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Breathe New Life Into Your Dead iPod

pudge posted more than 10 years ago | from the happy-ipod-tuesday dept.

Media (Apple) 43

FreakyControl writes "Popular Science is running an article this month about how to change that dead iPod battery, along with links to sites that have other cool iPod hacks. It looks like Casey Neistat figured out how to do it for them, after ruining his own during a similar attempt: 'A few weeks later, PopSci gave him another third-party battery, this time from pdasmart.com ($60), and another iPod from a staffer with the same problem. That one survived and went back to its owner. And Casey ended up spending $400 on a new one.' Looks like all you iPod people may still have hope!"

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Fip! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8378712)

Pif}

Which iPod does this affect? (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8378723)

I've heard of this battery problem for awhile now. Which generation does it affect most or is this something that's basically across the board? I have one of the slimmer iPods (perhaps second gen?) with the all-touch interface (no physical moving buttons or anything). I hope it keeps working as well as it has been...

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (-1, Flamebait)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379101)

Well, it's not a problem with the device per se. It's the battery.

All batteries wear out. It's just what they do. With most sanely designed devices you just pop out the old and pop in a new one...

Of course Apple now has their replacement program. You have to give the thing to Apple for service though. Kinda stupid if you ask me. They could've just made the battery replaceable. You know, like everything else.

Nice device you people got there. $500 and designed to be thrown away after a year or two. Apple, pfffft.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (3, Insightful)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379345)

Had mine for 3 years now, no problems. It's all negative propaganda. Having it replaced for $50 is no biggie anyway and the benefits way outweigh this minor inconvenience.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8380584)

I'm curious as to your usage rates?

I don't know anyone that uses theirs daily (usually recharge at least once a day) that had one last more than 2 years or so.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (2, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381208)

Well not EVERY day, but on adverage at least 6 pr 7 times a week my iPod is pluged in and out of a computer for transfers (both music and most often data) and used in my car to and from work for about 45- one hour of play there and back.


I own a original 5 gig litteraly 3 weeks after its release (I was working for Apple as a Campus Rep at the time and they let us buy them for the employee price, which was $300 if I am not mistaken)

Anyway It did go down from 10 hours to 6 hours of nonstop play (no button mashing backlight off, etc.) but if you just unplug and replug the battery terminal inside it has a tendacy to jump back up to its original 10 hour claim... strange when you think about it, but I tried it after being told by a friend and seeing it on a website and sure enough it DOES work.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (2, Interesting)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381517)

but if you just unplug and replug the battery terminal inside it has a tendacy to jump back up to its original 10 hour claim.

Now that is interesting. That would suggest a bad connection to the battery. So cleaning the terminals may be all that's needed on some of these. Just the act of unplugging and pluging it back in would clean them a little.

I've seen that problem on lots of devices. Portable phones, my Palm Pilot, car batteries, etc. Just cleaning the terminals made the batteries seem newer/better.

Interesting. I didn't make the connection until you mentioned that... Hmmm.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8382482)

honestly I thought it was a bunch of bull myself, but i actually sat down and ran the sucker (I had a idea of when it would die so I didnt sit there the ENTIRE time just came back around 5:00 and watched the last 45 minutes) to get a baseline of 5:43 minutes before I did it.... I unplugged and replugged it and sure enough comming back 6 hours later it was still working... 7 hours still working then 9 hours later it was still working so I am guestimating it got the full ten hours but i decided to end it there cause i wanted my iPod back lol.

+1 Fanboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381723)

Oooh, how very "insightful." That must be why Apple started its $99 replacement program - to counter the "propaganda." Thanks for clarifying!

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (2, Insightful)

Bananatron (756229) | more than 10 years ago | (#8380745)

An easily replaceable battery would sure make a hell of a lot more sense than making your customers give up their own hardware for someone elses, That's for sure.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (5, Informative)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387838)

Actually, the technical assessments of the iPod's battery place the battery life anywhere from two to nine years. It all depends on how the user uses, or abuses, the iPod. I know of 5GB original iPods, used daily, that are still going strong. I know of 40GB iPods bough six months ago that are hosed because the user doesn't charge it properly, uses the backlight all the time, can't figure out how to use the hold button to stop the iPod from playing when no one is listening, etc.

