Beware: iPod Classic stutters


yobyot

New member
I was in an Apple store today to try the iPod Classic and I couldn't believe that it stutters. I wrote a blog post about it here.

I'd make sure you really want this unit before you buy one...or wait for Apple to fix it.
 
Hello and welcome to iLounge. I guess a big chunk of it depends on the type of music that they use on the demo iPods. I knew one store where they put Apple Lossless songs on the unit. That would cause stuttering more so than putting normal mp3 or AAC files. High bitrate files might also contribute to processor load thus making those other functions load as they did (and the music play as it did). I would ask a technician there what type of music files are on the iPod. If they say Apple lossless then that might be the cause of everything in that the majority of the processor is being used to playback those lossless files.

However, being an iPod owner for 4 years now (close to 5), I have never ever rapidly pushed the center button while playing a song. I always slowly push buttons. I can get the 5G's firmware to stutter (or even freeze) if I rapidly go in and out of photos/videos. Every iPod has their problem whenever you do things too quickly. Remember, these aren't notebooks or palm top computers, they are meant for carrying around your media. The processor is not meant to take a lot of strain.

So I don't think it is anything to worry about as I can get every generation iPod that I own to freeze or for the firmware to stutter and I own a 3G, 4G, 2G Mini, and 5G (though I currently only use the 5G and the 2G iPod shuffle).
 

paranoidxe

New member
This was a problem with the original release of the 5G..it was sluggish but eventually a firmware update fixed this.
 

danimal1968

New member
I think the dude was just looking to hype his own slam on Apple in his blog. Wonder if Warner's lawyers have sent him a letter yet about his use of the Porky Pig clip?
 
It does seem kinda strange that he would register today (or sometime in September), come on iPod forums where he knows that many people who support the iPod are, and advertise for his blog. Seems a little suspicious to me in that he just wanted to get some hits on his website. I don't know though, let's see if they reply back.
 

yobyot

New member
danimal1968 said:
I think the dude was just looking to hype his own slam on Apple in his blog. Wonder if Warner's lawyers have sent him a letter yet about his use of the Porky Pig clip?
Not at all. Rather than rewrite the post here, I simply linked to it. The Porky Pig image is from Wikipedia.
 

yobyot

New member
kornchild2002 said:
It does seem kinda strange that he would register today (or sometime in September), come on iPod forums where he knows that many people who support the iPod are, and advertise for his blog. Seems a little suspicious to me in that he just wanted to get some hits on his website. I don't know though, let's see if they reply back.
I understand why you question my motives. Let me tell you why I posted here: I didn't see anyone else discussing this flaw.

This is the iPod community, right? You guys are supposedly interested in these products, no? This is the iPod Classic forum, right?

The responses to this thread are typical of Apple fan boy forums: we can't dispute the message, so lets tar the messenger.
 

mrdantownsend

mrdantownsend
I haven't had a chance to listen to the iPods yet

but I did go to an apple store and see them, they look ALOT nicer in person than on the website.

I hate how there was velvet rope around some cocky douche bag who was guarding the iPods, and you had to ask "oh please, your mac-fanboy apple douchebaggieness, I request an iPod from behind your velvet rope...!"

####in asshat, wanted to punch that guy in the face....
 

ShowsOn

New member
kornchild2002 said:
Hello and welcome to iLounge. I guess a big chunk of it depends on the type of music that they use on the demo iPods. I knew one store where they put Apple Lossless songs on the unit. That would cause stuttering more so than putting normal mp3 or AAC files. High bitrate files might also contribute to processor load thus making those other functions load as they did (and the music play as it did).
Woah, if the device is advertised as saying apple lossless files work, well then it should work. Likewise high bitrate files, they should work fine too.

I recall there was some serious problems with variable bitrate MP3 files on the iPod mini, but these were all solved for the nano (they SHOULD'VE been solved for the mini via a firmware upgrade, but Apple never bothered).

My guess is this was a one off dud unit, with maybe a faulty hard disc. I strongly doubt this is a serious issue with all classics.
 

