It's possible there is data corruption in the nano's storage. You may want to do a Restore on the nano, from the nano's Summary tab in iTunes. This will erase the nano, re-install its software, and set it to default settings. You can then re-sync your content. If there's a problem related to data corruption or a software glitch, a Restore should fix it.
Thanks for the reassuring and logical suggestion.
I am managing my content manually, including synching the podcasts that have been listend-to since the last synch.
I don't thoroughly understand the scope of the synch that I’m doing or exactly what it does with regard to saving and restoring my contents. Is the contents of the Nano being stored in a synch record so that it will recreate the last synched contents onto a "restored" Nano. In other words, after the housecleaning that a restore does, will my contents, prior to that restore, be replaced onto the Nano?
(I'll never remember specific contents list that would need to be recreated from the library of podcasts I had on the Nano at the time of a Restore).
I'm sorry but the synch and restore functions elude me.
Again, many thanks.
If you manage content manually, it will be somewhat more tedious to reload your nano after the Restore. Also, if there is content on the nano that is not in your current iTunes library, you will need to "off-load" such files (if you want to keep them) from the nano (onto your computer), before the Restore process erases it off the nano.
If you set up automatic syncing by using the nano's "tabs" in iTunes (the row that starts with Summary when you select the nano in the iTunes sidebar), recovering from a Restore is fairly easy. For example, you could have a playlist in iTunes with all the songs you want on the nano, that you keep regularly updated with adding new songs (and removing old songs). After the Restore, you just need to select that playlist again on the nano's Music tab, and sync. You can do the same with Podcasts and other content types.
Using the manual method, you will need to manually add content back onto the nano. There is no record kept of what is loaded on an iPod manually.
Well, it appears that a full Restore did not do the trick.
I thought it may be the mix of files that reside in the Audiobook section of the Nano.
There is one actual (Audible) Book which resideds alone in the Audiobook folder until I added four "concert appearance of speakers all recorded at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. The trouble began when I added these four one-hour speaker files, purchased at iTunes.
So I tried removing the four added tapes and and replaced them with another book so that two books were present. The the problem remained. When I started Book A, Book B played and vice versa.
So, it doesn't appear to be a file issue. It seems like a corruption that the Restore didn't fix.
I loaded an old beat-up Nano with the same combination of Book and event file and it worked normally on the old Nano. Those same files continued to play wrongly when played again on the newer Nano that exhibited the issue I complained about.
I'm stuck with playing "Go Fish" every time I want to play one of a batch of books on my newer Nano.
That's disappointing. You said it worked fine for a long time, before this problem occurred. And now, not even doing a Restore, which should put it back to the original state and settings, will fix the problem. Therefore, the cause may be something in your iTunes Library database file that, for some reason, only affects this iPod model.
You said earlier that you manually manage content on the nano. Have you ever tried to use the automatic sync settings to load your books? To do this select the iPod in iTunes. There is a row of "tabs" (buttons) that starts with Summary. Click on the Books tab, and check the box for Sync Audiobooks. Below that choose Selected audiobooks, and select a small number of audiobook to sync as a test.
NOTE: If you set an iTunes media category, such as Music or Books to sync automatically, you will not be using the manual loading method anymore. Whatever is currently on the iPod will be replaced by your selection on those tabs. Since you just did a Restore, that may not be a concern.
Click the Apply button to sync the selected audiobooks to the nano. See if the problem recurs if automatic syncing is used to load the audiobooks.
I appreciate your ongoing attention to this problem.
You said: "Have you ever tried to use the automatic sync settings to load your books? "
I used the automatic for a year but it was a nightmare to run because it selected items that were in a stack (apparently) and didn't allow me to pull items that I wanted into the iPod without creating synch chaos following the playing. I just gave up. I'm not a systems guy.
I can't understand how I am able to pull an old (same model) Nano out of the drawer and load it up with the same batch of books and it performs exactly as it should, no book-swapping. Two pieces of identical hardware sharing the same iTunes on he same computer and one just doesn't read the files as it should.
It seems to me (a total amateur at this kind of troubleshooting) that it must be the newer Nano.
iResQ (shop) says it's likely the logic board. (Expensive).
