My 4th Generation iPod is getting on a bit and as with all rechargeable batteries that get such heavy use, the lifespan between charges was dwindling. You can send iPods back to Apple for replacements, but this costs a not insubstantial amount of money (it’s in the ’why not just save a little more for a new iPod territory).
What you can also do is buy a third party battery for about £20 and fit it yourself. Being the enthusiastic-come-stupid sort, this is the option I went for. Another advantage of fitting your own is that you’ll find many third party batteries have a higher capacity than the original iPod battery. Being a sucker for big numbers I bough a High Capacity battery, rated 1200mAh over the original iPod’s 630mAh. Theoretically that’s a 90% improvement in battery life that finally drags the iPod 4G into the > 20 hour range that its competitors held.
Instructions on how to do it are a little limited (MDS Battery link to text-only PDF instructions which are useful, but not exactly easy). With this in mind I took a number of photographs as I went along and have documented them as best I can on Flickr.
Having successfully transplanted my iPod battery I have this to say: Don’t do it unless you’re comfortable messing about in electronics, have a steady hand and are willing to risk breaking your iPod. It’s fiddly, takes patience and isn’t really ‘consumer friendly’ (but then, we knew that when we bought iPods in the first place).
With that in mind, take a look at my iPod Autopsy Set on Flickr. Usual ‘don’t blame me if you break it’ disclaimers apply but I’ll happily try to answer questions here and on Flickr for the curious.