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View Full Version : CONFIRMED: No FireWire Support in 5G iPods




clayj
Oct 18, 2005, 03:25 PM
Just tested this... the text you receive if you connect a FireWire cable is as follows:

FireWire connections are not supported. To transfer songs, connect the USB cable provided.

Press Center to dismiss.So that's that. Yes, you can still CHARGE with a FireWire cable, but no data transfers.



Lacero
Oct 18, 2005, 03:26 PM
You can still charge with a FW cable.

Blue Velvet
Oct 18, 2005, 03:31 PM
Does this mean that you can't even get a dock for it that attaches with a FW cable?

I'm so glad that I've got a 4th 40gb model. I like the dock that came with it.

iDM
Oct 18, 2005, 03:31 PM
Just tested this... the text you receive if you connect a FireWire cable is as follows:

So that's that. Yes, you can still CHARGE with a FireWire cable, but no data transfers.

ClayJ i have been trying to find this out and i'm sure people are tired of me posting about this but do you have any idea if that universal dock connector will drop into my 3rd gen 20 gig dock, so i could use the old one?

clayj
Oct 18, 2005, 03:34 PM
ClayJ i have been trying to find this out and i'm sure people are tired of me posting about this but do you have any idea if that universal dock connector will drop into my 3rd gen 20 gig dock, so i could use the old one?Sorry, no idea... I don't have any sort of docks here.

Jay42
Oct 18, 2005, 03:36 PM
I like how the iPods cost less, but Apple has really cut down on what they give you. All the extra stuff you want to buy really adds up. When I got my 3G 30gig iPod, they really gave you everything: cables, earbuds, remote, charger, dock, carrying case, storage bag, etc. Do the new ones even come with an AC charger?

clayj
Oct 18, 2005, 03:37 PM
Do the new ones even come with an AC charger?No, they don't. But you don't NEED one, either, unless you plan on charging your iPod away from a computer.

I'm kinda OK with them not including accessories I don't need... I hate paying for things I'm not going to use.

matticus008
Oct 18, 2005, 03:38 PM
ClayJ i have been trying to find this out and i'm sure people are tired of me posting about this but do you have any idea if that universal dock connector will drop into my 3rd gen 20 gig dock, so i could use the old one?

I am pretty sure the dock adapter will NOT fit into anything other than the Universal dock. However, I think there is a dock adapter for 3G iPods if you buy the new dock, so that you would only need one dock from now on. The new iPod might fit in the old dock, though, especially the 60gig.

PharmD
Oct 18, 2005, 03:58 PM
As long as it will charge with the AC adapter I'm fine.

steve_hill4
Oct 18, 2005, 04:26 PM
Makes it easier in a way now, no iPods include AC Adapter. So many consumers see this as a con, but not for the multiple iPod household and those who have their computers on all the time.

the_freddinator
Oct 18, 2005, 04:49 PM
No, they don't. But you don't NEED one, either, unless you plan on charging your iPod away from a computer.

I'm kinda OK with them not including accessories I don't need... I hate paying for things I'm not going to use.

No adapter?! What happens if you go on vacation? That's lame

clayj
Oct 18, 2005, 04:51 PM
No adapter?! What happens if you go on vacation? That's lameThen you buy an adapter. Sheesh.

In my case, I take my laptop with me, so I can charge off the laptop. But we don't ALL need adapters, so why package them at additional cost to us?

jaykk
Oct 18, 2005, 05:03 PM
Too bad you cant boot your mac from these new iPods ( for emergency use).

clcnyc
Oct 18, 2005, 05:03 PM
So, basically I have to buy a whole new iMac to enjoy the new iPod. My iMac was the last of the G4's NOT to include USB 2. I can't even imagine how long it would take to sync 2200 songs and some videos. :mad:

matticus008
Oct 18, 2005, 05:28 PM
So, basically I have to buy a whole new iMac to enjoy the new iPod. My iMac was the last of the G4's NOT to include USB 2. I can't even imagine how long it would take to sync 2200 songs and some videos. :mad:

Your computer is more than 2 years old. How long can you expect to get leading-edge performance out of it, in all honesty? Apple is maintaining compatibility with computers made since 1997, at a lower level of performance, but still compatible. It's sad, but technology changes, and you bought into a technology knowing that USB 2.0 existed and that Apple was implementing it. Sooner or later, you'd have to expect that something would actually require it (TV tuners, for example) for optimal performance.

Why should Apple bend over backwards and increase iPod's manufacturing, design, and support costs for computers that are over 2 years old? That's not the way Apple has ever worked...that's the way Microsoft and Intel work. The same reason people like Apple for their work is the exact same reason they're complaining now. It's ridiculous.

alex_ant
Oct 18, 2005, 05:47 PM
Your computer is more than 2 years old. How long can you expect to get leading-edge performance out of it, in all honesty?
I don't think an iPod with firewire on it is asking for "leading-edge performance"... given that the iPod came out WITH Firewire *4 years ago*.
It's sad, but technology changes, and you bought into a technology knowing that USB 2.0 existed and that Apple was implementing it.
At the time (before Apple implemented USB2) most Mac users were BEGGING Apple to implement USB2 knowing that almost every device would be transitioning to it in the near future. Apple was one of the LAST computer companies to adopt USB2, and now its customers are paying the price. Unfortunately Apple seems to have no interest in alleviating for these customers what was Apple's own mistake.
Why should Apple bend over backwards and increase iPod's manufacturing, design, and support costs for computers that are over 2 years old?
Because a lot of users need them to. How about this. Why should *I* bend over backwards and buy a USB2-only iPod for my 2 year-old USB1 Mac? The margins on iPods are so high, Apple could EASILY keep Firewire in them and absorb the cost and still profit insanely off them.

