My iPod Touch, which isn’t very old at all, has been flaky for ages. Most irritatingly the double tap on the home button, which brings up pause and skip keys and volume slider, has been totally unreliable. It would work properly about one time in three on average. Sometimes if I paced it carefully it would be higher, sometimes not. Googling suggested it might be a physical problem with the button itself, and suggested squirting it with compressed air.
So I purchased an expensive tin of air, gave it a squirt, and it made no substantial difference.
Then I noticed that it was starting to display the wrong cover art when playing some tracks.
I upgraded to iOS6, and the double tap seemed to work well for a couple of hours, then rapidly went back to normal. There was no difference to cover art. I removed a couple of the troublesome albums from the iPod and reloaded them, but the problem persisted.
So last night I decided to hit the big ‘Restore’ button in iTunes on the iPod Touch. This is something you don’t do lightly. It wiped the whole unit, firmware and all, then reloaded everything. With more than 5,000 tracks and a stack of apps it took about six hours I think. A bit of setting up after that (getting it back on my WiFi network, reorganising of icons and re-connecting with Bluetooth) it was right to go again. And now it works perfectly.
Cover art is right. Double tapping has worked every single time today. And there were no pregnant pauses, which I had thought were characteristic of how the unit operates. It seems that something was making it run slow, and that was interfering with the double tap. What that had to do with the cover art I don’t know.
A slow, but certain cure.
UPDATE – 9 October 2012
Not so certain. A couple of days after that I ran an app that’s supposed to feed music to a network device. It crashed. Then the iPod started getting flakey again on the double tap. So I did another system restore, another many hours of reloading, another clean start. This time the double tap reliability only lasted a day or so, and then it began working irregularly. I had done a restore to backup, so the next day I did a full restore to new, but this time I made sure it loaded no apps or anything else that I didn’t select. I also switched off messaging and everything else I could think of. The double tapping has, since, been fairly unreliable, but usable with a bit of persistence.
I was kind of prepared to live with it … until tonight. I took the dog for a walk and finished listening to a podcast I’d started earlier in the day. It got to the end and then froze. That is, the music player froze. I could go back to the home screen, but couldn’t get back to the music player’s menus. So I did a system reset. After a bit over a minute the thing had restarted, so I went to play some music and … nothing was there. The iPod had wiped everything, leaving 57+GB of free space.
UPDATE – 11 October 2012
An appointment with the Apple Genius bar at the new Apple store in Canberra, yesterday, saw the iPod Touch replaced. All seems to be working properly now. It certainly loaded up the 30+GB of content quite a bit faster. I’ve installed it as a new iPod to avoid importing any corrupt settings, and gone the full hog with all my preferred apps as well.
Double tapping seems reliable so far.
Apple are sending down a new iPod Touch (5th Gen) for review tomorrow, so no doubt I will start to feel dissatisfied with my 4th Gen shortly.
Surprisingly, 64GB remains the max size.