I was happily iPodding my bicycle route home when my Shuffle went south, blinking amber lights. The battery drained, cutting the Clash off in mid song. Wow, after getting used to the audio track while biking, the lack of it was, well deafening.

It turns out when I plugged it into my iBook at night, I was not getting any battery recharge since the computer went to sleep. I think that one did not make it into the user manual. So when I am seeking technical answers, do I reach for customer support, a “FAQ“, and official help file, or even a “Knowledgebase“? Do I rush out and buy a fancy charger?

No way José.

I would say over the years, my batting average for finding answers quickly to technical issues from “official” and designed resources is about .080, enough to get sent down to the minor minor minor leagues.

Google rules. It finds real answers from real people. Quickly.

My search and the 4th item, from iPodLounge’s MacFixIt: iPod losing charge if connected to a sleeping Mac had the answer… and it was from a comment. The trick is to eject the mounted iPod as it acts like a disc that needs continually spinning. Unmounted, the Shuffle was fully charged (well as charged as the “green” light shows) in the time it took top fry some fish for dinner (and eat it watching some of the NBA finals).

Actually one of the Apple docs hinted at the answer:

Tip: If you want to check the battery status while iPod shuffle is charging, make sure the computer is not in sleep mode and eject iPod shuffle from iTunes. Sleep mode on some computers can turn off USB signals and prevent battery status from working.

My assertion is that for the most part, “help” systems often do not help, “Knowledge” bases are baseless, and one is better off combing the places that give you access to the collective knowledge of others in a social network, not the artificial knowledge loaded into a fixed database.

Bottom line, I can resume Rockin’ the Cashbah tomorrow.

The post "While I Was Sleeping (I Was Not Charging Your iPod)" was originally emerged from the primordial ooze and first walked on land at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2005/05/while-sleeping/) on May 10, 2005.

1 Comment

  • Steve Dembo teach42.com

    Reminds me of what Chris Dede said in his keynote. The people who know how to find the information they want are no longer the masters of the encyclopedia or the card cataglogue, they excel at findering their answers through multiple sources of incomplete information.