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Beware USB Flash Drives for File Copying


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Perhaps my unusual experience will help someone out there.

 

I found that music files that I copied from a USB flash drive onto the hard drive of my music server were developing defects about 5% of time. About 1 of 20 files would play back with a glitch--not a dropout but a brief staticky "zzzkrt" at one (or sometimes more) spots in the song. These glitches would reproducibly occur at the the same spot in an affected track.

 

I verified that the issue was in the file itself by verifying that the glitch happened using both iTunes and Play, and that was true whether I used either my Macbook or Macbook Pro as the source (connected to the same hard drive containing the affected file). I also played the file from the flash drive and found the glitch there as well.

 

However, I always rip my CDs to an archive drive in another room before using the USB flash drive to move the new arrivals over to the music server hard drive. If a music file randomly develops one of these glitches through copying using the flash drive, I found I could recopy the good original and then it's ok (since there seems to be a 95% chance that any given transfer is glitch free.)

 

To flush the whole problem from my system, I cloned the music folder from the archive drive to the music server drive.

 

In the future I will not use USB flash drives to make these transfers. It may be that I have a defective USB flash drive (PQI 16 Gb), but once bitten twice shy.

 

Most of you are probably scratching your heads at this, but it may help someone with a similar and irritating problem.

 

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