iPod iPod video Charging/Battery Question

pcguru83

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 13, 2006
583
0
Charlotte, NC
I'm curious about something. I use my iPod ALOT while at work. I'll often have a video playing off to the side or listening to some music/podcast in the background. I do this with the iPod sitting in the Universal Dock, which is plugged into the AC wall adapter (not the computer).

My question is this: Am I doing harm to my iPod's battery by doing this? I realize it is harmful to consistently charge a battery, but I guess my question amounts to does the iPod have the ability to stop the charging of the battery and run strictly off AC power?

Thanks for any input anyone can offer...
 

Tom B.

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2006
1,459
0
London
The iPod's battery cannot overcharge, so leaving it in your universal dock will not damage the battery in any way. As long as you let your your iPod's battery drain fully every week or two it will be fine.
 

phuong

macrumors 6502a
Aug 16, 2006
523
0
i think there is no harm doing that. afaik, it is designed to be able to do so. if not, what is the point of having a headphone jack, remote receiver and S-video output?
i dont have a ipod video, just a 1G nano, but i often play it while it's sitting on its dock - which is connected to a computer via usb cable.

@Tom B. why do you have to fully drain the battery? and how do you do that quickly? for me, i plug it to the dock whenever i'm home. so it basically rarely gotten to lower than 40%. is that harmful?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
Letting the battery drain and then fully recharging it can re-calibrate the battery's settings. This means that the iPod knows when to stop charging (when the battery is full) and prevents overcharging, which can be quite harmful to the battery. This probably only needs to be done every few months though. Doing this every two weeks is a bit often. :)
 

milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,887
511
I just got a new video iPod 30, and I'm only getting about 2.5 hours of video playback instead of the 3.5 promised.

Is it possible I haven't been charging it right or something? Could I have a defective unit? Or was apple just fudging this spec? This is video playback to a TV so I thought battery life should be *better* since the screen is off the whole time.

And you guys are sure there's no harm in leaving it plugged in overnight? You can't damage the battery from leaving it plugged in more than the four hours they recommend?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
You can drain the battery by simply not recharging it. It doesn't need to be drained in one single hit. Of course, playing music or a video will speed up the draining process.

You can also leave the iPod plugged into the adaptor or a computer for far longer than the time Apple says it'll take to recharge. The iPod stops charging once it is full and, like Apple notebooks, will not start charging again until it has been drained to a certain point. This prevents constant draining and charging which can be bad for the battery.

The calibration of a battery ensures the iPod knows exactly how much charge it can take before the battery is full. If the battery is not calibrated properly, undercharging or more dangerously, overcharging can occur. Overcharging a battery is bad for it and will reduce its lifespan. Massively overcharging a battery will make it explode but the chances of this are extremely unlikely. I mention this last bit more as an FYI than a warning since realistically, it just won't happen.

I don't have a video iPod and so I have no idea if Apple's claims are unrealistic. However, if you calibrate your battery now by discharging it and then completely recharging it in one hit, then you can be pretty certain that you'll be getting the maximum lifespan and uptime out of your iPod's battery.

Hopefully this helps a bit. :)
 

milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,887
511
I've done this a couple times now (run it until empty then charge overnight), and battery life still seems to be on the low side.

If battery life is lower than it's supposed to be, is this something apple will fix under warranty?
 

phuong

macrumors 6502a
Aug 16, 2006
523
0
hmm, according to Apple Support, you should never let your ipod batteries die on their own.
 

milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,887
511
phuong said:
hmm, according to Apple Support, you should never let your ipod batteries die on their own.
What do you mean? Any time you have a player like this, it is going to run out of batteries.

Not sure what you're talking about.
 

phuong

macrumors 6502a
Aug 16, 2006
523
0
from this page: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61434

"You should charge iPod when it has fully discharged even if it won't be used right away." - that means it isn't a good idea to leave the batteries fully discharged (if you discharge you ipod by leaving it to play on its own until it's out of battery, it's likely you'll forget about it and leave it like that for unknown period of time)

also from the battery FAQ: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=62018
you can charge your ipod whenever you feel like doing it, according to #6 and #8
 

runny6play

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2009
1
0
Ive learned that the batterys get better over time let it discharge and charge for a while and the battry life might get better
 

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