USB2-only is stupid. It's giving into PC users. Apple is doing it for money, plain and simple. What they're saying is this: "screw all the Mac users who haven't bought a new computer in the past 2 years - PC users are more important to us." When the iPod came out, it was like an extension of the Mac - Firewire was practically half of what made it so great. Now they're saying, "You know what we were saying about Firewire being great - nevermind, we're going to go with the lowest common denominator now, because all the people with HP Pavilions really want us to." Eff... that.

Laser47
Oct 18, 2005, 05:59 PM
I miss the days when iPods were mostly owned by mac users, now almost everyone has one, yet they dont even know who makes them. At my school everyone calls them a Mac iPod???. Its good for apple to have like 75% of the mp3 marketshare but i miss the days when ipods were owned by mac users.

matticus008
Oct 18, 2005, 06:32 PM
I don't think an iPod with firewire on it is asking for "leading-edge performance"... given that the iPod came out WITH Firewire *4 years ago*.
I understand that, but as iPod moved from a niche within a niche market, things had to change to make it more accessible. "leading edge performance" refers to the computer, not the iPod. Once your computer is a couple revisions old, it doesn't matter anymore, because innovation must move forward. It can't happen if it's being held back too much by older technology.

That iMac, for example, is now FIVE revisions old, and that's with Apple's conservative revisions. Innovation and control are why Apple can accomplish these things--it's in a position to do as it chooses, without disrupting the entire computing world. It was the first company to do away with legacy ports (people complained). It was the company that brought us Firewire (people complained). It ushered in widescreen displays and their "strange" resolutions (people complained). It capitalized on LCD displays (people complained). It brought us the iPod, and now that it's furthering the iPod, people are complaining.

Because a lot of users need them to. How about this. Why should *I* bend over backwards and buy a USB2-only iPod for my 2 year-old USB1 Mac? The margins on iPods are so high, Apple could EASILY keep Firewire in them and absorb the cost and still profit insanely off them.
You shouldn't buy a new Mac to fit your new iPod. You should use the iPod you already have, that already works with your Mac. They existed until a week ago, and you can still get them for a limited time. If you WANT a new iPod, you have to be prepared to meet the requirements for it. Apple isn't forcing you to do anything. It's not like they've gone back and disabled Firewire on all older iPods. New technology begets new technology. People complained when USB came on the scene and replaced serial ports--what were they supposed to do with all those serial peripherals? The answer was simple: use them with your computers that you already have that have serial ports.

The gross margin is high on the iPod, yes. But that's not total profit. People say the same things about all sorts of technologies, but a single dollar more in production costs is a huge deal in a competitive environment. And iPod *IS* in a competitive environment. If it stops changing, it loses, especially because these are the early years of the market. In order to keep a competitive advantage, every dollar less on parts cost translates into millions of dollars saved that can go into continuing development. Why don't more motherboards include Firewire ports on the PC side? They're only about $2, including licensing. Part of it is razor-thin margins, but even on the high end, every single penny counts, regardless of consumer sentiment.


USB2-only is stupid. It's giving into PC users. Apple is doing it for money, plain and simple. What they're saying is this: "screw all the Mac users who haven't bought a new computer in the past 2 years - PC users are more important to us."
It's not stupid. It's the only viable choice. In addition to being compatible with 100% of computers on the market, it offers high-speed performance on 98-99% of that market. Firewire is NOT POSSIBLE on the shuffle and the nano, and for the sake of consistency (not an unimportant factor for Apple), it makes sense to pull it on the full-size as well. It furthermore simplifies design, reduces costs by a few dollars per unit, makes engineering costs lower (they only have to deal with one bus in the design phase and in the software development phase), and makes customer support costs lower (no training on FW, easier troubleshooting). Of course they're doing it for money; that's called being a business.

BornAgainMac
Oct 18, 2005, 06:34 PM
At my school everyone calls them a Mac iPod???.

Or MAC iPod. Works with PCs and Apples ;)


I am hoping that the dock supports Firewire and USB 2.0. I needed the dock anyways for hooking up to a TV.

matticus008
Oct 18, 2005, 06:36 PM
Or MAC iPod. Works with PCs and Apples ;)


I am hoping that the dock supports Firewire and USB 2.0. I needed the dock anyways for hooking up to a TV.

The dock is USB 2.0 only, just like the iPod. The iPod must physically have Firewire in it for it to work with Firewire, and the 5G iPod does not have this hardware.

carlos700
Oct 18, 2005, 06:50 PM
Apple went with USB 2.0 because almost all PCs (with the exception of some high-end systems) do not come with FireWire as a standard feature. USB 2.0 many not be on many different Macs. USB 2.0 is not faster, just more compatible. Apple needs to learn to be more compatible even if it means sacraficing performance.

devilot
Oct 18, 2005, 06:55 PM
Apple went with USB 2.0 because almost all PCs (with the exception of some high-end systems) do not come with FireWire as a standard feature.I didn't know that.... my family's 6 year old + Windows pc has a firewire port-- I just assumed that if my old beat up machine had it, then most others would, too. :p

matticus008
Oct 18, 2005, 07:06 PM
I didn't know that.... my family's 6 year old + Windows pc has a firewire port-- I just assumed that if my old beat up machine had it, then most others would, too. :p