As for the "sane" devices you mention: Looking at my Palm Tungsten T - there's no way to (easily) replace the battery in there, nor can the same be said about the other PDAs (Palm and Pocket PC) I see around me in my office.

Your rationale leaves something to be desired.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8401151)

As for the "sane" devices you mention: Looking at my Palm Tungsten T - there's no way to (easily) replace the battery in there, nor can the same be said about the other PDAs (Palm and Pocket PC) I see around me in my office.

Where exactly did I mention specific sane examples? Nowhere? Uh?

Did I say the Palm was any good? If you can't replace the battery then it isn't sane and I would never buy one.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (1)

ProudClod (752352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8401199)

Sony Clies (almost every model) have ultra-easy to replace rechargable battery packs. It's handy :)

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (3, Informative)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379131)

All generations of iPods can be affected by this.

By the way, it seems like some batteries are more susceptible than others. My first iPod worked fine, but it was replaced on warranty for unrelated issues and the replacement's battery started to go in just a few months. You might get lucky and have a long-lasting battery, or you might get screwed.

P.S. You have a 3rd generation iPod. The second generation added a touch-sensitive scroll wheel, the third is entirely touch-sensitive.

Re:Which iPod does this affect? (4, Informative)

Unregistered (584479) | more than 10 years ago | (#8380329)

Any electric device with a rechargeable battery will be affected. The iPods are no more vulnerable than most, though.

What's that about? (4, Informative)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8378892)

Looks like all you iPod people may still have hope!
I never knew that hope was required. Aren't there a bunch of options available to replace the battery? Sorry if I don't feel outraged about the cost of the iPod battery, I just received a quote to replace the battery on my Sharp Actius 150 Ultralight at A$500. Fortunately I bought an external pack with the machine so it doesn't matter that the internal one's capacity is down from 90 minutes to 30. (The same trick can be done with the iPod [lunacy8m.com] .)

Re:What's that about? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8379386)

Election 2004: Just vote the same as 2000, that should get rid of Bush.

Considering he WON, you should fuck off.

AppleCare : What about the engravings (4, Interesting)

innerlimit (593217) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379042)

"Apple does not return your iPod when it replaces the battery; it sends a refurbished model instead. For $68, pdasmart.com will install a third-party battery and give you your iPod back."

So what if yours was engraved? Does AppleCare at least send you a refurbished iPod with your own backplate.

Re:AppleCare : What about the engravings (3, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379184)

refurb with your own backplate from what I have seen, They ask you if you have a engraving on it when you send it

Re:AppleCare : What about the engravings (5, Informative)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381023)

From the iPod Battery Service FAQ [apple.com] on the Apple Support [apple.com] site:

Will my iPod personalization be preserved?
If your original iPod was personalized by Apple, your replacement iPod will be automatically personalized with same text. If your original iPod was custom laser engraved by another company, your replacement iPod will not be personalized.

sheesh (-1, Troll)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379093)

Casey Neistat figured out how to do it for them, after ruining his own during a similar attempt:...And Casey ended up spending $400 on a new one.

happy-ipod-tuesday indeed. Buy a mp3 player, try and replace the battery and end up spending another $400 on a new ipod. Whats that, $7-800? Is that ipod still a good deal? I could have bought an entire working automobile for $800.

Re:sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8379128)

Come on, you're talking about Apple users here.

These are the same people who buy cars based on what color they can get.

Re:sheesh (4, Informative)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 10 years ago | (#8382141)

Buy a mp3 player, try and replace the battery and end up spending another $400 on a new ipod. Whats that, $7-800? Is that ipod still a good deal?

Apple offers to replace the out-of-warranty battery for $105.95 including shipping. You can buy your own battery for less and replace it yourself, but you assume the risk of breaking it. Apple doesn't even say that it's easy to do it yourself.

I could have bought an entire working automobile for $800.

