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Ask Max: Firewire Support Dropped in the Video iPod

Asked on 05/26/2006:

Now that Apple has dropped firewire support for the video iPod, what are my options? All my Macs are USB 1.1. I am afraid that USB 1.1 data transfer rates are too slow and buying a new machine would be nice, but not necessary.


I too was surprised by Apple's decision to drop FireWire connectivity from the latest iPods. My nano suffers from the same USB only limitation that the Video iPod does. For me, USB 1.1 is slow for transferring music files and probably painfully slow for video. I have not had the time to test video transfers on USB 1.1. If your Mac has an open PCI card slot, you can get a USB 2.0 PCI card. Sonnet Technologies has a 5 Port Allegro card for under $30.00 with good Mac support. If you have a PowerBook with a PCMCIA card slot I would recommend the LaCie USB 2.0 & FireWire PC Card, which is less than $70.00.

Unfortunately if you have an iBook, iMac, or eMac without native USB 2.0 you will not be able to add it. I hope this helps, and remember the watched pot never boils. If you have to use USB 1.1 to update an iPod Video find something else to do while you wait.

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