Recently I jumped on the treadmill at the gym, all set for a run down the road to nowhere. I went to switch on my iPod Nano only to discover it wouldn’t play any music. At first I thought it was just a flat battery, but after a couple of hours charging it still wouldn’t work.
What it was doing was flashing the LED light in an alternating green and red pattern. Very festive given the season, but pretty unhelpful when you consider that in the gym that day they seemed to be having a Phil Collins lovefest on the inhouse entertainment system.
Doing a bit of research on the internet turned up a bunch of forums and message boards which had the consensus view that (a) the problem was somewhat common, and (b) the iPod was now toast.
One thing I noticed when I’d plugged it in to charge is that the device still showed up in iTunes even though it wouldn’t play any music. This got me curious.
To start with I restored iPod to the factory defaults by clicking the Restore button in iTunes. All my music was removed from the device. It still gave me the flashing green and red light treatment, and when I copied a song onto the device it still would not play.
Even though iTunes could see it, the iPod didn’t show up under Windows Explorer. A bit more research turned up a check box on the Settings screen in iTunes to enable disk usage, which is Apple-speak for make the device visible to Windows Explorer.
Once done the iPod Nano showed up as a drive letter under Windows Explorer. Right clicking on the drive letter produced the context menu shown below. I chose Format to reformat the drive.
This brings up a dialog box where I could specify the details of the reformat operation. To work the iPod needs to be formatted using FAT-32. I opted for a Quick Format and clicked the Start button.
After a little while the format completed. The drive letter was still visible under Windows Explorer, and under iTunes so on the face of it not much had changed.
However this time when I copied music across to the device gave me a solid green LED light, and more importantly music played!