iPod Resurrected

Feeling smug, and silly at the same time. Some time ago, I stopped bothering to take my ipod anywhere with me, except on long car trips, since it couldn’t really hold much of a charge on its own. In the car, I can power it from the car itself, and then it is a great asset for singing along to (if alone in car of course). On non-car trips, it was mostly just an annoyance. I’d charge it the night before a flight, and by time the plane had leveled off and it was time to order the ginger ale to go with the nuts (or little packets of gravel, depending upon the airline), it would shut down due to a dead battery. If it was a trip on which I’d have my computer with me (not always the case) I could dig out the coupling cable and run it from the computer’s power, but I did not always want to do that. So on most trips I’d just be carrying around this elegant white and silver brick with me, and then bringing it back home.

My pod is one of the third generation pods that had a defective battery. Apple had acknowledged the fault after a class action lawsuit and owners were invited to get their pod battery replaced for free, several years ago now. Of course, I never got to it in time, and was therefore stuck with the failing pod for all this time. You can of course send it off to Apple at any time to have them do it, for a charge $65.95 or something (and it seems that you don’t even get your own ipod back, but some used replacement – ugh!), but I never liked the idea of that either. Was thinking that eventually I’d get a new pod anyway, since the cost of the battery replacement, at almost half the price of a new pod, was not worth it as the years went by.

Then I figured that one of these days I’d simply open the thing up and fiddle with it myself, swapping the battery if I could find the right type to match, maybe doing whatever wiring modifications I might need to do to make things work.

Well, years after first thinking I’d do this, I finally got around to it last night. It’s utterly trivial, since it seems that everybody and their dog now sells the right battery for the pod, so no investigation or modification needs be done. (Yeah, I imagine everybody knew this except me).

ipod battery replacement progress The hardest thing is opening up the case of the pod without scratching it horribly (I partially succeeded, making some marks, yes, but not totally horrible ones), since Apple seemed to think that screws were beneath them in the search for super-elegant design… or something.

The replacement steps take about ten minutes, at most. Probably fewer if I was fully paying attention (I’ll admit I was vegging in front of the TV after a disappointing day of dorking around with more complicated hardware issues).

ipod battery replacement progress ipod battery replacement progress ipod battery replacement progress ipod battery replacement progress

There are even sites about it (see e.g. here), and instructions on the packet of the battery you buy, for the princely sum of about $20, which seems very reasonable to me. I put the pod to charge, and – Ha! – I’ve been listening to the thing for hours already today with no end in sight. Longest continuous stretch of listening since new, if not longer.

Why on earth did I not get to this sooner? Years sooner? Silly me.


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4 Responses to iPod Resurrected

  1. Justin says:

    Apple has had problems with batteries and other central elements in both accessories like iPods and in laptops for years, and yet they infuriatingly still seem to focus all their effort on design and looks, rather than core issues like this. If you want to see another wonderful Apple effect, try leaving your iPod or Apple laptop out on a day that is below freezing for an hour or so and then try to run it (not much of an issue in LA, but say if you’re in the mountains or somewhere). How can we get Apple to ease up on the flashy packaging and focus more on bulletproof operation of electronic equipment we depend on?

  2. Clifford says:

    Well, on balance, I’d say that their stuff’s pretty wonderful actually, compared to most alternatives. And I say this even after a bit of a frustrating week and a half working dealing with issues with a problematic powerbook – but I’ll say more about that adventure later.

    I like the attention to design, since it not just the look that they focus on but also a sense of logic about how things ought to work that I really like. And it is implemented rather well. That counts for a lot in the long run. Yes, there have been some hardware mishaps, but I’d still say the the total package is very very good on any single device you care to point to.

    So I’d not want to ask them to let design take a back seat! But it certainly does no harm to do better to avoid the hardware screwsup, sure.



  3. Yvette says:

    Been spending the past week driving across the country and got an iPod charger/player for the car. Same effect- I wonder how on Earth I got along without one of them for so long.

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