I've had the same problem for a long time. I have a 2nd gen iPod Nano and I DO sync it almost nightly so I can get the latest podcasts. My iPod hangs up the same way. I was hoping it was fixed with the 3rd gen. Have you experienced the problem w/ the new iPod Nano?
The problem doesn't happen every time I sync -- probably 80% - 90% of the time. I have not figured out anything special thing that I do that 10% to 20% of the time it doesn't hang. I always use the same process, including ejecting the iPod. I haven't noticed a pattern whether or not I leave the iPod attached to recharge.
Once or twice I've tried to start listening to a podcast right after syncing. The iPod didn't hang. I then pause it and play it the next morning. I haven't tested to see if that's a reliable work around or just part of the 10% to 20% of the time it doesn't hang. I really don't want to start a podcast and then pause after every time I sync.
I've seen this issue come up elsewhere on the net. Just wondering if it happens to people here, too.
I use Itunes (latest iteration) to download BOL and drag onto my connected Ipod (inside iTunes). All's well and fine. I don't have it set for Sync mode...I just like manually adding what I want.
However, almost every day I do this, I have to reset the iPod in order for them to play correctly. Here's how it manifests: I do the above steps. Then, "eject" my iPod in iTunes via the menu. I wait for the eject process to complete. I take my iPod with me on my commute. I turn it on, go to the Podcast menu, find Buzz Out Loud (or whatever other podcast; this isn't limited to BOL). I use the thumbwheel to get to the episode I want. Press Play on the wheel. That's where it hangs. A small bit of the display is loaded from the right side -- in other words I see a very small bit of the cNET logo try to slide in, but then it stops and locks up. I have to manually reboot the iPod to get it back to working order. Once reset/rebooted, the podcasts play fine.
This has now happened on three different iPods that I've owned, so it's not exclusive to one particular unit.
What's the deal? Do I need to actually "sync" the darn thing to get this to work without issue?