Monday, January 30, 2006

[Technology] Cheap Multi-iPod Recharger

With the growing popularity of Apple's iPods, a booming field of iPod accessories has evolved. Unfortunately, most of these accessories tend to be on the expensive side since the logic goes that if one can afford an—expensive—iPod, then one can afford to pay a lot for it's accessories.

A main problem with iPods is their rechargeable batteries. They have proprietary batteries built in so you cannot just pop it out and replace it. Instead, you must pay a lot of money to have it shipped to Apple (or some other unauthorized third party) to replace it for a fee; some rechargeable. Even when the batteries are still good and can be recharged, there are not too many options on actually doing so.

Some people resort to purchasing expensive power adapters that allow you to plug an iPod into the wall to charge it. Most people just plug it into their computer.

There is another way, a way that allows you to charge the iPod anytime, anywhere without the need for a computer—just an electrical outlet—as well as being cheaper than an adapter: a powered USB hub.

The best way to charge an iPod is to purchase a USB hub. These are essentially USB splitters that allow you to daisy chain multiple USB devices into a computer. Using one of these you can simply plug the iPod's cable (or the iPod Shuffle itself) into the hub and plug the hub into an outlet. This has a few other benefits as well. Because you are using the hub only for charging (no data transfer), you do not need USB 2.0, so a cheaper 1.0/1.1 hub will do. Since the whole purpose of a hub is to allow multiple devices to connect, you can charge multiple iPods at the same time.

So instead of getting costly power adapters or using a whole computer, just get a single, small, inexpensive, USB hub to quickly and easily charge multiple iPods at the same time.

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