That's right, and if you try to perform repairs on that car yourself without really knowing how to, then you'll probably have to spend another $800 on another car.

Concept of the day: your choices carry consequences.

RTFA (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8382178)

He didn't buy an iPod just to change the battery in it. His died after 18 months, so he tried to change the battery in it himself. He spent the $400 on a new one because he couldn't fix his ALREADY DEAD one. So it's not paying $800 for one iPod, he got his 18 months out of the first one.

Re:RTFA (0, Redundant)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 10 years ago | (#8382946)

The end result is this; he spent $800 and has one working ipod. Lets be nice and say he has used this current one for 6 months, that's $33 a month ($800/24 months), thats more than a months wages for some third-world coutries.

here is the deal (3, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379265)

As I posted in another iPod related story today... if you cant figure out how to replace the battery (which having done it 9 times for a few people and just to see if I could do it or to try one of the battery life reset tricks which actually worked)

You are NOT a geek

its as simple as that... it take no effort and less than 15 minute to replace the battery and if it isnt working right when your done it either wasnt the battery in the first place... or more likely YOU ARE A MORON WHO SHOULDNT TOUCH ANYTHING TECHNICAL.

Also I have a Gen 1 iPod and use it as both a portable work HD and a music player in my car and around the home and have yet to have battery problems like people experience... I just reset the battery by unpluging and pluging the connector inside the iPod and it worked fine and when back from 6 hours to 10 hours.

Re:here is the deal (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8384029)

Never have so many PC home build DIYers turned into their mother when in comes to replacing an ipod battery. I think all the pricewatch boys are really shopping at dell.

related question (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387672)

Does anyone have first hand experience with batteries on the Rio Karma? I have been seriously concidering getting that as it has many features (Ogg Vorbis/FLAC support, gapless playing, syncs from any OS) that the iPod doesn't, and IMHO even looks nicer than the iPod.

But the battery issue concerns me. Like the iPod it is an internal battery, but unlike Apple they dont have any program to refurbish them. The official company line is that they battery is supposed to last the life of the product, which according to them is 5 years. However, ogg uses 2x the batterys compared to mp3, so I am looking at paying nearly $300 for a device which I am supposed to throw away in less than 3 years.

Does anyone have any real world experience with the Rio Karma battery life? Has anyone hacked / replaced the battery in their Karma?

This is very old. (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379346)

The battery replacement stories were already covered here on slashdot and many other websites a few months ago.

Re:This is very old. (5, Insightful)

Graff (532189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8380877)

The battery replacement stories were already covered here on slashdot and many other websites a few months ago.
Not only that but Casey Neistat is the same guy who went around defacing Apple posters and putting up videos of how Apple was cheating him with bad batteries. The thing Casey forgot to tell everyone was that Apple had already instituted a replacement battery program and that many 3rd party companies were offering battery replacement services. He ruined his own iPod because he was too cheap to spring for having a professional replace the battery for him for a few extra bucks.

Casey Neistat also screwed over some of the people who hosted his video by not posting information about the battery replacement services. The providers gave him the hosting on the condition that Casey would give a balanced viewpoint on the problem and would link to the replacement programs.

Re:This is very old. (1)

SofaMan (454881) | more than 10 years ago | (#8421174)

As much as I think that Neistat has been a bit of a jerk about the whole thing, he does at least now have the following on ipodsdirtysecret.com:

"After we finished production of the film, but not necessarily in response to it, Apple began offerring a battery replacement program for the ipod for a fee of $99 and an extended warranty for the ipod for $59.

We think Apple's new policy is fair. Our movie is a documentation of our experience."


Now all he would need to do is put this on the front page of his site, and not on a "More About iPod's Dirty Secret" link.

iPod battery problems? Not me. (4, Informative)

Dylan Zimmerman (607218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8379367)

My battery works just fine. However, it seems that iPod firmware 1.3 has broken my contrast. I have to turn it all the way up to see anything under the best of lighting conditions. When I turn the backlight on, the contrast inverts or something, such that it's only usable with the contrast all the way down. I know that my screen isn't broken because after reflashing to 1.2.6 and rebooting about a dozen times, it booted with normal contrast. However, the next time I rebooted it, the contrast problem was back. Perhaps a loose connection, but when I opened my iPod, everything seemed fine. Got it for Christmas over a year ago, so no warranty for me (I was 3 days out of warranty when I first called it in), but this problem didn't start until after I put firmware 1.3 on it.

