iPod touch power and sleep modes

Q: I have an iPod Touch and have found that when I shut it down while listening to music, the song doesn’t auto-resume when I turn it on again. My other iPods all feature auto-resume. Is this feature not a part of the Touch or is there a way to enable it?

– Joel

A: In reality, the situation here is that the iPod touch isn’t really designed to be turned completely OFF under normal usage conditions. Instead, the normal approach is to simply put the device into “sleep” mode with a single press of the button on the top. This is equivalent to the only real “off” mode that is available on the traditional iPod devices, and will preserve the “Now Playing” queue and the playback position.

However, with the iPod touch, if you press the sleep button while a track is currently playing, it will simply turn the display off and keep playing the current track. If you want to effectively put the device completely to sleep, then you have to stop playing the current track manually before putting the device into sleep mode.

Unlike the traditional iPods, however, the iPod touch also offers an additional mode that allows you to turn the power off completely. This is accomplished by holding down the sleep/wake button for a few seconds and then sliding the “Power Off” slider on the touch screen. This shuts the power down completely, which is roughly equivalent to turning off your desktop computer. There is no equivalent mode to this on the traditional iPod models. Returning from this mode is essentially a complete “cold restart” of the iPod touch, and since this is a full reboot, you’re essentially starting fresh with no “Now Playing” queue or stored current playback position in a given track.

Obviously the full power-off mode is more effective for long-term storage, and would be marginally better for the overall battery life. However, even in sleep mode, very minimal power is consumed when the device is not actually playing a track, and features such as the WiFi transceiver are also disabled in this mode to conserve power even further. There is therefore rarely a need to turn the iPod touch completely off unless you are either not going to be using it for an extended period of time, or unless you simply need to reset the device for some reason.

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