Did a full HDD format (quick and nonquick) and check in windows...no bad sectors

    -iPod diagnostics shows no problems...smart data only 14 retracts(?) have to check that again.

    -Whiped HDD completly, reformated, restored with itunes and full resync. Same problem occur.


    What worked (so far):

    -Whiped HDD completly, reformated, restored with itunes and manually manage with just a few songs.

    -I think genius is off.


    My conclusion so far is iPod cant handle too much library entries? Maybe playlists?

    Im gonna manually fill with around 10.000 songs. Sees how it holds up.

  • pegaudet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My library has grown since I posted the original...


    The classic does have serious issues and their claim it can hold "40,000" songs is a bit exaggerated seeing as it crashes and is highly unstable past about 12,000 songs.


    I have ONLY music (about 16,000 now) and ONLY one smart playlist which is basically "all music" on the classic and it is so unstable, I gave up using it.


    With JUST the songs and JUST one playlist, I can almost hold it together with spit, bubblegum and and prayer.... If I load many playlists, it craps and requires the "format harddrive" treatment before it even finishes the previous factory restore process.


    I'm sure it's related to the thing trying to keep that many song titles in memory, it run out and becomes very unstable and if it's unstable enough, borks the filesystem as described previously.


    It would be interesting to strip out all the id3 tags from all the music (or rather a copy of the music) and sync those to the device to see if it becomes far more stable.... or load movies/tv shows to capacity so the list of "media" on the device is restricted to a handful of files, still having the device full...


    At any rate, I'm not impressed with the lack of stability for such an expensive device and convinced they just added a bigger harddrive to the original design without thinking through that they would need more ram as well.


    Now I'm essentially using it as a paperweight, having gone back to my 64gb iphone 5 and several smart playlists that swap out about 20 songs a day, every day so I can get full music library representation... I also gave up the notion of "leaving no tune behind".... and I will certainly never trust the cloud with my stuff either. At least I can be stranded for a while and still have a good sized library available, but that doesn't address the reason why I bought it in the first place.


    In my opinion, the idea of the classic is great but the execution is a big fat fail. If you have enough to need it, it's unstable and not worth having. If you don't have enough to need it, the touch is far better.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (62,560 points)

    Sounds like the "Break up large transfers" section of my Corrupt iPod classic post might prove useful if/when you need to reload again. I found it easy to add multiple playlists on once I'd got the media loaded. Mine is pre-Genius so I don't have experience with that aspect.