I-Pod and USB car connection issue - Sort of complicated and truly baffling

Ok, here’s the scenario. I have an “I forget exactly what Generation I-Pod”, it’s about 4 years old. Last year I purchased a Nissan Altima equipped with a USB connection neatly tucked away in the center console. When I play the I-Pod through this, I have on-screen navigation through playlists, artists, etc.

Just yesterday I drove to a meeting at my district admin center, and had it playing on the way. When I came out, the display screen was on, showing me what song OUGHT to be playing. But I had nothing, no sound and the time counter wasn’t moving indicating that the song was not playing. (There is no pause feature when using the USB connection through the car). I could skip to the next song, access all the menu features, everything EXCEPT make it play.

I went into troubleshoot mode. I’ll break it down like this; what works and what doesn’t:

WORKS: Any I-Phone, or any one else’s I-Pod I’ve tried using the USB connection in the car.
Using the accessory cable to play the I-Pod through the headphone jack into the aux jack in the car.
The I-Pod headphones.
The I-Pod plays perfectly through I-Tunes, when connected by USB on my, in fact on every computer I tried it on.
I switched the I-Pod/USB cable out thinking that it may be that. Nope, the one previously in the car works fine everywhere and using a newer one in the car didn’t fix the problem.

What doesn’t work: ONLY this specific combination of THIS I-Pod and the USB jack in the car.

What gives? Any help here?

Have you reset it, or restored it to factory settings?

I was hoping not to have to do that but it’s my next step

Aaaand, that seemed to do the trick. Thanks!

Good to hear.

Reset/restore is always the first step when an iPod is acting weird.

As long as you remember to find a way to save the library on it as a playlist first, so you don’t spend the day remembering what was on it and what wasn’t!

I think iPods in general get wonky when you try to control them with external devices. I have my car radio hooked up to my iPod through a gadget that makes the radio think it’s a Satellite tuner, and sometimes I have to turn everything off and unplug everything, or in extreme cases pull the fuse.

Why play games with an ipod. I have a USB port on my car radio and use a memory stick. done.

Does it give you any menu type of control?

that would depend on your car radio. Mine reads folders so I arrange my music by folders. What is not in a folder would be the root directory where I keep unrelated stuff. I have 2 sets of buttons on the radio. One advances by individual song and the other advances by folder. Certainly not as versatile as an Ipod but then I don’t have to mess with the connections constantly. It’s basically a portable hard drive. A 16 gb chip would giver over a month of continuous music.

I also keep openoffice on it in case I need a spreadsheet or word processor on someone else’s computer or pictures that I want to share.

Another advantage is that I don’t care if it’s stolen. It’s a $10 reader and $25 for the card. It’s all backed up on my computer.

It depends on how much music you have. I have 80 gigs of music, which is fits nicely on a hard drive based iPod but is much bigger than the average memory stick.

I think over a month of continuous music is fairly substantial amount of storage. YMMV of course.

Resetting an iPod doesn’t erase anything from it. The last time I reset my iPhone when the browser and iPod were acting up, I had to reset a few minor settings. For example, I had to re-synch all of my Bluetooth devices. But none of the actual files were disturbed. I had all of my photos, all my music playlists were intact. I even still had my Safari bookmarks.

ETA - Of course, my only experience is with an iPhone. I have never had an older model iPod, so I realize my mileage may vary from yours and anyone else’s.

It works the same way across all generations and models of iPod. Resetting is just a hard reboot, and all of your content remains.

Restoring OTOH erases everything, returning it to factory settings, and AFAIK can only be done from iTunes.

Yeah, I just did an internal reset in General Settings. I didn’t connect to iTunes for it.

Right. I did a restore and lost everything, but I move music on and off of it all the time anyway, so that wasn’t much of a hardship.

The head of the Nissan Audio group is a friend of mine and I had this exact same thing happen when I first got my new Maxima. I stormed into his office informing him that his iPod adapter sucked and demanded that he fix it on the spot. He was actually entertained by this and walked me over to the test bench he had set up and trouble shot it himself. Took him and two other engineers about 45 minutes to figure that the iPod needed a hard reboot. Then they sat around and started making fun of my taste in music.

So don’t feel so bad about having to ask.

Tell your friend that the only real complaint I have (2012 Altima) is the location of the USB plug, way down in the bottom of the center console where you can’t see what you’re doing once you stick your hand in there. I think that’s a serious enough complaint to provide me a free upgrade to a 2013, or maybe a 2014 when they’re out. 3.5 V-6, SR thank you.

It might. My car has a controller for anything connected via USB. Once, I didn’t have my iPod with me, so I connected my phone (which has a bit of music on it).

And it just started playing whatever it found.

I admit, it was pretty bizarre to have it going through random snippets of turn-by-turn DIRECTIONS that the phone apparently cached from many months before :D.

I was able to use the radio controls to skip past those. I forget whether it showed song titles and the like.