educate me about my ipod

I recently acquired a used ipod when someone left one at my job. (I turned it in, and after two weeks went by and no one claimed it from the front desk, it was given back to me).
Anyway…the first time I pressed any of the buttons I briefly saw a message displayed about the battery being dead. So I picked up a USB cord, which, according to everything I’ve read, should not only allow me to synch the ipod but also to charge the ipod.
So I’ve plugged the cord into the ipod and the other end into the usb port on my PC.
Nothing happens, at all. It’s as if I didn’t even plug it in–the PC doesn’t see a new usb device, the ipod doesn’t charge, nothing. I’ve tried it on two different PCs with t he same result. I’m not discounting the possibility that there’s something wrong with the unit, but I’m woefully ignorant of all matters ipod related and was hoping someone could give me some advice.

Once you figure out how to charge it (or borrow a friends charger), If you’re still in ‘I’d like to return it to the rightful owner’ mode:

Click Menu
Click Settings
Click About

The original owner who lost it may have put their name in it. Or you could email the serial number to Apple & ask them to notify the person who’s misplaced it.

I’m not sure if it charges over USB, but it will definitely charge over Firewire. You can buy a Firewire card for your PC, or if you have a Mac it probably already has a a spot.

I’ve seen some that will not charge via USB unless iTunes is installed on the PC. I have no idea though, if that’s an issue between different versions of iPods, or different versions of operating systems and USB ports.

Firewire does seem to be able to charge regardless of software or OS.

Yep, won’t charge over USB, you’ll need Firewire, or a plug in wall charger from Apple.

Also if you don’t have the original PC with the songs loaded on iTunes, I am pretty sure you won’t be able to add additional songs to this one, unless you wipe the whole iPod and start from scratch.

So given it’s of somewhat limited use to you as it is now, it might nice to email the serial number to Apple, as all iPod users have to register with Apple and they may be able to reunite it with a grateful owner - I know I would be, and I’d make it worth your while. YMMV.

thanks for the help…I hadn’t thought about tracking the owner by serial number.
I have a PC and no Firewire card, but I do have itunes installed and it didn’t seem to make any difference.

Won’t charge over USB? Is that for all iPods, or just the “large” ones (20GB+)?

I am positive my iPod Mini charges with USB. It didn’t come with a wall adapter or FireWire, and I have successfully charged it with the USB cord.

Now, won’t charge with USB1.0…that is a possibility.

Not all iPod users have to register with Apple. I’ve had mine for a couple of months now and not done so. I do not have the internet at home and can not install programs at work. Though the person’s name may very well be on the iPod under the Settings>About.

I don’t think USB 1.0 provides enough electricity over the wire to charge an iPod.

I own a 40 GB iPod purchased within the last 9 months, and it can be charged via the USB. I generally charge it using the separate charger, but when it is USB connected the battery indicator shows the unit charging.

That may be true. I have USB 2.0 board.

My 20gig Generation 3 clickscreen iPod only charges with Firewire- USB 2.0 does information transfer only. Since it’s more or less the “standard” run-of-the-mill iPod, chances are relatively high that this is the same model. I don’t know why it works that way.

I have found my 3G iPod i bought from the apple strore, before the HP/PC models were offered, itdoes not charge via USB.

My friend has a 4G iPod that was the HP iPod and it does charge through USB.

Maybe this has something to do with it.

This is an iPod with the Dock connector, right? Did you get a USB-only cable, or a USB/FireWire combination cable? The latter will only charg through the FireWire port. I’m not too sure about the USB-only cable.

My 4G iPod charges quite happily from a USB connection. However, if the battery is completely dead, the computer won’t recognise it; in this case, you need to connect it to a mains charger.

Usb 1.0, USB1.1, USB2.0 all have 5V upto 500mA. It could be less than 500 mA if you have a hub inbetween.

It is a 10 G ipod with a dock connector…I got a cable with the dock connector on one end and the usb connector on the other. The clerk at the store assured me that was all I would need; the package says it will charge over a ‘fast USB connection’ , whatever that means.

I get no indicator light or anything at all when I hook it up to my PC though.

Can you explain this further? I am looking at buying an IPOD with several hundred songs preloaded on it. Are you stating that I canot synch my current Itunes with this IPOD I plan on purchasing?


I’m a new owner, so keep that in mind.

I took my iPod over to a friend’s place and wanted to play a song. We connected it up to the Mac, and there was a warning askig if I wanted to delete the playlists on the iPod and replace them with the ones on the computer. Obviously, I said no! You can turn off the auto-update by going into iTunes and choosing ‘update manually’.

I remember this from when I bought a new computer and had to transfer the songs across -
Apple say that you can’t transfer songs from the iPod library to iTunes on the new computer, but you can use the iPod as a hard disk to transfer music files from one computer to another - but this needs to be set up before you buy it from them - basically by wiping the iPod and storing the iTunes library as another sort of file, then reimporting them onto the iPod from the new computer.

So officially it can’t be done unless as above (or perhaps another work around some techie has come up with). Other thing I can suggest is posting this question on a forum like MacAddict or Macworld and see if someone there has a bright idea.