iTunes 7 Breaks Your iPod

It seems that iTunes 7 breaks older iPods, and no one at Apple believes it. We believe it. Here’s the deal. You have a slightly older iPod, a Nano, or a Shuffle. You update iTunes. Your hardware stops working. Apple doesn’t give a shit, and they tell you it’s time to buy a new iPod. The general feeling seems to be that if your iPod is sort of old, it broke on its own. Very suspicious.

Has this happened to you?

Here’s a site full of angry shuffle owners to commiserate with.
And a poor bastard getting no help from a Mac forum.
And some people bitching at iPodLounge.
Thanks, James!


Edit Your Comment

  1. Pelagius says:

    Hasn’t broke my iPod, but iTunes 7 is so mindfuckingly slow to download music/podcasts and import music from CDs that I am downgrading back to 6.

  2. Trai_Dep says:

    I’ve got a (shiny) Nano, the latest iTunes and no prob.

  3. Kornkob says:

    Isn’t that what proprietary DRM is for?

    Make money: Tie consumers to a specific hardware line and create ongoing revenue through forced obsolescence. PROFIT!

  4. Falconfire says:

    I noticed the slow issue, but iTunes 7 hasnt broken my iPod Shuffle (1st gen bought 2 weeks after release.)

  5. mark duffy says:

    yep. my iPod is less than 6 months old (replacing yet another dead one). hooked it up to 7. 2750 songs vanished into cyberspace.

  6. I stopped upgrading itunes around version 6.

    For those who might need to get their music back…it’s a long involved process of burning to CD and reimporting, etc.

    But you can find older versions of itunes here:

  7. grovberg says:

    Okay guys, I know we’re all jumping at shadows these days but let’s just calm down and come back to reality. I have a 1st, 2nd and 4th generation iPod as well as a first generation shuffle and all four work just fine with iTunes 7. And how could the software break your iPod? Anything iTunes could do to your iPod could be fixed with a pre-7 software update like the one that came with your iPod in the first place. And didn’t Apple just release software to do just that just in case you can’t handle that on your own?

    When things break, we all look for someone to blame. But sometimes things just break. It’s sucks, and I’m sorry it happened to you, but trying to turn it into some vast conspiracy is just a way of building yourself up to feel important.

  8. antmuzic says:

    I reverted to 6 after Itunes7 stopped working with ipodderX. While I was on 7 though, I updated the Firmware of my 5G Ipod Video after which, the “Shuffle Songs” feature stopped working in my Ipod for Smart Playlists – no idea why. I’m still on 6 and decided to stop upgrading. Nothing good came come from it.

  9. gertrudeyorkes says:

    This exact scenario happened to me with itunes 6. It broke my first ipod–I’m not sure which generation it was, but it was purchased Winter 2003–and the smug cats at the genius bar told me the program could not possibly have hurt anything, that mine was just worn out (it was barely a year old, and i was not rough with it) and that I would have to pay 300 bucks to get a new harddrive. Which, of course, is the price of a new Ipod. Beautiful.

    And then my ipod mini stopped taking a battery charge when it was two months old, but that’s another story altogether.

  10. AcilletaM says:

    I don’t need to create a vast conspiracy to build myself up, that’s what the medication is for.

  11. jconli1 says:

    on a somewhat related note, I was a little pissed that Apple could not fix my 1st Gen Shuffle’s unrecoverable lockup. So I bought a Nano.

    Six months later, they suddenly post a “Shuffle Reset Tool” up on the website. Lo and behold, it works fine now.

    Half of me is pissed that it took that long for them to address the issue (conveniently allowing folks to upgrade to new, more expensive models), but part of me is pleasantly surprised they even bothered to release a fix for what is clearly their entry-level product.

  12. konstantConsumer says:

    mark duffy, the problem i had with that was that the new iTunes didn’t recognize that i owned the songs. figure out a song that you own but isn’t on your iPod, and click on it to play it on iTunes. it will ask you to sign in to your account. after that, it should put it on your iPod. that’s what happened to me, and hopefully you have the same problem.