It concerns me that Apple, two years ago, couldn't figure out what was wrong from the stated symptoms.
I don't use audiobook very much, but you should be able to select individual parts of multi-part books (which may be what you called a "stack"). On the iPod's Books tab, check Sync Audiobooks, choose Selected audiobooks, and select the desired audiobooks on the left-side list below. Highlight one of the books on the list to the left, and the "parts" of that book are shown on the list to the right. For books that have more than one part, checkmark only the part(s) you want to load.
Alternately, using automatic syncing may be easier (more familiar) for you if you use playlists. Create a new regular playlist in iTunes and call it something like "iPod Books." In iTunes, manually drag the audiobooks you want on the iPod to that playlist (not to the iPod). On the iPod's Books tab, select that one playlist from the list under Include Audiobooks from Playlists. That's all you need to select on the Books tab. In this way, instead of manually updating the iPod with books, you are manually updating a playlist with books, then automatically syncing that playlist to the iPod. You can use the same playlist method on the Music tab; create and manually maintain a playlist of songs for the iPod ("iPod Songs"), and select that one playlist on the Music tab to automatically sync to the iPod.
I find automatic syncing much more convenient, because I don't need to have the iPod connected when I update those playlists. But when I connect the iPod, it "automatically" syncs with my "manual" changes (since the last sync), all at once. In this case, I'm not advocating that you use this method all the time, but that you try it to see if it makes a difference for this problem you have. If it does make a difference, it may help to determine the cause.
The "stacks" I referred to was my term referencing the long lists of podcasts from which I pull items into the Nano. Usually I "synch" and just take the three most recent. But, occasionally, I drag and drop from an older section and that's where the system seems to get out of hand for my understanding of what follows. It works fine for me. Using the automatic synching gets to be so unreliable with regards to the actual content I acquired, that the manual way seems simpler for me.
I seem to have a conceptual problem with the playlist system. (I think it's a left-over fragment of A.D.D. plus a dash of dyslexia).
For me the synching doesn't seem to be the issue because I'm dragging and dropping everything in by hand and then allowing the manual synch to eliminate the listened-to stuff and refilling the podcast categories in my list with the three most recent items. (My hair is starting to hurt. ;-)
You seem to better understand the things that cause problems but troubleshooting using a whole new system is scary for me.
I admit that I feel incapable of trusting the playlist approach because I just don't understand the architecture well enough to trust what I am doing and fear risking my 60+ carefully selected podcasts. (I need the podcasts to get through my 2.5 hours of twice-weekly gym routines to keep healthy enough get to my 78th birthday). So, I don't want to risk jumping into a possibly empty swimming pool wearing a bathing suit with no heavy padding.
Again, many thanks fir your patient and expert help. I'll just continue to play "Whack-A-Mole" with the books until I get a big enough royalty check in to pay for a new logic board or buy a super clean eBay unit.
You can use the same playlist approach with podcasts. You can add and remove individual podcast episodes to a playlist and select that one playlist for syncing on the iPod's Podcasts tab.
Conceptually, instead of manually updaing the iPod directly (like you do now), you are updating the playlists. Your actions are basically the same, except you are dragging stuff to a playlist instead of the iPod. When you sync, all of your changes to the playlist(s) since the last sync are made to the iPod.
One advantage of syncing playlists automatically is that your iPod can be disconnected when you make updates (add and remove items). You can make all of your changes very quickly to the playlists; adding items directly to the iPod takes a bit of time per item. The next time you connect the iPod, it syncs any changes automatically, all at once.
Another advantage is easy recovery. If you do a Restore, or if you get that "new" iPod, you don't have to manually load the iPod to recreate what you had before. Just select the same playlist(s) on the new (or restored) iPod's Music, Books, and/or Podcasts tabs, and sync. Everything will be like it was before, in just a few minutes.
And in this case, it may actually make a difference. When you manually update the iPod, the items are added or removed one (or several) items at a time. When it is done automatically, iTunes uses a different process to make ALL of the changes at once. So, if the process is what is failing (possibly due to an odd bug), it may work properly after an automatic sync. That's why you should give it a try (as a test), even if you don't want to use automatic syncing regularly.