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Expected battery life in 5G 30G Video Ipod?

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by guzziguy, Oct 4, 2006.
  1. guzziguy

    I have a 5G 30G Video Ipod. I keep all music files on it in Apple Lossless format. I can only listen to about 3 hours of music until the battery is discharged. [​IMG] That's going from fully charged. I only push buttons (thus causing the LED to light up) enough to play two playlists.

    Is this the expected battery life? Apple talks about getting up to 13 hours. I realize that's a best case scenario with no lights and using a highly compressed music format, but I'm really surprised at how little time between needing charges that I get. Do I have a bad battery maybe? Or is this expected?

    Thanks for your advice.
  2. cire
    how old is the ipod?
  3. zip22
    does it turn off, or are you just looking at the battery meter?
  4. guzziguy

    Originally Posted by cire
    how old is the ipod?

    I got the Ipod in April. It was a "10 years Anniversary" gift from my company. It's also what got me into Head-Fi. I've spent a lot since then due to my "free" Ipod. It's like drugs, "the first time is free".


    Originally Posted by zip22
    does it turn off, or are you just looking at the battery meter?

    I must admit that I was following the battery meter when I composed the original thread. However, it wasn't enough to do a round trip from Santa Barbara to Tucson via Phoenix last month. It did turn off in no more than 4 hours.
  5. feh1325
    you can change the settings so the backlight never turns on
  6. cire
    was the battery life always this poor, or is this happening just now?
  7. guzziguy

    Originally Posted by cire
    was the battery life always this poor, or is this happening just now?

    Pretty much always. I went immediately to Apple Lossless format.
  8. kenleekenlee

    Using Apple Lossless is akin to playing video constantly. The 5g iPods only have 32 MB RAM as a playback buffer. An average song's (3:30~4:00) filesize is about 30-35 MB, and you can see this for yourself with whatever file management you use. Since the iPod can only buffer one song at a time (and sometimes not even one), the player is forced to utilize the hard-drive constantly in order to keep the buffer full.
    If you were to use the mp3 file format, the file sizes are almost an order of magnitude smaller than the lossless files, meaning the buffer can hold many, many more songs. By buffering "more" music, the hard-drive spins less often, reducing the strain on the battery.
    Try this little experiment: Put a few mp3 files on your iPod and run it down fully, noting the time. Then, repeat with a few lossless files, and note the time. For kicks, you could also load up a video or two on continuous playback and note the time.
  9. guzziguy
    Update on battery life. Last week I was able to go about 6 hours using an LOD and playing through an amp. So I can only think of two possible reasons why it played for only about 3 hours on my trip:

    1. I didn't fully charge the iPOD before leaving on the trip. I thought that I did, but ...

    2. On the trip, I didn't use an amp because I was too worried that TSA would confiscate my semi-pro built Pimeta. Maybe the extra draw of the internal amplifier could explain the difference. Of course, this assumes that the draw is different depending on whether the line out or earphone out is used.

    I think that 6 hours for Apple lossles and occasional backlight on is reasonable. So I won't worry about this any more. If it becomes a problem, I'll sell this one and get a new 80G.
  10. pds6
    kenleekenlee says:

    Put a few mp3 files on your iPod and run it down fully

    guzziguy, kenleelkenlee is right on! Rip a half dozen albums to 128bit mp3. This will take no more than an hour.

    Do you own a separate iPod charger? If yes, fully charge with the iPod charger. Otherwise, full charge off your computer (some computers may have a problem fully charging the iiPod).

    Once fully charged, take off any backlight and place all the mp3 files on a playlist and hit repeat. Check 8 hours later. If it is not still running, you may need a battery.

    Good Luck

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