iPod Family

Paying attention to just a few commonsense pointers will pay off with a longer battery lifespan and battery life for your iPod. The most important thing is to keep your iPod out of the sun or a hot car (even the glove box). Heat will degrade your battery’s performance the most.

Some Terms You Need to Understand

“Battery life” means the time your iPod will run before it must be recharged (sometimes this is also called “playtime” or “runtime”). “Battery lifespan” means the total amount of time your battery will last before it must be replaced.

iPod Temperate Zone. Your iPod works best from 32° to 95° F. You should store it in environments of -4° to 113° F. That’s 0° to 35° C and -20° to 45° C for the metrically inclined. Keeping your iPod as near room temperature as possible (72° F or 22° C) is ideal.

Update to the Latest Software

Always make sure your iPod has the latest software from Apple, as engineers may find new ways to optimize battery performance. For instance, early iPod models without a dock connector benefit from update 1.3 or later. Using iTunes 7.4 or later, you can update your iPod with the latest software. Put your iPod in its dock or plug it into your computer and iTunes will notify you if an update is available.

Use iPod Regularly

For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month. If you use your iPod infrequently (gasp), you might want to add a reminder to your calendar program.

Extend Your Battery Life

If you want to extend the battery life of your iPod for any given charge cycle, you may conserve power by following these tips.

Hold and Pause

It may seem obvious, but set the Hold switch when you aren’t using your iPod. This will prevent iPod controls from inadvertently waking up iPod and using unnecessary power. Also, if you are not listening to iPod, pause it, or turn it off by pressing the play button for two seconds.

Long-Term Storage

If you don’t plan on using your iPod touch for more than three weeks, Apple recommends that you store it with the battery charged between 50%-75% and the device completely turned off, not just put to sleep. If you store it when the battery is fully discharged, it could fall into a deep discharge state, which renders it incapable of holding any charge. Conversely, if you store it fully charged for an extended period of time, the battery may experience some loss of battery capacity, meaning it will have a shorter life. Be sure to store your device at the proper temperature. (See “iPod Temperate Zone.”)

Optimize Your Settings

There are a few features that use your iPod battery more quickly. If you don’t use these features, your iPod will play tunes longer.

Settings for iPod touch

  • Adjust brightness: Dimming the screen is another way to extend battery life. Go to Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper and drag the slider to the left to lower the default screen brightness.
  • Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi consumes power even if you are not using its features to connect to a network. Try to avoid connecting to busy, public Wi-Fi networks (such as campuswide networks) when a private network is available (such as in your home or your dorm). Or turn Wi-Fi off to save power. Go to Settings > General > Network > Wi-Fi.
  • Turn off push mail: If you have a push mail account on iPod touch such as Yahoo! or Microsoft Exchange, turn off push mail when you don’t need it. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Fetch New Data and set Push to Off. Messages sent to your push email accounts will now be received on your iPod touch based on the global Fetch setting rather than as they arrive.
  • Fetch new data less frequently: Applications on iPod touch such as Mail can be set to fetch data wirelessly at specific intervals. The more frequently email or other data is fetched, the quicker your battery may drain. To fetch new data manually, from the Home screen choose Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Fetch New Data and tap Manually. To increase the fetch interval, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Fetch New Data and tap Hourly. Note that this is a global setting and applies to all applications that do not support push services.
  • Turn off push notifications: Some apps from the App Store use the Apple Push Notification service to alert you about new data. Apps that rely on push notifications extensively (such as instant messaging apps) may affect battery life. To disable push notifications, go to Settings > Notifications and disable notifications for select apps. Note that this does not prevent new data from being received when the app is opened. Also, the Notifications setting is not visible if you don't have any apps installed that support push notifications.
  • Minimize use of Location Services: Apps that actively use Location Services, such as Maps, may reduce battery life. To disable Location Services, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services or use Location Services only when needed.

Settings for iPod nano and iPod classic

  • Equalizer: Adding EQs to playback uses more of your iPod processor, since they aren’t encoded in the song. Turn EQ off if you don’t use it. If, however, you’ve added EQ to tracks in iTunes, you’ll need to set EQ to “flat” in order to have the effect of “off,” because iPod keeps your iTunes settings intact.
  • Backlight: Setting the backlight to “always on” will significantly reduce your battery life. Use the backlight only when necessary.

Maximize Your Memory

iPod plays music out of a solid-state memory cache to provide skip-free playback and maximize battery life. iPod spins its hard drive to fill this cache, which uses power. A couple of factors affect how often this happens, and if you minimize these factors, you’ll extend battery life.

  • Limit Fast-Forwarding: If you fast-forward through your playlist, iPod has to fill its cache more frequently, thus accessing the hard drive more often and using more power. This decreases overall battery life. By creating great playlists in iTunes that cater to your personal taste, you can decrease your need to fast-forward. Using the shuffle feature may also help to minimize your use of the fast-forward feature.
  • Use Compressed Songs: The iPod cache works most efficiently with songs of average file sizes (less than 9MB). If your audio files are large or uncompressed (including AIFF or WAV format), you may want to compress them, or use a different compression method, such as AAC or MP3, when importing them into iTunes. Also, consider breaking very long songs or tracks into shorter tracks that have smaller file sizes. If you encode your music at 128 Kbps, your iPod will fill its cache about every 25 minutes.