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6 Tips to make your iPod Battery Last

When you’ve gone through as many iPods as I have, you sort of become a de facto expert in ways to keep the battery lasting as long as possible. In fact, battery death seems to have plagued me on every iPod I’ve owned since I made the switch from an iRiver H10 20GB in 2006. It’s not like the old days when you could just throw seemingly dead batteries in the fridge for a few hours and they’d mysteriously regain an hour or two of juice. iPod batteries are more like cell cell-phone batteries; they require a complex series of practices and settings to last as long as possible.

Here are some pro-tips for keeping your iPod powered throughout the day. I’ll also throw in some good practices for keeping the battery healthy throughout its lifetime.

–          When you see your iPod has about half of its battery left, charge it. Many people say that running it to empty and then charging it to full helps “calibrate” the battery, but all this really does is stress the battery out and it will eventually die prematurely.

–          On the other hand, don’t have the iPod plugged in all the time. This will overcharge the battery and if it is receiving a constant stream of energy it’s possible for the battery to lose the capacity to hold the charge it’s supposed to.

–          Too much warmth causes a battery to drain faster. This is also why putting batteries in the freezer was a successful temporary fix. Try to keep your iPod in the least warm placed possible. Sometimes your pocket or backpack is extra hot so let the iPod get some air to cool it off. It’s funny sometimes, how similar electronics are to us humans…

–          Exercise: Contrary to popular belief, using the iPod regularly actually helps its battery life. Disuse usually winds up with the battery atrophying and losing its maximum charge capacity. So if you notice you haven’t used your iPod in a month, you may want to fire it up and let it run for a few hours. iPods need exercise to stay healthy, too.

–          Settings: Your iPod can do a lot of stuff, and since the iTouch was released, it can do more, still. However, if you find you aren’t making use of some of the fancier settings, turn them off. For people with the Classic model, this means lowering the brightness, adjusting the backlight, and turning off the equalizer. For those with the iTouch it means turning the Wi-Fi off when you’re not using it and changing the data-fetching settings. Some people say you should avoid track-skipping, high volume and games/movies, but these are all the things I bought an iPod for, so that doesn’t make any sense. Just be conservative, I say.

–          The last tip is kind of a secret one, but your iPod changes its power usage based on how big the file you’re listening to is. Big files take longer (read: more energy) to cache, so if you have an iPod filled with uncompressed WAV or AIFF (you audiophile, you) you will either have to compress them into a smaller format (AAC, MP3, etc) or just deal with diminished battery life. Long songs can be broken up into smaller tracks to help the iPod facilitate power usage, but this is a pretty intensive process and probably won’t save you that much battery in the end.

So you see, there are lots of ways to keep your head ringing with your iPod’s battery. More than anything, you have to use common sense measures like flipping the HOLD switch when you don’t want music to play while your iPod is in a backpack. Hopefully some of these tips will help others eke out a few more tunes from their iPods going forward!

Guest Post by Danielle , Eatbreatheblog