Q: Is it possible to listen to my iPod while its charging through a USB port connected to a computer? I have a PC. Does it matter if this PC has iTunes installed or not?
A: Sure. On any computer, regardless of whether or not it has iTunes installed, the iPod can accept a charge over a USB connection and still remain operational.
The single thing you must do to enable this is to make sure that the iPod has been ejected (or “unmounted”) from the computer. On a computer with iTunes installed, this is done automatically after the iPod is synchronized, or, if you have “Enable Disc Use” checked, after you manually click the Eject button next to the iPod’s name in the Source list.
On a computer without iTunes, the iPod’s drive can be unmounted using the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the Windows system tray. After the iPod’s drive has been “safely removed” from Windows’ operation, the iPod’s “Do Not Disconnect” screen will disappear, and the iPod will allow you to operate it normally, while still taking a charge via USB. You can verify that the iPod is taking charge from the connection while active by simply looking at the small battery indicator in the top right corner of the iPod’s screen.