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Saturday, June 21, 2008

iPod classic owners can finally get a new battery (WITHOUT hurting their iPod!)

Ever since this past holiday season I've been the proud owner of an 80 gigabyte iPod classic. It's gone with me just about everywhere: why just tell people about things like Forcery and my famous school board campaign commercial when I can show it to them, too! In addition to those and thousands of songs I've also put a ton of movies (the entire Star Wars saga, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Batman Begins, Sweeney Todd, Transformers, UHF just to name a few), not to mention every episode of Lost, along with several clips from Sesame Street and individual Garfield and Friends cartoons. And hundreds of photos, too.

So yeah, my iPod classic has become an indispensable part of my mobile persona. And I haven't had to face the problem yet, but the eventual lessening of my iPod's battery charge has been on my mind, 'cuz I'm the kind of guy who likes to be able to keep using the things he invests in for a long time. Unfortunately like every other iPod ever produced, Apple has not allowed individual users to easily replace the batteries. Steve Jobs thinks it would ruin the look of the iPod (yeah well what about all the millions of dollars that his company could make from selling spare batteries?!). So in the past few years a cottage industry has arisen of companies that provide spare batteries and tools for owners to open the iPod and swap the battery out. One that is widely considered among the most reputable is Milliamp LTD's ipodjuice.com, and I've written about them before. Although I've yet to use their services, I know lots of iPod owners who swear by them.

All well and good... except that when it came time to roll out the iPod classic, Apple made it much harder to remove the case and replace the battery without severely damaging the iPod! Previous iPods could be easily opened with ipodjuice.com's iOpener tool. But the iPod classic's harsh internal locks chew up and spit out the plastic iOpener when its use is attempted.

It took them several months, but ipodjuice.com now has a way to safely replace the iPod classic's battery.

You can't do it yourself like previous iPod models, but you can send your iPod classic to ipodjuice.com. They will replace the battery and usually be able to quickly ship it back to you on the same day. Some folks have told me that turnaround time to either side of the country from the company's location in San Antonio, Texas is less than a week.

Like I said, I haven't used ipodjuice.com yet, and I don't own any stake in the company (and the only time I've been to San Antonio was when I drove down from Austin during my trip this past December). But since this is something that a lot of iPod classic owners have been frustrated with, I thought I'd do my part and spread the word that there is now some help out there if they ever need it :-)


Laura123 said...

i used them and they were great in every way. from the site, ordering, shipping, installation. 10 out of 10. Just wish they had a kit so we could do the install ourselves for the ipod classic but i have to fault apple for that decision. let us know when eventually get the battery replaced in your classic and if it plays longer.

Anonymous said...

changing your ipod battery isn't difficult -there are tons of videos on Youtube.

I replaced it myself.

Chris Knight said...

That's most likely previous versions of the iPod that it's talking about. It's the iPod classic that has been sold since fall of 2007 which is the problem: the case is held together with metal clips that make it *tough* to open traditionally. The design is so diabolical that it's foiled attempts to replace the battery until now.

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