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When my iPod's sound is off, the symbol to show that it's off stays on the screen for the whole time until I turn it up at least one notch. But when I do, it turns itself all the way down back to zero, then I have to keep redoing the process every 2-5 seconds, I can't do anything with it on! And this is with and without headphones.

Does anyone know what might be causing this and how I can stop it happening?

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Your volume down button is stuck.

If there’s no damage and you’re in warranty, go get it replaced. If it’s quite old or damaged, and not worth $100 to fix, you can try to push/pull the volume buttons yourself. (If there’s a dent in the iPod metal housing near the buttons it may involve trying to bend or dent the housing to allow the buttons a little more room.)

Good luck.

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