Continual iPod charging

Q: I have both an iPod classic and an iPhone 3GS. I use them both often in my car using a dock adapter and my iPod at home with my Hi-Fi boombox – all configurations that include a charging function. Is there a dock connector adapter or cable anywhere which omits the charging power so I can charge the battery when I want to? Using them constantly on a charge I know shortens the battery life.

– Mike

A: Generally there are no such accessories available as the issue of charging the iPod while using is actually not a concern in terms of shortening the battery life. The only specific concern is if you are running your iPhone or iPhone from battery power all the time, as in this case the battery is not being used at all—this would be the same in principle as leaving your iPod sitting on a shelf turned off completely.

Apple recommends that you take the battery through the equivalent of a full charge cycle at least once per month, however this does not have to be a single use where you fully drain and recharge it—simply draining the iPod down by 5% twenty times over the course of a month is still equivalent to a full charge cycle, or any other similar combination of use.

Most iPod and iPhone users will do this through normal use and it’s not something you need to specifically think about unless you have an iPod that you are using exclusively connected to charging accessories (for example, only in the car, or only as part of a stereo system).

You can find more information on charging and use of the iPod and iPhone battery in our May 9, 2008 Ask iLounge column.