Code Monkey

New member
ShowsOn said:
Woah, if the device is advertised as saying apple lossless files work, well then it should work. Likewise high bitrate files, they should work fine too.
Well, we should wait until more than one person with a blog trolling for hits confirms this before jumping to conclusions, don't you think? ;)

I recall there was some serious problems with variable bitrate MP3 files on the iPod mini, but these were all solved for the nano (they SHOULD'VE been solved for the mini via a firmware upgrade, but Apple never bothered).
There were never serious problems with VBR mp3s on minis, there were a few people who experienced weirdness and complained loudly, but you can't fix what you can't replicate. In my mini days I was using mostly APExtreme LAME mp3s and they worked 100% of the time flawlessly, they worked 100% flawlessly on my wife's mini, and they worked 100% flawlessly on my friend's mini. ALAC also worked fine on my mini.

My guess is this was a one off dud unit, with maybe a faulty hard disc. I strongly doubt this is a serious issue with all classics.
Accurate or not (just what is "pressing the center button rapidly"?), the poster clearly states that it was every single classic he was able to try, so, no.
 

ShowsOn

New member
Code Monkey said:
Well, we should wait until more than one person with a blog trolling for hits confirms this before jumping to conclusions, don't you think? ;)
I was replying to KornChild who seemd to imply that large files can cause iPods to skip. I was simply proposing that this shouldn't happen, if the device says it can play the files, then the bitrate shouldn't matter.
Code Monkey said:
There were never serious problems with VBR mp3s on minis, there were a few people who experienced weirdness and complained loudly, but you can't fix what you can't replicate. In my mini days I was using mostly APExtreme LAME mp3s and they worked 100% of the time flawlessly, they worked 100% flawlessly on my wife's mini, and they worked 100% flawlessly on my friend's mini. ALAC also worked fine on my mini.
There's lots of threads on Hydrogen Audio with people who had problems. It was a known issue that Apple never addressed.
 

Jesse Hollington

Active member
Administrator
yobyot said:
Not at all. Rather than rewrite the post here, I simply linked to it. The Porky Pig image is from Wikipedia.
For the record, you may want to have a read of our Forum Policy. We do tend to frown upon people coming in and demonstrating what could certainly be construed as self-promotion.

Reposting would have certainly been preferable to linking, and the only reason that this thread is still here is that the issue itself seems to be of some possible relevance.

yobyot said:
The responses to this thread are typical of Apple fan boy forums: we can't dispute the message, so lets tar the messenger.
While some responses may certainly feel that way, the simple reason is that most users are not experiencing this problem yet, and that there may be other issues at hand here than just an inherent case of the new iPod being broken.

I'd certainly be more than interested to hear reports from others who have experienced similar problems, and while we'll take what you say at face value, the issue feels like FUD being spread for the purposes of driving traffic to your own blog (not saying this is what you are doing, but take a moment to understand how it can easily be perceived this way -- this is a busy forum, and we get a lot of posts like this, many of which don't last for more than a few hours).
 

Code Monkey

New member
ShowsOn said:
There's lots of threads on Hydrogen Audio with people who had problems. It was a known issue that Apple never addressed.
And there were lots of threads on here, that still doesn't make it a known issue in the sense of one that Apple could have addressed. If only a tiny percentage of all the VBR mp3s cause a problem on a tiny percentage of the tens of millions of minis, and nobody ever determined what the cause was, what would Apple (or any manufacturer) do to address the "problem"? To address an IT problem you first have to be able to replicate it, that couldn't be done. I myself downloaded and played without problem some of the mp3s that people said were causing problems on their iPods. Then, assuming you can replicate it, which you couldn't, you've got to be able to find the root of the problem, and if you can do that, you then have to determine if it can be fixed and if it's worth doing so. Since the VBR mp3 issue never got past whining on web forums, that's where it stayed. Apple can't address a problem that was most likely either simply some circuitry based flaw in a handful of iPods, or even something related to the precise encoding options used to create the files in the first place.

Also, stuttering with large files was merely conjecture. iPod minis had problems with files that went longer than four hours, but it wasn't skipping in the sense described here, rather they would just suddenly jump to the end of the file. A 4 hour mp3 is significantly longer than your typical lossless track. In my experience, lossless files play back just as smoothly on old iPods as they *should* on the new ones, however, with only one person reporting what you'd think would be all over the forums by now if true, I am skeptical.
 

eyepeefreely

New member
No he's not jiving anyone here. I for one have experienced at least a half dozen stutters if not more on my 160. All my cd's have been ripped to mp3 160 kpbs.

