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View Full Version : How reliable is an iPod




Dafke
Jul 30, 2005, 07:34 AM
So i bought the 30 gig iPod with the camera connector 6 weeks ago, i wanted to be able to listen to all my music on vacation, and be able to shoot as many pictures as possible with my camera.
So i went to Cuba, and after 4 days the iPod went down (due to humidity?), i got the "sad iPod" icon and was no longer able to use it. Luckily i didn't need the storage room for my photo's in the end, the 1 Gb compact flash card i have was enough, but i will in the future, because i'll be buying the canon 350d soon and hope to take longer vacations.

So, i will be getting a new iPod soon, but would you rely on an iPod next time or should i buy another 1 or 2 gig compact flash card?



eva01
Jul 30, 2005, 07:46 AM
my iPod is wicked reliable, been going for 20 months now and not a problem with it (except me dropping it twice :/ causing tiny dents :( )

MacDawg
Jul 30, 2005, 07:53 AM
Well lets see, as I understand it (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong), but we are talking about the difference between a hard drive (iPod) and flash. Flash is less susceptible to movement, drops, damage, etc. Not that it cannot fail, but a HD is more likely to fail I think, though I am no expert. Also, the iPod uses its software which could become corrupt I suppose, while Flash doesn't.

Both should be reliable, but I've heard of iPods failing a lot more than a flash card. If it were something I *had to have and couldn't lose* I'd go with the flash card. But I'd have an iPod too.

Sorry about your iPod. Hope you get it replaced soon.

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

JRM PowerPod
Jul 30, 2005, 08:03 AM
Yeah they're reliable. I've had a mini, a photo and shuffle and they've been sweet. I've had a crap day, jumped on the treadmill, chucked the photo in the cup holder on the treadmill. Ran for about 5 mins, the cord got caught up in my arm, iPod went skywards, iPod proceeded to descend towards the surface of the treadmill, i proceeded to freak and try to catch, iFail. It hit treadmill, it decide to go flying along ground, iFreak. iLook and iSee, iPod scratched. But she's fine. Battlewounds. Good unit.

Lacero
Jul 30, 2005, 08:22 AM
my iPod is wicked reliable, been going for 20 months now and not a problem with it (except me dropping it twice :/ causing tiny dents :( )I dropped mine and now the HD squeals every time the iPod starts it up. Seems pretty fragile to me. Ah well, when I first got the iPod, my first impression of it was it was a tiny computer, which it essentially is.

James L
Jul 30, 2005, 09:01 AM
...i proceeded to freak and try to catch, iFail.


iFail.


:D

maya
Jul 30, 2005, 09:05 AM
The iPod is about 98% reliable reason being that 1) I have never lost data (knock on wood) and 2) the battery life on my 3G iPod is only good if I turn OFF some functions, thought this seems to be less of a problem with the 4G models.

The screen is great, never had a problem with it. :)

Applespider
Jul 30, 2005, 09:07 AM
Pretty reliable although my 4G had a problem where the software kept corrupting on it (according to the Apple Genius) and stopped me playing purchased songs. The best thing about the iPod is that if it should go tits up during its warranty period, an Apple Store will generally just hand you over a new/refurbed one then and there.

Dafke
Jul 30, 2005, 03:24 PM
Well lets see, as I understand it (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong), but we are talking about the difference between a hard drive (iPod) and flash. Flash is less susceptible to movement, drops, damage, etc. Not that it cannot fail, but a HD is more likely to fail I think, though I am no expert. Also, the iPod uses its software which could become corrupt I suppose, while Flash doesn't.

Both should be reliable, but I've heard of iPods failing a lot more than a flash card. If it were something I *had to have and couldn't lose* I'd go with the flash card. But I'd have an iPod too.

Sorry about your iPod. Hope you get it replaced soon.

