I keep killing iPods (three of them within the last month)

**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.

Any thoughts?


Probably, you’re just at the far end of the bell curve. With millions of ipods in circlation somebody has to be the guy who gets an improbable amount of failures. It sounds like you’ve just had bad luck.

I’ve had multiple ipods over the last 10 years and they’ve all worked perfectly till the battery gave out/I upgraded. Even the one that got run over by a car when i dropped it. Screen was cracked, but it still worked perfectly much to my suprise.

I’m not familiar with iPods: is the cable the kind that just transmits sound (i.e. it plugs into the headphone jack), or is it also used for power/charging or data?

The cable is for power/charging.