Syncing videos makes iPod forget it has any content

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Poderick

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I’ve flash-modded my iPod video (gen 5.0) with a single 256gb sd using an iFlash adapter. It works fine for songs but if I try to sync video or audiobooks the iPod will lose track of its content. I can transfer a small number of movies successfully but it will get this problem after an unpredictable number of movies are attempted. The content is all still there - I can see it via the iTunes view of what is on the iPod, and the iPod’s own view of its available disk space reflects the content is there, but no songs, movies etc are listed on the iPod’s menu. It does this when I sync movies/audiobooks via iTunes sync but also when I use the iPod in disk mode as a usb drive and add movies manually in Finder. Anyone else had this issue and found a solution?

The iPod is running the latest firmware and I’m using the latest iTunes available under Catalina. I never tried doing movie syncing with the original 30gb spinning drive.
 

cjmnews

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There really isn't enough room on a 30GB to have several movies, so I doubt anyone tried.

You have to use the sync mechanism in iTunes/Apple Music App to see the items in the iPod menu. This means the videos must appear in iTunes/Apple Music App before the sync to get them to sync properly to an iPod and see them in the menu. It seems you tried this. If the sync was successful, you can find and play the content in the iPod through iTunes.

It sounds like the last step of the iPod sync is not completing where the list of stuff on it is not being written out.

If you use disk mode, no files put on this way will appear in the iPod menus. Disk mode is intended to allow you to use the iPod as a thumb drive in a pinch.

How many are we talking? How are the videos formatted? Are you using iTunes to down convert the videos?

I am charging up an iPod Photo (30GB) to try this out. I have a couple dozen audio books on it, plus some music. Each book was divided into CD sized tracks, with a smart playlist to manage the book (the playlist remembers which track was played, the iPod remembers where in the track it was).

If long audio books are merged into a single file, that fails playback as the iPod only has 32MB of RAM and a 32 bit bus and operating system, so large files can't be managed properly.

I am using Windows initially, but can move to El Capitan if needed.
 

Poderick

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Thanks cjmnews

I’ve read on forums that plenty of people have synced movies to their ipod 5.0 gen but as these files tend to be around 1GB each, the original 30GB hard drive would not hold that many, true. Mine has been modded to use a 256GB SD card with a iFlash adapter, so has plenty of room for my 200 movie collection (after using iTunes to covert them to “ipod or iPhone” format). It’s been a while since I last tried it but as I recently found this forum and posted this question, I thought I give it another go to confirm my recollections. Over the last 2 days, I’ve tried adding movies to the ipod via iTunes under MacOS Mojave and under MacOS Catalina (which dropped itunes for Apple Music and AppleTV apps and moved the ipod syncing options to Finder). I found that movies sync to the ipod and playback on it fine UNTIL you try and sync more than 30 or so movies. At that point, iTunes thinks the content is all on the ipod but the ipod thinks it has no content, and once you eject and try to reconnect the ipod itunes says it cannot be read and needs resetting. This is true regardless of the number of songs already on the ipod. I tried syncing 30+ movies when the ipod was empty and again (after another reset) when it had 6000 songs.

This is a strange issue. I’m aware the 30GB ipod only has 32MB of RAM on its logic board, which loses track of your content once you load it with around 17,000 - 30,000 songs (reports differ, depending on the forums you read). And I believe from what I’ve read that the RAM limitation is with indexing the number of media items for the iPod’s database rather than the size of the files (ipod movie files are typically several hundred MB to a GB after all and mine can handle up to 30 of those alongside 6000 songs and 200 podcasts).

I also tried adding the same movie files (after resetting the ipod for the nth time :rolleyes:) to the iPod in Disk Mode (i.e. using it as a USB drive). I only tried this once, copying 200 movies files over. Lo and behold the result was the same - the ipod appeared empty of its former songs, even though I had not used ITunes to add the movies, nor could the ipod be read by iTunes once ejected and reconnected.

Honestly, it not an issue for me - more a curiosity. So don’t waste time dabbling with your own iPod. I originally wanted to use the ipod as portable movie library for when we are away in our motorhome. I‘ve since set up an Android device (Gemini PDA) with the Kodi media manager/player and added my music and movies to that. It’s a better solution as the ipod had no HDMI adapter (only a horrific hydra of a composite and USB cable), and Kodi shows you the movie synopses, cast info, critics rating etc. I still use the iPod for distraction-free listening to music.
 

cjmnews

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What a terrible device for watching movies. I am glad that you found another solution.

I seem to recall that the firmware needed to be replaced with Rockbox (dead now) to be successful to use large capacities.
 

Poderick

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As long as you are connecting the iPod to a small TV, such as the 18” one we have in our motorhome, an iPod is a pretty good solution… for a handful of movies. Rockbox is still around and indexes files differently to the original Apple firmware, allowing more than the ~17,000 limit for songs. However, Rockbox is not a good solution for video as it can only handle mpeg1 or mpeg2 files, not the more efficiently compressed mp4/m4v files that iPod Video and Classic can do natively. This would mean converting my movie library to an older file format - plus trying to copy a load of mpeg2 files over to the iPod would likely cause the content blanking issue anyway.

Oh well, sometimes you can push old tech beyond it’s original functionality, sometimes you can’t :)
 
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