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iPod batteries: Accuracy problems, shallow charges and the sleep issue

iPod batteries: Accuracy problems, shallow charges and the sleep issue

We continue to receive reports of iPod battery inaccuracies. MacFixIt reader Jed confirms the problem and points out that this phenomenon is common with other devices as well:

"The battery meter is often inaccurate. I've found this to be true on my Palm as well: after charging, the battery meter continues to show low charge for a while, gradually increasing over time.?

Shallow charges and the sleep issue Meanwhile, Ron Skinner notes that, typical of Li-Ion batteries, inaccuracy may increase with time and the constant use of "shallow charges" :

"Devices equipped with Li-Ion charge indicators--such as the iPod--become increasingly inaccurate when they are shallow charged. All that is required to re-calibrate the gauges is to fully discharge the battery before recharging. However, routinely fully discharging these batteries should be avoided. Their useful life is greatest when subjected to shallow charge cycles."

Last week we covered an issue where the iPod's battery becomes drained while the host Mac (charger) is sleeping. The fact that batteries are routinely being completely discharged then recharged (a full, or "deep" cycle) in this manner may have something to do with the large number of short-lived (16-18 months) iPod battery complaints.

Also, at least one reader reports that the no-charge-while-sleeping issue does not occur with his Power Mac G5: "Just to let you know this problem does not occur with the G5 with my iPod docked. When my G5 is put to sleep there still is power in the FireWire and the iPod continues to charge. The only time it does not charge is when I shut it down. "

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

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