Bottom Line Up Front: A few podcasts out there in the world, including Manager Tools, stop playing on iPods that are upgraded to version 1.2 of the iPod firmware. When you attempt to play an episode of the podcast, the iPod will crash and reset itself. This firmware upgrade is distributed by Apple in conjunction with the upgrade to Version 7 of iTunes. The easy solution to the problem is to go to the Settings option of the main menu on your iPod, select "Reset All Settings", then select "Reset."
Now, the longer version for the geeks, the gearheads and the morbidly curious:
I upgraded to the new release of iTunes 4 days ago. Along with that upgrade I was offered a firmware upgrade for my 60GB Video iPod. I think to myself, "Hey, this isn't Microsoft, it's Apple! What could go wrong?" Even though I am a Windows user and do not even own a Mac, I am still not happy with the quality of Microsoft products for the first year or so after release and I pick on them as much as most Mac-addicts I know.
Anyway, the answer to my question was was "not much, but something." iTunes and my iPod spent an hour or so negotiating the upgrade not only of the software and firmware but of my existing files managed by both. (They spent most of that time dealing with "gapless playback," a new feature in iTunes and iPods.) After that was done, the sound resolution of music was HORRIBLE. I played one MP3 file in Windows Media Player to see if the file had been corrupted or if the error was in the players. Not only was the file fine in WMP, it and all other files were then fine on both iTunes and my iPod. Go figure. So were 6 of the 7 podcasts I'm a subscriber to.
But not Manager Tools. I could play the files just fine in iTunes on my laptop and I could use several other MP3 players to play them, but my iPod abruptly crashed and rebooted itself every single time I tried to play one. No matter how many times I tried, I got the same result. And what's more, it happened with every episode and not just the recent ones. I know. I restored some old episodes from archive and tried it with them.
I purged them from my iPod and reloaded. No joy. I deleted them from iTunes and my iPod then reloaded. No joy. I unsubscribed, deleted the files, re-subscribed, loaded fresh copies from the server and tried again. No joy.
I finally found a CNet discussion forum addressing the issue. One guy figured out it was only low-bitrate MP3 files having the issue, and he even suspected it was only those encoded with Lame3.92. (How about it Mike, is that what you are using and are you using low bitrate encoding to cut down on file size?) It seems everyone else there had gone through the same path I had tried with little or no success.
There were two solutions there that seemed to work for everyone. The first was to go in to iTunes and set every offending file to start 1 second in to the file instead of at the beginning. That is a pain because you have to do it every time you get a new episode. The solution I presented above seems to permanently solve the problem. Why it works, I have no idea. Ask Apple. All I know is I'm happy because I can listen to Manager Tools again.