Time to replace a 4-year-old 3G iPod?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by dolphin842, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Hi all,

    I have had a 20GB 3G iPod serve me well the past 4 years, but I noticed last month during a road trip that the battery life is down to about 4 hours or so. Here's the dilemma... I want to hold out with the 3G as long as possible (especially given how expensive it was back in the day), but I also hear that the Cirrus audio chip in the new iPod classics are a big step down in audio quality. Apple has refurbished 5.5G video iPods on sale that, according to some sources I've read, have much better audio quality. So this leads to a few questions.

    1) for those who have or used to have 3G iPods... how long did yours last... or is it still running? Is a halving of battery life a sign that it's on its way out? Is it too much to expect 5 or 6 years of life out of the hard drive?

    2) for those who've had 3G and 5.5G iPods... is there any noticeable audio quality difference that would make it enticing to upgrade?
  2. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Mar 22, 2006
    Replacement batteries are really cheap so there's no reason not to get one, even if you do decide to buy a new iPod as well.
    I would recommend NewerTech, because their 3G iPod batteries last 34% longer than the originals.

    In terms of audio quality of 5.5G iPods, this is what iLounge had to say:
    Full review here.
  3. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Thanks Tom, I didn't realize the replacement batteries were so cheap!

    The only other thing I'm concerned about at the moment through is the hard drive. I looked up the specs on Toshiba's website and the expected longevity is 5 years or 20,000 hours powered on. I'm pretty sure I use my iPod less often than most, so I don't think I'm anywhere near 20,000 hours but the 5-year figure concerns me... I'd have to hope that the 6G iPods would a) come out in the next year or so and b) address the audio quality issues folks have been talking about.
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Do yourself a favor and get a new iPod. Even though my 1G iPod still runs ok, I finally found the new Classics to be a fantastic upgrade. C'mon, you know you want to.
  5. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    1) Mine is still running - battery at about 6 hours now. I thought the hard drive died about a year ago, but it kicked itself awake when I plugged it in (firewire was like a difribulator) after a year of being dead.

    2) Didn't notice any sound difference. I think headphones are important here

    I now have an iPhone though - that's my main iPod. Get a classic perhaps - they're great.
  6. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Well... if you say so :D

    To be honest, I really like the flash-based iPods, but carrying my whole collection (9GB and growing) is paramount. If I got a 5.5G refurb on the cheap, it would likely carry me through to when flash iPods are big and affordable, right? At least, I suppose that's how my credit card company wants me to rationalize it....

    So, assuming I were to take the plunge, the question then becomes, black or white? :rolleyes:
  7. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    Well, now I would stop, take a breath, then would recommend the iPod Touch.

    16GB of solid state memory - huge screen, wifi, great movies (size and quality of screen)... list goes on.

    I place this as the 3G iPod of today. Revolutionary and gorgeous. You only have a 9GB music collection. 16GB Touch will last ages and also give you room for TV shows/movies.
  8. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Ah, I knew someone would go and suggest that ;) The iPod Touch really is a tempting piece of equipment. Ironic, too, that the 16GB Touch costs the same as my 3G did. I must say though that I've decided against the Touch (for now at least) for a number of reasons.

    Cost is the most prohibitive factor. Getting the 3G back in the day really was a splurge (though worth it in that particular case, I admit), and I was hoping to avoid spending the equivalent of $100/year on mp3 equipment (assuming the Touch lasts 4 years). Regardless, a $400 iPod is just not in the budget at the moment.

    The other concern is that, when I got the 3G, my music library was maybe 2 gigs at most. I'm not sure if ~14 gigs (or however much the Touch gives you after formatting and OS) will be enough for a collection that will only expand with time. Undoubtedly, the Touch is really cool, but WiFi is not anywhere near ubiquitous where I live, so mobile Safari will only be of limited utility.

