iPod Battery Replacement

I’ve had my iPod now for a little over 2 years. Under optimum conditions its battery lasted 7.8 hours. I ran that test today and came up with only 4 hours. This confirmed my thinking that the battery wasn’t lasting nearly as long as it used to (real world play time used to be about 4 hours and now it is probably 2). The battery was a huge problem with these iPods and prompted a lawsuit with a settlement that I wasn’t able to participate in since I didn’t have my original receipt.

Anyway, the battery isn’t easy to replace because it is glued in place underneath the hard drive and it isn’t easy to open the case without damaging it. Apple had a service where you could mail in the iPod and they would replace the battery for $100. I believe that price is lower now. There are also a lot of third party providers who will do the service or will sell you a battery and provide tools to pry open the iPod.

Well, it’s time. So first I went to my web page because I know it usually has ads for replacement batteries. I found L.A. Computer and iPodResQ advertised there, but I had a really hard time finding the replacement at the former (the ad says $8.95, but actually it turns out to be $12.95 plus $9.56 shipping) and the latter was $28 plus shipping.

I then went to iLounge. They reviewed two reputable replacement services that also offered do-it-yourself kits and gave both A minuses. One was Other World Computer’s system using NuPower batteries. The other service they reviewed was FastMac and their TruePower batteries which have very good instructions and offer a 2-year warranty. All of the batteries offered are 850 milliamp hours (850 mah) which is more than the original battery capacity of 630 mah. Another company offers an 1100 mah battery but it costs twice what the others do. Also, some of the places I found gave you metal screwdrivers to open the case which would probably scratch or bend the iPod.

I finally found a place that was pretty inexpensive, offered plastic tools, and had reasonable shipping rates, Battery Barn. I ordered from them tonight and will follow up with my results. I made a new webpage for other people who might be looking for a new battery:

iPod Battery Replacement

10 thoughts on “iPod Battery Replacement

  1. My battery still lasts as long as I need it to, from the ride to school until I get home. I’ve never had any problems with the battery and I’ve had the iPod for about 11 months. I need to run a test, though.

  2. I think it would be a good idea to run a test just so you have an idea of how long a good battery should last. Then in a year or more when the battery seems not to be holding a charge as well you could run another test and compare. My test has the iPod go through a long playlist at 50% volume with the backlight turned off.

  3. One of the companies that sells batteries has a video on their site that I’ve watched a couple of times. I still haven’t gotten the new battery in the mail yet, but now I have ordered an iPod Emergency Charger from eBay (it allows you to recharge the battery from a 9-volt battery) so I want to run some tests on the charger using the old battery in case it messes something up. But I haven’t gotten the charger yet either. Hopefully I will get the charger next week, run some tests, and replace the battery next weekend.

  4. The battery arrived today. Even though I want to wait another week or so to replace it, I went ahead and decided to do a dry run. The tools worked like a charm (you only need one) and I was able to open the iPod in a minute or so. I removed the hard drive and lifted the battery but did not disconnect it. Then I put the hard drive back, snapped the iPod back together, and it worked perfectly. The LCD looks a little more discolered than usual so I may have to look at that the next time I’m in there. The plastic tools are the key, but they do get kind of torn up in the process. I worried about how new the battery would be but from the looks of a sticker on it, it was manufactured in September 2005 which isn’t bad.

  5. From what I can see from most of those podcasts, the plastic tools that come with a lot of the replacement batteries seem to break easily. I think a putty knife would be a good tool.

  6. I definitely wouldn’t use a metal putty knife. I have a plastic one and tried it, but it isn’t thin enough to get in the seam. You need something wedge shaped with a very thin end. But that thin end tears up easily. One company had a more durable-looking plastic tool, but hopefully you won’t be opening the iPod very often.

  7. So that I could tell other people whether it was any good or not. But mostly because I figured (correctly) it would make a really great battery charger if you connect it to an 8-pack of AA batteries. Instead of paying $40 for a commercial battery pack you can buy the emergency charger for $7.50 and a 8-battery holder for $2 and have an external charger that requires no wiring or soldering.

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