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Thursday, January 20, 2005, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

iPod shuffle leaves eMac, iMac G3 users hanging

Apple Computer's newly designed iPod shuffle digital music player is not directly compatible with the USB port on some computers, including the company's own line of iMac G3 and eMac computers, AppleInsider has learned.

The issue, which reportedly stems from the width of iPod shuffle, also affects Apple's ADC-based 17-inch Studio Display and certain Xserve configurations.

To charge iPod shuffle on an iMac G3 or eMac computer, users will need an optional accessory to reach the port. Apple is aware of the incompatibility and is quietly suggesting that iMac G3 and eMac owners circumvent the problem by making an additional purchase of an iPod shuffle Dock or a USB extension cable.

Both the aforementioned solutions are available from the company's online store, and both must connect to a high-power USB port to charge. iPod shuffle may also be charged through a USB power adapter or a high-power USB hub.

Users can also connect iPod shuffle to a keyboard's USB ports if the host computer is running Mac OS X 10.3.6 or later, however, iPod shuffle will not charge due to the keyboard's low-power USB ports.

Representatives from Apple's AppleCare customer support group said the issue could occur with any computer, display, or USB hub with recessed or closely spaced USB ports.

"I wish that I was told this when I purchased the shuffle," said Charles, a disappointed eMac owner. He plans to buy an iPod shuffle Dock to solve the issue, but he will have to hold off enjoying his new iPod for quite some time. The Dock is currently backordered 5-7 weeks at Apple's online store.