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The iPod Battery Print E-mail

Many questions that arise with respect to the iPod battery, such as how long it will last and if it is replaceable. Despite rumors, it is possible to replace the battery in the iPod. The following will answer some of the questions related to the iPod battery.

1. How long can an iPod user expect their iPod battery to last? The iPod battery is rated to last 500 charging cycles. Depending on the use of the iPod, the battery should last for over 18 months. In actuality, the battery is likely last more than two or three years. To extend the life of the battery many consider it better to recharge a battery before it is fully discharged. While charging, voltage level and charge are measured so it is not possible to over charge and damage the battery.

2. How is it possible to tell if the iPod battery is going bad? The battery in the 3rd generation iPod should last over 8 hours of playtime and the 4th generation iPod should last over 12 hours of playtime. If you do not get over 8 hours of playtime this does not necessary mean your battery is going bad. Depending on iPod use, playtime could be shorter. Apple considers a bad iPod battery to be one that is incapable of holding more than 50% of the charge a new battery should hold. If you are consistently experiencing 4 hours of playtime in the 3rd generation iPod or 6 hours of playtime in the 4th generation, you might want to consider replacing your iPod battery.

3. How accurate is the battery meter? The battery meter is not very accurate. Even if the battery meter lists a low battery, the iPod could still have several hours of playtime left before it is dead. Even when the iPod says it is fully charged, the iPod could should a half charge. After a few minutes of playtime, the battery meter will show a full charge. The battery meter's intent is to give a rough estimate of how charged the iPod battery is.

4. How is it possible increase playtime before the battery dies between charges? Mean time before battery recharging depends on how the iPod is used. There are several steps to increase the battery life. These steps will not drastically increase playtime in an iPod with a bad battery. If you try these steps and still have a short playtime then chances are high you need to replace your battery.

Do not skip songs - The iPod works by reading multiple songs into the RAM and then turning off the hard drive since the hard drive consumes a significant amount of power; the longer the hard drive stays off the longer the playtime. Playtime is reduced, if the iPod has to keep the hard drive spinning to refill the RAM. If the iPod is given a play list to play and is not touched, playtime will be significantly longer than an iPod that is constantly switching play lists.

Turn off the backlight - The backlight consumes some power. If you are in a well-lit room, the backlight is unnecessary and should be turned off. If the light is necessary to read the iPod screen then the light should be set the shortest time required to read the screen.

Turn off EQ - Turn off the EQ in settings screen. The iPod uses power to adjust the EQ for each song so by turning it off saves power.

Turn down the volume - Turning down the volume will lower the power required for the headphones.

Do not use iPod add-ons such as the iTrip or iTalk - While these devices extend the use of the iPod they work by consuming power from the iPod battery. If you must use these devices then you might want to consider the Belkin iPod Backup Battery Pack that will extend the playtime for iPod between charges.

Use compressed songs - The iPod contains 32MB of RAM most of which is used as a buffer for songs. The iPod fills the RAM, and then turns off the hard drive. If you have compressed songs (MP3, ACC) opposed to uncompressed songs (wav) more songs will fit in the RAM allowing for longer playtime before the hard drive must spin up to get more songs for the RAM.

5. How do you get the iPod battery replaced?
If the warranty period for the iPod is not over (1 year for standard warranty, 2 years with AppleCare) Apple will replace the bad battery if the battery hold less than 50% of its original charge.

If the iPod is past its warranty period, Apple will replace the battery for $65.95. For more details, see http://www.apple.com/support/ipod/service/battery.html.

For the technological skilled individuals it is possible to replace the battery by buying a battery from online stores such as http://www.ifixit.com. (Note: Replacing the battery yourself voids any and all warrantees your iPod may have.) If you do decide to replace the iPod battery except to put some scratches on your iPod. If you are not willing to take the risk the of damaging your iPod or do not fully understand how to replace the battery yourself then it is best a professional replaces the battery.