Does leaving the ipod connected to the computer kill the battery?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Wilson, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. Wilson macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2004
    I'm a student that's always transfering things on and off of the ipod. When I connect the ipod via firewire to access the files, the battery begins to charge. When I'm finished using the ipod I disconnect it from the computer. Sometimes the ipod is charging for 2 mins and sometimes it can be charging for 1 hr, depending on what I need the ipod for. I was wondering does this kill the battery life? I bought my 3G ipod 10gig, 10 months ago and the battery life now isn't as close as it was before. I drain out the battery before I charge each time.

    Does anyone else have this problem?

    Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.
  2. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Keeping your iPod charged through the computer won't kill the battery, BUT it will kill off a lot of your Hard Drive's life span. Never charge up your iPod from your computer, as you will "waste away" your iPod's Hard Drive.

    Now this got my attention...

    Don't do that to your battery! If you do choose to drain it, only do so if you have a technical issue with your iPod (such as it won't turn on, and the only resolve is a full recharge and then 24 hour reset). The resulting complete drainage can actually hurt your battery life, if I'm not mistaken. I think there are some Li-ion battery experts on the forums that can explain just why (and if it's necessary to discharge the battery completely). So that's why your battery life has decreased over time.
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    This is normal for the ipod battery :(

    Leaving it plugged in all the time is the worst. Charging from 95% and up can lessen the battery life. It's best to let it drain down past 50% before charging.
  4. Wilson thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2004
    How does it kill the hard drive? I'm confused here.

    Is there a way I can get around this? I guess the only way is to get what I need from the ipod as fast as possible so that the ipod is connected to the computer for a short time.

    I always thought that using the battery until it is dead is always best for all kinds of batteries. How often do ppl normally recharge their ipod? When the battery is half dead?
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    it's not leaving it plugged in that kills it; it's plugging and unplugging it. Each time it gets plugged in it uses one charge cycle, and there is effectively a finite number of charge cycles on any battery. This is why I use a flash drive instead of my ipod to move files; because to move a few files requires plugging in the ipod twice, meaning I've taken two cycles off the life of the battery for a little file transfer.
  6. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    About the Hard Drive issue...just like the battery cycle issue, your Hard Drive can take some finite number of RPMs because of the wear of the rotating parts involved in keeping the Hard Drive spinning. With normal usage, your iPod's Hard Drive will last for many years. That includes using your iPod to transfer songs from your computer while it's charging at the same time. So no worries there. But if you constantly charge the iPod from the computer as supposed to a power outlet, then your Hard Drive is spinning at maximum speed for hours and wears out faster than if you charged your iPod from an outlet. Sure, the effect on leaving it charging constantly and repeating the process several times won't dramatically shorten the life span of your Hard Drive, but it will take away some life span.
  7. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    What would you difine as 'normal usage?'

    I recharge and update my iPod about once every 3 or 4 days (via the computer), and I leave it to charge for about 4-5 hours. (also via the computer)

    Honestly, I don't listen to music on my iPod as much as I thought I would, only about 1.5 hours a day, mostly when I'm trying to fall asleep.

    I have a very hard time falling alseep...
  8. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Listening to music from the iPod when choosing to do so
    Charging up the iPod by choice, or by following recommended procedures
    Transferring songs back and forth from the iPod to iTunes
    Using it for other purposes, such as Breakout, clock, etc. when choosing to do so
    Using it as a Hard Drive for transferring other data back and forth

    And, before you ask, I'll define (to a degree) abnormal usage of the iPod:

    [1] Faking it for a deck of cards in Las Vegas
    [2] Pretending to use its face as the listening side of a cell phone
    [3] Performing scientific experiments to compare the hardness of the front side of the iPod with steel
    [4] Using the reflective side of the iPod to look at yourself while you brush your hand using your other hand
    [5] Using the iPod's backlight as a nightlight for your 3-year old younger brother that gets up and drools all over everything during random hours of the night during random days of the week
  9. Jake71188 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2004
    I have a question on the computer charge. you guys have got me worried.

    I have recently switched to charging my ipod via the c omputer. BUT, when i do, i hit the 'disconnect' button in itunes so that the ipod no longer reads "do no disconnect" It then goes to the typical charging screen as it does from a normal outlet.

    Is this still bad for the HD? to me it seems as if itd be the same as from an outlet once i disconnect it.

  10. DGFan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    While shopping for cordless phones I was told to buy Li-ion because they didn't get drained - even if you let the battery go down all the way - in fact that it was *better* for the battery to do so. The funny thing is, my phones always died an early death because the battery would get to the point where it could only charge to 10-20% of its original charge. My friends never seemed to have this problem. A little research confirmed what you wrote above.
  11. DGFan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    Maybe it's just mine but my iPod won't actually charge if it's mounted on the desktop in firewire drive mode. I have to disconnect first. And if it's just charging why would the HD be spinning up all the time? That seems weird.
  12. Jake71188 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2004
    Anyone know?
  13. cheekyspanky macrumors 6502a


    Jan 21, 2004
    South Bucks, UK
    I also charge my iPod only via my computer, but I let the iPod update, then click eject, and you hear the hard disc stop - so from this point on its just charging with no more HD wear.

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