  13. AcilletaM says:

    And didn’t Apple just release software to do just that just in case you can’t handle that on your own?

    Doesn’t this imply then that there is a problem with iTunes breaking iPods there fanboy?

  14. Kornkob says:

    grovberg— while my comment was in jest I must respond to your question: yes– software can cause hardware to fail. There are numerous examples of hardware issues caused by software, sometimes software you wouldn’t think could have that problem.

    Google yourself up a little ‘Quake 4 patch widescreen’ for an example. A patch for a PC game had the potential to cause a specific type of monitor to fail– not just not work for the game but actually cause the monitor to be damaged.

  15. Triteon says:

    I just updated last night, and I completely agree with Pelagius. Time to go backwards.

  16. NYCRockStar says:

    Yup… TOTALLY screwed my 1G iPod Nano… I spent a bunch of time on the phone w/ Apple, before they said it was a Windows problem, and said I’d have to speak to MSFT about it. They sent me some documents while I was on the phone with them– they apparently have been hearing a lot about this. iTunes won’t recognize iPod, then it got all screweup and had to reformat. I ended up reinstalling iTunes from the old CD, so I’m working with an old version now.

  17. DeeJayQueue says:

    I had an issue when I first upgraded to 7, but that was because I had chosen not to manually add songs to my iPod. You can’t automatically sync some playlists and not others anymore, you either have to let iTunes manage your iPod or add/delete songs by drag-n-drop. I have noticed a problem with the way it imports CDs… frequently it dies on the last song of the CD and completely crashes iTunes.

  18. jthree says:

    – Looks like just about everyone on the 1st website had their problem fixed last week
    – The second website is almost unanimous in people saying that this is nothing more than a normal hard drive failure of a 2 year old machine (probably exacerbated by the users unusual usage)
    – The 3rd website now seems to be people saying that they are not having any issues.

    Way to keep on top of things! Is Apple your new Wal-Mart now?

  19. You know, I recently upgraded as well and now, my Ipod (15GB OLD one) is stuck in Disk mode with no system folder on the ipod. I’m actually talking with apple now.

  20. grovberg: I think more specifically iTunes 7 has now become a central repository for sending out iPod firmware updates. That may be a more likely explanation for software failures.

    iTunes 7 pisses me off because while it’s downloading a song/movie/whatever it appears to be doing some kind of process on the fly that is eating up half of my computer’s resources. Even watching a youtube video while something is downloading is jerky and painful.

  21. klamerus says:

    It’s not iTunes 7 itself that is breaking iPods (new ones as well), it’s the v 1.2 firmware it continues to ask about installing on the iPod. I know several people who have had this issue (just google around) and I’m lucky enough they warned me before it happened to me.

  22. klamerus says:

    It’s not the v7 iTunes itself that is breaking the iPods, it’s the v1.2 iPod firmware upgrade that it repeatedly tries to install on iPods (even new ones).

    I know several people who have had this happen to them. Luckily they warned me before I did the upgrade. I’m happily using iTunes v7 (and refusing to upgrade my iPod’s firmware until Apple first admits there’s an issue and fixes it).

  23. gone725 says:

    I reluctantly upgraded to iTunes 7 last week. It could be a coincidence but, my 4G iPod just bit the big one yesterday. When I turn it on I get a “sad iPod” icon

    It has been full to capacity so I rarely sync and I usually leave it in my SoundDock (because I’m now sort-of-kind-of embarrassed to bring the (now) clunky thing out in public). All I did as turn it on and, boo hoo there is a sad iPod.

    It probably is just normal failure on an old machine, or could this be part of a formulaic approach by Jobs to make sure that we “have to buy a new iPod at least once a year?”

  24. AcidReign says:

    …..Older versions of music player software are best. It’s not like compression and audio clarity have gotten any better since the .mp3 spec was first utilized. Newer means more DRM and restrictions, not to mention software bloat.

