Extend the Life of Electronic Gear
Preventives and cures for ailing gadgets; plus, save-it-or-scrap-it analysis tips.
Your iPodAverage life span: Two to three years.
Preventive medicine: Protect an iPod with a hard rubber case. Inspired by those dancing ads on TV? Lest you jar your player senseless, keep it on an armband. The battery will last longer if you let it run down completely once a month before recharging, says Shannon Jean, founder of TechRestore, a repair service in Concord, California. This ensures 12 to 18 months of play before the battery must be replaced.
Most common ailment: You try to tune in and your personal sound track drops out.
Diagnosis and treatment: If your iPod plays dead, try reloading the playlist. (You have a backup file of the playlist, right?) Keep the hard drive running smoothly by updating the software (go to apple.com). If your iPod isn’t responding at all, the hard drive may be broken. Replacing it could cost more than buying a new player.
When to pull the plug: A pre-2002 iPod (identifiable by the raised scroll wheel) that has no sign of life is not worth fixing, says Jean. You’ll get more for your money by upgrading to a new model. A later-addition iPod merits salvaging, but not if a repair estimate tops $100.
Next: Your Cell Phone
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