iPod Help Center

The iPod Help Center has answers to common iPod questions and links to the best iPod related web sites and resources.
  1. Top iPod Web Sites
  2. iPod Locked Up or Frozen, Rebooting the iPod
  3. iPod Sound Quality - MP3, AAC encoding and bitrates
  4. Converting video to iPod format
  5. iPod Videos- Choosing Resolution and Bitrate
  6. How to fix: "I tunes could not be opened - unknown error (Ox666D743F)"

Top iPod Web Sites

If you're looking for information about iPods, these are the best sites to check out first.
News/Reviews Support Software/Products

iPod Locked Up or Frozen, Rebooting the iPod

You just got your new iPod and tried connecting it to your computer and it LOCKED UP. So, what do you do? First, I'd advise you to upgrade your iTunes software to the latest version (
download iTunes here). Second, reboot your iPod. How your reset your iPod depends on the version:
  • For recent iPods - iPod Mini, 4th Generation iPod, Color iPod, iPod with Video, iPod Nano - Check the hold switch and make sure it is NOT in locked mode (if you see a small lock icon on the screen it is locked). Simultaneously hold down the middle select button and the Menu button for about 8 seconds. If it successfully reboots, you'll see the Apple logo and then after a short period of time, it the menus will appear. If that didn't work, you might try connecting it to a power adapter and try again, in case the battery was drained.
  • For older iPods - iPod with mechanical wheel, 2nd and 3rd generation iPod with touch wheel - Check the hold switch and make sure it is NOT in locked mode (if you see a small lock icon on the screen it is locked). Simultaneously hold down the middle select button and the Play button for about 8 seconds. If it successfully reboots, you'll see the Apple logo and then after a short period of time, it the menus will appear. If that didn't work, you might try connecting it to a power adapter and try again, in case the battery was drained.
Resetting your iPod does not erase music on your iPod, but you might lose some customized settings you made.

iPod Sound Quality - MP3, AAC encoding and bitrates

By default music you buy from iTunes is in AAC format, encoded at 128 kbps (kilobits/second), which is a reasonably good sound quality. When ripping music from your own CDs using iTunes, you can choose from a variety of speeds and formats. First, should you us MP3 or AAC? If you only have iPods, then choose AAC - iTunes produces much better quality AAC files than MP3 files for a given bitrate. Second, what bitrate should you choose? The lower the bitrate, the worse the quality (however, the less the space taken by music files).
You can set the encoding quality by going to the Preferences option under the Edit menu. Click on the "Advanced" tab, and then click on the "Importing" tab. Next to the "Setting" option, select "Custom".
  • 160 kbps (stereo, sample rate 48.000 kHz) VBR, or higher for music in which you care about the audio quality. This is a reasonable balance between quality and space. Also, it is such a pain to rip your CDs, you really want to do it at a high quality by default because iPods will in the future have larger disk drives for a cheaper price. Most people will not be able to distinguish this quality level from CD quality on typical audio equipment.
  • 32 kbps (mono) VBR, for talk radio or spoken audio, is good enough. This saves space.
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Converting Video to iPod Format

If you have your own personal digital video content and want to convert it to iPod format, one of the best choices is the free
Videora iPod Converter. It's simple to use and best of all, free.

Another option is if you have TiVo. A new version of TiVoToGo will allow you to convert TiVo content to iPod format.

iPod Videos- Choosing Resolution and Bitrate

UPDATE: now with the 1.2 or later firmware, the original video iPod supports full 640x480 videos! Apple's web site says the video iPod supports H.264 video at 320x240 resolution at up to 768 kbits/second, or MPEG-4 resolutions of up to 480x480, and 2.5Mbits/second. The MPEG-4 video size limit is slightly misleading, as it in reality supports resolutions that have up to 480x480=230,400 pixels, which is in fact very good news! The bitrate chosen can be anywhere up to 2.5Mbits/sec. The higher the resolution, the higher the bitrate you should choose, otherwise you'll end up with choppy video that looks bad especially in fast-changing scenes. Resolutions with a 1.33 aspect ratio that work include:
  • 554x415 pixels, the best resolution. Excellent for output to a TV, the built-in screen is 320x240 and downsizes the video shown to fit the built-in screen. Choose a 2.5Mbits/sec bitrate for the best quality.
  • 512x384 Also excellent quality, bitrate of 2 to 2.5Mbits/second should be good enough.
  • 480x360 A reasonable compromise in terms of space and quality. Bitrate of 1.2 to 2 Mbits/sec will give reasonable quality.
  • 320x240 Fits exactly the iPod built-in screen. Lower quality, use it of you want to save space. Bitrates of 768 Kbits/sec to 1.5 Mbits/sec are reasonable.
I've decided to standardize my video content on 480x360 at 1.5Mbits/sec. as a reasonable compromise in terms of quality and space. Using higher resolutions and bitrates increases file sizes significantly and could decrease battery life because of the increased computation power needed.

See also, the