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If the iPod is connected to the computer, it will start to recharge. I was wondering if playing songs on the ipod from the computer causes it to use its battery a little, so that the iPod is being charged and perhaps slightly discharged at the same time, or if it is totally running off of USB power so the battery is not affected no matter what.

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Yes, it is running off of the USB power. The iPod will be charging without using any of its battery life.

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I would assume that it is probably running straight off of USB power, considering there are other more power intensive devices that are able to run off USB... a simple iPod I would imagine would not consume all that much power.

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