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View Full Version : iPod shuffle leaves eMac, iMac G3 users hanging


MacBytes
Jan 21, 2005, 09:04 AM
Category: Apple Hardware
Link: iPod shuffle leaves eMac, iMac G3 users hanging (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050121100404)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Mord
Jan 21, 2005, 09:13 AM
usb extension cable £8 problem solved

autrefois
Jan 21, 2005, 09:52 AM
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.


When Steve mentioned this during the keynote, he was whispering. :)

However, it is true that:

1) http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/ is misleading

Use the optional Dock to connect to your computer or just plug iPod shuffle directly into a USB port on any computer(4).

(...)

4. Some computers require either the optional iPod shuffle Dock or a USB cable extender (sold separately).

The (4) is the same size as the main text, and its corresponding footnote can be found directly beneath that paragraph. HOWEVER, they should not have said "just plug the iPod shuffle directly into a USB port on **any** computer." (A similar note appears on the Apple Store with the similarly-worded "any computer.")

That is simply incorrect. They should have said either:

* just plug the iPod shuffle directly into a USB port on most computers. (straightforward)
* just plug the iPod shuffle into a USB port on any computer. (less straightforward, but not incorrect)

2) They could state somewhere which computers need the dock:

* iMac G3 and eMac computers require an additional iPod shuffle dock, sold separately for $29.99 on the Apple Store.

Assuming some PCs also don't have enough room for the iPod shuffle, they'd have to include "and some PCs" in the notice as well.

3) According to the Apple Store, in the US the iPod shuffle dock "Ships: 5-7 weeks." Imagine waiting 2-4 weeks to get your iPod shuffle only to find out you have to wait an additional 5-7 weeks to even connect the thing!

Even if the dock were completely free, that'd be pretty lousy. So after looking into this more, I'd say Apple should definitely be saying this a little less quietly...


EDIT: I am aware that you can use a USB connector separately, but it is not listed in the accessories when you go to buy an iPod shuffle. My point is people may simply not realize they can't connect the iPod directly into their computer, and Apple doesn't really help them in this regard.

ZildjianKX
Jan 21, 2005, 10:12 AM
The shuffle dock is the biggest rip-off yet...

mkaake
Jan 21, 2005, 10:30 AM
i think it would be funny if instead of saying that you need to buy the dock, it says that you need to buy an imac g5...

if i had the money, that's what i'd do (proud emac owner)

Stella
Jan 21, 2005, 10:37 AM
This is such a non story.. band width wasting.

Not all USB devices are going to fit into ALL computers, for what ever reason. But you know, like another poster suggested - $8 will get you a USB extension cord. There, problem solved.

Sounds like some one has too much time, and enjoys whining.

dejo
Jan 21, 2005, 11:13 AM
You think there's issues plugging the iPod shuffle into the USB port of an eMac or iMac G3, try plugging it into a USB port on a Cube. It'd be like adding a (unneeded) kickstand to the damn thing.

iFaulder
Jan 21, 2005, 11:24 AM
Its not really a big problem but Apple should have put something about this in the requirements or something.

nagromme
Jan 21, 2005, 11:31 AM
I understood this from day one... and I didn't look into the Shuffle that much since I was distracted by the Mac Mini :) I don't think Apple has hidden anything here.

Lots of USB devices are wider than a standard USB cable. With good reason. Sometimes (as with my eMac) that means you need a cable.

BTW, the Xserve is affected too :D

Bendit
Jan 21, 2005, 11:32 AM
This is such a non story.. band width wasting.

Not all USB devices are going to fit into ALL computers, for what ever reason. But you know, like another poster suggested - $8 will get you a USB extension cord. There, problem solved.

Sounds like some one has too much time, and enjoys whining.

It's not an issue when people buy a product and can't plug it in their machine? The people who would buy the low end iPod probably have a crappy pc with crowded usb ports or an eMac or G3 iMac!

I think that enough people will be effected by this that Apple should of included the Apple Dock or an extension cable with it. Not that the extension cable solves the issue of not being able to charge without buying an accessory! How riridulous.

SiliconAddict
Jan 21, 2005, 11:37 AM
This is such a non story.. band width wasting.

Not all USB devices are going to fit into ALL computers, for what ever reason. But you know, like another poster suggested - $8 will get you a USB extension cord. There, problem solved.


Ditto. If you want to blame anyone blame the manufacturer of the device that has the USB port. Every computer I see, the USB ports are sunk into the computers. So it isn't that uncommon that USB thumb drives simply won't fit. Its been this way since the first thumb drives shipped so this really isnít news other then the shuffle is another casualty of these poorly designed systems.

mkaake
Jan 21, 2005, 11:43 AM
It's not an issue when people buy a product and can't plug it in their machine? The people who would buy the low end iPod probably have a crappy pc with crowded usb ports or an eMac or G3 iMac!

I think that enough people will be effected by this that Apple should of included the Apple Dock or an extension cable with it. Not that the extension cable solves the issue of not being able to charge without buying an accessory! How riridulous.

lol - maybe all of the usb keydrives out there should include extension cables too? none of them have warnings on the box, and people seem to manage some how or another...

simX
Jan 21, 2005, 12:06 PM
usb extension cable £8 problem solved

I'm not so sure about that. Does a USB extension cable allow you to charge from the cable or does it only allow you to transfer data? Because that's one of the problems -- the only way you can charge your iPod shuffle is from your computer (no charger is included in the box), so if the extension cable doesn't allow you to charge it, you're really out of luck until you get a shuffle Dock.

Hopefully an extension cord does allow you to charge the shuffle, though. Anyone have any idea?