I've had this happen right in the middle of a track (while I'm not even touching a single function on the ipod). I've had stutters from milliseconds down to 1-2 seconds. It's crap. I've been wanting to upgrade my collection to 192 kpbs. This product shouldn't jump, skip, stutter no matter what quality of audio/video you put in it, period. And it does feel like it's all coming from this coverflow function.

Going in and out of menus seems to be pretty quirky too. If this is not a bug, I really hope a firmware update will fix this.
 
ShowsOn said:
Woah, if the device is advertised as saying apple lossless files work, well then it should work. Likewise high bitrate files, they should work fine too.

I recall there was some serious problems with variable bitrate MP3 files on the iPod mini, but these were all solved for the nano (they SHOULD'VE been solved for the mini via a firmware upgrade, but Apple never bothered).

My guess is this was a one off dud unit, with maybe a faulty hard disc. I strongly doubt this is a serious issue with all classics.
I agree. I am simply stating that maybe the demo unit was playing Apple lossless files which would make the iPod stutter more. It is still playing them but, due to all the fast movement and clicking along with the high bitrate combination of ALAC, it caused the iPod to stutter for a little bit. As I said earlier, I can get my 5G iPod to freeze for a little bit if I push buttons fast enough while I am playing a video or lossless file. But how often do you find yourself pushing buttons that quickly (ie it seems like the OP was pushing the center button quickly just to push it without reading what came up on the screen)?
 

sharp65

New member
I bought the 80GB silver classic and noticed stuttering only when using coverflow, besides that there is some lag but it's really only when I enter/exit coverflow.
 

sUPERdUCKY

New member
I have done a search on this and found a review that may just back up this claim:

the site states:

"Unfortunately, the iPod Classic was extremely disappointing. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Its most significant problem is the sluggishness of simple actions."

"The iPod Classic stutters through every operation, including:

Adjusting the volume
Opening menus
Browsing lists
Changing tracks
Seeking within tracks"

"Not only does the interface lag and stutter, but the music skips. It’s so bad that I assumed that the iPod I was testing was defective, so I tried others in the store and got identical results.

The worst offender is the new Cover Flow view in the Nano and Classic. Neither of them devote enough memory to caching the album art images, so scrolling through them isn’t seamless — you’re just shown massive sections of question-mark art as it loads. On the Classic, the music skips like crazy"

I will link to this site I don't own it so it isnt self advertising....

http://www.marco.org/259

Seems that this may be a problem with the new classics.... perhaps they will release an update that wil fix this ?
 

Code Monkey

New member
sUPERdUCKY said:
Seems that this may be a problem with the new classics.... perhaps they will release an update that wil fix this ?
If this is a problem, then yes, you can assume they'll release an update to fix it. All the iPods have seen their responsiveness tweaked over the first couple of months. Yet, if the problem is out and out audio stutttering, that means the real question is *when* will it be fixed; an iPod that can't reliably play music ain't much an iPod in my book. However, the real real question is why they shipped them at all in this state. It's not like there won't be a bazillion people complaining about this in the next week if it's widespread, and then Apple will be faced with review after review mentioning this problem, many of which won't be updated to reflect the fix when it does come. They could have easily delayed shipping until the firmware was more polished - they've got a good month to get these things into stores to capitalise on the holidays.
 

squeakytoy81

New member
For what it's worth, I experienced the exact same painful experience with the 80GB classics in the store. However, my 160GB classic with almost 100GB of music has seen no stuttering issues at all. It's doubtful that the tracks on the in-store devices are lossless since Apple doesn't sell lossless files. I would guess that those tracks are 128kbps standard iTunes store tracks. I'm definitely curious to know whether the hardware is different from the 80GB to the 160GB... I was really worried that it would be worse on an iPod with lots more tracks, but so far I haven't seen any issues. The clickwheel is far more responsive at home than it was in the store, and the menus are also more responsive.
 

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