iPod battery life: A simple test

If your iPod battery is not performing up to snuff, you can perform a simple test before heading to your local Apple Store for a replacement. The results could save you plenty of time, better spent listening to all your killer tunes.

If your iPod battery is not performing up to snuff, you can perform a simple test before heading to your local Apple Store for a replacement. The results could save you plenty of time, better spent listening to all your killer tunes.

iPods are made to be played. But, when your battery doesn't hold up like it used to, it's easy to assume something is wrong. If you're feeling the battery blues, run this test to see if your battery is actually bad, or if you can recover like-new performance:

  1. Begin the test with your iPod fully charged and be sure you have the latest version of iTunes and your iPod's software.
  2. Open iTunes and insert a CD with average length tracks--generally 3 to 8 minutes.
  3. Choose to Import the CD with using the MP3 Encoder set at 160 kbps or the ACC Encoder set at 128 kbps. Create a new Playlist in iTunes and transfer the newly imported tracks.
  4. Connect your fully charged iPod and transfer the newly created list to it. Eject your iPod and disconnect it from your computer.
  5. For an iPod Shuffle, connect a set of headphones, turn the iPod Shuffle on, and press play to begin playing the album you just created.
  6. For any other iPod model, choose Settings from the main menu, set "Repeat" to "All," set "Backlight" to "Off," set "EQ" to "Off," select a song from the album you just imported, press play, and set the volume to half.

  7. Continue playing the same album, without interruption, until the iPod battery is dead.
  8. Record the start time and time when the battery is depleted and calculate the total play time of your iPod.
Use the chart provided in this Apple knowledge base article to determine if your iPod is performing as expected. If the test is positive (your iPod battery life matches the chart), check out the suggestions for maintaining better battery life for your Apple devices, profiled in this article and on Apple's Web site.

If you find that your battery life is not as it should be, check out some of the tips and tricks from this Apple KB article, including:

  • Use the hold switch.
  • Keep your iPod at room temperature whenever possible.
  • Charge your iPod out of its case.
  • Charge your iPod if it has been completely depleted, even if you won't need it right away.
  • Turn off backlighting, the EQ feature, and avoid switching tracks manually whenever possible. Frequently switching tracks (or fast-forwarding and rewinding) makes the iPod hard drive spin which drains battery power quicker.
  • Use compressed tracks.


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About the author

    Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.

     

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