first posted on the ipodlounge, there are some issues with the new ipods whirring, pausing, and scratching through the headphones while skipping tracks encoded in Apple Lossless format. i tested mine (bought yesterday) and indeed, i have the same problem, where the hard drive will audibly (through the headphones) make a whirring noise, then have about 2 seconds of static/scratchy noise while the song starts. however, the problem is even more insidious. it occurs whenever the ipod needs to access the hard drive for some search, whether it be accessing the new AL file, the new album (happened to me as i switched from an album of AL files to an album of 320 mp3 files - only for that first track, though), or even while searching for all my contacts. while it happens consistently when skipping for AL tracks, it also occurs in other instances, which tells me it isn't something about AL files, per se, rather there are hard drive problems. anyone else experience the same thing?