written by: Ty Wingfoot•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 12/29/2010
If you own an iPod, it's good to know about its battery and the appropriate ways of charging it. Also, charging it appropriately will give you much better battery life.
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Charging Your iPod
iPods use a lithium-ion battery that has a long life because it has high power density and is packed in a light package. These batteries can be recharged whenever convenient. Lithium-ion batteries are charged very fast and they can be charged up to 80% of their capacity in roughly two hours and another two hours to fully charge, providing that you are not using the iPod at the charging time. You can charge these batteries a large number of times but these do not allow infinite charge cycles. Consuming a full battery and then recharging 100% of its capacity equals one complete charge cycle. A charge cycle doesn’t mean just a single charge but it actually means using all of the battery’s power. For example you may use your iPod for a few hours in a day using half of its power and then completely re-charge it. If you did the same thing another time, it will count as one full charge cycle and it can take several days to complete a cycle. The bad point of this battery, like any other battery, is that every time the charge cycle completes, the capacity of the battery to store a charge diminishes slightly.
When you buy an iPod, you will also get a charging cable and I would recommend you use this cable only. Of course you can use any other cable but using the Apple branded cables seems to charge the battery in slightly lesser time. To charge an iPod, the easiest method is to connect its Power Adaptor with the USB or FireWire cable. You can always disconnect and use your iPod before it is completely charged. Similarly, you do not have to wait for it to become fully empty before charging it again. To find out how much charge is left in the battery, look at the battery icon in the top-right corner of your iPod’s screen. When you charge the iPod and the battery icon does not animate, it indicates that the battery is fully charged. One of the good advantages of the lithium-ion battery is that it stops charging when it is full, so you do not need to worry about overcharging. This gives you the benefit of being able to leave your iPod plugged overnight for charging.
When you connect your iPod to a computer for charging, it will always charge as long as the computer is turned on and is not in sleep, hibernate or standby mode. If you want to charge the iPod’s battery using a portable computer, make sure that its display is open and that it is plugged into a power source. If your computer’s port does not provide electricity, the iPod will not charge. Generally, all the Macs and PCs provide electricity but if your computer’s FireWire port only has 4 pins then it will not provide electricity. And if there is a high-powered USB port on your computer, it can also charge the iPod. Once the battery becomes fully charged, it is always good to disconnect the iPod from computer.