If it used to light up before and after a couple of years use it just stopped...it is possible that it burned out. Happened to my laptop. Google "ipod repairs" and get a link to authorized repair centers that replace screen. Some will trouble shoot it for you and if the part isn't needed you won't be charged. If the part is needed, they provide it and if you hurry...you won't be charged for labor. They have a promotion going on right now! Good luck!!
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1. try holding in the center and menu buttons for a few minutes/seconds and see if the apple logo pops up
2. if you have a warranty you should be able to send it back free of charge and get it fixed.
3.if you dont have the warranty i think you can send it back with a 20-40 dollar fee
Usually that's a battery issue. They die after a while., faster (I've discovered) if you charge it exclusively through the USB port... it doesn't have enough voltage. You can get the battery replaced for around $60. I've gotten mine replaced through Vaxtex, and all is well. They also sell the high-voltage (9.5v) chargers that will extend your battery life. Apple will also replace the battery, but they usually just do a replacement with refurbished equivalent... all your settings, songs, and customizations will go away... not something I wanted to deal with.
Press the middle key and menu key at the same time until the apple screen comes on. This will reset your settings but usually when my iPod does something funky like that I just do that and it's fine. If that doesn't work, contact your local Apple store.