Airport Express can charge iPod | iLounge News


Airport Express can charge iPod

Reader Chris Whittier has discovered that the Apple Airport Express can charge the iPod.

“After seeing some people asking about it, I just randomly plugged my iPod mini into the Airport Express to see what happens (the USB port of course). Surprisingly enough, the Express CHARGES the iPod. So to answer that question, you CAN charge your iPod using the Airport Express (which negates my need to tote an extra power charger when traveling.)

Now if Apple could only have a way to pass through the Audio to the Express from the iPod when it’s plugged in, that would be a killer little firmware update.”

Editor’s Note:  This likely applies only to USB-chargeable iPods (4G and Mini).  The 3G does not charge via USB.

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Just wondering if that works with the 3G models. Apple says that you can’t charge the 3G models using the USB cord, but can with the 4G models. Just curious.

Posted by Ian Sheh on July 27, 2004 at 9:28 AM (CDT)


Neato!  Nice accidental feature.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on July 27, 2004 at 9:28 AM (CDT)


I just tried it with a 3rd Gen and, as expected, it does not charge it. Although when I plugged it in, the iPod “turned on” and the backlight came on so it obviously recgonized a connection.

Posted by BigIzz on July 27, 2004 at 9:53 AM (CDT)


Another killer firmware upgrade would be to do the reverse of the airport express for iTunes. If I plug my iPod into the USB port, allow me to access my iPod from any computer on the network using iTunes.

Posted by Nick on July 27, 2004 at 10:02 AM (CDT)


I think the Mini and 4G iPods will charge with any active USB port, even if the computer isn’t set to use the iPod.

Posted by croooow on July 27, 2004 at 10:50 AM (CDT)


Yes it does recharge my 4G iPod. But there is “Do not disconnect” message on the LCD. How can I safely disconnect iPod? Probably after a while when iPod’s HDD goes sleep??

Posted by coelacanth in San Francisco on July 27, 2004 at 11:37 AM (CDT)


how long does it take to fully charge the iPod? is it different from using the regular adapter?

Posted by Starboard on July 27, 2004 at 1:36 PM (CDT)


Firmware update? Why don’t you plug in the iPod via-USB then use the audio-out to plug into the speaker input then there you go. You’d probably just have to buy a splitter so that you can use both, but sounds good to me either way.


Posted by narco in Burbank on July 27, 2004 at 3:00 PM (CDT)


It’s just a standard USB port. iPod will charge form any powered USB port…it doesn’t have to be a computer.

Posted by Tom on July 27, 2004 at 4:07 PM (CDT)


Does this use draw too much current through the Airport Express, thereby causing early failure? The USB port was designed for non-bus powered printers.

Posted by Bradley Dichter on July 27, 2004 at 4:41 PM (CDT)


Ipod mini and 4 Gen Ipods have USB 2.0 chipset. USB 2.0 chip has charging capability.
I think 3 Gen has only 1.1 or 1.2 USB chipset spec. USB 2.0 is capable data transfer speed of 480Mbps.  I think using USB 2.0 cable won’t work/charge 3 Gen Ipod since it doen’t have USB 2.0 chipset.

Posted by NS on July 27, 2004 at 6:01 PM (CDT)



The 3rd Gen iPod has a USB 2.0 Chipset that operates at full speed, it just doesn’t have the capability to charge off of the lower current that USB supplies.  The 4G and mini can.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on July 27, 2004 at 7:05 PM (CDT)



I stand corrected. So there is a possibility that if you get a USB 2.0 cable (e.g. 4 Gen USB 2.0 cable (not compatible with 3 Gen, I think?), maybe a 3rd party that works with the port of 3 Gen then charging could be possible with 3 Gen.

Note: (I think = not sure about these things).

Posted by NS on July 27, 2004 at 7:28 PM (CDT)


Apple iPod Dock Connector-to-FireWire-and-USB 2.0 Cable is capable of charging 3 gen. Now, I get confuse about this news item. What is big deal about this news?  Do Macs have USB 2.0 ports nowadays?

Posted by NS on July 27, 2004 at 8:12 PM (CDT)


I tried it and it charged my mini but I also got the “Do Not Disconnect” message on the screen.  Anyone have thoughts on if this is safe for both the ipod and the express?

Posted by Jim Allison in Columbus, OH on July 27, 2004 at 8:51 PM (CDT)


new Macs have USB 2.0.

Posted by David on July 27, 2004 at 10:11 PM (CDT)


NS - The Apple iPod Dock Connector to Firewire and USB 2.0 Cable can only charge a 3G when the firewire connector is plugged into a powered firewire port on the computer or the ‘Firewire’ socket on the mains adapter for the iPod.

I have one of these and have the USB connected to the PC for syncing.

Posted by SoloMalee on July 28, 2004 at 3:30 AM (CDT)


What we want is a wifi transmitter for the iPod so that you can send songs from the iPod rather than iTunes.

A bit like iTrip, but the quality would be better one assumes.

Posted by Lee on July 28, 2004 at 6:47 AM (CDT)



The only potential problem I see with Wi-Fi in an iPod is that it is a battery hog.  Bluetooth on the other hand is very efficient on batteries.  I believe Bluetooth would be a much better addition to the iPod for syncing and for use with Airport Express.  Perhaps the next major rev of the iPod will have Bluetooth, released along side a new Airport Express that supports Bluetooth as well.

One can hope…

Posted by feakbeak in Plymouth, MI, USA on July 28, 2004 at 8:25 AM (CDT)


Yeah sure. WiFi was just the theory.

I see no reason tho, why we couldn’t have a bluetooth “iTrip” to connect to a APX unit.

It makes perfect sense, essentially the ipod becomes the remote and the player.

Posted by Lee on July 28, 2004 at 8:28 AM (CDT)

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