One of the less well-known innovations of the iPod mini is its ability to charge via USB 2.0. Granted, this is a bigger deal to Windows users because the mini isn't wholly compatible with USB 2.0 on the Mac.
"Huh?" I hear some of you sputter (if, indeed, one can sputter a word that lacks any sibilant consonants), "You mean the iPod mini is, compatible with the newer Mac's USB 2.0 ports!?"
Well, yes, it is. When you plug an iPod mini into your Mac with the mini's USB 2.0 cable, the mini charges. This can be useful when you want to charge your mini from a PowerBook whose only FireWire port is occupied by another device.
But wait, there's more.
If the mini is configured to mount as an external drive, it will do so when connected to a Mac's USB 2.0 port. No, neither iTunes nor the iPod mini 1.0 Software Updater will recognize it, but you can use it as a storage device.