USB connections to your Mio C230 & USB Battery Charging
If you want simply charge your C230 via the PC rather than using the 12-volt auto power converter, then you need to plug a 5-pin Mini-B USB 2.0 cable, which isn’t included in the package, to both your PC and the C230 with the power off. You can power up the unit afterwards if you like, but the behavior is different as compared to linking the C230 with the power on. This is the Belkin USB cable I use and recommend.
If you link the C230 to your PC with the C230 power on, you will invoke the USBConnect program, which allows you to view, transfer and edit files between your PC and your C230, as well as your Storage Card, if one is inserted. Your C230 will show up as a flash drive on your PC in the My Computer window as “Mio Device”. Usually you will need to do a hard reset by sliding the switch on the rear of your C230 to OFF and back to ON again after disconnecting your unit that has been connected in this mode.
Walmart had these MusicPower Duet units for $13 that, along with your USB cable, will power the unit on AC charge (it works Great!). I also have the Encore unit, and like it even more because it has a rechargeable battery in it – if there is no electricity around, it will transfer from it’s battery pack and actually charge the Mio back up, so that you don’t have to carry the two linked together all the time if the Mio battery had depleted itself. It will also charge your iPod at the same time since it has 2 USB ports.
NOTE: If you use the MusicPower USB power supplies mentioned above, because of their unique circuitry designed for the iPod, you’re advised to only plug in the unit while powered off, since USBConnect kicks in if the power is on when linking the USB cable to the power supply and you may have to do a hard reset to nudge it back. After you are hooked-up though, you can power it up and down all you want.
[added 6/11/2008] For those looking for a long-lasting, excellent quality superior external power pack for their Mio C230, this one seems to be highly recommended. Check out the reviews on the Amazon web page.