I have a 2nd generation iPod Touch and I can't get it to play any media files. Everything else seems to be working fine on it, it just can't play music or videos.

For instance, when I tap a song in the music app, I see the "Now Playing" view for about 1 second before it goes back to the list. It's as if the song started and ended in .01 seconds. But no music ever starts. Whether I have earphones plugged in or not, nothing plays.

When I trying to play YouTube videos or iTunes Store song previews, I get errors like "This movie could not be played" and "Could not play preview".

So far I've tried a hard restart, resetting all settings, erasing all content and settings, restoring in iTunes (EDIT: w/o restoring from backup), restoring using DFU mode. None of these things have worked. I would appreciate any other suggestions. Thanks!

  • 1
    There is no software fix for this
    – hellothere
    Aug 25, 2012 at 8:35
  • I know that seems to be the most reasonable explanation but I'm still hoping someone somewhere will have had it happen and known how to fix it! (Even if it requires some hardware work, I'd like to know what that is.)
    – Joel
    Aug 25, 2012 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


You definitely have a problem with the Audio chip on the iPod touch. iOS devices use a separate chip for decoding audio files, so that the processor can be put to sleep. The chip can probably decode all supported formats, but it may be optimised for mp3 and m4a. If the audio chip is dead, nothing will work. Movies won’t play because the iPod decodes only the video part (which has a dedicated chip on and after A5) and not the audio.

This answer is just based on a few facts, rumours, deductions and reasoning, and may not be the real problem in your iPod. I think it’s best to wait until mid-September, when a new iPod touch is rumoured to be released, and buy the new one.


When you restored the iPod did you then put the backup onto it restoring it back to how it was before? If so restore it again and set up as new. Past doing this you're out of options and it would point towards a hardware fault.

  • I did not restore from backup, no. I guess part of me knows it could be a hardware fault but it seems like an awfully strange one! :) Thanks!
    – Joel
    Aug 22, 2012 at 23:56
  • 2
    Sorry old bean. Sounds like the iPod's had it's day. The Genius bar can replace it for the same model for a reduced price or you can trade it in as part of their iPod recycling scheme at an Apple Store for 10% off a new Classic, Touch or Nano.
    – hellothere
    Aug 22, 2012 at 23:58

I have two ideas:

  1. I had a similar problem with ogm files. Some files play fine on a Mac - but the ipod has very limited support on formats. Only mp3, mp4, aac - if I'm correct. iTunes can do the conversion for you in only a few cases. So what format is your music?

  2. if your music is on an external drive, or has some strange access attributes it could be that iTunes can not read it. Where is it located?

  • Thanks for the suggestions! I don't think either of those are the issue because it's not just the songs in my Music app that won't play; it's also an issue with YouTube videos, iTunes Store song previews, Rdio songs ... anything that should 'play' won't.
    – Joel
    Aug 25, 2012 at 14:14

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