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Old 25th October 2007, 04:08 PM   #1
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Angry My Experience with the Latest iPods

Basically I've gone through 3 iPod Classics in less than 3 weeks.

Two weeks ago I purchased an Apple iPod Classic with 80GB hard drive from Circuit City, last night I returned it because to my more than considerable chagrin either the battery or power management/charging circuitry had failed.

Symptoms: I got home the other night and discovered the battery was as dead as a doornail. I charged it until the iPod indicated that the battery was fully charged, but the next morning it was completely dead. I left the unit locked in the off mode so I know it was not inadvertently left playing videos all night.. (One possible cause of dead battery.)

Circuit City was very gracious about the return and I upgraded to the 160GB version simply because the 80GB was out of stock.. I was concerned enough that I also bought the extended warranty for $60 extra which allows you to replace an ailing iPod for free over a 2 yr period after the initial purchase.

I got home and started to reload my music and didn't get very far because I could hear very loud squeaking coming from the HD during seeks, reads and writes. I returned this one immediately, requiring another 12 mile round trip.

The last one I picked up seems to work ok, but frankly I can't recommend the 160GB model to anyone. It has definite performance issues - cover flow subjectively loads slower than on the classic with 80GB, and there is much more noise and vibration when the 160GB drive is running than ever was the case with the 80GB. I really liked the first one, but this one leaves me luke warm.

This model apparently has performance issues that the 80GB didn't. I ripped a bunch of cds using Apple Lossless and because of the large file size playback isn't gapless anymore, and the drive takes agonizingly long to spin up compared to the smaller one. I am not sure the smaller one even had this problem with lossless files. (I don't recall it, but because of the smaller drive I was not ripping many cds using lossless.)

My last iPod was a first gen 5GB model which still works although the battery is pretty questionable at this point. (It's about 5 yrs old.) I thought the improvements compelling enough to upgrade, particularly with my Alpine car stereo system which is designed for use with the iPod.

I've totally lost my faith in Apple, and I am not even certain I am going to keep this iPod.
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Old 25th October 2007, 04:24 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Default Counterfeit Chargers on eBay

There is a certain seller on eBay who sells what are represented to be "Apple OEM" usb style chargers. They have the Apple logo embedded in the housing just like my original firewire charger does.

Including the shipping the unit came to half of what one purchased in an Apple store would cost, and it was quickly shipped.

The problem according to Apple is that there is no such thing as "Apple OEM" and this is an unauthorized knockoff. The charger in question has no serial number either whereas all Apple units do.

New Apple chargers are much smaller and do not have a logo on them, but they come in Apple packaging (I bought one in the Apple Store.) and come with an additional usb cable for your iPod. Newer iPods can tell that the charger plugs into an ac wall outlet so it is not just a dumb charger.

The real point of the story is that the cheap charger on eBay was bad, and the seller in question dis-honorable - I was not able to work out an acceptable deal for exchange or refund. Unfortunately I had also given him positive feedback prior to actually checking out the charger. Not the only mistake I made, I failed to read his terms, and had I done so I would not have bid. So all I can say is learn from my stupidity..

I would recommend you buy iPod accessories from an Apple Store as you know exactly what you are getting and the people are knowledgeable, attentive and pleasant. CC is also mostly ok in this regard, but their employees are not knowledgeable about the product and in some cases the Apple Store will be much cheaper for the same accessory or product.
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Old 26th October 2007, 04:43 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Latest update:
The 160GB iPod I picked up on Wednesday evening was dead as a door nail this morning when I went to use it.

The unit has the latest firmware version 1.02 and the common thread on this one and the 80GB unit I returned is that the night before in both cases I put the unit in locked mode (hold) to prevent accidental operation. I'm going to try it again with it not locked.

The other possible issue is last night is the first time I used it with my Alpine car stereo and that puts it in repeat mode. I will turn that off now and next time I use it in the car and see whether that has any bearing on the problem.

I am very unhappy about this.. A few more days and I will have to make a decision whether to return the unit.

Anyone at Apple listening? : This is unacceptable!!!


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Old 29th October 2007, 04:13 PM   #4
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Well I figured out that the Classic has a firmware bug which fully discharges the battery when the hold switch is in hold. It apparently doesn't happen when the switch is in the normal run position. Not wanting to carry on further battery wrecking experiments I didn't verify whether repeat mode plays a role or not - I just made sure repeat mode was off.

The above means I returned an otherwise perfectly good iPod for no reason and replaced it with one I am still getting used to.

The hard drive performance on my 160GB model seems to have improved slightly, but I could be deluding myself. There hasn't been any firmware update since 1.0.2 to account for any change. The difference is it does seem to spin up a bit faster, cover flow is a little more responsive (not a great improvement) and gaps with large apple lossless format files seem shorter.

I think I will probably keep this iPod, I did purchase a service contract from Circuit City which allows me to get a replacement iPod should this one fail during the next two years.

I will post again when the next firmware upgrade occurs or I have more news good or bad.
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by kevinkr
Well I figured out that the Classic has a firmware bug which fully discharges the battery when the hold switch is in hold. It apparently doesn't happen when the switch is in the normal run position. Not wanting to carry on further battery wrecking experiments I didn't verify whether repeat mode plays a role or not - I just made sure repeat mode was off.

<snip>
I will post again when the next firmware upgrade occurs or I have more news good or bad.

Cute theory - which unfortunately turned out to be groundless, when I got to the gym last night after using it for an hour or two during the day it was once again dead as a doornail. The worst thing about it is the battery gauge did not indicate anything was amiss until my iPod refused to power up at the gym.

Clearly there is a major firmware or some other issue going on. Hopefully it is not an actual hardware bug, but I have no way of knowing for sure. Anyone who buys one of these should definitely have a service contract with a replacement clause or return it post haste and wait for a fix.

I heard claimed battery life of up to 40 hrs in the press, I think it might be more like 20 if it worked properly, but right now 2 - 3 hours is about it.
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