capsule review

BTI iPod Battery

At a Glance
  • Battery Technology, Inc. BTI iPod Battery

    Macworld Rating

This rechargeable, lithium-ion battery pack for iPods with a dock connector significantly lengthens your iPod's play time. The company claims you'll get up to an additional 40 hours' of playback, but we connected the fully charged iPod Battery to a fully-discharged iPod mini, enabled repeat mode, and then pressed play. Ninety hours later--yes, 90--the iPod mini was still playing. Granted, we weren't skipping tracks frequently or using the backlight, both of which use battery power more quickly, but we suspect that even with such actions, you'll get much more than the advertised 40-hour battery life. (And our mini is full of 160 Kbps AAC files; if you rip your CDs using the stock 128 Kbps setting in iTunes, you may get better results, as the iPod's battery-saving cache can hold more music at lower bit rates.)

You connect the battery to your iPod's dock connector; if you don't have your own iPod case, the iPod Battery comes with clip-on plastic cradles that hold any compatible iPod, including the mini, snugly against it. (This is almost necessary, as the cable is fairly short. We would have liked the option of a longer cable so we could keep our iPod and the iPod Battery separate in our travel bag.) Like all external battery packs, the iPod Battery can't charge your iPod--it only provides power. But we haven't seen another accessory that lets you stray farther, or stay away longer, from your AC outlet or FireWire port. --Dan Frakes

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Provides longer battery life to dock-connector iPods

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