iPod skips part of some songs

My iPod (20 gb hp version) skips part of some songs. The songs play normally to a certain point, then stops, and the next song begins playing. The point at which the song stops playing is always the same. For example, song A might always stop after one and a half minutes. If I scroll past the 1:30 second point, then the rest of the song will play without a problem. Some of the songs are mp3s and some are from the itunes store. All of the songs play fine on the computer. Does anyone know what the problem might be?

I don’t know categorically and exhaustively what causes every possible occurrence of that —in fact, it happened again on our iPod over the weekend — but one culprit seems to be VBR encoding, especially VBR encoded by software other than the anointed iTunes.

I’m an Audion person, and before that used N2MP3 to encode my tracks, and had to do every bloody playlist over again at 320 bps (about double the file size) to have decent-sounding tunes on the iPod that didn’t abort midway through as many tracks as not.

And yeah, always at the same place.


Seems to be the case that certain stupid braindead algorithms for determining song length look at the bit rate that a song STARTS OFF WITH and then computes song length from that times the file size. And VBR bounced all over the place, as you (probably) know, from 32 bps to 160 bps to 128 bps to 224 bps to 64, as the complexity of the sound changes. So if your song starts out at a low bps (common enough) the equation yields a track length that’s a lot shorter than the actual playtime. If your song starts off with a high bps, the equation yields a track length longer than the actual song, that’s not a problem. It may be true that some VBR encoders stamp the actual track length in some “field” or header-area, whereas others don’t bother, I don’t know. I do know that VBR tracks loaded into Audion or SoundApp would often display as having ridiculously wrong durations: 32 minutes, one minute 5, etc., for 7-8 minute tracks. But SoundApp and Audion both play them all the way to the end nevertheless, even if the progress bar ends up jammed up all the way over to the right for the last 3 minutes. Bloody iPod abandons song and goes on to the next one.


As I said, there may be other factors. The Riverdance soundtrack was track-hopping yesterday and I know I already re-encoded the tracks.

Edit: Umm, I guess the situation in which the oversimplified formula would come up with an incorrectly short track duration would be if the initial bit rate were high, not low.

  1. Track starts off at 300 bps. File length is 30,000 bits. Formula divides bits by bps and says “Aha, track is one minute 40 seconds long”. Track drops to 128 bps, then 192 bps, then 64 bps, etc., averaging quite a bit lower than 300. Track is actually 6 mins 23 secs long.

  2. Track starts off at 96 bps. File length is 96,000 bits. Formula determines track to be 16 minutes and 6 seconds. Track bounces around 200 bps, 160 bps, 64 bps, 128 bps. Actual track is 8 mins 53 secs, iPod plays it to end, shrugs, goes on to next track.

Thanks for the replies AHunter3. That just might be the problem with some of the skipping tracks.