android
  #1  
Old 01-05-2008, 02:16 PM
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Andreas Andreas is offline
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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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  #2  
Old 01-20-2008, 11:35 PM
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Muffinwalker Muffinwalker is offline
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It might be good to point out that modern airport terminals often offer powered USB ports with which to charge electronics. There are no data cables connected to the ports, only +5VDC and -GND. If you can play music while charging off the modified USB cable or from an AC USB adapter, there is a high chance that you can also listen to music while charging and waiting for your flight.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2008, 03:32 PM
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rubennyc rubennyc is offline
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Excellent FAQ thread idea, just thought I'd chime in on how the TrekStor vibez handles this.

Out of the box with production firmware 1.04, the vibez will by default connect to Windows XP/Vista in MTP mode. In this scenario, you can charge and still listen to it at the same time. But, as the good Captain mentions above, this only lasts as long as there is no data transfer. Once you start a sync process, then it won't let you listen again until you disconnect.

With the latest beta firmware 1.15, there is a new "Transfer Mode" menu option that lets you choose between Automatic, MTP, MSC or Charge Only.

There is no way to listen and charge at the same time if it connects in MSC mode. I'm pretty sure this is true with all MSC/UMS devices as the computer's operating system takes over exclusive control over the drive.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:50 PM
AaronTee AaronTee is offline
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Thanks for the tips. Rather than chop up one of my USB cords I wondered if a simple piece of paper could cut off the data connection. I did some quick Google research to figure out that the two outer pins carry the power (#1 = +5V, #4 = ground). So I cut a very thin piece of paper just wide enough to cover the two middle pins and long enough to fold over and hold with my thumb. Holding the paper carefully, I connected the USB port and my Zen Micro worked like a charm.

I would have never guessed to do this with out you. Thanks
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:26 PM
palamnaeus palamnaeus is offline
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Talking Windows XP fix

There is also a software way of severing data transfer. Just disable your device from the device manager. For example, my Zen V plus will be listed under "Portable Devices" (right click on "my computer", choose "manage", go to "device manager" and you'll see "portable devices" there). Right click on the "Creative Zen V Plus" and choose "disable". Et voila! The player will still charge but you can listen to your music.
I've only tried it under XP, but my guess is that you can do the same thing under Vista. Which I'll try to avoid. Too much Vista will kill you.
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  #6  
Old 05-20-2008, 07:46 PM
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yuki yuki is offline
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Sony A81x and A71x only charge through USB, require dock or charger accessories from sony to charge and play...

Oddly enough the Nokia 5300 will let you transfer music and play at the same time through the usb port....
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2009, 08:14 PM
Isaac Dupree Isaac Dupree is offline
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When my laptop is suspended to RAM (a.k.a. sleeping), I can plug in the USB and get charging and playing at the same time (Sansa Clip with Apple Macbook2,1). Of course you can't use your computer at the same time :-), and luck may vary with different DAP and/or computer
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  #8  
Old 11-16-2010, 08:20 AM
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Urne Urne is offline
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I can report that Samsung P2 is able to play music while charging as well. When it is only in "charging" mode, it is possible to turn it on and do whatever you like. In "PC Mode" this is not possible tho. You can access "Charging mode" through an AC USB connector. Some laptops also support power charging USB devices connected through one of the USB ports (ex. Zepto 3415W).
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2010, 03:39 PM
VasZaitsev VasZaitsev is offline
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my Creative X-fi does it too, but, that thing has an will of its own...

It only recharges[i can't transfer files] when i connect it to my primary pc, and then it can play music, if i connect him to my second pc, i can transfer files en recharge it, but i cannot listen to music...
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2010, 10:54 AM
chuckofalltrades chuckofalltrades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronTee View Post
Thanks for the tips. Rather than chop up one of my USB cords I wondered if a simple piece of paper could cut off the data connection. I did some quick Google research to figure out that the two outer pins carry the power (#1 = +5V, #4 = ground). So I cut a very thin piece of paper just wide enough to cover the two middle pins and long enough to fold over and hold with my thumb. Holding the paper carefully, I connected the USB port and my Zen Micro worked like a charm.

I would have never guessed to do this with out you. Thanks
I registered on this site just to thank you :-D

I tried the same thing, except with tape. Took a small piece of tape and covered up #2 and #4, and now works perfectly. I can haz charge and haz music at the same time.

Brilliance. I have never felt geekier! Thank you so much!

Chuck
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2011, 06:35 AM
Damon88 Damon88 is offline
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You dont need to fiddle with ur original data cable especially the proprietary ones. Just purchase a new USB Extension, it has one end which fits to the USB datacable and other end to the PCS USB. And its quite cheap. You can just cut it from the middle and cut the data wires.
and Voila. No risk involved whatsoever.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:17 PM
n000bd000d n000bd000d is offline
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Default Thanks!

I was able to get my crappy coby mp3 to play & charge at the same time. I had an extra USB cable to I first cut the main wires to see the insides and its not so easy to just cut 2 wires, simply becuase inside it had 1 exposed wire covering all around a foil type paper that im assuming had the other 3 wires inside, so I was not able to get around the exposed wire without cutting some of it off

I left it alone and tried the tape method and it worked, i covered the 2 middle connections from the bigger USB cable. At first I thought it didnt work because the player would divert back to the "charging" screen. After it was on the charging screen I then tried turning it back on and was able to play and charge!
Thanks
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