    …..I’ve got an old version (7.5) of Musicmatch that will rip anything, even those rootkit Sony CDs. And I can make .mp3 CDs for the car. Or even go old school and take the original CD out to the car. Now THERE’S a concept!

  25. nick says:

    I haven’t had any problems with my 3rd gen iPod, 1st gen Shuffle or shiny new nano (so shiny!), but the first time I launched iTunes 7.02 (after updating) my iTunes Music Store had inexplicably been changed to the Japanese store.

    One click from a drop-down at the bottom changed it back to the U.S. store, but it [temporarily] messed things up.

    Similar “glitches” are being reported on MacFixIt:

  26. No doubt, there are issues with iTunes 7. Mmost likely because iTunes 7 is trying to do firmware updates; people are so used to clicking through the first few dialog boxes of an update that they’re not reading important information they should be.

    But people complaining that Apple does it on purpose are a bit shrill. Give me a break – Apple isn’t some evil entity that wants to break your iPod. As a company, they’ve taken great paind through the years to preserve backwards compatibility for customers, and iTunes is no exception.

    Now, whether it should have been tested a few days more…well, I think I’ll have to agree. And itunes’ interface is starting to get a bit cluttered.

  27. eliasg says:

    Blue iPod mini with no problems.

  28. ganzhimself says:

    Yea, my 4th Gen iPod Photo died the very first time I plugged in and did a sync with itunes 7. – My whole saga is documented there. At least Apple replaced my iPod (still covered by AppleCare) when I drove 3 hours to the nearest Apple Store.

  29. eldanny says:

    Help! Where Can I download iTunes 6?
    I just had 2 ipods die on me within weeks of installing iTunes 7!

  30. adamondi says:

    When I upgraded to iTunes 7, there were a couple of issues. My iPod 5G had no problems, but when I plugged my wife’s iPod nano (1G) it completely wiped the whole thing out. I ended up having to reformat the nano and sync up all the music again. Not a huge chore, since the nano didn’t have the entire library on it, but an annoying one.

    I second the sentiment that Apple is not trying to screw up people’s iPods in order to make them buy new ones. All they need to do to make people buy a new iPod is introduce a new model. People then flock to the new model like it is the Holy Grail or something. With that kind of cachet, they don’t need to screw up people’s old models.

  31. This scares me. I have a (I believe) 4G (last one before they introduced color screens) 20 gig.

    Beyond the coma-inducing amount of time it takes to load and run, iTunes 7 hasn’t caused me any problems yet. My iPod syncs fine.

  32. Leto says:

    My 1st-Gen Nano works with iTunes 7 just fine.

  33. Kat says:

    Huh, my Gen2 6GB Mini and my 1GB Shuffle (the old, gum-sized one, obviously) work just fine.

  34. Kat says:

    By the way, about disappearing music – you all do know about this right?

    In previous versions of iTunes, the preferences for syncing your iPod were controlled through the normal iTunes Preferences pane. There were three options… Automatically update all of my songs and playlists, Automatically update selected playlists only, and manually manage my songs and playlists. These options basically controlled whether the iPod was in manual or automatic sync mode.

    With iTunes 7, the iPod preferences are now shown in the main screen when you select your iPod from the source tree. A number of tabs appear across the top of the screen for the various content types (ie, Music, Movies, TV Shows, etc). On each of these tabs is a check-box to select whether or not you want to sync that content, followed by another setting to determine whether to sync all of it, or only selected items.

    Note that this “Sync” checkbox does NOT control manual mode. DE-selecting this checkbox tells iTunes that you want that content to be REMOVED from your iPod on the next sync.