Is it a Sony, by any chance?

devilot
Oct 18, 2005, 07:07 PM
Is it a Sony, by any chance?Nope, parents are too cheap for that. ;) It's some no brander... some random brand I don't even recognize. :o

Laser47
Oct 18, 2005, 07:10 PM
Is it a Sony, by any chance?
Yea my mom has an old sony 600mhz p3 laptop and it had firewire(they call it iLink), i guess sony was one of the first companies to use firewire because,i think they developed it along with apple and also because they are the only computer company (i know) that makes DV cams too. I have a HP and it has firewire aswell almost every PC shipping now has a Firewire port. Dont know about dell though.

matticus008
Oct 18, 2005, 07:12 PM
Nope, parents are too cheap for that. ;) It's some no brander... some random brand I don't even recognize. :o

:) Haha. West Bay or East Bay? I know a few million of the type. The no-name brands in our hometowns are usually built and outfitted by enthusiasts, so they're more likely to include those features (a PCI add-in card for Firewire costs about $20). My first...no, second PC was built by some nice people in a little shop in Sunnyvale in 1995. It had way more features than my first PC (made by Epson, can you believe it? Seems like every company made computers in the early 90s).

iEric
Oct 21, 2005, 10:49 AM
Those with Powermacs or Powerbooks can always buy a PCI/PCIMA USB 2.0 card from eBay for like 10-20 bucks.

And those with iMac G4s should have realized at the time of purchase that you cannot simply upgrade the components in the computer. That's the price you pay for buying an all-in-one computer. While it's compact and nice, it's not upgradable.
When I purchased my iMac G5, I realized that but I also thought that I probably wouldn't add any PCI cards or expand more of my Powermac if I bought a powermac.

iSaint
Oct 21, 2005, 11:26 AM
Help me understand: I thought Firewire was leading edge technology and allowed for faster transfers, etc. Why go back to USB 2.0? What USB ver is on my iBook?

Le Big Mac
Oct 21, 2005, 11:43 AM
And those with iMac G4s should have realized at the time of purchase that you cannot simply upgrade the components in the computer. That's the price you pay for buying an all-in-one computer. While it's compact and nice, it's not upgradable. .

That's not much of an answer. The only thing it tells me is to be wary of buying apple's consumer offerings because in 1-2 years they may make product changes that make it close to impossible to use in some important way.

Let's be clear here: this isn't hte usual argument of "it sucks that new products require faster computers" I'm not bent out of shape that my G4 iMac won't run Aperture. This is quite different--Apple supported the Firewire path for some time, indeed to the point of not incorporating USB2 into its computers when it was standard on PCs for several years. They now have reversed course, not only including USB2, but eliminating the usefulness of firewire for one of their key products. It would be as if they developed a new version of iMovie that burned only to Blu-Ray or HD-DVDs and would not even work with the older superdrives. Why would they do that? I dunno. And that's the same question here--why eliminate firewire support on the full sized iPod when it's a) low cost b) doesn't affect hte product size and c) is used by a lot of legacy Mac users?

iEric
Oct 21, 2005, 01:05 PM
And that's the same question here--why eliminate firewire support on the full sized iPod when it's a) low cost b) doesn't affect hte product size and c) is used by a lot of legacy Mac users?

The thing is, is that, it DOES affect the product size. There needs to be a chipset on the iPod mainboard that recognizes such an interface, such transfer of data bits (different intefaces have different patterns of incoming/outgoing data bits and the chipset is there to recognize it and sort it all out).

Go to the site linked on MacRumors regarding opening up the iPod. (ars i believe). You will see there they took out the chipset for FireWire support.

It's those that yearn for a smaller (thinner, in this case) iPod - and there's a lot of people out there, including myself - that Apple has thought of. This isn't a Mac product anymore (although we wished it were). Apple has made iTunes/iPod for EVERYBODY. Ultimately, Apple is the winner in the market. They DO care about consumers - but there's an opportunity cost to everything and the opportunity cost for a smaller size is a lack of firewire support.

matticus008
Oct 21, 2005, 03:07 PM
That's not much of an answer. The only thing it tells me is to be wary of buying apple's consumer offerings because in 1-2 years they may make product changes that make it close to impossible to use in some important way.

Let's be clear here: this isn't hte usual argument of "it sucks that new products require faster computers" I'm not bent out of shape that my G4 iMac won't run Aperture. This is quite different--Apple supported the Firewire path for some time, indeed to the point of not incorporating USB2 into its computers when it was standard on PCs for several years.

In addition to what iEric said (which is absolutely correct), Firewire significantly affects size of the iPod, and it's not an inconsiderable amount of money. 2% of the total materials costs might not sound like that much overall, but in the computer industry, that's a *huge* difference and makes a 4% or so difference in the end price.