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

Yeah, you're probebly right there, i think i'll buy some additional flash memory, and i'll back up the photo's on my iPod as well, so i will have no worries when a flash card or my iPod breaks down (chances are slim that both brake down at the same time!). I would really hate to loose my holliday pictures, so better do it double dutch!

The new iPod should arrive soon, as well as a brand new canon 350D!

Thanx all for the input!

kiwi_the_iwik
Jul 30, 2005, 06:42 PM
I bought a 4G 20GB last year, and it was fine - until a few weeks ago. Then, it died the big death...

After rebooting, a folder came up with an exclamation mark icon. And at one point, I was even graced by the presence of the "Sad Mac". Bummer. I had tried EVERYTHING to get it started - the HD just whirred and clicked, on the same spot. I reinitialised it, reset it, even tried to restore the new updated software. It wouldn't even register on my desktop.

And if THAT wasn't bad enough, I was TWO WEEKS over my warranty period, and Apple were flatly REFUSING to be flexible (Admittedly, I hadn't pushed them, as "...Hell hath no fury like a true Apple supporter scorned...").

Never mind, I thought. I'll have a crack at it myself.

So - I EVENTUALLY managed to repair the bad sectors with various drive utilities like Techtool and PodLock so it would mount on the desktop, and THEN I erased the drive completely using Disk Utility.

After restoring the iPod's system software with the latest incarnation from Apple, it fired up perfectly - and now seems incredibly snappier in the process.

Whew!

Who NEEDS to extend their warranty? I figured that if it's broken, it couldn't really get any MORE broken, could it? So why not fix it yourself?

;)

dmw007
Jul 30, 2005, 10:21 PM
No problems with the my iPod Mini Rev B (so far...knock on wood...).

mad jew
Jul 30, 2005, 10:35 PM
My 4G has just decided it doesn't really want to show me my songs anymore. The "About" screen still shows that there's only a few MB left but there are no songs anywhere to be found. :(

So I did the usual restore firmware stuff but it will only copy across a few tunes at a time before crashing iTunes and freezing. Ripping it out of the dock, resetting it and then plugging it back in seems to work (if you ignore the warnings) because thankfully it updates from where it left off. Nevertheless, it took me about fifty attempts to get a measly 7,000 tracks onto it. It's not even a year old yet.

For the record, most of my friends have iPods and none of them have lasted more than about a year. I realise there are people out there with better experiences but these things seem pretty fragile if you use them as a regular music player.

I think Lacero's mantra is probably the best way of keeping a relatively trouble-free iPod, treat it like a tiny laptop, but that's not always feasible let alone likely when these things are getting sold to every man and his dog. nevertheless, I've written them off as an annual purchase. I don't mind spending the extra dough to get a working iPod every year, I still think it's worth it.

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 31, 2005, 01:10 AM
I have found that iPod's are very reliable from a hardware standpoint; but not from the battery standpoint on on 2G and 3G models.

Until Apple decides to do the iPod maxi, I would suggest doing the Epson P-2000. It handles RAW from most manufactures, and allows zooming in on JPG images to make sure that the focus was right.

It also can handle some movie formats. And play MP3/AAC audio formats. the 3.8" screen is ultra hi-res. Add to that photo transfers are way faster than the Camera Connector.

I just spent 5 days in SF with the P-2000 and an iPod 6gb. I had planned on doing it with the 60gb and Camera Connector. Glad that I didn't. The P-2000 proved to be the better photo partner for me. Being able to zoom in as close as 700% to view the sharpness of my shots was a winner.

And once I was able to find some movies that I had that would work on the P-2000, that provided me with something to take my mind off of some delays in the airports and such.

There is a reason that the P-2000 is hard to get at most retail outlets. I "sold" three alone today at work (I work for a photo reseller), based on units that are supposed to be coming in this week, after they saw my personal P-2000 and the images that I took in SF last week.

Dafke
Jul 31, 2005, 04:07 AM
so how many of you have apple care for your iPod?

