Fixing (some) 5G iPod Resets

by Erica Sadun

Some 5G iPods reset themselves when attempting to play single channel MP3 audio--that is, monaural not stereo audio--recorded at a sampling rate of 32 Khz or higher. To bypass the reset bug, turn off the equalizer. Change your Settings -> EQ to Off. Alternatively, use an audio editing program to transform the audio. Either duplicate the mono channel and save as stereo or use a standard plug-in like mda-stereo to create synthetic stereo using Haas delays and comb filters.


Stephen W. Carson
2006-10-06 08:24:16
This problem has been driving me crazy. Unfortunately it has been happening to me on a 4th gen (black & white display) iPod. I just checked and I think my EQ setting is already off. Very frustrating! It happens to me with mono podcasts. For example, any of the last several MacBreak Weekly episodes from
Erica Sadun
2006-10-06 08:29:15
One of the problems with the EQ setting is that it doesn't really give much in the way of feedback of where it's already set to. Go ahead and try setting it to Off again and then try one of those podcasts and please let me know if that helps at all...
Andy B
2006-10-06 09:03:50
I have a bunch of 1-hour-long MP3 files that are mono, 64 kbps, 44.1 kHz and they have been crashing my 5G iPod. I set the EQ to off and the problem went away. Thanks for the tip.
Erica Sadun
2006-10-06 09:12:01
I'm glad it helped. Thanks for letting me know.
2006-10-06 10:56:56
There's a long discussion about this firmware related bug in Apple's forum. Another fix: Get info (right-click) on your offending Podcast, click 'Options' tab, and add 1-second to the 'Start Time' box. Some suspect that it's related to Apple's gapless playback.
Stephen W. Carson
2006-10-06 12:04:06
Bingo! I got a chance to test the fix and the problem is resolved on my 4G iPod.

I doubt the explanation having to do with gapless playback because this problem has been around for some time. I originally had the problem with the 4G I bought in July 2004. Thinking it was a hardware problem, I exchanged for another 4G which, of course, had the same problem. Now it is possible that the 4G and 5G are having the same symptoms for different reasons. But I doubt it. (Especially since the same fix works for both).

Also, I don't know if anyone has described carefully what the symptom is. In my case, it is this: If I am listening to a mono podcast (such as recent MacBreak Weekly episodes) and I pause then once the iPod puts its screen to sleep it has in fact turned itself off (crashed). I have to do a reboot (center button + menu) to get the iPod back on. This happens, by the way, even if I go on and play another podcast. Once I"ve played the mono then the well is poisoned.

Erica Sadun
2006-10-06 12:18:20
Stephen: Great news. Glad it worked.
aiza toroganan
2006-10-31 04:49:38
i tried the fix, the mp3 played but the reset now happens after the