It's not at all like blocking out DVD-R, and Apple started including USB 2.0 just one year after everyone else, and finished a little more than a year later than PC makers. Not "several years." It's not that new products require faster computers. It's that new products require NEW computers.

alex_ant
Oct 21, 2005, 05:25 PM
I understand that, but as iPod moved from a niche within a niche market, things had to change to make it more accessible. "leading edge performance" refers to the computer, not the iPod.
The last generation iPod already was accessible. It had USB2 AND Firewire. What could be more accessible than that? The new iPod is a downgrade.
Once your computer is a couple revisions old, it doesn't matter anymore,
It sure matters to me and to everyone else who spent $2500 on a computer 3 years ago that is technologically plenty able to use something like an iPod (and once did)!
because innovation must move forward.
USB2 is inferior to Firewire. This is de-innovation.
It can't happen if it's being held back too much by older technology.
Firewire is NOT "older technology," it is superior to USB2 and included on the vast majority of Macs made within the last 5 years whereas USB2 is not.
That iMac, for example, is now FIVE revisions old, and that's with Apple's conservative revisions. Innovation and control are why Apple can accomplish these things--it's in a position to do as it chooses, without disrupting the entire computing world.
It's not innovating though, it's de-innovating. It's reverse-innovating. It's stripping useful features out of products to pad its already very thick margins at the expense of long-time Mac users.
It was the first company to do away with legacy ports (people complained).
Firewire is not a "legacy port"
It was the company that brought us Firewire (people complained)
Who complained about Firewire?
It ushered in widescreen displays and their "strange" resolutions (people complained). It capitalized on LCD displays (people complained).
Irrelevant, irrelevant
It brought us the iPod, and now that it's furthering the iPod, people are complaining.
Stripping features out of the iPod is furthering the iPod?
You shouldn't buy a new Mac to fit your new iPod. You should use the iPod you already have, that already works with your Mac.
I don't have an iPod, but am in the market for one
They existed until a week ago, and you can still get them for a limited time.
Great, a "limited time."
If you WANT a new iPod, you have to be prepared to meet the requirements for it.
In other words, I'm going to have to buy a new Mac which includes the technologically inferior ports I need so I can use my new technologically inferior iPod with it. Wow, abandon a great interface in favor of a crappy one, now that's innovation.
Apple isn't forcing you to do anything.
Never implied that it was
It's not like they've gone back and disabled Firewire on all older iPods.
I could get an older iPod, but older iPods are stagnant and growing obsolete, aren't they. That's really appealing...
New technology begets new technology.
It just sucks when the "new technology" in this case is WORSE than what it's replacing.
People complained when USB came on the scene and replaced serial ports--what were they supposed to do with all those serial peripherals? The answer was simple: use them with your computers that you already have that have serial ports.
Or else buy a USB-serial converter. Where's my USB2-Firewire converter? Apple? Anyone?
The gross margin is high on the iPod, yes. But that's not total profit. People say the same things about all sorts of technologies, but a single dollar more in production costs is a huge deal in a competitive environment. And iPod *IS* in a competitive environment. If it stops changing, it loses, especially because these are the early years of the market. In order to keep a competitive advantage, every dollar less on parts cost translates into millions of dollars saved that can go into continuing development. Why don't more motherboards include Firewire ports on the PC side? They're only about $2, including licensing. Part of it is razor-thin margins, but even on the high end, every single penny counts, regardless of consumer sentiment.
I understand. Every dollar does count. Try applying that philosophy to the other parts of the iPod, though, and you'll end up with a headphone jack made of silly putty because it's cheaper, LCD displays from recycled Casio watches, etc. The bottom line is that it's a $300+ luxury music player, give me the features I need, or I CAN'T buy it even if I want to. In my case they could have made a $100 profit off me, but they won't, because they've decided that saving a buck or two will save them more money than making a long-time Mac user happy. This may indeed be true. If they don't want to put Firewire in it, though, they should just let me buy for a reasonable price a USB2-Firewire converter.
It's not stupid. It's the only viable choice. In addition to being compatible with 100% of computers on the market, it offers high-speed performance on 98-99% of that market.
What makes you think that? There are tons of PCs that don't have USB2 either. Granted, Firewire is probably not going to make them happy either, although for a few it will.
Firewire is NOT POSSIBLE on the shuffle and the nano, and for the sake of consistency (not an unimportant factor for Apple), it makes sense to pull it on the full-size as well.
Consistency? Why don't they remove the PCI Express slots from the Power Mac then? No other Mac has them. Gotta be consistent. Super-competitive market. Every dollar counts and all.
It furthermore simplifies design, reduces costs by a few dollars per unit, makes engineering costs lower (they only have to deal with one bus in the design phase and in the software development phase), and makes customer support costs lower (no training on FW, easier troubleshooting). Of course they're doing it for money; that's called being a business.
Of course we're not buying; that's called being customers.

alex_ant
Oct 21, 2005, 05:29 PM
Help me understand: I thought Firewire was leading edge technology and allowed for faster transfers, etc. Why go back to USB 2.0? What USB ver is on my iBook?
USB2 is the leading edge technology. USB2 was always the leading technology. *hand-wave* These are not the droids you're looking for.

alex_ant
Oct 21, 2005, 05:32 PM
The thing is, is that, it DOES affect the product size. There needs to be a chipset on the iPod mainboard that recognizes such an interface, such transfer of data bits (different intefaces have different patterns of incoming/outgoing data bits and the chipset is there to recognize it and sort it all out).
This chipset, of course, measuring 8 1/2" x 6 3/4" by 1 1/8" and weighing 7 pounds.

rainman::|:|
Oct 21, 2005, 05:47 PM
for as long as i can remember, alex has been right, and this is no exception. downgrades all around. how many downgrades can an iPod take before it's just like every other MP3 player out there?

if they're going to try to compete with price, they're going to HAVE to compete with features as well. and i don't want cheap features.

matticus008
Oct 21, 2005, 06:06 PM
The last generation iPod already was accessible. It had USB2 AND Firewire. What could be more accessible than that? The new iPod is a downgrade.