Tahko
Jul 31, 2005, 05:30 AM
I think iPods are fairly reliable. I've dropped mine about 3 times, no problems. Once my gf jumped on my bed and squashed it. Still kickin'. Also I've used it in my workplace, which is lumbermill. Dusty enviroment, no problems what so ever.

Applespider
Jul 31, 2005, 05:42 AM
It's not even a year old yet.


Then why aren't you filling out the iPod support page and sending it away to be fixed/refurbed? Seems daft to keep struggling when it's still under warranty! Mine had 2 weeks left to go when I took it into the store and they replaced it without any argument.

mad jew
Jul 31, 2005, 06:21 AM
Then why aren't you filling out the iPod support page and sending it away to be fixed/refurbed? Seems daft to keep struggling when it's still under warranty!


Yeah, I know. I keep procrastinating since it's just not as easy over here. Everything has to be done through a reseller which happens to be the most incompetent group of people ever to have been given a cash register. :(

I'll get onto it this week though, I promise. :p

Applespider
Jul 31, 2005, 06:35 AM
Yeah, I know. I keep procrastinating since it's just not as easy over here. Everything has to be done through a reseller which happens to be the most incompetent group of people ever to have been given a cash register. :(


Oh yeah, I know the feeling. Since I could have just continued to 'restore' my iPod regularly, if the Apple store hadn't been there for the immediate fix, I'd probably have just lived with it rather than lose it altogether for a couple of weeks.

OT - I do like the Genius Bar concept - tho the lines for it and the speed they work at are ridiculous. One guy was there before me yesterday for a 10.50 appointment. Mine was 11am but via Procare (free with Lucky Bag ;) ) so I got to 'jump' the queue. At 1050 when I got there, there were 5 customers being seen and all the Geniuses were working. At 11am, there were 6 Geniuses standing talking to one another, 2 talking to customers and 5 customers waiting. They didn't take another customer until 1110 (me) and another at 1120. The guy with the 1050 appointment was still sitting there at 1130 when I left despite him being told at 11am that he was third in line.

Loge
Jul 31, 2005, 05:12 PM
I'm not sure I really get the "genius" concept thing. If all you want to do is return a faulty product to the store for repair/replacement, you have to make an appointment?

Applespider
Jul 31, 2005, 05:31 PM
I'm not sure I really get the "genius" concept thing. If all you want to do is return a faulty product to the store for repair/replacement, you have to make an appointment?

The Genius concept is that if you're having trouble with anything to do with any Apple product, you can go and see someone who can help you. This can, in theory, be anything from how do I turn my iPod on to my logic board is fried. But yes, the only people who seem to be able to 'declare' something broken and worthy of replacement are the Geniuses who you have to have an appointment with which seems a little dumb. I once took in some in-ear phones expecting they would just exchange them, only to have to go back the next day to see a Genius who could officially declare them 'dead'.

I think the real trouble in the flagship stores, particularly London, is that the Genius bars are so busy that appointments run out by midmorning. In some of the smaller ones that I've been in in the US, there are usually appointments available throughout the day. 10 appointments an hour for all the Mac users in London isn't very many; particularly if it's outwith your 90-day telephone support and you don't have Applecare.

With the new 'Studio' areas in stores, where the 'creatives' live to teach you how to use your Mac if you're having trouble, Apple seem to be saying that the Genius Bar is only for troubleshooting which might cut down the queues.

Nermal
Aug 3, 2005, 04:03 AM
Yeah, I know. I keep procrastinating since it's just not as easy over here. Everything has to be done through a reseller which happens to be the most incompetent group of people ever to have been given a cash register. :(

I fully sympathise with you there. I had to ring Apple Australia when my iBook logic board died a couple of years ago. Fortunately calls to Australia are free :)

doctor pangloss
Aug 3, 2005, 05:53 AM
My 40G ipod has taken a couple of light falls without event. It is a motor drive and if it takes a fall while playing that may cause a failure. I understand the drive is parked when not playing.

