iPod Bug: 299 Video Shuffle Limit


Bryan Veloso shot me an IM this evening asking if I was aware of this particular issue his fiancé was having with her 5G 30GB iPod. I hadn’t heard of it and it seemed no Apple technicians had either. Which also seems to mean she can’t get it fixed…which is a bummer. So this post is part “has anybody else had this issue” and part “Apple, do something.”

The Problem

About a month and a half ago Bryan’s fiancé, Jen, started noticing that none of the new videos were coming up in her video shuffle. After monitoring this a bit she realized that it was only shuffling 299 videos out of her 353 video collection. To top that, it was only shuffling the first 299 videos. So any new videos added after the initial 299 simply never got played. Even when older videos are remove, anything after the 299 mark doesn’t get shuffled. So say you delete the first 10 videos you added, it’d then only shuffle the first 289 videos added. She only listens/watches in shuffle mode so obviously this is an issue.

Eliminated Possibilities

Some suggested the new files could be getting corrupted as they are being added. That doesn’t seem to be the case as the videos can be played back fine if they are manually selected.

Others have suggested that maybe it’s a malfunction with her iPod, but she uploaded all of the videos to Bryan’s 5G iPod and the exact same issue was present.

The iPod has been through a complete reset/restore, different USB cables have been used, and Apple technicians have said that it’s in full working order with no hardware/software defects.


So, after all of this it would seem that there is a limit to the number of videos that can be shuffled on the iPod. Has anyone else experienced this or have some suggestions? Is this just an oversight on Apple’s part or is this a legitimate bug?


Florian Gnägi

There are two ways of implementing a shuffle:
a) search for the next suffle item at runtime, meaning randomly search the next playable item when the current item is finished
b) create a shuffle list once and play this shuffeled list as if it was a regular playlist.
It seems that approach b was taken and the shuffle list never gets renewed or the base list that is used to build the shuffle list does not get updated when adding new videos.
Did you try going to normal mode and then turning shuffle on again (this usually reshuffles the shuffle list). I would also recommend to delete everything from the Ipod and transfere the whole library again.

Paul Stamatiou

Kudos for Bryan & Jen for discovering an iPod bug. Is this like where you discover a star and get to name it? They should name it something related to, um, their domain name. =)

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