It sure matters to me and to everyone else who spent $2500 on a computer 3 years ago that is technologically plenty able to use something like an iPod (and once did)!

USB2 is inferior to Firewire. This is de-innovation.
Oh, good. A long one. When USB came out, computers that just had PS/2 mouse ports couldn't use USB-only mice. They were more than capable of handling the data from a mouse, but you know what, things change. USB is superior to Firewire in most applicable computing situations, so saying it's inferior is both ignorant and just plain wrong.


Firewire is NOT "older technology," it is superior to USB2 and included on the vast majority of Macs made within the last 5 years whereas USB2 is not.
Uh, Firewire IS older technology. USB 2.0 is included on the majority of Macs sold in the past four years. Maybe shocking, but true.


It's not innovating though, it's de-innovating. It's reverse-innovating. It's stripping useful features out of products to pad its already very thick margins at the expense of long-time Mac users.
It's not de-innovating anything. Firewire and USB 2.0 are extremely similar, but USB is cheaper, more universal, and smaller. In a device obsessed with thin and light, smaller is more important than a small speed edge. Being able to sell iPods to 300 million people is way more important than being able to sell it to 30 million.


Firewire is not a "legacy port"
Who complained about Firewire?
Irrelevant, irrelevant
Stripping features out of the iPod is furthering the iPod?
1. I didn't say it was a legacy port. 2. People complained about its expense, about how hard it was to get Firewire products, and about how difficult it was to deal with. 3. NOT irrelevant. Had you cared to read a little more carefully, you'd see that those are all examples of Apple going against the grain and being successful in the end.

[/QUOTE]In other words, I'm going to have to buy a new Mac which includes the technologically inferior ports I need so I can use my new technologically inferior iPod with it. Wow, abandon a great interface in favor of a crappy one, now that's innovation.[/QUOTE]
I'm sorry, but your USB-hating must come to an end. It's not inferior, it's not a crappy interface, and it's certainly not handicapped for use with peripherals.


It just sucks when the "new technology" in this case is WORSE than what it's replacing.
How is it worse? You really like to cry about this, but you've not been able to produce one reason why USB is so "inferior." It's marginally slower for transferring large amounts of data. So what. It's smaller, cheaper, more accessible. 10 seconds per GB isn't worth Apple's money or market share just to make a few hundred whiners happy.


Or else buy a USB-serial converter. Where's my USB2-Firewire converter? Apple? Anyone?
Yeah, because those things worked REALLY well. USB-Serial used the same communications metaphor. USB and Firewire are totally different in design. Converting USB to Firewire would be both expensive and worthless, most people would prefer to go the other way.


I understand. Every dollar does count. Try applying that philosophy to the other parts of the iPod, though, and you'll end up with a headphone jack made of silly putty because it's cheaper, LCD displays from recycled Casio watches, etc. The bottom line is that it's a $300+ luxury music player, give me the features I need, or I CAN'T buy it even if I want to.
That's an asinine comparison. You buy the cheapest part that does everything you need it to do well. That's how you save money. Your examples are a laughable attempt at fighting an argument you can't win. The iPod is NOT a luxury ANYTHING. It's a commodity item. It might be a high-end MP3 player, but it's still defined in that commodity group in economic terms. If you think that the iPod doesn't give you the features you want, don't buy one. Apple doesn't care, millions of other people WILL buy them.


In my case they could have made a $100 profit off me, but they won't, because they've decided that saving a buck or two will save them more money than making a long-time Mac user happy.
They're not losing any sleep over it. By catering to each person like you, they'd be losing that profit from tens of other buyers. They went with the other guys that brought them 15 times the profit. Sorry.


This may indeed be true. If they don't want to put Firewire in it, though, they should just let me buy for a reasonable price a USB2-Firewire converter.
Nothing like that exists. They don't need Firewire. Give me one good business reason that they should have gone with FW instead of USB. Both was no longer possible. Look at the Ars vivisection if you don't believe that.


What makes you think that? There are tons of PCs that don't have USB2 either. Granted, Firewire is probably not going to make them happy either
Apple doesn't care about them. They only care about the young, up-to-date crowd with money to spare. PCs can add USB 2.0 for less than $20 if they don't have it already to join in on the iPod craze if they catch the bug. Firewire doesn't cost that much to add, but adding FW amounts to an "iPod tax" because nobody that buys FW cards for an iPod will use it for anything else. The only thing it's used for on the PC side is DV (with some minor exceptions), and DV is no fun on an outdated PC.


Consistency? Why don't they remove the PCI Express slots from the Power Mac then? No other Mac has them. Gotta be consistent. Super-competitive market. Every dollar counts and all.
There you go again. PCI Express is being introduced gradually. It's not some last vestige of a formerly important piece of technology, it's an up-and-coming thing. Firewire isn't going anywhere on Macs. It has its uses for hard drives and DV and some high-end equipment. But the iPod is a peripheral and its easiest and most logical place is with the other peripherals, on USB. People who use it as an external hard drive have to put up with an extra 10 seconds per GB. Big deal.

If you don't like the new iPod, don't buy it. But for the other couple million people who have ordered or will ordered, its bigger screen, greater capacity, new software features, smaller and thinner size, and video playback were more than worth the loss of a seldom-used port that took up a bunch of space. The market will speak for itself, and I wish you happy times enjoying whatever music player you choose instead.

matticus008
Oct 21, 2005, 06:11 PM
for as long as i can remember, alex has been right, and this is no exception. downgrades all around. how many downgrades can an iPod take before it's just like every other MP3 player out there?

if they're going to try to compete with price, they're going to HAVE to compete with features as well. and i don't want cheap features.

