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Apple iPod Update Increases Battery Life 110

Posted by pudge
from the mmmm-battery dept.
hhoor writes "Apple has released iPod Software 1.2.6. According to Apple, 'After updating the iPod, customers can expect at least 10 days of standby battery life on a full charge.' So maybe now it's really time to buy one."
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Apple iPod Update Increases Battery Life

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  • FP! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gqgreg (84354) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @08:19AM (#5554117) Homepage
    Sounds good to me! I wish there was some feedback here before I update my iPod, to see if Apple messes something up on my system.
    • Works great for me (Score:5, Informative)

      by Fulkkari (603331) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @10:04AM (#5554855)
      I wish there was some feedback here before I update my iPod, to see if Apple messes something up on my system.

      I updated my 10 GB Mac iPod, and the updating process went smoothly. I have had no problems with the update. So go ahead and update. You should however always make backups if you want to be sure.

  • hmmm...... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by megajini (557306)
    More battery life for me means more energy for the unused 2nd processor. I'm eagerly awaiting what this chip is good for.... *since I payed for it* So now my iPod is full charged and I'm stopping time, we'll see...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2003 @10:21AM (#5554990)
      It was made for seti@home, and is working constantly on that, and breaking the X-Box key when the seti@home code needs to "phone home" to get a longer set of jobs.

      That's why iTunes has that "Connect to Internet when needed" option. It's so that when you sync your iPod the iPod can send its latest batch of results to seti@home and download new work to do.

    • Re:hmmm...... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      aaargh will you people stop spreading the urban myth of a dual processor iPod.

      The 'second processor' is not a second processor. in fact it's not a processor at all, it's simply a logic array that happens to be made by the same manufacturer as the real CPU.

      repeat after me

      "apple do not sell ipods to make clusters from"
  • Out of stock (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zo0ok (209803) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @08:29AM (#5554184) Homepage
    Time to buy one? I have tried buying one since the beginning of January. Out of stock... new upcoming models not yet relesased...

    That is for the 5Gb PC iPod (for a friend of mine), of course I have had my own Mac iPod for more than a year now.
    • Re:Out of stock (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2003 @10:19AM (#5554970)
      I work for compusa and the 5gb ipod is DO1 status in our database, meaning it was discontinued... You wont be seeing it any time soon... 10gb ipod is the new 5gb..
      • Re:Out of stock (Score:2, Interesting)

        by amarkham (153845)

        If the 5GB is discontinued, then perhaps that means that a 40GB version is imminent. I'm hoping that this coinincides with the announcement of the music service that has been talked about recently.

        Would also love an FM receiver, but maybe that's asking too much...

        Anybody have any G2 on the above?
  • Nethack (Score:3, Funny)

    by termos (634980) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @08:31AM (#5554196) Homepage
    Does these things come with nethack?
    If they do, they need much more than 10 days of battery time in order to complete the game.
    • Seriously though, this is exactly the kind of game you could easily write for the iPod - if only there was an open API for adding your own "Extras." Apple's not likely to open the API any time soon, but they need some kind of replacement for that tired "breakout" clone.

      On the other hand if someone writes an HFS+ native Linux that plays MP3s out of the same folders as the iPod OS and runs all the Linux cruft it'd be worth the total conversion for some.
  • Annoying Lock-ups (Score:3, Informative)

    by Oculus Habent (562837) <oculus.habent@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @08:54AM (#5554329) Journal
    My biggest issue is having my iPod not start back up after pausing & locking it. It "starts playing" but is just locked. Reset to fix.

    It only takes a few seconds, but it's annoying. Maybe 1.2.6 will help out in that area, too.
  • Holy Crap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Oculus Habent (562837) <oculus.habent@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @09:02AM (#5554378) Journal
    5.2 MB! As if that's not crazy, there's a Gzip file that expands to 51 MB inside that. Most of it seems to be absorbed in different languages. That's 8-12 songs worth of space, though.

