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Ipod Defect or Paranoia?


Obnoxious
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Hey guys. I just recently bought an Ipod, and I don't know if I'm just being real paranoid or if I have a problem with it.

 

Well, I charged it up for about 3 hours, (not fully charged,) while I was loading albums and songs into my iTunes. So, after I loaded in a considerable amount of songs, I unplugged my iPod from the AC adapter and plugged it in to my comp. I uploaded all my songs onto my iPod, and then I charged it for a little while more afterwords. (1 hour? more?) However, later that day when I unplugged it after the second charging, it didn't say that I had a fully charged battery.

 

I think I listened to it for about an hour and a half total (on lower than half max volume.), and the battery already went incredibly low. I wasn't sure if maybe the uploading of songs took a lot of battery, but my battery seemed like it drained unusually fast.

 

Well, so when it was low, this time I figured I ought to fully charge it. So, I did. I waited four hours until the screen finally said "Battery Charged." However, when I turned on the iPod, I noticed that the battery seemed like it was still low. I listened to a few songs, and after about 10 minutes the bar started going up a bit. It stopped at what looked like 3 rows of pixels before the end of the battery. It didn't look like a full battery.(Not the same as what the users guide showed what a fully charged battery should look like.)

 

So I'm not really sure what I should do. Do I have some defect, or is it just my paranoia? Should I exchange it for a different machine? All help appreciated.

 

 

Thanks in advance.

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I also have inconsistent results with my battery meter - which is pretty much status quo for iPods. One practice I've gotten into which helps mitigate it (somewhat), is to do whatever I can to ensure that I don't unplug it before the charge is complete. Stopping the charge mid-way and then resuming later seems to really screw with the charge-meter. So unless I absolutely NEED to, I won't interrupt the charging process until it is complete.

 

Also, with regard to the meter starting off low, then creeping up slowly -- I have that happen as well. It seems that the iPod can't accurately judge the remaining battery life until it has run for a little while. Some days I'll start it up in the morning on the way to work (I generally charge it after I get into the office) and it will start off completely empty - but by the time my train ride is over, it's up to 25% or so.

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Thanks for the tips about charging and the ipod. However, I was just curious. After taking all the precautionary measures that you go through, about how long does your battery last? I'd say running the iPod at about half volume, with the backlight off, starting with it being fully charged, ending when the little pop up shows up on-screen saying that you have low battery life.

 

Because the thing is, I even got an exchange, and when running it at those settings, it can only last about 3 hours. The advertised 8 hours seems far off.

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It should definitely last longer than 3 hours. You might want to reset your ipod which will preserve you settings and music, but reset parts of the OS.

 

You reset by holding down the Menu and Play/Pause button at the same time for a few seconds.

 

I also recommend you go to ipodlounge and look at the forums there, you're likely to find more detailed advice.

 

In the end, don't be afraid to return it if it isn't working properly.

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Hmm... alright. Thanks for the tips. I'll be sure to try posting on iPod-lounge. For now, I think I'll try Apple's steps to find out if a battery is truly defective, because apparently:

 

"A battery which only lasts for half, or less, of the specified time may be considered to be defective under warranty terms."

 

3 hours is less. So I guess all try this out and see if I need ANOTHER exchange. :?

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I would also suggest actually running the iPod battery all the way down. See how much time you actually get out of it before it completely runs out of juice and turns off. I can't tell for sure if you have done this or not. If you are looking at the battery meter and recharging it when it looks very low, it's possible that the battery is fine, but the meter is off...

 

Aside from telling you exactly how long it lasts, this may be good for the battery as most rechargeable batteries like to be completely depleted now and then, even the newer fancy LIon and polymer batteries.

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Aside from telling you exactly how long it lasts, this may be good for the battery as most rechargeable batteries like to be completely depleted now and then, even the newer fancy LIon and polymer batteries.

 

I've always wondered about that, and also about my battery care habits. I've been told LiIon batts don't need to be run dry before charging again, but I still do it anyway, just to be safe. But I've been also told not to run it till it's ALL dry (deep discharge?) because deep discharge is very bad for ANY rechargeable battery. For non LiIon, ie the older rechargeables, I do the same, never charge till they're very close to being empty.

 

When storing my digicam and camcorder, I take out the battery and always leave some charge in the battery before storing away.

 

For stuff like GBAs it's less feasible.

 

Are my habits roughly correct?

