If you're experiencing problems with your iPod, your device's firmware may be outdated, which can cause software conflicts when games, music or videos are added to the device. Rather than erasing your iPod's hard drive and re-syncing your information from iTunes, you can first attempt to resolve the problem by checking for firmware updates for the iPod. Updates are provided through the iTunes program on your computer, and are free to install except for major firmware updates for the iPod touch.
Update your iPod's Firmware
Open the iTunes program on your Macintosh computer by clicking "Go" at the top of the screen and click "Applications" on the drop-down menu. Double-click "iTunes" to start the program. For Windows PCs, double-click the iTunes icon on your desktop or click "Start" on the menu bar, click "All Programs" and "iTunes."
Plug the iPod cable into your computer's USB or FireWire port and the iPod's dock connector, located on the bottom of the iPod.
Select the iPod tab in the iTunes source list, and select the Summary tab located in the main iTunes window. Click the "Check for Update" button under the Version section for Macintosh computers, or click "Help" on the iTunes menu and select "Check for Updates" from the drop-down menu on your PC.
Click "Update Now" if updates are available, and leave your iPod plugged in until the software update is complete.
Restore iPod to Factory Settings
Open the iTunes program on your computer, and connect the iPod to your computer using the USB or FireWire cable.
Click the iPod tab under the Devices section in the iTunes source list, and click the Summary tab in the main window.
Select the "Restore" button and click "Restore and Update" on the pop-up box.
Leave your iPod connected until the restore and update is complete, and the "iPod sync is complete. OK to disconnect" message appears near the top of the iTunes window.
- earphones image by Christos Kyratsous from Fotolia.com