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care and feeding of an iPod - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
November 9th, 2006
05:23 pm

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care and feeding of an iPod
As much as a source of documentation for myself as for you people out there that may or may not exist on the other side of the screen:

Over the past day or two, I've noticed that my iPod (60GB, w/Video) was sitting at the boot screen (the one with the chrome apple on a black background) while plugged in to the Mac. Looking inside iTunes, I noticed that the iPod wasn't recognized as being connected. I tried resetting the device a few times (toggle the hold button on top on and off, followed by holding the "MENU" part of the click wheel while simultaneously holding the center button), which would drop me to some monochrome version of the boot screen, followed by a monochrome charging display, followed about a minute later by the boot screen again.

Googling around, I found http://www.ipodbatteryfaq.com/ which told me a little bit I already knew.

It then led me here: http://www.apple.com/support/

That took me through pretty much the same steps that I had been doing, so I kept clicking on the "No, this step didn't solve the problem" links on the bottom of the page. The last, most terrifying step was to "restore" my iPod, which told me to connect my iPod up, and then iTunes would recognize it. No, sorry - that's the problem. If I could walk that way, I wouldn't NEED the talcum powder.

Clicking at random, I came across this page: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93936

This identified that my battery was very low (which I sort of suspected from the monochrome graphics, also the fact that the graphics indicated that it was charging), and there was a suggestion to try charging from a wall adaptor. I'm not sure if I even have a dedicated power cable for that device, but after a while I recalled that I have an adaptor I got for my iPod shuffle that has a USB socket on one side and an AC plug on the other. Just the thing for charging a USB device.

Leaving it plugged into the wall for a half hour or so seemed to be enough to get it bootstrapped back into a mode where it would reach the menu. I proceeded to plug it back into the Mac, where it was happy to sync up again, and it seemed to be charging happily, as well.

I'm a little perplexed that I could discharge the thing so far that it couldn't be charged by a USB connection to the Mac, but it seems to be working again, so as long as I can remember to try charging it from the wall, I should be OK. And I was worried that I might get on a plane in 8 days and not have music to accompany me. Or - practically as bad - only have 1 GB of music. How did people live in those times?

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[User Picture]
From:celisnebula
Date:November 10th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
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Or - practically as bad - only have 1 GB of music. How did people live in those times?

*Sticks tongue out at you*

Gee... I dunno, it would be soo hard to survive on less than 1GB of music (as I look at my lovely 512MB MP3 player).
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:November 10th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
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"In my day, we only had 512MB players! Because the Kaiser took all the Gigabytes! We called them 'Victoryolas!' But we were proud to have them!

But nobody had invented music yet, so all we had were Edison's crappy spoken word wax cylinders to listen to. BORING. That man is good in the lab, terrible in the studio."


Hm, looking at my small-by-design MP3 device, it has a mixture of music and NPR podcasts, which compress a lot better. The thing looks like it can fit around 40 hours of content with its current kind of use. If I could handle a podcast-heavy list, and not care about a user interface, maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

I think the iPod shuffle works fine when I'm not far away from my computer - if I find I'm in the mood for something different than what's on there, I can just repopulate it. But when travelling, when I most want the security blanket of my chosen playlist, I find a larger selection suits me much better.

Not that I plan to listen to 1800 hours of music at a go, but it gives me the illusion of control over some part of my environment as I'm sitting waiting for the plane that should be at the gate, but hasn't yet left its last stop because of weather.



[User Picture]
From:celisnebula
Date:November 10th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Considering you're the same age as me... I now feel vaguely old now.
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:November 10th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC)
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Then my work here is done.
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From:abbeyrd
Date:November 10th, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
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Huh, how odd. I've never run into this problem, but that's probably because I always charge mine by plugging it in a wall outlet - I still have the massive plug that attaches to the Firewire cable from my 4G iPod.
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From:tsmaster
Date:November 10th, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
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One thing I think I vaguely knew that the above research turned up, is that the best thing for your battery life is to use the device until there's no battery charge, and then recharge it. (What Grampa LeCompte would have described as "I paid for the whole saw, use the whole thing".)

Lithium Ion batteries age up to 40% faster when they're fully charged than when they're discharged - so my practice of keeping the thing attached to my Mac when not in use is like a diet of deep fried bacon for the thing.

Mmmm. Bacon.
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From:stellthebell
Date:November 10th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that's one of the quirks of the iPod. Long stretches of inactivity tend to send my Minis into a coma, only to be awakened by a charge of the wall adapter (even if it shows a full charge via USB). Very strange.
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:November 10th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
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Long stretches of inactivity tend to send my Minis into a coma

I get that way, myself, sometimes.
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