    To set your iPod to manual mode, you have to choose the option, Manually Manage My Music and Videos on the Summary tab. This is a global setting for both music and video content.

    iLounge post

  35. Jupiter Jones says:

    I won a 512mb shuffle last year at a conference. iTunes has an option to compress higher bitrate songs to 128kbps AAC so you can fit more songs on the 512mb. Previous version of iTunes did this just fine, but version 7 is INCREDIBLY slow at doing this. Going to another conference this year, I set the thing to load a playlist onto the shuffle and went to sleep. 9 hours later it was only half done compressing these songs. They’ve really screwed the pooch somewhere in that algorithm.

    I’ve also always found that when I try to remove a set of songs from the shuffle and load in a few other songs, at some point it just deletes half the content on the shuffle and attempts to reload it for no reason at all that I can see. I’ve poked around a few sites to see if anyone has had this problem too, but I’ve never seen anyone who did. Maybe I just didn’t know the right terminology or something.

  36. Karl says:

    I’m not sure this is related to iTunes 7. My 1GB iPod Shuffle started exhibiting exactly the same symptoms as people have been reporting, yet I’m still running iTunes 4.7.1. Strangely enough, it started doing this around the time iTunes 7 was released.

    Apple supposedly has a fix, but we’ll see if that does anything for me.

  37. Funklord says:

    Obvious question–are those having issues using iTunes on Windows or on OSX?

    My 4th and 5th Gen iPods work just fine with 7, 7.01 and 7.02 on a Mac.

  38. Triteon says:

    Funklord: Windows XP, 2 y.o. iPod 20GB
    Playing fine, but slooooooow to update. I rename/re-number many podcasts and it’s taking about a minute just to rename the file.
    Side note: can the ‘casters start naming their files “Ep. 12: Bad Buddhist Radio” instead of the other way around? It’s easier to navigate that way.

  39. Triteon says:

    Oh, crap. Here come the diggiots.

  40. TuxRug says:

    iTunes 7.0 was slow on my computer (and video was horribly pixelated until I disabled quicktime 3D acceleration… WhyTF does it need to play video on a F***ing 3D surface?) but it didn’t break my 30GB Video… Audio also skipped anytime I scrolled in any window. Doesn’t do that as much in 7.0.2

  41. eldanny says:

    Hey everybody
    Try to roll back to 6

  42. Karl says:

    Apple’s fix worked! It’s very strange that this worked when the regular firmware tool doesn’t. At any rate, this problem seems to occur independent of using iTunes 7.

  43. meesterbrian says:

    Yes, my 4th Gen HP ipod si a victim of iTunes 7. Shortly after “upgrading” to 7 my ipod now starts up with a sad face icon. After doing hard reset sometimes a exclamation point with folder icon comes on instead, but my computer can’t recognize it, can’e format it/synch, etc. I’ve since reverted to itunes 6 but the ipod remains a useless brick. Seems like too much of a coincidence…

  44. ariellexdarling says:

    well.basically.Itunes 7 is crap.I tried downloading it and it wouldnt even work.It said: Itunes can not stop services.Can not complete. I was pissed to say the least,then immediatly after that i went to hook up my 2nd generation pink [hehe] ipod nano and i would even just said Itunes does not have the proper software to sync try downloading updated software.It still doesnt work right.I’m downloading Itunes 6 right i guess i’ll see what happens.

  45. rooben says:

    I can testify – I have a 3G 20 Gb iPod – never had any issues with it, sync regularly to my iMac (Intel duo 20″), battery life OK. Last week I updated to 7.3 . Next day, I try to sync the ipod (firewire), and the Mac would no longer recognize the iPod was connected. The iPod itself worked fine; eventually after resetting it, setting it to disk mode, changing back…the Mac picked it up, except now, it said I need to restore. Except that the restore fails, then ipod won’t work unless i set to disk mode, then iTunes says its corrupted and needs to be restored…. Apple says “get a new one”…there has to be some kind of law here – this is like taking your car do a dealership for an oil change, they update the chip with some new info, then your car breaks, and they say – well, its old, you should get a new car. Seriously?

  46. rooben says:

    @eldanny: No good if you have Apple TV!