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).