    All in all, the 30 gig 5.5G iPods are a good deal at $160, and may even last until I can get a 32 or 64 gig Touch 3G (with camera, multi-touch 2.0, mature 3rd party apps, etc etc :D)
  9. Bowlerguy10 macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2007
    At my computer
    As a 5.5 gen owner myself I can hands down recommend it. It's the best player I have ever used and has given me beyond asked milage. But for $80 more why not get the Classic NEW with 50 more gigs of space? This should easily last you 4 years at the rate your going. So basically for only $80 more you can get 1. A brand new iPod both in release and technology and condition. 2. More space. I would recommend a Classic for your needs my friend.
  10. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    I'm somewhat averse to the iPod classic, as a significant number of people claim that the sound quality is noticeably worse than the 5.5Gs. Any confirmation or refutation on the audio quality end of things would be helpful!
  11. davedecay macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Keep in mind that if you get an iPod Classic, you will need newer OS and iTunes. Some people are still using 10.3. (I know, time to move up and all that...)


    10.4.10 and iTunes 7.4 for the Classic, Touch, and nano 3G.
  12. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
  13. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I've got either the 5g or the 5.5g 30gb. It's solid, and I've been using it since last Spring. I'd recommend it. If you pick up a refurbished model and get a year out of it, you can buy a refurb of whatever the latest iPod is a year from now, and you still won't have spent as much in both purchases combined as you would from buying a brand new classic or touch. This is what I plan to do when the battery life drops below a useful level. So far though, it's still plenty enough for the amount of time I use it per day.
  14. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    I am 100% happy with my 80gb Classic. I can't recommend it enough. Sounds great with my Klipsch home theater speakers.
  15. pianodude123 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2005
    in the internet
    I agree with this 100%. You would be surprised how much you could get for your old iPod on ebay. If you wan't to keep it, thats fine too...
  16. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    How much have you seen 3G iPods go for on eBay? The only current auction I see is for one that has a replacement battery and hard drive, which is going for ~$65. After ebay fees, battery replacement, etc, I'd be lucky to walk away with $30 in that situation. Perhaps it's just a lull in the ebay market at the moment. In all likelihood, the 3G will probably stay around and have linux put on it so it can record audio, make toast, etc ;).

    In any event, as I've said above the iPod Touch really is intriguing but it's not really in the cards for me at the moment. As for a second or third-gen touch, I'd say a few years down the line that's probably what I'll have for my iPod ;). Right now Safari+big screen+flash memory isn't worth the ~$230 premium.
  17. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    IMO $160 for a refurb 30 GB 5.5 gen ipod is a deal you can't beat with a stick. The apple store online has them in both black and white as of now! :D
  18. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Still have mine, and it still works fine. I've replaced the battery twice already.

    People ask me about it from time to time. They ask, "is it the newest model?" They usually look puzzled after I tell them it's nearly five years old.
  19. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    I still have my 20GB one. I had to replace the battery about 8 months ago, but thats it. Its scratched, dented, and generally beat up. But it still plays! I had to get a Nano though as my 3G was too old for my Car Stereos iPod hookup.

    I've just got a 16GB iPod Touch (thanks to a healthy xmas bonus) and it's great. I really really like flash based iPods. Less worry of disk death due to dropping.
  20. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I think I'm going to do this instead of buy a new iPod when my current battery dies. There's no reason to spend $200 every year on a product as a result of Apple's planned obsolescence. New battery kits are available for $20-$30, and they take 10 minutes to use. Yeah. I'm definitely keeping this in mind.
  21. mr.light macrumors 6502

    Every year? I'm still using an original mini. It still has it's original battery. Mind you it does not get used overly much any more. It just runs my alarm clock. There eight ipods in my household and we have not replaced a single battery yet.
  22. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    I think I'll be replacing my 3rd Gen battery when it finally dies. it's a good little iPod really, but using the iPhone is really nice. whilst the 3rd Gen still works, the iPhone works better...
  23. dolphin842 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Thank you for the replies everyone. Good to hear there are still lots of people with 3Gs kicking around :)

    I've decided to stick with the 3G as well. Instead of splurging on the Touch, I'm going to sock away a few bucks toward the Macworld subnotebook. Or anything that can take 4GB of RAM, really:rolleyes:, but that's for another thread.
  24. Schnebar macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2006
    I have a 15 gb 3G that has kept me happy until I got the touch. Now it is in my car hooked up to my stereo in the glove compartment where I never have to see it or deal with the battery because it charges automatically. It is a great use of it.
  25. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    I'm considering selling my Palm Tungsten E2 and my 3G iPod for a Touch. The cash in should support a 16GB model. Just gotta decide if I really want to or not.

    My 3G iPod still works fine, but the battery forgets its charge if left alone for a couple days.

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