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Step 1: Your trusty iPod has been a close and reliable friend for a long time but one morning only the sound of air comes through the headphones. The likely culprit is a loose or broken headphone jack that is in need of repair. Rather than spend an exorbitant amount of money to have someone fix it you can easily make the repair on your own and have your iPod friend back. Read on to learn how to fix a broken headphone jack for a fifth generation 30GB or 60GB iPod video.
Open the iPod case with a small flathead screwdriver by slipping it under the centerline of the case. You will find a series of clips you have to release in order for the case to open up about an inch. Locate the headphone jack connection and verify that there are no broken wires. Fix broken wires quickly by twisting the wires back together and wrapping with electrical tape. Test the iPod for sound by connecting your headphones to the jack. Replace the wires completely if you find static coming from the iPod jack. Fold a business card twice so that it wants to unfold and slip it into the case over the blue sponge. This creates the pressure needed to hold the jack in place and allow a solid connection. Push the case together without engaging the clips on the side and test to make sure the jack is now working. Try a thicker business card or fold the first one again to get enough pressure onto the jack connection if the first card didn't fix the problem. Press the case fully together until the clips click into place. Use extra care when inserting your headset to ensure the jack remains in place. DigiExpress - iPod Video / iPod Classic Headphone Jack installation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXXgV6YNGkQ
This is a common problem with the headphone jack - if you google "ipod 30Gb headphone jack repair" there are both places that will replace the jack and places that will sell you the new "ribbon" connector and hold switch and jack (it's all one unit). If you're comfortable opening the iPod and have a TINY (#000) jeweler's philips head screwdriver you can replace the unit with no soldering. It helps if you have patience and small fingers and good light; you'll have to fasten the ribbon connector carefully. I paid under $10 for my last part but I've seen the same part for $30+, so caveat emptor. For that price they should put it in for you...
Try playing with the headphone plug, until you can also hear the right channel and also try a different set of headphones as it is probably a matter of an intermittent headphone jack, or plug, owing to sudden snatching of the headphone plug from same, a very common problem.
Eliminate this cause before submitting your Touch for much more expensive remedies
This is common among the 30gb Video iPods. If you play your iPod on a Dock, such as a iHome or other speaker device, for some reason, they like to take the Mainboard out. Normally, if it's a headphone jack, the problem will start with sound only playing on one side of the Headphones.
As a start, you can replace the headphone jack and see if it corrects your problem. If not, you will need to replace the mainboard in your iPod.
If the headphone jack of your iPod is no longer functioning, it can sometimes be repaired or replaced. The cost to repair or replace the headphone jack does vary depending on the iPod model, and if the product is still covered by the manufacturer's warranty or some kind of third-party coverage (such as the Best Buy Performance Service Plan, or PSP).
If you are unsure what kind of coverage your iPod currently has, I would first suggest contacting Apple directly for technical support or speaking with a Geek Squad® agent at your local Best Buy™ store for further assistance. Either of these parties should be able to provide you with a detailed diagnostic, as well as an estimate for repairs if you no longer have any kind of warranty or service plan coverage on the unit.
I agree with Solution 5. The copper pins in the jack that make the connection to your headphone plug are bent in such a way that they are springy and will make a good tight connection to the plug. When those copper connections get worn, they are not so springy and they bend inward causing you to lose audio on one side of your headphones unless you wiggle the plug and find that sweet spot that makes a connection. Then you have to hold the wire to keep pressure on it... it gets annoying.
You can open the case and there are slots in the headphone jack that you can get a hook scribe (like the dentists use) or safety pin to bent those copper connections back out. Don't bend them too far or they will break. You can also pick get a new part for $25 or a used part much cheaper. Once you iPod is open, it's a matter of a couple screws and a ribbon cable to replace the jack. Problem solved!
The headphone jack on all the apple products have issues (even their laptops). There is no easy fix, other than having the jack replaced, or remounted. A common issue is that it comes loose from the pc board, especially with the movement of the headphone cord. This is a design/functionality flaw.