He's not right here. "Downgrades all around?" That's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. They're competing with features by getting rid of ones that are limiting or not popular, or both.

New iPod added:
Thinner, lighter case
Longer battery life
Bigger hard drive capacity
Bigger, brighter, nicer color display
Video playback of H.264 at a full 30fps
Universal dock

New iPod loses:
Firewire port that the overwhelming majority of people never used.

Yeah. Downgrade. Who are all these crazy millions of people buying them? Nobody wants that crap.

vniow
Oct 21, 2005, 06:45 PM
USB is superior to Firewire in most applicable computing situations, so saying it's inferior is both ignorant and just plain wrong.

I don't think that's exactly what it was saying. Of course USB is superior in some ways like mice and keyboards as you say, FW is overkill for that kind of situation but for large data transfers like movies and music? Perfect. USB has been shown to be continually inferior when handling that sort of thing.

Uh, Firewire IS older technology. USB 2.0 is included on the majority of Macs sold in the past four years. Maybe shocking, but true.

So what if its older? Its still a superior technology in a number of ways. Shocking that USB 2.0 has been included on newer Macs? Not really. That only means that a lot of users had a choice to use USB or FW when buying periphials. Now they don't, at least not in the case of the iPod.

That's what much of this is about, choice. And I know what you'll probably say, you can always choose to get an older iPod that supports FW but that's a BS argument. FW is something that has been on Macs for years and years, the vast majority of PCs have a free PCI slot so they can add FW if they don't have it already. Most Macs on the other hand cannot. And why should they have to? FW has proven itself to be a better choice for transferring large files and large amounts of files without the computer interfering, that's one of the things that is so liked about it.


It's not de-innovating anything. Firewire and USB 2.0 are extremely similar, but USB is cheaper, more universal, and smaller.

And slower.

2. People complained about its expense, about how hard it was to get Firewire products, and about how difficult it was to deal with.

Think about all the older Mac users who are complaining about this new port which is inferior to the port which they already have that they have to add in order to use their brand new iPod to its full potential.

3. NOT irrelevant. Had you cared to read a little more carefully, you'd see that those are all examples of Apple going against the grain and being successful in the end.[/quote]

Of course its bloody irrelevant. There's no way to prevent those LCD widescreens to be used on computers other than the newest ones, they'll work with any with a DVI port. I don't see anybody complaining that they can't use the new LCDs to their full potential because they have an older Mac.

10 seconds per GB isn't worth Apple's money or market share just to make a few hundred whiners happy.

A few hundred?!? USB 2.0 didn't come onto Macs until 2003. FW has been used on them since 1999. That's more than a few hundred I would think. And a vast majority I think are iBook/iMac owners who are unable to upgrade to USB 2.0. I can't think of how you're trying to defend Apple's behaviour which is essentially a big "**** you" to all those owners of their products. That's not OK in my books and its certainly not worth defending.


That's an asinine comparison. You buy the cheapest part that does everything you need it to do well. That's how you save money. Your examples are a laughable attempt at fighting an argument you can't win. The iPod is NOT a luxury ANYTHING. It's a commodity item. It might be a high-end MP3 player, but it's still defined in that commodity group in economic terms. If you think that the iPod doesn't give you the features you want, don't buy one. Apple doesn't care, millions of other people WILL buy them.

Yeah, thanx Apple. Thanx for reducing our choice in what interface we wish to use and what newer computers are compatible with it. It was one thing to stop shipping FW cables with iPods, its something else entirely to remove its support altogether.


They're not losing any sleep over it. By catering to each person like you, they'd be losing that profit from tens of other buyers. They went with the other guys that brought them 15 times the profit. Sorry.

And that makes it OK? Lets screw over our loyal long term users in order to squeeze every last drop of profit out of these things is essentially what they're saying. I don't see why they couldn't offer the choice. That's what I'm more concerned about than the rest. Apple removed it when they removed FW.


Look at the Ars vivisection if you don't believe that.

I have. I have not seen any documentation that FW chip would have added a significant amount of weight.


Apple doesn't care about them. They only care about the young, up-to-date crowd with money to spare.

Apple = ..|..

PCs can add USB 2.0 for less than $20 if they don't have it already to join in on the iPod craze if they catch the bug.

They can also add FW for the same amount. Oh, and most Macs can't if they don't have it already.

But the iPod is a peripheral and its easiest and most logical place is with the other peripherals, on USB. People who use it as an external hard drive have to put up with an extra 10 seconds per GB. Big deal.

