I went and got my self a 4th generation Apple iPod in November 2004. A fantastic piece of equipment. However I encountered a couple of problems that I haven't found any mention of on the Internet, so this page is to just describe those. Google will be your friend when finding help with other topics related to your iPod

I don't use the market leading operating system. I use Linux. I'd read a lot of webpages describing how people used their iPods with Linux, so it seemed like the right choice of music device for me.

I was happy to get it hooked up and seeing it work more or less out of the box (OK, I had to mount it myself, but nothing more was needed).

The HFS+ problem

Then after I had been uploading lots of music to it (it took me a couple of days to rip my CD collection using grip), suddenly it wouldn't mount read-write anymore, only read-only. I had left the original HFS+ filesystem on it, and was learning that there is no fsck.hfsplus for Linux that would clear the INCONSISTENT-bit of my HFS+ filesystem. People on the internet were suggesting that I'd try mounting it with hpmount because that would clear the bit, but it just complained that it couldn't find a valid partition.

The USB problem

After trying a bit suddenly it didn't even show up as an USB-device. It would play the music I had put onto it, but it just wouldn't connect to my computer. Uargh! I spent several hours trying EVERYTHING to no help. At 3 am I went to bed very disappointed. The next morning I remembered that you could actutally reset an iPod. I tried it, and right away it turned up as a USB-device when I connected it.

Then I was back to my HFS+ problem. I decided that I had had enough and went to a friends place to borrow a Windows PC that immediately reformatted my iPod to a vfat filesystem that's much better supported in Linux.

The total freeze

Then I was happy again until 5 days later when I was riding my bicycle to university. A moped passed me and suddenly my iPod just stopped playing (300 meters later the chain of my bike broke and I was late for my lecture, not my day!). No matter what I did it just would not come to live. Obviously I had the hold switch in the hold position because the iPod was in my pocket. I could feel the disk running, but it just wouldn't repond. After 90 minutes it ran out of power. At that time it was quite hot from the disk spinning all the time. When I hooked it up with power again when I got home it came to live again. Weird! My guess is that the electrical noise from the (spark plug of the) moped froze my iPod. Sad :-(

Other than this I have not had any problems. I use gtkpod to upload songs to my iPod, and I'm very happy with the way that works.

Update February 2007

It seems that my iPod has now finally died. Over the past couple of months the harddrive in it has had a few hickups, but has come to life again after a few days of rest and a couple of hard knocks, but now it has been almost a month since it last played for me.

I think I'll buy another iPod sometime even though it lacks several features that I would like, but Apple are just better at design than the others.

The iPod has been quite expensive to own. I paid 3400 DKK (560 $US / 450 euro) including Danish sales taxes. I had it for a little more than 2 years and used it almost daily. This means that it cost me a little less than a dollar per day I owned it. However, I always enjoyed being able to carry my music collection with me everywhere.

Update January 2010

In September of 2007 I purchased an iPod Nano with 8 GB of flash storage. I still have it and enjoy the use of it daily. Battery life has been excellent, but is getting worse now after more than 2 years of almost daily use. I regret that 8 GB was the highest capacity when I bought my iPod, because that means that I can't carry all my music around with me as I used to be able to with my old iPod classic.

I do believe that the future for storage in portable devices (iPods, laptops etc.) will be flash based, and I will certainly not buy an MP3 player with a built in harddrive anytime soon, but I may be getting another iPod once they come out with at least 32 GB of storage in the nano format.

Update March 2015

I have now almost completely switched to using Spotify on my iPhone. I don't think I'll be buying any iPods after all. The nano from 2007 is still alive though.

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