Stella
Jan 21, 2005, 12:10 PM
Its not really a big problem but Apple should have put something about this in the requirements or something.

Actually, Apple did, in the small print, quote ( btw, i notice the 'don't eat Ipod joke is gone):

Music capacity is based on 4 minutes per song and 128Kbps AAC encoding.

Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced. Battery life and number of charge cycles vary by use and settings. See www.apple.com/batteries for more information.

Some computers require either the optional iPod shuffle Dock or a USB cable extender (sold separately).

^^^^^^^

mkaake
Jan 21, 2005, 12:16 PM
and now that i think about it, if you're using the apple provided keyboard, you do have a usb extension cable :)

being a usb 1.1 emac, using the kb wouldn't hurt my performance anyway...

I'm not so sure about that. Does a USB extension cable allow you to charge from the cable or does it only allow you to transfer data? Because that's one of the problems -- the only way you can charge your iPod shuffle is from your computer (no charger is included in the box), so if the extension cable doesn't allow you to charge it, you're really out of luck until you get a shuffle Dock.

an extension cable is just that - an extension cable. it doesn't remove any functionality of the original port, it just moves it a little further away.

combatcolin
Jan 21, 2005, 12:43 PM
Ha Ha.

People should Buy a proper iPod then!

Monk Edsel
Jan 21, 2005, 02:31 PM
and now that i think about it, if you're using the apple provided keyboard, you do have a usb extension cable :)

You can't use the Apple keyboard to charge the shuffle.

nagromme
Jan 21, 2005, 02:34 PM
Ditto. If you want to blame anyone blame the manufacturer of the device that has the USB port.
I do blame Apple for recessed USB ports on my eMac :) The opening is actually quite wide... I bet the Shuffle ALMOST fits... time for a nail file!


and now that i think about it, if you're using the apple provided keyboard, you do have a usb extension cable
A USB cable wouldn't stop anything from getting power. But... a non-powered HUB would. FYI, the USB hub on a Mac keyboard (mainly for mice) does not provide enough power for many USB-powered devices. Those should plug directly into the Mac, or into a "real" hub. (Or some devices have an optional AC adapter for power.)

I would have thought a flash drive could charge at least SLOWLY from a low-power port, but apparently not.

Oddly enough, though, the side ports on my eMac keyboard will power my USB hard disk. But the built-IN ports on my AlBook will not--even when the 'Book is plugged into wall power.

maya
Jan 21, 2005, 02:44 PM
I'm not so sure about that. Does a USB extension cable allow you to charge from the cable or does it only allow you to transfer data? Because that's one of the problems -- the only way you can charge your iPod shuffle is from your computer (no charger is included in the box), so if the extension cable doesn't allow you to charge it, you're really out of luck until you get a shuffle Dock.

Hopefully an extension cord does allow you to charge the shuffle, though. Anyone have any idea?

FireWire 400 6 pin will charge

FireWire 400 (aka iLink) 4 pin will NOT charge.

USB 1.1 will NOT charge via single cable connection.

USB 2.0 WILL charge via single cable connection.

Its not the same issues as FireWire 400 6 pin versus 4 pin. :)

A USB 2.0 extender cable will allow it to charge the device.

What I do not like is that Apple will not include the power USB 2.0 wall adapter with the shuffle. <-- talk about being cheap. :p

Sorry I do not carry my notebook ALL the time, though something SMALLER than the power USB adapter would be even better. ;) :)

maya
Jan 21, 2005, 02:45 PM
You can't use the Apple keyboard to charge the shuffle.

ROTF, since its USB 1.1 ;) :)

Canon Scanner will allow running power via the USB 1.1 cable however it has an amplifier on the cord. <-- I know this since I have one. :)

nagromme
Jan 21, 2005, 03:07 PM
What I do not like is that Apple will not include the power USB 2.0 wall adapter with the shuffle. <-- talk about being cheap. :p

Cheap for not including a wall-power-to-USB convertor with a $99 device that already undercuts the price of other 512 MB players?

Qunchuy
Jan 21, 2005, 03:14 PM
lol - maybe all of the usb keydrives out there should include extension cables too? none of them have warnings on the box, and people seem to manage some how or another...
Many higher-capacity USB flash drives do include extension cables.

24C
Jan 23, 2005, 04:45 AM
Ever since the Imac233, the first mainstream computer with USB ports, there has been an issue with certain bits of USB kit plugging into the spare port, after the keyboard.

Since then USB floppies/ CDRWs/flash card readers and thumb drives have always been a case of "eyes open, head connected", cos if you don't look, you'll get bitten.

Over the years USB proliferation has grown and most folks have a powered USB hub, so charging an iPod shuffle shouldn't be that much of an issue. For all those folks with legacy Apple/PC kit that has USB ports aligned horizontally side by side there might be an issue, as there is with inset ports surrounded by plastic/metal casings, BUT if you look at the new Mac mini and iMac G5 you'll notice a change in port arrangements and spacings... which IMO is all about resolving the above issues.

PS As a legacy owning Apple person, who's 1G iPod shuffle has now shipped :), the only machine I can hook it up to without hassle is the DVI TiPowerBook, but I'm not sure it'll charge, but I don't care. The Cubes, iMac G3 and beige G3 all have attached powered USB hubs that will. :D

backspinner
Jan 23, 2005, 12:07 PM
USB 1.1 will NOT charge via single cable connection.

USB 2.0 WILL charge via single cable connection.
I didn't test this device, but I know the specs and they are not different for power rating so this is not true! USB2 is only faster in data transfer but has the same charging potential.