The mac store guy told me the ibooks and PB have a sensor that detects a fall and instantly parks the drive.(I've dropped my PB without damage except for a dent) The current ipods don't have that technology. The mac guy says future ipods will have that technology.
I bought the rubberized cover for my ipod to protect it and a shuffle to use for carrying around during exercise to minimize the risk to my ipod.

I have a friend with an early model ipod which held up well until he lost it out of his bag on a snow-mobile.

I also understand the 4G mini-drive cards available for cameras are quite reliable also.

Lau
Aug 3, 2005, 06:10 AM
Who NEEDS to extend their warranty? I figured that if it's broken, it couldn't really get any MORE broken, could it? So why not fix it yourself?

;)

My boyfriend's iPod battery died, and it's out of warranty, so we thought what the hell, let's crack it open and replace the battery. So we did, and had a bit of a struggle getting the battery back in, etc etc, and when we snapped it shut - yay! Half full battery!

Plug it in.

Oh, it doesn't charge. Think we fried something inside.

So we sat and watched a lovely new battery run down over the course of the week, and now it's totally dead. :(

Moral of the story? Something can get more broken :D

Kiwi_the_iwik - I actually totally agree though, why not have a crack at it. And you get to see inside things you might never have otherwise, which is always fun.

steve_hill4
Aug 3, 2005, 08:38 AM
Moral of the story? Something can get more broken :D

Well, since you had an iPod with no working battery before and that's what you have now, i guess you are still in exactly the same position you were in. The only differences are that now it appears that after replacing the battery, the iPod won't work anyway and that you effectively flushed some cash down the toilet.

wide
Aug 3, 2005, 10:09 AM
If you live in a big city (New York, London, San Fran) NEVER go to the Genius Bar to get your computer replaced. Always send it in. For my iPod, I went to the Genius bar (two hour delay!!!), and all the guy did was put the newer firmware on the iPod. It worked in the store, of course, because it never stops functioning until the second you step outside. Then I went online, paid $30, and a few days later apple sent over a box that had room for my ipod and gave me instructions to make an appointment with DHL (very fast and efficient) shipping services. the next week, I had a brand new ipod in my hands.


as for the sad face on the iPod, usually that means the hard drive is dead...which rarely happens unless you did something bad to the iPod. If it had a folder missing, chances are a Software Restore would bring it back to functionality. As for me, my only reliable iPod has been my first 2G 20GB iPod (touch scroll wheel, push-in buttons). the mini I bought (1st gen) when Apple first released them suffered from the static problem (replacement was fine), and the 20GB ipod 4G that i got most recently suffered from a headphone jack problems that caused the ipod to pause at random (but frequent) times. The replacement suffers from a similar problems, i have to jiggle the headphone jack to get full sound occasionally.

AuPhalanx
Aug 3, 2005, 10:52 AM
Hi, all!

I replaced the battery in my gal's 3G iPod. It's a very simple procedure, but the hard part is removing the back. The new battery works GREAT, though. She's been getting close to twelve hours of play per charge. I will be replacing the battery on my 3G as well one day. You can find the batteries for about $30 online and the kits come with the tool for removing the back. Like I said, it's a pain to remove, but once it's done it works like a champ.

Other than that, out iPods have been pretty reliable. Like any device, it throws its fits. The other day, mine froze whilst updating. I had to fiddle with it for a few hours (restoring the software and rebooting my PB) before I finally got it working again.

About the only time it failed me was when I forgot to turn it off and I return to find no charge and therefore no tunes. I got used to powering it down and sliding the lock button pretty quick.

Have fun... Tony.

Lau
Aug 3, 2005, 11:15 AM
Well, since you had an iPod with no working battery before and that's what you have now, i guess you are still in exactly the same position you were in. The only differences are that now it appears that after replacing the battery, the iPod won't work anyway and that you effectively flushed some cash down the toilet.