    Also, couldn't this have been available via Software Update? I don't spend much time at the iPod homepage. I suppose not everyone needs it, but couldn't there be some way of telling if you ever had an iPod connected? Wishful thinking, maybe.
    • by megajini (557306)

      There are good reasons not doing so:

      • SoftwareUpdate updates existing Software not Hardware
      • Updating every Mac was done by Apple once (at least my machines loaded it), and I think it was waste of time and bandwith for most people...
      • Doing kind of "auto-detection" isn't very original either, as I often connect my iPod to various Macs/PCs just to transfer data (WOW - Floppy with 20Gb and FAST) - thus ALL of them would have to download iPod Updates forever

      Beautiful would be an automatic Internet Check perf

      • But there already were updates before that were released through Software Update-- and I've seen them 'want' to be downloaded to machines that never came near an iPod, and even to a machine running OS X Server. We just mark them 'inactive', but still...

        Apple should build "a check for iPod update" feature into iTunes, with the option to have it check automatically-- then only people with an iPod would enable/use the feature, anyone who didn't use iTunes could just download the updates from Apple's site, and
    • Re:Holy Crap (Score:4, Informative)

      by bats (8748) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @12:33PM (#5556216) Homepage
      All the previous iPod updates have come through Software Update. I'm guessing it won't appear for a couple hours/days, like most every other update. They appear on the website for the die-hards and trickle into Software Update for the rest of the world too busy to check the iPod homepage everyday.
    • Re:Holy Crap (Score:3, Interesting)

      by clarkcox3 (194009)
      Most of that 51 MB is the iPod Software Updater application itself (i.e. it goes on your Mac's HD, and not on the iPod). Also, remember that the iPod's firmware is itself 32 MB.
  • Odd statement hhoor (Score:4, Informative)

    by biglig2 (89374) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @09:06AM (#5554402) Homepage Journal
    Was an occasional bug in the battery monitor a deal breaker keeping you from an ipod? You must be very demanding in other aspects of your life. ;-)

    Downloaded, about to take the plunge. The Changelog is minimialist;
    Changes since 1.2:

    Version 1.2.6 has improved battery management, providing the following updates:

    * Increased playback time on scroll-wheel iPods
    * Longer stand-by time for all iPods

    Looks like it is a definite must for owners of the lower capacity pods.

    I see in other places that it does not implement the cursed EEC mandated volume lowering, so don;t let that hold you back.
  • Clock and firmware (Score:5, Interesting)

    by elliotj (519297) <slashdot@@@elliotjohnson...com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @10:29AM (#5555063) Homepage
    After updating my firmware the last time (from 1.1 to 1.2) I noticed a significant reduction in standby time. I did some research and found that the inclusion of a clock was the culprit: the iPod was never designed to keep time using a small power trickle in the same way that say, a digital watch, or your PC, is able to keep time without requiring a massive battery. The solution was to revert to v. 1.1 of the firmware and I got my standby life back.

    Does anyone know if the new firmware removes the clock feature? Personally I have no real desire to upgrade: I don't need any more functions from the device - I only need it to play tunes and that's it.
    • by JArneaud (25121)
      I just updated my 5GB to 1.2.6 and the only strange thing that I noticed was that the clock was frozen at 12:00:00 1Jan 2002. If you manually adjust the date and time it starts running normally. I haven't found a way to turn it off again, short of running an iPod restore.

      Could this be a power-saving feature? Disabling the clock until the user actually decides to start using it? (I know I never do, so it wouldn't be a big loss and the extra run time would be great)

      • Funny. I just finished the update on my 5GB iPod and when I went to "Extras" to check the clock it was set and running. You sure you saw yours correctly?

        I hope this firmware update really is a fix. I sent back my iPod twice (to Apple's glory they replaced it each time without blinking) because the battery life wasn't what it once was. It was only later that I learned of the possible connection to the 1.2.1 update (which I had installed).
      • I just checked mine (I have never flashed the firmware) and it is stuck at that time too. I didn't change it because your post (and others) have scared me it will kill the battery life. I don't use the clock anyway. So maybe if you never set it, or Reset the iPod at some point or something like that. Just wild speculation.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Mine is still running like normal after the update.
    • by dhovis (303725) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @01:48PM (#5556845)
      I did some research and found that the inclusion of a clock was the culprit

      No, you and everyone else blamed the clock, as it was the only apparant change to the iPod firmware that seemed like it might have introduced a drain on the battery.