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I think so, yes. I've heard that 'every so often' (or something equally vague) even LiIons should be depleted entirely. They do not have the memory problems of NiMh, but supposedly it's still good for their longevity.

 

And in Obnoxious' case, he's using the iPod battery gauge as an indicator of battery life, but it's possible the gauge isn't right and running the ipod until it's truly dead is a good test of that.

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Originally posted by FreakTornado@Aug 2 2004, 05:06 PM

I think so, yes. I've heard that 'every so often' (or something equally vague) even LiIons should be depleted entirely. They do not have the memory problems of NiMh, but supposedly it's still good for their longevity.

 

And in Obnoxious' case, he's using the iPod battery gauge as an indicator of battery life, but it's possible the gauge isn't right and running the ipod until it's truly dead is a good test of that.

I know for a fact that during some of the testing, he ignored the indicator but eventually the "LOW battery" warning came on. Should he ignore that, also and see?

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1. Actually I did run it dry. The low battery icon came up, and it immediately shut off my iPod AUTOMATICALLY, so I figure it's actually dry.

 

2. I'm doing some recommended test right now by apple on my ipod, where I fully charged it, and used the "repeat song" feature to reapeatedly play a song over and over until the battery's dead. I also read on apple's site that switching tracks a lot uses up lots of battery, because it needs to keep on firing up the hardrive. Thats pretty much mostly what I've been doing, so maybe that could be one of the reasons my battery has been running dry so quickly. Right now I'm doing that test of playing the song over and over, running it at just over my regular listening volume. Currently it's gone for about 4 hours, and still going. Things are looking up.

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Yeah, there's a 32MB buffer in the iPod, and the drive runs at ~10MB/sec. So under normal circumstances it can fill up the buffer in just over 3 seconds and then shut down the drive. Depending on the bitrate of your files, that could be several minutes of audio playing from the buffer with the drive inactive. then when the buffer is empty the drive spins up and fills the buffer again.

 

Anything that makes the drive spin more will use the battery more quickly.

 

That's why when I sent 175 pictures to the iPod from my digital camera it nearly consumed the entire battery. Not only is the disk active the whole time, but it's writing to it, which uses even more energy.

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Yep. Well I just pretty much finished the iPod battery test. I just did repeat on one song over and over, and it lasted just over 8 hours. So that's good news, I guess. I probably won't get 8 hours out of a fully charged battery normally, though, because I still switch songs/tracks regularily.

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Originally posted by Obnoxious@Aug 2 2004, 07:09 PM

Yep. Well I just pretty much finished the iPod battery test. I just did repeat on one song over and over, and it lasted just over 8 hours. So that's good news, I guess. I probably won't get 8 hours out of a fully charged battery normally, though, because I still switch songs/tracks regularily.

Have you played with the on-the-go-playlist yet? Try it out, it might save you from switching tracks since you can crate a playlist of songs you want to hear on the fly.

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Yeah, there's a 32MB buffer in the iPod, and the drive runs at ~10MB/sec. So under normal circumstances it can fill up the buffer in just over 3 seconds and then shut down the drive. Depending on the bitrate of your files, that could be several minutes of audio playing from the buffer with the drive inactive. then when the buffer is empty the drive spins up and fills the buffer again.

 

Do you know what happens if you have a song that is larger than 32MB? Can the iPod buffer part of a song, or does it constantly access the HD? I listen to a lot of audiobooks that are easily larger than 32MB. And most of my music collection is in the Apple Lossless format - so those songs are huge as well.

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I believe it can do a kind of streaming, where it fills the buffer while it's playing back. I remember with the first generation iPods there was a problem with files that were larger than the buffer. When it reached the end of the buffer the audio would pause for a moment. They corrected that with a firmware upgrade, and AFAIK it was only a problem with the first gen iPods.

 

One thing to note is that the more kbps your files are the worse your battery life will be since the drive will be accessed more often.

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Originally posted by FreakTornado@Aug 2 2004, 09:18 PM

Have you played with the on-the-go-playlist yet? Try it out, it might save you from switching tracks since you can crate a playlist of songs you want to hear on the fly.

Yeah it's a pretty useful feature. I'll look into usin it more.

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I tried this battery test just to see. With a 3rd gen as well

I'm about 10minutes short of 8hours and the battery looks to be dead (by the gauge) i sure hope it dies soon...i'm sick of this damn song playing over and over again. :)

I didn't want to watch the ipod to see if it had died so i set it up to my speakers...bad idea.

 

so is 8 hours a pretty normal time?

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