How reliable is an iPod

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Dafke, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Mar 24, 2005
    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?
  2. macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    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 :( )
  3. macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    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 [​IMG]
  4. macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2005
    Outback Australia
    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.
  5. macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    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.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004


  7. macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    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. :)
  8. macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    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.
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 24, 2005
    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!
  10. macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2001
    London, UK
    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.


    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?

  11. macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    No problems with the my iPod Mini Rev B (so far...knock on wood...).
  12. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    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.
  13. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    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.
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 24, 2005
    so how many of you have apple care for your iPod?
  15. macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2005
    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.
  16. macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    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.
  17. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    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
  18. macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    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.
  19. macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    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?
  20. macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    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.
  21. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    Whakatane, New Zealand
    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 :)
  22. macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2004
    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.
  23. Lau

    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.
  24. macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2005
    NG9, England
    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.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    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.

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