      However, if this update works, it blows that theory out of the water. The knowledgebase article for this says that the problem was that the iPod was incorrectly interpreting the battery charge. It seems that the 1.2 firmware was not allowing the iPod to use all of the battery capacity, and was shutting down when there was still plenty of life left. There is no way anyone outside of Apple could have figured this out, so the clock got blamed.

      • I have to agree with you there. I noticed on my 5 GB ipod that sometimes it would go from two battery bars to dead in about 10 minutes.

        This occur mainly after it had been in stand by for a while IE over night. Given that it took hours to use the first three bars the final two should have lasted more that 10 minutes.

        I also noticed that sometimes the battery meter would go up and then down and then up again, as if it was having trouble reading what state the battery was in under 1.2

        I have since

    • by Anonymous Coward
      You don't need any more functions? Really? Want any bugs fixed?

      How about creating and editing playlists or at least minimally being able to queue up the next N song(s)? Ever try to be a dj for some friends or pass your pod around the car and let others pick tracks? I find myself watching the remaining time constantly and having to get the timing just right when switching tracks so as not to cut the current track short or allow the logical next track in the list to start playing before you click to play
      • It's actually surprisingly tricky to do this because of the way MP3 files are structures. Having said that, for DJ mixed albums I just rip the whole thing as one file: use the Join CD Tracks command in iTunes, under the Advanced menu.

        Or what about showing the "All Songs" list for an Artist in alphabetical order (it could be an option, but I consider the current behavior a bug). I have 230 Zappa tracks on my pod right now and finding a particular one in the list is quite difficult.

        Huh. Mine does what

  • My pet iPod-peeves: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Erik K. Veland (574016) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @10:37AM (#5555122) Homepage
    - Occasionally shuts down when shoving the remote-control into the jack. I have to smoothly press it it.
    - Said remote-controls connection is finnicky. I have to press it into place a bit too often if I have it in my pocket.
    - The clock is some archaic system with letters instead of the standard 24-hour clock used in most parts of the world.

    None of these are deal-breakers though. I just love my 20 GB iPod. Bring on AAC already Apple!
    • by troc (3606)
      Occasionally shuts down when shoving the remote-control into the jack. I have to smoothly press it it.

      I had that problem so I mentioned it to Apple and I have just received a new remote in the post...... Very good service there. Assuming your iPod is still in warranty, give 'em a call.

      There's stuff about the remote problems in Apple's forums. It seems the newer remotes have been changed slightly to solve the problems you are having......

      Troc

    • by PotPieMan (54815)
      - Said remote-controls connection is finnicky. I have to press it into place a bit too often if I have it in my pocket

      It sounds like you have the same problem I did. Until I read iPod: Remote Buttons Do Not Work [apple.com].
    • The clock is some archaic system with letters instead of the standard 24-hour clock used in most parts of the world.

      What on earth do you mean? My iPod looks like every other digital clock, complete with arabic numerals...?

  • by MrMickS (568778) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @10:55AM (#5555263) Homepage Journal
    I keep my iPod up to date but it's running 1.2.1 what happened to the missing versions? I know that there was a 1.2.2 to stop deafening the French but what about the others?
  • * Increased playback time on scroll-wheel iPods
    * Longer stand-by time for all iPods

    Since battery life has improved for the mechanical scroll wheel iPods, as well as for all around standby time for all iPods, does that mean iPods with the mechanical scroll wheel now have better battery life than the new ones? Or were they behind before and now they are caught up?

    In any case, I like the mechanical scroll wheel better. It feels more precise to me. Except that it gets craps stuck under it on the sides. :-(
  • I have been using my Ipod sporadically for a while. One very annoying thing is that when you havn't recharced it for a few days, and want to go for a run, the battary is dead.

