Battery Life Just Took A Huge Dive, Why?

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kylo4

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I've had my iPod 5'th gen (80GB) since January 07, and when I did my battery test around five months ago it got 23 hours of playback, well above the 20 hours it said it is. I'm happy about that. Since then though I'd been buying music like crazy and putting more and more on it and now with only 2GB free I've noticed something. There was an incident before this where I charged it in the wall, it said it was charged and then when I unplugged it, it said it wasn't, and I plugged it somewhere else and it said it was charged. I didn't want to take any chances and so I did another battery test and this time it was only 18 hours.

My question is, is this some fault of the power outlet or is it simply because of the fact that there is so much music on there (before there wasn't that much, it had to do with me reripping at a higher bitrate, although the testing album was 128AAC) that it shortened it due to there being 2GB free? I'd like to know, as that's quite a substantial hit on the battery life within a 4 month period.
 
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drewhiggins

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I noticed the battery life shortened after the latest update (1.1.2) - you updated to that Kylo? I have 612 songs at current ripped at 192Kbps CBR with all artwork (using LAME3.97), and I used to get three days easily. Now maybe two days...that's nothing bad and certainly no cause for complaint but I just want to know what happened. Each song ends up around 5MB - 19MB.

I don't think filling up a hard drive to almost full does anything to the battery. I usually charge it overnight through the USB ports and it fills up in around six hours - so I'd forget the mains to do it.
 

studogvetmed

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well 23-18 = 5 :D

There could have been various variables that could have affected it. For instance was the test album the same you used this time as last? Depending on the size of the album and how it loads into the buffer compared to another album could affect battery life. Did you do the test with or without earphones either time?

Depending on how hot your iPod has ever gotten over the last five months, you may be experiencing some heat issues. Do you keep your iPod docked in any speaker systems for a long period of time.

Also how many charge cycles do you think you may have gone through in the last five months? After 300 charge cycles capacity can decrease to 80% of it's original. 80% of 23 is around 18....

When is the last time you did a full drain/recharge to calibrate the battery meter? It could be that an inaccurate meter caused the iPod to shut down a little earlier than it needed too.

That is a weird situation that you mention with the battery and the wall. I can't explain that. I would monitor how well your iPod keeps a charge and be prepared to request a battery exchange before your warranty is up and even consider getting apple care to extend the warranty a year so you can potentially extend the time frame to have this done. You have until the warranty to run out to purchase apple care. It's about the same price as out of warranty battery replacement, so it's a good investment and could potentially help with other unexpected failures.
 
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kylo4

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Thanks for the help Stu, (I was tired, that's why I said seven, bad math there). I'll answer all of your questions.

I used the exact same set-up as I did in the previous test. I used a 128AAC CBR album, it was the first disc of the Red Hot Chili Peppers album Stadium Arcadium. I chose it because it is exactly an hour in length, and the songs were a good size and length. I also used the same earbuds, $10 Sony's that use about the same power that the iPod earbuds do, and I put the volume at just below half.

I typically don't keep the iPod docked very long, however recently I did for about two-three days and it was on constantly. That's the only time I've done that. It's a dock that it just sits in and plugs to the wall and I plug speakers at the back or transfer to a speaker system, it has full room to ventilate as nothing at all is blocked. I did notice it getting a little hot from charging/playing at the same time but not as hot as when it syncs. Which reminds me that I synced 1200 songs while it was in its iSkin Evo3 case recently, but I had done that before with no battery problems.

As for charge cycles, I didn't start heavily using the device until this year and so I'd say I've used no more than 150 total. I didn't use it too frequently the first year I had it.

That battery test was the full charge/discharge of it, and before that I've gotten it to the lowest red and then charged it back up. I do have the Applecare and it runs out on Christmas Eve, so if there's any battery problems (which I think there may be) it'll have to happen before then. It's disappointing to me because I take such good care of my stuff and wanted the battery to last a very long time, and that seemed to be working until recently.

Is it possible (although I don't feel it as much) that the HD could be damaged and spinning a lot more, which is draining the battery quicker? I'm not sure, and that outlet situation was strange.
 
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studogvetmed

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I wouldn't worry Kylo, from the sounds of things you HAVE taken very good care of your battery. If you are going on two years old and STILL getting 18 hours this is good.

I guess what I'm saying is that I think your battery is probably in very good health for it's age and use.

It could just be a mildly inaccurate meter. To refresh the meter you are suppose to drain the battery until shut off and charge her up. YOu may try another test in a week and see you might have squeezed some more time out of it, if you test let it go to completely dead would not play anymore.

That being said if you didn't let it go to dead, but I assume you did, that could be an extra hour or two right there.
 

kylo4

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You know what Stu? I read that some users after the 1.1.2 update have experienced shorter battery life. Is it at all possible that this is what's doing it or was that update only for 6 gens?
 

studogvetmed

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Some software updates in the past can either help optimize battery life or decrease it.

I heard no reports of 5th gen iPods having battery issues with the most recent 1.3 update for those iPods.

What I honestly think is that your iPod is going through it's normal battery life cycle. I think absolutely nothing is wrong with the potential loss in charge based on how I am interpreting you are using the iPod. Your battery is going on two years old and going strong, yeah it's not getting as much as it did to start with but batteries AGE, they lose charge over time and you can't prevent it, just slow it down, and from what I can tell you have done a great job of it.

Don't worry about it, but I don't think considering sneaking in a battery replacement if Apple will let you is out of the question while you are still under warranty. But I wouldn't rush it either.

Worry about a little less charge is taking away from your iPod enjoyment! Just enjoy it, kay? ;) 3rd gen iPod users would kill for an 18 hour charge ;) :D

Happy iPodding.
 
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