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Model A1059 or A1099 / 20, 40, or 60 GB hard drive / touch sensitive click wheel

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Why am I getting artifacts in my music?

I got an iPod Photo off of eBay last week, and a lot of my music, especially drum corps music (here is an example of such music, gets these annoying squeaking noises and artifacts, making it almost unbearable to listen to. Sometimes, the artifacts drown out the music for a moment.

My thinking about why this is is that it's probably the DAC causing the issues, similar to when you watch downloaded videos on an old laptop and you get artifacts in the video.

So my question is, how can I eliminate these artifacts, and am I right about the cause of them? I would like to not spend any more than 40 dollars on this project, by the way.

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I'm not incredibly familiar with this specific model of iPod (I do have a trusty 5th gen iPod video though...), but one of the things that comes to mind is that there could be some dust or gunk stuck in the headphone jack. Maybe take a peek into the jack and see if it looks clear. These iPods should also play audio from the dock connector, so if you have an old radio or iHome, you could test to see if the dock connector audio works. If that works and the jack doesn't, then it's very likely there's an issue with the jack or the cable inside the iPod that goes to it. iFixit has a page here with some additional suggestions for troubleshooting.

The good news is that parts for this iPod are still easy to find and relatively cheap, good luck!

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It could be that, but the artifacts always appear in the same places, and they occur more in some tracks than in others. Do you still think the headphone jack could cause this?


It's possible, a bad electrical connection could cause issues only at some audio frequencies / power levels. Does the issue get better or worse when you change the volume? Also, if you have a different pair of headphones or other audio source, that may also be worth trying.

I haven't been able to find much suggesting that the DAC or other parts of the analog signal chain can "go bad" over time. However, it's not impossible that something (like ESD?) could have damaged your iPod.


The issue stays about the same level of severity as I change the volume, and I've used other sets of headphones, they all have the same issues in the same places.


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Christopher Wilson sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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