iPod Battery Diagnostics

Your iPod battery should last between 12 months and 36 months. This broad range exists because every person uses their iPod battery differently. Some use their ipod battery 10 hours per day 365 day a year and some use their ipod battery a couple of hours a week.

If your iPod battery needs a replacement then you have a simple option. Buy an ipod battery.

However there are a couple of easy diagnostics you can do on your own before spending under $20 for an ipod battery.

Is it really the iPod battery (or the iPod meter)? 

If you spend anytime in the Apple forums you will come across a common complaint that goes something like: ‘I charged my iPod for more than four hours and then when I turn it on, the battery meter says it only has about 25% (or less) charge. So I plugged it back in to charge overnight and it still says very little charge.’

The good news is is that your iPod is probably fine, fully charged, and ready to play for many uninterrupted hours. How is this possible when the ipod battery meter reads as if there is no battery charge whatsoever? Because the battery meter only approximates when you should recharge your ipod battery!

Some ipod battery meters will read empty but after about 20 minutes of use fills in the black bars to read more like the real capacity of the battery.

Since the meter is an approximation to indicate a need to recharge why then is my ipod powering down? If your battery is truly dead then buy another one and replace it yourself. If your battery is not dead then recalibrate the ipod battery meter. To re-calibrate, run the iPod until it shuts down. Recharge fully, using the AC power (mains) adapter, not a USB or Firewire port. Do not recharge until the iPod shuts down due to low battery again. This does not mean you have to leave it running for hours; use it normally, but hold off on any "top-off" recharges.

If recalibrating does not solve your problem, try resetting your iPod (method varies by model) and/or restoring it (be sure you have all of your music on your computer before doing this). Then repeat the full cycle of discharge and recharge.

iPod Battery Cycles

As preventive maintenance for your meter and battery, be sure your iPod gets about one full cycle per month. A battery recharge cycle is defined as one full charge all the way to maximum battery capacity followed by a complete discharge to the automatic shutdown point.

iPod batteries with a chemistry make-up of lithium ion or lithium polymer have the ability cycle 300-500 times on average. This means that you can cycle your battery 300-500 times on average before you must buy a new one.

Overnight Rundown

If you bought an ipod replacement battery and find that it seems to be losing its charge (running down) overnight don’t assume you have a bad battery. First check the alarm clock. Is it off or on? Keep it off overnight! Check the date and time – is it accurate or mysteriously off (indication that the iPod reset itself or the CPU entered into some type of loop and crashed and kept using power) – nothing to do with a defective battery.

Yes that is right the iPod CPU like any CPU on any computer can crash. When your iPod CPU crashes it goes into an endless loop and drains the battery a lot faster than when it is in normal or deep sleep. If this happens reset your iPod. What causes the crashes? Not precisely sure (corrupted software, corrupted song files, or something else beyond the battery). Again if this happens try and reset your iPod.

Another option is to delete the corrupted file (if you know which one it is) from your iPod and Library. If you do not know which file is corrupt then wipe the iPod hard drive clean of all files and begin from the beginning.

If it's frozen and the ipod battery seems to be dead force a reboot by letting your iPod battery drain entirely (a 24+ hour process), you need to let it run all the way down to force a reboot.

Until next time – Dan Hagopian, BatteryShip.com
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