Edit:Many people seem to be ending up on this page when searching for a solution to their iPod pausing randomly. I’ve put some of the common solutions to this problem in the comments below. Hope this helps!
I love my iPod. I’ve owned 3 different ones (5 if you count my 1st and 2nd generation iPhones!). There’s a great feature that you may have not even noticed exists – when listening to a song if you accidentally pull your headphones out, the iPod recognises this and automatically pauses the track!
There isn’t much point continuing playing when you can’t hear anything so it makes sense to pause. This is especially good if you are listening to an audio book as it saves all the messing around rewinding to try and find out where you were up to.
This feature is using a design principle called Forgiveness. Forgiving designs do what they can to prevent mistakes but when they occur they minimise the consequences. Here, the consequences of interrupted playback are minimised by pausing the track until you are ready to resume.
A way you can incorporate forgiveness in to your designs is to think of your product as a finite state machine and then consider what you can do automatically when the state is changed. Here there are two relevant states: “with headphones plugged in” and “without headphones plugged in”. Changing between the two states has been gracefully handled and the most logical action taken.
It’s an unfortunate truth that these kinds of features are often overlooked, but when you do notice them you realise that the team that put the product together has put in a lot of effort. So, try and take the time to think about the different states your product can exist in and then think about how you can make your users lives easier by automating things during the transition between the states.