Some of you have written in to tell us that our podcasts are making your iPods hang or reboot. It appears our podcasts are not the only ones affected. I found out that there is a bug with iTunes 7 and the 5th generation iPods that will hang the iPod if you play audio files that are encoded at low bitrates. Most podcasts are encoded at 64kps or lower, so that is why many people get this problem only when they play podcasts. Your songs are usually encoded at 128kps or higher which is probably why they don’t hang your iPod.
So how do we fix this problem? Well, until Apple gets their act together and fixes this bug, there is little we can do. But some people have come up with a workaround, which involves turning off the EQ on your affected iPod. You have to turn off the EQ on the iPod, play a song (that is not known to crash your iPod) so that the setting “sticks.” Otherwise, the iPod will crash again and forget that you turned the EQ off.
Try it and let us know if that works. We don’t have the new iPods with us to try it on. You can also read about this “Podcasts crashing iPods” bug at these sites:
MacNN.com Forums: iTunes 7 Upgrade problems
nsightproductions.com: Crashing iPods
I started to get comments on the site and emails about the latest podcasts crashing 5th gen video iPod’s and was scratching my head wondering why. Apple seems to have really dropped the ball with iTunes 7 and the latest firmware for iPods. Any audio file that is encoded at 64kbps at a sample rate of 32.000 khz or higher in mono with your EQ on on your ipod on will crash it (try to sit around and figure that combo out. If you guessed a lot of encoding and trial and error your a winner). Apple’s official answer to this is turn the EQ on your iPod off until they can fix the problem.
So if you turn the EQ off on your iPod it won’t crash. You could also start to listen to the podcast in iTunes for a second or two and re-sych your iPod, that also seems to work but in the meantime bear with us as we do more testing to figure out a better work around or wait till apple fixes what they broke.