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My iPod is out of warranty (30gb older model) and recently one side of the audio dropped out.

If I manipulate the connector I can get both sides. The phones are not the issue - they work on all other devices.

The local Apple store was unhelpful.

Has anyone else had this issue and been able to fix it?

It appears just to be a mechanical connection in the jack.

it is the 5th gen ipod with video/color

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Have you tried a little bit of compressed air to make sure there isn't a dust bunny sitting in the headphone jack? – Chealion Oct 29 '10 at 20:04
yeah - did that. Even did the cotton swab with a little rubbing alcohol and spun it around in there. Nothing. – Tim Oct 29 '10 at 20:14
Have you tried another pair of headphones with the iPod? – sentinel Oct 29 '10 at 21:25
other headphones also have the same problem – Tim Nov 1 '10 at 13:40

I believe your iPod’s audio jack might be failing. If you really like your iPod and want to “repair it”, you can. Google for iPod 5th gen spare parts and you’ll find tons.

For exmaple: This one has a iPod 5g 30gb Audio Jack for $35. They also have the “right tools”. I have no experience with either, but I know people who has fixed iPhones and stuff like that by simply buying the pieces.

They claim:

Is the audio port / headphone jack of your 5th generation iPod Video only working out of one channel or the other? Are the plastics cracked or broken and your headphones held in place with duct tape? Order this part to replace your connector or open a repair order below and let our qualified technicians repair or replace your connector to get you back in stereo!

And they also offer a service where you can send the iPod and they will do it for you. Of course, there might be others that do the same.

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You can always order an actual new headphone jack replacement piece. That is how I fixed my first connector issue. However, the connection went back to only one side (maybe a year and a half later). I opened up the ipod and left it running with the headphones in the jack. The wires leaving the jack inside the ipod were the actual problem. I simply moved the wires until the audio played from both headphones and taped it into place. As of yet it is still working. It might be worth giving it a shot if the only other options are replacing the jack or the whole ipod.

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I just want to caution people that opening some iPods are tricky if you are not skilled at small device repair. It's doable and if you don't mind buying new if you break things it's actually quite educational, but do some reading on or another take apart site to know how well things fit back together before you decide to break open a device that's not intended for consumers to open. – bmike Nov 12 '12 at 14:47

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