Anyone else have this problem? I heard from a bunch of 3G iPod owners that the latest firmware for them does something similar.

Anyway, although I don't have any problems with my iPod battery, I can't honestly recomend Apple's products to people anymore. If this issue isn't fixed, I'm going to have to tell people not to buy Apple hardware because they'll be left out in the cold when Apple breaks it with an update.

BLOCK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381524)

M#!D2$P\4'1H?'AT:'!P@)"XG("(L(QP<*#<I+#`Q-#0T'R<Y/ 3@R/"XS-#+_
next block [slashdot.org]

I don't understand why this is a big deal... (5, Insightful)

RdsArts (667685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381704)

I've had laptop batteries. They do the same exact thing. Replacements for them? 150/200$ for a 3rd party battery. For two or three hours of power.

Not the 10+ hours on a iPod for 50$ from a 3rd party.

Yes, I know why the time differences are there, but I'm just saying, we're already paying how much for new laptop batteries? How is this different? Because it requires more heavy-lifting, or is that it's the same price as a laptop battery if you send it to Apple and have them replace it, thus removing any liability for destroying your device that's causing unrest here?

It's not even that the iPod is a exclusive problem. How many Rio Karma battery replacements can you find at the local store?

Higher capacity batteries? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381966)

Would it be possible to stick in higher capacity batteries in an iPod? Different back plates? Anyone tried this before?

Re:Higher capacity batteries? (1)

sleepypants (599905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8386960)

I doubt it (unfortunately)...the lithium polymer batteries used in the iPod are 'molded' so their shape fits the little crevices of the internals. If you're thinking of finding some other supplier...no one else would make batteries to exactly fit the iPod except Apple's official supplier (Sony, I think). So the only battery you could get is the same one Apple uses.

Not that hard (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8382109)

Just pull the case away from the guts and swap batteries...how bad is that?

stupid hack. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8383179)

bah, that guy didn't "hack" anything, all he did was buy the cd changer interface => RCA inputs.

I ripped apart a spare CD Changer cable, and attached a DPDT switch on it, and soldered the left/right channels to it so that I can switch between my changer or my iPod. ( I attached a 1/8" plug on it, which I plug into the Belkin car kit, so all I do is plug in the dock connecter on the belkin kit to my iPod... simple.

If you have a changer, you don't need to spend $80 or more.

Can't believe the publicity they're still getting (4, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8389630)

For anyone interested in the truth on the iPod battery situation overall, see:

http://ipodbatteryfaq.com/ [ipodbatteryfaq.com]

Some brief notes:

- There is nothing "wrong" with the battery in the iPod...it's just a lithium ion battery like any other lithium ion battery, and a wide variety of factors affect the battery life, both per charge, and overall.

- The reason the iPod/battery issue is getting so much attention isn't because there is anything to it, but because the iPod is the most popular portable music player by far. Note: I'm not saying that people haven't had issues with the batteries, but these aren't specific to iPod; they'll happen with ANY device with lithium ion batteries. The only difference is that iPod uses a battery sealed inside of the enclosure...which brings me to:

- People act as if Apple is alone using an integrated battery. Well, I've got news for you: they're not. In fact, anyone who makes a portable music player that is anywhere CLOSE to the iPod in terms of size also uses - you guessed it - an integrated, non-user-replaceable battery. This includes: Dell DJ, Gateway DMP Series, Samsung YP-910GS (Napster), iRiver iHP Series, and Rio Karma. And guess what else? NONE of them (at this time), with the exception of the iPod, have a manufacturer-provided way of replacing the battery outside of warranty.

