How Do I Know If My iPod Needs a New Battery?

By Charlie Higgins

Batteries for the iPod have greatly improved since the iPod first came on the market in 2001. However, if you own an iPod, whether it's an iPod Touch, iPod Classic, or iPod Nano, you’ll probably need to replace the battery sooner or later. If your iPod is not charging properly or always seems to die on you, the problem may be the battery, though not always. Apple provides a simple test that will tell you whether your battery is dying.

Step 1

Sit down at your computer with your iPod and open the iTunes application. Check to make sure that you have the latest iTunes software and update your iPod software if need be. Click “iTunes>Check for Updates” in the menu at the top of your screen.

Step 2

Insert an audio CD that has songs with an average length of around three minutes. Import the MP3 files from the CD into your iTunes library. Set the mp3 encoder at 160 kbps, or, if you’re using the AAC encoder, set it at 128 kbps. To change these settings, click on “Preferences>General>Import Options.”

Step 3

Connect your iPod to your computer using the USB or FireWire connection. Leave your iPod connected until it is fully charged.

Step 4

Add the album that you just imported to iTunes to your iPod. If your syncing preferences are set to automatic, this will happen automatically. Otherwise add the album to your iPod manually. Eject your iPod and disconnect the USB or FireWire cable.

Step 5

From your iPod’s main menu, select “Settings>Repeat>All.” Go back to “Settings” and select “Backlight Timer>Off.”

Step 6

Select the album you've just added and select any song. Press the "Play" button. The album should repeat over and over again until your iPod battery dies.

Step 7

Take note of the time that you started playing the first song and the time your iPod battery depletes. The difference is the approximate battery life of your iPod.

Step 8

Consult the Apple website for the approximate battery duration of each iPod model from each iPod generation. This will help you determine how worn out your battery is. For example, a fifth-generation 80 GB iPod Classic has a music playback battery life of up to 20 hours when fully charged, whereas a second-generation iPod Nano has a maximum music playback time of 24 hours when fully charged.

Step 9

If the playback time you recorded is significantly less than it should be, the problem may be the battery. Consider replacing the battery or contacting Apple for additional advice.