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How Make Your IPod’s Life Longer

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Authored by Rob Clarke in Gadgets
Published on 05-09-2009

Apple’s iPod music player comes with a warranty of a single year, although they luckily last quite a bit longer than that. Recent tests have shown the system should last around three years, but this is highly dependent on the amount you use your player, how often you charge it and how well protected it is from everyday wear and tear. With Apples premier music player not exactly being the cheapest system on the market, what steps can you take to make yours last as long as possible?

The first tip is obvious, and the reason most people don’t follow this rule is due to fashion rather than ignorance. Find yourself a hard rubber case for your player. You might feel bad hiding the sleek design behind a lot of rubber and it might make the iPod larger and heavier, but it will seriously prevent damage from the everyday knocks and bumps the player will experience. In the same vein, it’s a good idea to use a wrist or belt strap if you plan to use the system while running. The added bonus of using these cases is that you avoid all the scratches that can build up on the screen and the back of the player.

These knocks might seem minor but over time they can develop into a hard drive failure, which is a common complaint amongst long term iPod users. Common sense is the best way to prevent hard drive damage. Don’t leave the system anywhere it’s like to fall off. Don’t pack the iPod into an empty bag where it will be flung around all day. If you have a car, make sure your iPod is secure when you are driving, not being knocked about in the glove compartment.

The most likely thing to go wrong with your iPod isn’t a hardware fault caused by wear and tear though, it’s the battery. By its very nature, the iPod’s battery has a limited amount of times it can be charged before it eventually runs dry. This will usually happen over time rather than suddenly and will generally only affect systems after at least a year of solid use. There are millions of tips in how to extend the battery life so your iPod will last longer on your next big journey, but there are also a few things you can do to keep the battery alive in the long term.

Keeping the iPod at a sensible temperature is one of the main things to be careful of. Leaving the system in direct sunlight or in a car on a sunny day can have serious affects on the batteries ability to function. Put the iPod to sleep when you are not using it by holding the play button until it turns off and charge the system every 14 to 18 days, even when it isn’t in use. You could also consider battery saving options like turning down the backlight or turning off Wi-Fi so you have to charge the system less often.

If, despite precautions, you find yourself with a sick iPod you have a few options. Many people will see this as time to upgrade to the latest model. With Apple showing no signs of slowing down through different generations of hardware, this might be worth considering. You could even get a small boost towards the purchase by selling your broken system on eBay. You can also considering repair although depending on the fault this can cost nearly as much as just buying a new player. Some faults like hard drive problems or broken screens can be repaired for quite a bit cheaper however and there are now specialist companies that can deal with these problems.

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