- The Neistat Brothers' issue wasn't that the battery died per se, it's that Apple had no reasonable response to the issue (the response was basically either pay $250 flat rate repair fee, or buy a new iPod). However, Apple already had an official battery replacement program in the works...it just wasn't ready when Casey Neistat first contacted Apple. In the interim - BEFORE the iPod's Dirty Secret video was released - the battery replacement program became available. The release of the battery replacement program had NOTHING to do with the Neistat brothers' video. People will try to claim that it did, or that Apple somehow "got wind" of the fact that they were going to release the video, or that it was being forwarded around via email before it got released on the web and that Apple "found out" about it, and a bunch of other ridiculous stories, but the cold, hard truth is that Apple had the battery and AppleCare programs in the works for MONTHS before Casey ever initially contacted Apple with his issue, and before one second of film was ever shot, or one ounce of spraypaint sprayed. It may seem like I'm belaboring this point, and I am: the implication otherwise is that Apple only released the battery replacement service because it was "forced" to by bad publicity, when the truth is that Apple discovered that it would likely need to have an official way to replace batteries for people since ALL LiIon batteries have a finite lifetime, and began developing programs and procedures to take care of these customers.

- This, of course, also ignores the fact that there were at least two third party companies offering replacement batteries for iPod - and one whom would do the battery replacement for you - at the time

- I find it funny that people are now all concerned about the iPod issue, as if there is something wrong with it, and considering buying other music players because of it, when much of the time, the other music players they're considering have integrated batteries as well - and no way to replace them! (As opposed to the numerous different ways of handling iPod batteries.) Not to mention that the competitive products are generally viewed as second-rate, at best.

- Of course, the overriding truth to this entire issue is that the vast majority of people have not had any issues whatsoever with their iPods (sure, everyone's battery life will degrade; it's just a question of whether it will degrade to the point of making it unusable - and for most people, it never will).

- If you want to go out and buy a music player that uses AAs or other easily replaceable batteries and/or battery packs, go right ahead: that's your right as a consumer. It will be ugly, a brick, and probably have a UI that is for shit, but it's your money. Also, if you feel like you need an integrated memo recorder, multimedia capability, FM tuner, and the kitchen sink, all in a second-rate product, again, go right ahead.

References for all this information, and much, much more information on iPod batteries and LiIon batteries in general is at http://ipodbatteryfaq.com/ [ipodbatteryfaq.com]

AA batteries (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8395658)

This is worth noting, as well: Homemad iPod Battery Pack [drewperry.co.uk]

Re:Can't believe the publicity they're still getti (1)

Halloween Jack (182035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8433629)

- I find it funny that people are now all concerned about the iPod issue, as if there is something wrong with it, and considering buying other music players because of it, when much of the time, the other music players they're considering have integrated batteries as well - and no way to replace them! (As opposed to the numerous different ways of handling iPod batteries.) Not to mention that the competitive products are generally viewed as second-rate, at best.

I swear that I wouldn't post one of these "M$ is the debbil" replies, but it seems that Neistat's site came up--and started getting more attention than Paris Hilton in bed with an orangutan--right around the time that a certain very large corporation unveiled its own media player. I'm just sayin'.

TechTV has a great article on this... (1)

nycroft (653728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8401319)

This was covered several times on TechTV [techtv.com] . But most recently, on The Screensavers [techtv.com] on January 13th. Here is the article [techtv.com] by Macworld contributing editor Christoper Breen. It's very informative. It seems he destroyed a couple of iPods himself in the process. The article has useful links for iPod battery kits as well.

I highly recommend his book, Secrets of the iPod [amazon.com] , for any other tricks and tips to help you make your iPod into much more than a music player.

instead of a lithum ion (1)

till3y (760745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8516722)

I've know about the ipod's battery problem for a while and it strikes me as odd that the didn't opt for a battery you could recharge. I'm sure that someone could have found a way to use the dock as a means to re-charge the iPod or someting allong those lines. I know that the rechargeable batterys don't hold as big a charge as Lithium ones but I would rather recharge my iPod every night for a good few hours of play time than buy new bats every time they die out. With news like this about the iPod (and the cost) that make me hesitant about buying on in the first place.
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