Certain MP3s won't play on iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by NemoMac, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. NemoMac macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Hey all,

    I love my new iPhone, and it worked almost perfectly for what I need out of the box (and after the sync with my G4 of course)! However, I do have this one nagging problem.

    A lot of the MP3s in my music library won't play on the iPhone's "iPod" mode. It will show the play time counting down, but after about 5 or 6 seconds of silence it will just jump to the next song. I have noticed that this never happens on CDs that I ripped myself, or on songs I've obtained recently. It mostly happens on files that are a few years old and of... let's say "undocumented"... origin. I don't have any problems with these files on iTunes for OSX.

    The encoding I have used to get MP3s I have ripped (and are confirmed to play on my iPhone) was done by SoundJam, iTunes and LAME. I have never owned an iPod, so is this a known issue that some kinds of encoding won't work on Apple devices? Also, is there a way I can have iTunes scan my entire library, and give my "undocumented files" some sort of amnesty by re-encoding them? :p

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. unity macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    You can convert each via iTunes to whatever it set as the import setting in the preferences. But I know of no way within iTunes to locate the files. Unless for sure they are older, you could convert them all based on date added.
  3. badtzmaru macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2007
    when i was at the genius bar recently, the geniuses told more than one person not to use "undocumented" mp3s on their ipods. one of them even said it could "corrupt" the ipod. I dont exactly see how that could be true but you never know.

    but rather than doing a reconvert, i would first try editing the tags on your mp3s to get rid of extraneous info and i would also rename the mp3s to something simple. if these dont work then i would convert
  4. richsim macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2007
    Are they encoded in variable bit rate?

    I read somewhere that the iPhone doesn't like VBR (variable bit rate) encoded mp3s or AACs. Maybe that's the problem.
  5. unity macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    I wonder if updating the ID3 tags would help...
  6. maryspecht macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2009
    I had this problem, as well. The song plays for a few seconds, then a little trill plays and it skips to another song. Some songs play in full, but all of the songs I've purchased recently won't play. Here's the thing, though: I purchased most of these songs *from my phone*. They worked for a while, and then I synced my phone with a new iTunes on a new computer, and now they won't work.
  7. lexplex macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2009
    Possible solution


    I've been having problems moving my mp3s onto my new iphone 3gs. After hours of headscratching and looking at forums I struck upon a solution and so far it works.

    By the looks of it, certain encoding incarnations for MP3s don't like the iphone. The long but simple-ish solution is to download Media Monkey (I'm using the latest free version) and find your music on there and then select it (track, artist, album, or the whole lot if you've got the time) and click 'Tools' then 'Convert Audio Format' or similar. This then comes up with conversion options. I selected the 'High Quality +' preset with is 192kbps constant rate encoding.

    Set it to work, then empty your itunes library and refill it with the newly encoded mp3s. Resync your iphone and the problem should be solved.

    Let me know if this doesn't solve your particular problem and I'll try to help.
  8. igotgame1075 macrumors member


    Dec 10, 2005
  9. JoeLackey macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2009
    ..I seem to be having this problem, as well. Accept mine will not even play the beginning of the song. I go through the process as if i were going to listen to the song, but when it goes to play, it stops, and goes back one step. I bought the song off of iTunes, too, so I don't know what the problem could be.
  10. Krisztina macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    Solution! :) YAY!

    Thank you so much! You rock!!!! This fixed my problem. WOOHOO! You're the best, igotgame1075 :)
  11. sdool4 macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2012
    I've had the same problem. All I did was create an AAC Version and added them to my iPhone 3GS.

    Hope this helps :)

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