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Old 01-05-2008, 01:16 PM
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Andreas Andreas is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Norway
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Default Can I play music while charging through USB?

A lot of people are asking wheter or not you can somehow get players that charge through USB to charge while still being able to play back music. The short answer is no, however there is a possibility:
The reason why you can't play music while connected to a PC isn't a choice of the manufacturer. When connected, the computer is accessing the player's memory module, and so the player can't access it at the same time. There is no circumventing the fact that only one device can access the memory.

HOWEVER; there is still hope. Some players are able to play music while charging if there is no data transmission. There is a few ways to test if your player is one of those.

The simplest way is if your player has an option to charge only when connected. This is the same as just disabling data transfer and means that the two methods mention below should work as well. Another option is to try to dismount the player from the computer, normally done through the system tray USB icon or device manager. If you do this and let the player stay plugged in, its a chance it will charge while still being able to play.

One way is to buy a AC USB connector, which plugs into the AC outlet and gives you a data-free way of charging your player. Such adapters can be bought locally, or from online stores. These ones cost about 4 dollars shipped worldwide and they work well, and are available for most both european, UK and US outlets.

If that doesn't work, there is still a small hope, but it requires modifying a USB cable, so do this at your own risk. This method is confirmed to work on Cowon iAudio U2, which didn't respond to the AC adapter method.
USB cables have four wires, red, black, white, and green. Red and black is the two needed to provide charging. Some players, like the U2, disables playback while charging if the white and green wires are even present, data transmission or not. So, the second method is simply do get a USB cable, carefully remove the outer insulation, and cut the green and white wire. Some people have achieved similar results by not fully inserting the USB cable, but that is not a advisable method. If the player uses any normal form of cable, like Mini USB B, getting a spare cable shouldn't be difficult to get your hands on. For proprietary cables it could be harder (more expensive), but commiecat suggested buying a USB extension cable and do the mod to that instead, which is a great solution if you don't want to ruin the synch cable.

If neither of these methods work, and the player don't have it's own charge port (like the Cowon D2, Sony PSP etc), it can't be done without a firmware update to allow it.

List of players to work or not work (please help add more):
Cowon iAudio D2: Included charger only
Cowon iAudio U2: Cable mod only
Creative Zen V (plus): Wall charger, ?
Sansa Connect: "Charge only" option
iRiver Clix 2: "Charge only" option
Microsoft Zune: "Charge only" option

Additional information provided by Commiecat, ZenChick, Almoxil and EnzoTen
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