    I was never exactly able to figure out how long my standby time was, but it seemed short enough that I was considering contacting apple about it (3 days perhaps..).

    What have other readers found as their standby time using the older firmware versions?
  • and purchased on ethe first day it came out. and use it like me also are finding out that the wheel doesn't last very long. the new versions don't have a turning wheel. every once and awhile the wheel will kind of pop out and i have to pop it in. also i think this makes certain play pause buttons to not work. i wish apple would release an update to fix this.
  • Aha! (Score:3, Funny)

    by tamen (308656) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @12:31PM (#5556203) Homepage
    So this is were they put the lost battery life from the iBooks!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2003 @02:07PM (#5557128)
    PLEASE- OGG, AAC (mpeg-2 & mpeg-4), mp3pro and MPC support.

    iTunes LAME plug-in (and those presets), Accerator (for mp4/aac experimenting) and Audion (mp3pro for spoken word/audio books) all help, but iPods restrictions keep me from fully taking the sound to the next level.

    Please Apple live up to the openness you're stating with OS X. Have your music device be as agnostic with sound as your OS is with fonts, etc.
  • iPod on Linux (Score:4, Informative)

    by dakkar (128056) <dakkar.thenautilus@net> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @03:23PM (#5558108) Homepage

    I use an iBook with OS X, and a Linux machine.

    Recently I acquired a iee1394 PCI card, and used the conversion tool from iPod-on-Linux [sourceforge.net] to transform it into a FAT32 iPod, and gtkpod [sourceforge.net] to manage songs on it.

    The conversion tool installed firmware 1.2.1, but this last iPod upgrade wanted to reformat my iPod. So now I had a 1.2.6 iPod, but HFS+ instead of FAT32.

    Never to lose courage, I copied the 'Firmware' file from inside the upgrader's directory on the Mac to the PC, over the 1.2.1 firmware used in the conversion tool. Run the conversion tool again, and now I have a 1.2.6 FAT32 iPod, and I'm filling it up again using gtkpod.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @05:08PM (#5559455)
    I bought an ipod with the sole intention of trying to get it to work with linux. I run the latest stable 2.4.20 kernel and my firewire stuff works with all my drives (as best as FW -can- with linux, but that's another story).

    I can see the files when I mount the ipod and copy them across ok - I think. but when I play them, the file sizes are wrong and so a song that says its 30minutes (unlikely) cuts off after a few minutes and some songs that are long cut off too short! weird.

    so I returned it. it appears that for me, at least, ipod/linux is not nearly ready for prime time. too bad.
  • Every other gadget I own has an off switch. But the iPod doesn't have one. The problem isn't firmware. It runs the battery flat because it has no off switch. This was the first thing I noticed when I took my iPod out of its box. How could Apple have missed this? Don't they have a QA department? Don't they teach electrical engineers about on/off switches these days? Maybe it would upset the sleek design of the device. But an off switch would really have made all the difference. Even 10 days is kinda annoying
    • It's probably got something to do with the iPod having to load the mp3 DB etc. They prolly didn't want people thinking it took ages to load every time they turned it on.
      I do agreee with you how ever. They should still have included and small switch for when you're not using it for a while or want to conserve battery power.
      Well, you knoe what to do: Contact Apple's feedback and tell them you want a switch.
    • by idsofmarch (646389) <(pmingram) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @05:55PM (#5560043)
      Hold down the Play button.
      • Well blow me down with a feather - I didn't know about that!

        But as we all know it doesn't really switch off the iPod. It's still consuming battery power at a prodigious rate. I want a real off button so I can leave my iPod off for a month and expect it to work the moment I switch it on. Why can't it just dump out its state to disk and shut down for real?

      • Hahah! The length of that rant and the shortness of that reply was beautiful.

        I didn't figure this out for months either. I never opened the CD that came with my iPod because Music Match sucks hardcore. Later I realized I didn't know about certain features that everyone else did. So I opened up the little case and there was a tiny manual.

        One other tidbit I learned in there - hold down Menu to turn on the backlight.