Its used as a hard drive every time music and movies are transferred over to it as well. Big Deal.

rainman::|:|
Oct 21, 2005, 07:06 PM
by "downgrades all around" i meant on the firewire situation, obviously it's got a lot of new features. But plain and simple, Apple sold out a considerable chunk of their installed user base AND did it in a way that at least LOOKS like they're dumping their own technology (which has been and continues to be successful) for USB2. For the sake of price they dropped a feature. If you were spending the money on a Mercedes Benz, would you really be that impressed that they cut out the AM radio to save a bit on costs? No, you're already paying a premium for a luxury item (and MP3 players are luxury items in themselves, of course) and so you expect more from the product. Plain and simple. This is an example of the iPod's engineering drift towards the mass market. You have to expect the Apple purists aren't going to like that.

matticus008
Oct 21, 2005, 07:10 PM
[color=navy]I
That's what much of this is about, choice. And I know what you'll probably say, you can always choose to get an older iPod that supports FW but that's a BS argument. FW is something that has been on Macs for years and years, the vast majority of PCs have a free PCI slot so they can add FW if they don't have it already. Most Macs on the other hand cannot. And why should they have to? FW has proven itself to be a better choice for transferring large files and large amounts of files without the computer interfering, that's one of the things that is so liked about it.
Well just to start, I'd like to say that I appreciate your post. It's one of an informative and objective nature that has been lacking in a big part of this discussion. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say that I, too, wish iPods still supported Firewire. But I accept the reality that the other features people wanted won out over my preference. The market has spoken.

I do agree that it's about choice and that it's upsetting to the approximately 4 million people that own Macs four years old or newer without USB 2.0. What I don't know is how many of those 4 million also have one of the 11 million newer Macs that support USB 2.0 or one of the dozens of millions of PCs that do, or how many are in the market for a new iPod. I'm sure at least some people are, and it's understandably disappointing that they've just "missed the bus" to iPodtown. But at the same time, it's been available for four solid years, which is an eternity outside of the Macsphere.

Firewire is superior for those big transfers (especially huge DV files and the like), but it loses that speed edge when dealing with many small files. There's a limit to how fast any protocol can stream file after file. The performance margin is quite small when you're copying thousands of files. If copying one 15GB file over, Firewire is significantly faster, absolutely (almost twice as fast in some cases). Not true of 10,000 files.


Of course its bloody irrelevant. There's no way to prevent those LCD widescreens to be used on computers other than the newest ones, they'll work with any with a DVI port. I don't see anybody complaining that they can't use the new LCDs to their full potential because they have an older Mac.
I can see those examples didn't have the desired impact. They were not cases of compatibility per se, they were cases when Apple took a gamble that paid off. I was saying that this is another one. They risk alienating some part of their user base in order to move forward in every one of those examples, and every time it's worked out well for them.



A few hundred?!? USB 2.0 didn't come onto Macs until 2003. FW has been used on them since 1999. That's more than a few hundred I would think. And a vast majority I think are iBook/iMac owners who are unable to upgrade to USB 2.0. I can't think of how you're trying to defend Apple's behaviour which is essentially a big "**** you" to all those owners of their products. That's not OK in my books and its certainly not worth defending.
I think the problem to complain about there is buying into a closed and non-upgradeable platform. Lots of people that bought those older Macs now have newer Macs. Those that don't may not have any interest in an iPod, and a third group already has a suitable iPod that they've bought in the past four years. A fourth group of that doesn't mind the glacial USB 1.1 speed (probably the smallest of those groups, I'd imagine). People willingly bought closed platforms, and this clearly illustrates the major disadvantage of doing so.


I have. I have not seen any documentation that FW chip would have added a significant amount of weight.
Not weight, size. The Firewire chips occupy as much space as the video decoder. On the iPod circuit board, video playback was the trade. I would rather still have Firewire than the video playback myself, but obviously people have been itching for video and they won out. There's only so much space on that little board.

fklehman
Oct 21, 2005, 07:36 PM
You can still charge with a FW cable.

That is just ridiculous--it seems that Apple is dropping compatibility just to spite us, since the IEEE 1394 controller chip is obviously there. Maybe someone else could explain why it would charge but not transfer. Firewire is flat-out the better standard. It's Beta vs. VHS all over again..."good enough" will trump superior.

matticus008
Oct 21, 2005, 07:42 PM
That is just ridiculous--it seems that Apple is dropping compatibility just to spite us, since the IEEE 1394 controller chip is obviously there. Maybe someone else could explain why it would charge but not transfer. Firewire is flat-out the better standard. It's Beta vs. VHS all over again..."good enough" will trump superior.
The Firewire chip is NOT there. The Firewire cable has lines that carry power. The USB cable has the exact same lines. They connect to the DC power pins on the dock connector, not to either the USB or the FW pins in the connector (for thos iPods whose docks actually have Firewire pins).

And it's not flat-out the better standard, but if you haven't taken the time to see that by now, you never will.

rainman::|:|
Oct 21, 2005, 08:11 PM
im genuinely curious, what advantages does USB2 have over FW? specs laid out and all.

devilot
Oct 21, 2005, 08:15 PM
im genuinely curious, what advantages does USB2 have over FW? specs laid out and all.Most Windows boxes will have USB2 and not FW. :(

matticus008
Oct 22, 2005, 12:09 AM
im genuinely curious, what advantages does USB2 have over FW? specs laid out and all.

This has been posted in pieces in a bunch of different threads, so I'll do my best to consolidate what myself and others have said. Sorry about the length.

Firewire
A peer to peer setup employing a protocol with isochronous transfers. What this means is that Firewire guarantees a given amount of bandwidth and sustains that level or shuts off the transfer. This makes it ideally suited for DV, where hard disk recording requires a constant data stream into the software editor. If a DV camera plays back 30 seconds of video, Firewire transfers 30 seconds of video to match. It is able to do this because of a hardware design where the computer and the FW device have matching sets of chips (a controller, a signal clock, and an interface connection). Even the tiniest FW peripheral must have the full set of FW hardware components in order to function.

