I was going to call HP yesterday (it's an HP iPod) and yell at them because they just sent me this iPod three months ago and it's crapping out already. I've got some theories, but none of them is terribly likely.
1) There's a particular file that was playing both this time when it began failing (when I say "began failing," I mean it got stuck and had to be rebooted). That file might somehow be buggy. That's unlikely, because that file was downloaded from iTunes like many of my other files.
2) I tend to use the car charger and FM transmitter about half the time. I'm not sure how the FM transmitter might interfere with the workings of the iPod, but my first iPod, which worked just fine until I dropped it on a concrete floor, was never hooked up to an FM transmitter.
Well, I didn't get around to calling HP yesterday. I just didn't feel like it. I plugged in my iPod and sat there, watching it cycle from the Apple logo to the low battery logo to the sick iPod picture and back to the Apple logo - round and round and round. It finally went to sleep, and I let the sick iPod sleep. This morning, I picked it up off the table, intending to take it to work with me. I didn't realize that I was standing on the cord when I picked it up, and as I raised my hand, it jumped out of my hand and fell back onto the table (about 8 inches). When I picked it up, it was showing the Apple logo. I put it to my ear and heard only the sound of the hard drive spinning smoothly up. When I looked at its window, it was displaying the menu. I plugged in my headphones, and without a hitch, music poured joyously forth.
So, now I'm experimenting. I'm going to avoid the FM transmitter and see if that makes any difference. The Pirate says that his expectation is that it's going to work for a time and then crap out again. I have a sinking feeling he may be right.