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Crashing iPods

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Claire had been sleeping pretty poorly for most of July until we went to visit my family in Jersey. While we were there she slept like a rock, and I tried to figure out what was different. Sure there were more people there to tire her out, but what really stood out to me was the amount of noise outside at night. My parents live near the Great Swamp and the crickets and frogs were very loud. I read online that white noise or soft music helps some babies stay asleep and helps put them back to sleep when they wake up.

ipod nanoI figured I'd try playing her some noise at night and see if it helped her sleep. I found some nature sound effects online and decided on the "forest rain" sound. I edited it to get rid of the owls and other bird noises and made a 7 minute MP3. I have a 3rd generation iPod Nano that I don't often use so I loaded it up, set it to repeat and started playing when she went to sleep.

It seemed to make a difference, or at least continue her better sleeping, but I found that at some point during the night the iPod would lock up. I had to hold the center and menu buttons for a few seconds to bring it back to life. It locked up every single time I tried it. From what I can tell, the problem is rooted in the repeat mode; it works fine in normal mode.

Then we tried Rachelle's 2nd generation iPod Nano and had a similar situation! It didn't freeze, but the display would just go blank. You'd have to reset it 4-6 times to get the display back. So lame.

I ended up making an "album" of 110 copies this 7 minute track. That gives me almost 13 hours of non-stop rain without having to repeat anything. I let that play all night for a test and it was worked fine, no freezing. In the meantime I made an audio CD full of this same rain track and was playing it on a boom box. Go figure, the technology from the 80s works better than the new gadgets.

I did a little research and found this repeat locking up problem has been around for quite a long time. I found pages in Apple's support forums from back in 2008 that described this problem exactly. I upgraded the iPod to the latest software version and it still has the problem.

Tags: ipod problems

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