I've come across a problem with my 5g iPod nano. For some reason all of the songs come up as being -0.00 seconds long. I've tried the normal soft reset, but this doesn't seem to have done anything. Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


I've had issues with an iPod nano showing most songs with incorrect durations, though in my case they were shown as much longer than the song actually was.

My guess is it was caused by encoding the MP3s in a program not called "iTunes". They played great everywhere, but the song length never looked right in iTunes on my Mac, either. I guess Apple's MP3/ID3 decoder is stricter than my encoder was.

If you were using some other program to encode them, you could try re-encoding them in iTunes.

  • 90% of all audio file programs I've ever had are due to encoder/decoder disagreements, that or just one broken encoder. Nov 10, 2010 at 6:08
  • Although a “broken” (according to iTunes) song can perfectly be reported as broken or with a different length, I remember that the problem in those cases would manifest in itunes itself. In this case the OP is saying that the songs are incorrectly shown in his iPod, but doesn’t say anything about iTunes. I guess we’ll have to wait for his/her input. Nov 10, 2010 at 10:03
  • Apologies, the songs on itunes are working as expected, showing the correct length and playing normally
    – richzilla
    Nov 10, 2010 at 16:30
  • FWIW, I've never seen iTunes (on an iPod) report that an MP3 of mine was "broken". It seems perfectly fine. It just reports an outrageously wrong duration.
    – Ken
    Nov 15, 2010 at 22:24

Well, if your iTunes library is ok, then you might want to remove all the music from the iPod, re-sync (to make sure it is empty) and then sync again, that ought to copy the music over.

If this fails to fix it, then you might want to hard-reset the ipod as something could be bad to the point where a simple resync is not fixing it.

Please bear in mind that a reset will erase all the information on the device. You don’t mention if you have WIndows or Mac, but in any case, the process ought to be similar.

Since the access to the underlying OS of the iPod is limited (by Apple’s design), all you can do is try to erase and sync again.

  • Im running windows 7 premium
    – richzilla
    Nov 10, 2010 at 16:31
  • @richzilla If the songs are ok in your iTunes, then reset your iPod and try importing the tracks again. If that fails, you might want to check how were your files imported and (possibly) convert them to mp4 within iTunes. Nov 10, 2010 at 17:28

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