**Short version: **Trusty 60GB iPod Classic dies. I Buy a new 160GB unit, which dies after a week. I return it for same, this one keels over after three weeks. I am systematically attempting to determine the causes of death.
Not-so-short version: I rolled the dice and bought a used 60GB iPod Classic on ebay. It worked fine for six months or so, then would not power on. I spent a significant amount of time troubleshooting before giving it up for dead.
Next I buy a new 160GB iPod. Cool, love it. It lasts a week until a big red X appears on the screen. No amount of resetting, etc. bring it back. So I return it and exchange it for the same model.
iPod 3 works beautifully. For three weeks. As I’m driving, listening to it plugged into my car stereo, it suddenly stops and the dreaded Red X of Death appears. I fiddle with it for a while, Googling for tips and answers, nothing works.
I try to return #3 but they have a 15-day return policy on electronics. I plan on bringing it to the Apple store this weekend.
Further info: I have a stand-alone charger/speaker system that I use to charge my pods. After the second failure I considered this as a possible cause so I did not charge #3 on this base at all. Of course, #3 failed too, so I don’t think it’s my charger/speaker unit.
I mostly use the iPod in my vehicle. I have a nice Kenwood receiver that is two years old. However, I have just recently realized that I have been using a cheap, eBay-bought cable to connect the iPods to the stereo. After thinking about this a bit, I’m pretty certain that I used this bootleg cable on all three now-deceased iPods.
So here’s where I’m at. I’ve eliminated the base/charger as a cause. I highly suspect the cheap-o cable. The only other causes I can imagine are the car stereo (seems very unlikely) or I simply got two bad units (also unlikely).
My plan is to exchange the device at the Apple store and be sure to use only the official Apple-supplied cable with the new iPod.