My iPod Just Kept Going, and Going, and Going...

April 26, 2005

With May 2 just days away and the 2 year anniversary of my iPod purchase I figured I should do a battery life test to determine whether or not I should send it back to Apple to have them replace the battery. Since I purchased the protection plan, I had another year of coverage, which I figured was worth the $47 (educ. discount) since a new battery (and installation) from Apple costs $99. Anyway, I'd already gotten my money out of the deal when I got my dock with a bad audio plug connection replaced and a new headphone remote to replace the one that wouldn't fast forward unless you also held the clip down. But I digress. The deal is this: if the battery life is below 50% of the original stated life (8 hours for the 3G model) then Apple will replace the battery free o' charge. I kind of expected it to be close, because seemed to be running down fairly quickly lately, but to my pleasant surprise it lasted much longer than I thought it would.

I brought the iPod along with me to work, and at 11:25 am I turned off the backlight, put the volume at a little below halfway, and turned off the equalizer and put on one big long playlist to minimize hard drive searching (for this test these steps must be done according to Apple). Thankfully Newgrass DJ Extraordinaire M. Smitty had just provided me with such a playlist, running nearly 6.5 hours, so I figured that would be plenty of music for this test. I checked back every hour and by 3:30 (4 hours in and the 50% mark) I had about 2/5 to 1/2 battery life, which I was more than impressed by. When I got home at 4:30 though, there was barely anything left on the battery meter, so I figured the end was near (the battery meter is clearly not accurate). But I put it on an external set of speakers and let her keep playing. At 5:30 there was hardly a line left on the meter and I had to throw on another playlist (this time I figured 51 Neil Young songs would be plenty to complete the test). When I left for class at 6:15 the battery meter was completely blank and it was still playing away. I left Christa with explicit instructions to note the time it eventually cut out, figuring it would be any minute now. But amazingly, it made it to 7:20--5 minutes shy of the original stated battery life of 8 hours. So, fellow iPod owners, take good care of your battery (don't let it run all the way down, leave it plugged in when not in use, buy a car charger) and the battery life should remain pretty strong. Color me impressed.

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