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Media (Apple) Businesses Media Apple

Breathe New Life Into Your Dead iPod 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 ($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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Breathe New Life Into Your Dead iPod

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  • 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...
    • by Quobobo ( 709437 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @06:49PM (#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.
    • by Unregistered ( 584479 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @08:27PM (#8380329)
      Any electric device with a rechargeable battery will be affected. The iPods are no more vulnerable than most, though.
  • What's that about? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kris_J ( 10111 ) * on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @06:35PM (#8378892) Homepage Journal
    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 [].)
  • by innerlimit ( 593217 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @06:43PM (#8379042)
    "Apple does not return your iPod when it replaces the battery; it sends a refurbished model instead. For $68, 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.
  • here is the deal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <Falcon5768@comca ... t minus language> on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @06:59PM (#8379265) Journal
    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.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      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.
    • 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 accord
  • The battery replacement stories were already covered here on slashdot and many other websites a few months ago.
    • by Graff ( 532189 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @09:27PM (#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.
      • 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

        "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 s

  • by Dylan Zimmerman ( 607218 ) <> on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @07:08PM (#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.
  • by RdsArts ( 667685 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @10:45PM (#8381704) Homepage Journal
    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?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:06PM (#8381966)
    Would it be possible to stick in higher capacity batteries in an iPod? Different back plates? Anyone tried this before?
    • 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 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.
  • Just pull the case away from the guts and swap bad is that?
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @03:26PM (#8389630)
    For anyone interested in the truth on the iPod battery situation overall, see: []

    Some brief notes:

    - There is nothing "wrong" with the battery in the'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 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 bat
    • This is worth noting, as well: Homemad iPod Battery Pack []

    • - 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
  • This was covered several times on TechTV []. But most recently, on The Screensavers [] on January 13th. Here is the article [] 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 [], for any other tricks and tips to help you make your iPod into much more than a music player.
  • 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

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