Well, the reason it's more broken is that before he could charge it and listen to it on the 45 min commute, charge it at work and listen to it on the way home. That sucked, but now he can't listen to it at all, so it is technically more broken. I still think it was worth the shot at fixing it though, I'm not griping about that. I'm a terrbile one for fiddling about inside things fixing them, ever since I discovered the drive belt had slipped off my walkman when I was 13 and I'd saved myself 20 down Argos by fixing the one I had. :)

Anyway, just so I contribute something vaguely on topic for this thread, ;) , I would say that iPods are pretty reliable, but for something you can't get back, like photos, I say use it as an alternative backup as opposed to the only one. From what you say above that's what you're gonna do, so that's all good.

Savage Henry
Aug 3, 2005, 11:38 AM
My 1st gen 5gb (now sold on) apparently still works fine with original battery that still lasts about 3hrs.

6gb mini, temporarily located along with my lady somewhere in the South Pacific on a tall ship (http://news.sorenlarsen.co.nz/) ... apparently all things are well, and better still be working upon return.

Shuffle, barely a week old and keeps knackering on one particular song ... at the moment my understanding of the product is in it's infancy, so I blame that song .... however, I think the independant jury is out on that one.

Dafke
Aug 3, 2005, 04:50 PM
well i think mine died because of the very humid climate in Cuba, and moving from the outside into airconditioned hotels and restaurants, and back outside again into the heat and moisture. I guess some condense has caused the drive to fail.

After reporting this to apple, an UPS man picked up the iPod at my home, and another guy returned a new one two weeks later (got it yesterday), i must say i'm very pleased with this service!

Loge
Aug 3, 2005, 06:43 PM
The Genius concept is that if you're having trouble with anything to do with any Apple product, you can go and see someone who can help you. This can, in theory, be anything from how do I turn my iPod on to my logic board is fried. But yes, the only people who seem to be able to 'declare' something broken and worthy of replacement are the Geniuses who you have to have an appointment with which seems a little dumb. I once took in some in-ear phones expecting they would just exchange them, only to have to go back the next day to see a Genius who could officially declare them 'dead'.


I haven't put this to the test yet, but that sounds like crap. I mean if you bought something from the store and it's broke, you should be able to get it replaced or refunded there and then, without appointments which sound like they don't keep to more often than not.

doctor pangloss
Aug 3, 2005, 07:16 PM
I haven't put this to the test yet, but that sounds like crap. I mean if you bought something from the store and it's broke, you should be able to get it replaced or refunded there and then, without appointments which sound like they don't keep to more often than not.

My apple store guy in Wasilla AK. changed out a defective set of earphones no questions asked. Simple good business practice and I subsequently spent another $350.00 on a lacie drive and a 1G shuffle. oops!

NEENAHBOY
Aug 3, 2005, 10:11 PM
iFail.



I think you've just found the name of Apple's grading software.

:D

Applespider
Aug 4, 2005, 03:43 AM
I haven't put this to the test yet, but that sounds like crap. I mean if you bought something from the store and it's broke, you should be able to get it replaced or refunded there and then, without appointments which sound like they don't keep to more often than not.

I think if it's newly purchased and dead (and bought from Apple Regent St), they'll exchange then and there. If it's bought from Apple anywhere else, or it's an Apple product from any other retailer, or it's a few months old but still within warranty, they'll refer you to a Genius. With my headphones last time, it was because I'd bought them in the Apple Store in San Francisco and the manager told me that their regular cash registers at the desks wouldn't recognise the receipt ID so it would have to go via the Genius Bar. Nothing I've actually bought at Regent St has gone wrong enough for me to test the regular exchange route.

Loge
Aug 4, 2005, 03:55 AM
OK, thanks for clarifying. :)

biohazard6969
Aug 4, 2005, 09:03 AM
i've dropped mine about....oh...say.....1000000000000000000000000000 times!!!!! and its FINE!!!!! YAY IPOD :D

bigandy
Aug 4, 2005, 11:22 AM
great. no problems. :)