iPod Can I somehow "reset" my iPod's battery?

Nermal

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I take my iPod to work every day and typically listen to it for about 5-7 hours. A week ago I was getting about 2 1/2 days worth of playback per charge. However, for the last few days, I haven't even been able to get one day out of it. I can't believe that the battery would suddenly drop in capacity almost overnight, so I suspect that it's saying "I'm flat" when it's not. Is there a way I can "reset" the battery to try to clear this up?

Thanks :)
 

iMeowbot

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Aug 30, 2003
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The iPod batteries don't have memories like NiCads do. To get the best life, it's helps to recharge before it runs down completely (but that doesn't help much after the fact).

What you describe is what I usually get when an iPod's battery is on its last legs, the life starts to go downhill rapidly. How old is it?
 

Nermal

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I've been recharging it every day (or second day, if I forget) so it rarely runs right down. It's 15 months old, it should be able to last longer than that.

I forgot to mention that I calibrated it yesterday and it didn't help (although I accidentally unplugged it part way through). Nevertheless, I'm calibrating it again right now.
 

iMeowbot

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Aug 30, 2003
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For these machines, there really isn't a useful calibration thing. Apple do recommend a full charge cycle at least once a month, but two top-ups from 50% charges (or any set of charge cycles adding up to 100%) count as a full cycle with this kind of battery. So, daily use pretty much has you covered.

One other note: sometimes these batteries seem to get a second wind, and will start handling a longer charge before they decline again. Still, I'd be shopping for a replacement or checking the warranty paperwork.
 

Kingsly

macrumors 68040
Apple suggests you calibrate the battery monitor (not the battery, but the software) by:

1) from full charge set a playlist on repeat and leave.
2) Let the iPod run completely dry
3) plug it into an uninterrupted power source
4) let it charge all the way to full
5) repeat steps 1-4

After two cycles like that the monitor will be calibrated and should give the appearance of more battery life. I guess what happens is the monitor decides that the battery is almost dead, even thought it may still have some charge. Thus, it shuts the iPod down.

EDIT: once again bitten by the 'hit reply before reading the whole thread' monster.
Nermal said:
I forgot to mention that I calibrated it yesterday and it didn't help (although I accidentally unplugged it part way through). Nevertheless, I'm calibrating it again right now.
This may be helpful.
 

Nermal

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iMeowbot said:
Still, I'd be shopping for a replacement
I'm going to wait for the video iPods before replacing it, even if it means taking the power supply to work.

iMeowbot said:
or checking the warranty paperwork.
Unfortunately I bought it in Australia so it's limited to 12 months :(

Kingsly said:
Apple suggests you calibrate the battery monitor
I'll let you know what happens.
 

iMeowbot

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Kingsly said:
I guess what happens is the monitor decides that the battery is almost dead, even thought it may still have some charge. Thus, it shuts the iPod down.
It's worse than that, attempts by equipment to figure out the remaining charge in this type of battery is kind of futile because they don't have a nice neat decay from a full charge, the output jumps all around. You can thus wind up with a battery that has a short useful life even though there is still plenty of energy stored in there. It would be neat if they would run a few smaller cells in parallel to help ride over the dips.
 

ipodcentral112

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Jun 21, 2006
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iMeowbot said:
It's worse than that, attempts by equipment to figure out the remaining charge in this type of battery is kind of futile because they don't have a nice neat decay from a full charge, the output jumps all around. You can thus wind up with a battery that has a short useful life even though there is still plenty of energy stored in there. It would be neat if they would run a few smaller cells in parallel to help ride over the dips.
That would be nice!
 

Nermal

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Nermal said:
I'll let you know what happens.
It helped a bit, it's now showing 1/3 charge after a day's use, but it's still not as good as it was last week :(

Thanks anyway.
 

Nermal

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Grr!

Today it dropped to reported 50% capacity after just half an hour. Two hours later, it shut off completely, as if it was totally flat (it wouldn't even show the "out of battery" icon).
 

Xeem

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Feb 2, 2005
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I don't have anything useful to add here, but I just wanted to chime in and say that Nermal is not alone. My 2g Mini is going through identical problems, and factory resets don't help. I had to buy an iRecharge from Target (on clearance for $20); my Mini gets 8 hours of playtime now, but it has to stay attached to a battery pack.
 

iMeowbot

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Nermal said:
At $113 for a new battery :eek: I might as well just get a new iPod!
That's in NZ dollars? Still looks kind of expensive. Is that the Apple replacement service or third party?
 

Nermal

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iMeowbot said:
That's in NZ dollars? Still looks kind of expensive. Is that the Apple replacement service or third party?
It's the only one I could find, it's a Newer Technology one. NZ$113 is about US$65.
 

Nermal

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Wow, even after adding delivery costs that's still cheaper than buying here - plus I avoid tax. Looks like I'll be dusting off the credit card :)

Edit: I found some Sonnet ones for NZ$53 (US$30), much better :)
 

Nermal

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OK, the Sonnet replacement arrived yesterday so I installed it and left the iPod charging overnight. Today I brought it into work, and it conked out after 2 hours. What on earth is going on here? :eek:

I'm going to recalibrate the battery monitor tonight and cross my fingers. I'll also fire an email off to Sonnet.
 

Nermal

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Sonnet finally got back to me, they've had me restore the iPod software. I'll post back after work tomorrow and let you know whether it survived the day.
 

iMeowbot

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Any luck? I've never bought a Sonnet-branded battery, and there seem to be no independent comparisons out there for these things.
 

Nermal

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Wow, I can't believe I forgot to reply!

No luck with the restore, it still conked out after a few hours. But last night things got even weirder. I had it plugged into the charger and was listening away, when it suddenly started "skipping". At first I thought maybe the file had got corrupted, so I played a known-good song and that skipped too. The only difference I could find between then and normal playback was that the backlight was on. So I turned the backlight off and presto, all the skipping stopped.

I put the iPod down and listened for only about 30 seconds, then picked it back up and it was hot to the touch (not warm, hot). Of course I immediately put it to sleep and unplugged the charger. It cooled back down, but I haven't dared touch it since.

The interesting thing is that the hot part of the iPod was not where the battery sits. The battery is under the scroll wheel but it was the display that heated up. So there's definitely something wrong!

I plan to buy one of the new video iPods, assuming they're announced this week, but it'll probably be a few weeks before they're actually available. As you could expect, I'm a bit worried about using my old iPod until that time. Do you know whether an iPod (G4) can function without a battery? I might leave it plugged in and see what happens - hopefully it won't heat up or skip.

Thanks for bearing with me :)
 

MParrott

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Apr 13, 2011
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I know this was a long time ago, but is there a resolution? I have an ipod video with a SSD and a new battery. The thing ran perfect until I did a battery life test. I let it run and it went for nearly 2 days on a single charge, but once the battery was run down 100%, it took a lot of trouble to get running again (had to plug into several chargers and restore twice). Now it gets to 75% life and shuts off. I have to plug it in to get it to reboot and work again... Ideas?