iPod battery & iPod battery kit


The only thing that appears to have marred the wonderful hype of Apple’s iPod is the digital music player’s battery life. Some people were stunned that batteries actually have a limited shelf life. The more sensible argued that the trouble is that you couldn’t swap an old, dying or dead iPod battery for a nice new one, like you can in a torch, Walkman or drumming bunny. Apple has made the iPod impenetrable to its users.

Eventually after a few close calls with the lawyers, Apple started offering battery-replacement programmes, costing from £49 via an Apple Store or authorised reseller. There are also a few third-party solutions available, two of which we have here.

Sonnet technologies offers a range of high-capacity replacement batteries for first, second, third and fourth-generation iPods and the iPod mini. All the required tools are included (a couple of thick plastic levers), as is a detailed installation instruction video on CD.

iPodStop also offers battery replacements – available online and from Micro Anvika – for 3G and 4G iPods and iPod minis, with plans for photo, nano and shuffle support in early 2006. All come with the required tools and printed instructions. You can also watch an installation video at www.ipodstop.co.uk; it’s slightly clearer, if briefer, than Sonnet’s video.
Replacing the battery in an old and now rather feeble 3G iPod was initially scary but quite easy – it’s a good idea to watch the video a few times before starting. After a full recharge and a hard-disk Restore for good measure, my revitalised iPod kept pumping out the music for over seven hours: a great improvement over its previous state, although hardly the 14 hours promised by the latest models.

Both companies claim that their replacement batteries deliver much more juice than the original iPod batteries. Sonnet says its replacement batteries for the first and second-generation iPods boosts power by nearly 80 per cent, 3G by 30 per cent, and mini by up to 50 per cent. iPodStop says that its 3G replacement boasts up to 35 per cent more power than the battery that first shipped with this model.

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