Why Does iPod Pause by Itself?

By Will Conley

The headphone jack might be the culprit for an unexpected pause in your iPod music playback.
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You're listening to a song on your iPod classic, shuffle, nano or touch, when the music suddenly stops. You fish the iPod out out of your pocket and notice the playback has paused without you commanding it to do so. There are four possible causes for this, all of which have to do with the headphone jack.

Auto-Pause Headphone Jack

The iPod is programmed to automatically pause when a connector is removed, comes loose or falls out of the headphone jack. Pressing the "play/pause" button -- with or without first reinserting the connector into the iPod -- will resume playback.

Ill-fitting Connector

The headphones that come with a new iPod have a standard 3.5 mm TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) connector, which fits the 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack on the iPod. If the connector does not fit properly, the auto-pause function could be triggered unnecessarily. When using third-party headphones, ensure that the specifications are right for an iPod.

Dirty Headphone Jack

A dirty connector or headphone jack can trigger the auto-pause function. Clean the jack using a cotton swab with most of the cotton removed from the stick and dampened in rubbing alcohol. Clean the connector in similar fashion.

Worn Jack

Normal wear-and-tear sometimes knocks the headphone jack on an iPod out of alignment. If your iPod is under warranty, contact Apple to request a replacement. Do not attempt to take the iPod apart and solder a solution; that will void the warranty. See Resources for more information on replacing a worn-out iPod.