A report suggests that iPods with hard drives speed up after their disk is defragmented. After defragging a well-used iPod it accessed music faster and switched from menu to menu faster too.

Here's what a contributor to the thread referenced above wrote: "They were right, it is soooo much faster it's not even funny!!! Everythign goes faster, the menus, the songs load faster, it's awesome!!!"

Well, yes, of course, it would. It's a hard drive. But what about flash memory iPods? Do they need defragging?

No. Flash memory isn't accessed by a single read/write head. So it doesn't need its contained files to be made contiguous and moved closer together to speed access. This means that there is an unexpected - by me at any rate - benefit to flash memory compared to hard drives. You don't need to do so much house-keeping.

You may have applications that assume or require files in flash memory to be contiguous. In that case defragging would be a good idea. But wait, there is a problem. Flash memory only supports a finite number of writes and defraging involves a lot of writing. So by defragging flash you are shortening its working life.

Flash is so much faster than a hard drive that, in general and by hard drive access standards, flash memory defragging is a non-requirement. Even so it may speed up with defragmentation.