    • I can't speak to standby time, but I believe it does a fairly good job of power management. When it's running, the drive only spins up as often as it needs to refresh the 32 Meg cache. And when you pause it, it powers itself off after... three minutes? So at that point it's only expending however much energy is necessary to:
      • Power the LCD
      • Save the RAM state
      • Maintain the clock

      I tend to skip lots of songs, so I get less playtime because I'm forcing the HD to keep spinning up. But I also have a first vers

    • I would venture a guess as to the lack of an off switch.

      It may have to do with the battery, for something like this how often do you think you would have people leave it for a prolonged period of time fully charged. This can damage some cheaper batteries over time and decrease their usefulness, maybe apple decided that to avoid that, or avoid having to build a better quality battery into their ipod. They could instead not have the option to turn the ipod right off, and that way the battery was always fully
      • Li Ion, NiCd and NiMH batteries will last a long time if they are charged correctly. A computer controlled recharger paired with a particular type of battery can ensure it is charged at the right rate and kept at full power without damaging or overcharging it.

        Most battery packs contain microprocessors of their own and I would imagine the iPod's internal battery has just such a device for managing power.
    • Oddly I've heard this question three times in the last two weeks, but only four times total in the 16 months I've owned an iPod.

      Anyway, my preferred method is to hit PAUSE then lock the unit (the sliding switch on top). Fastest method I know of, includes locking the device so it won't be turned on again by accident, and it only takes two minutes for the iPod to shut itself down.

      And with this new update we hopefully won't have to worry about those two minutes killing our battery.
      • by Cadre (11051)
        Fastest method I know of, includes locking the device so it won't be turned on again by accident, and it only takes two minutes for the iPod to shut itself down.

        Press and hold down the play button for about two seconds and the iPod will immediately turn off.

        • Press and hold down the play button for about two seconds and the iPod will immediately turn off.

          When you turn the iPod off this way, you lose your place in the song/playlist/album list. When you turn it back on again you're back at the main menu with no song selected. If instead you pause and lock the device it will start up again where you paused it -- like the "resume" feature on Sony portable CD players.

          Generally I like being able to resume where I left off. On the other hand, if I had to choose a

  • Its about fucking time! Being as youve sold about 600,000 of those little bastards (including mine) you now have 600,000 people with no reason to tell people _not_ to get one.

    If Wall Street really had it's finger on the pulse of the tech sector Apple's stock would've gone up today.
  • Buyer Beware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaracMarjal (513394) on Friday March 21, 2003 @04:38AM (#5563281) Homepage
    Yeah I'll probably get modded down for this, and no-one will see it, but here [jon-redfox.com] is a lone voice of dissent warning you about the perils of buying an iPod and about just how stupid they can be at Apple Customer Support.
    • Re:Buyer Beware (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mononoke (88668)
      lone voice of dissent warning you about the perils of buying an iPod and about just how stupid they can be at Apple Customer Support.
      You're right. A lone voice. One anectodal episode of bad service and a bad day. It wasn't even the US version of Apple Support.

      Every piece of hardware (computer, automobile, etc.) ever created has stories like this attached to it.

    • The reason Apple Support was having such a hard time is because he doesn't have a standard iPod. He has one of the rumored "iPod II" prototypes. You can tell by the color screen [jon-redfox.com]. (photo from the top of the linked page)

      On the other hand, maybe it's just a doctored photo. But why would someone do that? I don't know. It does make me question his otherwise plausible story. (Although an Apple employee not knowing the meaning of the word 'syncronize' when they have a product named iSync is also a tad hard to sw

    • Windoze screwed up his external HD, twice and he blames the drive? What a dolt!

      Wanna bet he's running a warezed beta version of windoze too?
  • Hopefully the iBook/PowerBook battery life issue will be fixed by an upcoming update...

    Almost a pity they couldn't have released a fix for that at this time, actually. Since it probably affects more people, in a greater way.
  • So the update works great for me, too, but I had to boot into OS9 and run the OS9 VERSION OF THE UPDATE. the OSX package wouldn't install on my graphite 600Mhz iMac. I guess that explains why the upater is showing up in software update just yet.

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