Firewire can maintain this isochronous transfer until the bus becomes full. Once the entire Firewire bus fills up, additional devices are not recognized, connected but idle devices are "ejected" and a lot of data gets lost in transit. It does not fail gracefully.

FW has a more limited cable length (4m) than USB and is limited to 63 devices. It doesn't always work well in "daisy chain" configurations. It requires a significant investment in hardware, but is particularly useful where a constant data rate is required (audio and video recording). As a burst transfer protocol (sending several smallish files), it is similar to USB. The Firewire transport protocol is very complicated and requires a lot of work to decode, owing largely to being able to maintain isochronous transfers.

Apple and Sony decided to apply high license fees when releasing Firewire to market (they have since dropped to $0.25 per device). FW800 likewise is not backwards compatible with FW400, splitting their market. Firewire hardware was also more expensive independent of licensing because of its peer-to-peer metaphor, and this substantially higher cost meant that it was uncommon to see Firewire in the PC market because of the razor thin margins in that sector.


USB 2.0
USB utilizes a central host controller containing most of the signaling and interpreting hardware. Individual components must only have the interface installed to work; USB relies on the host computer to handle data transfer, and bandwidth can be shared among devices. For the most part, this is a good thing, because extra mouse bandwidth can be used by a printer spooling a large document or by an iPod doing transfers. However, the exchange is limited by the protocol's complex traffic-handling overhead, which cuts into the available bandwidth. Also, it's very difficult to negotiate a high rate of transfer among USB devices (because the general rule for the PC is that no device should monopolize the system resources for too long), which causes speed to change based on available computer resources. CPU usage in particular is about the same or slightly lower than with Firewire, but USB is extremely resource-intensive on the PCI bus and through the system chipset.

USB peripherals have just a single small chip for communicating with the host computer, making cost and space requirements lower. Unlike Firewire devices, they cannot communicate without a computer in the chain. USB hosts can communicate with up to 127 devices, and is completely backwards compatible with USB 1.1 devices. A USB 1.1 device on a chain will slow that chain (but not the whole bus) to USB 1.1 speeds. Cables can be slightly longer. USB cannot carry as much electrical power to peripherals as Firewire. The USB protocol is simpler, but takes up a large overhead within the bandwidth.

USB is licensed for free by Intel, and because both iterations use the same connection and there is mutual compatibility, there is a tremendous number of peripherals available which use it, and adding USB support to any given peripheral is a trivial matter. Also, because USB had a viable low-speed variant for small peripherals, the use of a common connector and software model meant that it was a great deal easier for customers, manufacturers, and developers to understand and to implement.

COMPARISON
Firewire is more expensive and more complex, but a worthwhile investment in large external devices where guaranteed rate or the absolute fastest speed is required. USB is much smaller, simpler, and cheaper, although it can't dedicate the resources to guarantee sustained high speeds (it does however offer a MUCH more graceful response to a full bus than Firewire, by simply slowing "hog" devices to free room for others).

Because USB and Firewire are both limited by the OS and system architecture in terms of transferring a series of files (each file must be initialized and terminated). Since it's very much stop and go traffic, you can't notice the difference between USB and Firewire too well. Firewire can go, say, 100mph on the highway and USB struggles to hold 70mph...but with per file throttling, both of these "cars" are driving in city traffic and have much shorter runs to accelerate and cruise.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
Because of that equal performance limitation, the USB - FW battle comes down to price, market penetration, size, and compatibility. The exception to this is DV, high end multimedia recording, and devices that require lots of power; in these cases Firewire is the clear and only viable choice (though AC adapters can be added to address the power issue). Where sustained transfers of files of 100MB or bigger don't happen, or in low bandwidth environments, or in devices where space is premium (flash drives, mice, iPod nano), USB is more practical. Also, USB is more practical when universal compatibility is a priority (as devilot76 said), because of the low market penetration of Firewire, but that alone is not a technical reason.

Counterfit
Oct 22, 2005, 01:26 AM
2 things that make me hesitant about buying a new iPod: no FireWire, no remote port.
Granted, my PB does have USB2.0, and the new thickness (or lack thereof) is good.
I'm more concerned with the lack of the remote port. Why did they get rid of it? Did it really take up so much room? And why the hell do I hack to stick my hand in my pocket whenever I want to adjust the volume or change the track now? :confused:

iEric
Oct 22, 2005, 02:05 AM
And why the hell do I hack to stick my hand in my pocket whenever I want to ... change the track now? :confused:

It's Apple's iNsAnE way of making you listen to the whole song...those bastards! :D

matticus008
Oct 22, 2005, 03:02 AM
Why did they get rid of it? Did it really take up so much room?
The whole iPod circuit board is at most 5 square inches (smaller than a stick of RAM) and is jam-packed with the necessary electronics to run the iPod. There's literally just not space. Here are some images to help illustrate.

33177
This shows an older iPod (1 or 2G). Note the size of the Firewire controller.

33178
This is the 5G iPod. The CPU and RAM are newer and smaller, and in place of the FW, you have the Video chip. A modern FW controller is the same size as in the top picture. Also note the size of the USB interface. As you can see, there is no room for another chip the size of the video chip. The click wheel, display, battery, and hard drive fill up the rest of the inside.

---
I suspect that there will be a new remote product in the future (possibly using just the dock connector and routing the audio out through the bottom rather than the headphone jack).

hookahco
Oct 22, 2005, 03:48 AM
i wont buy the new gen ipod because it doesnt have the dock or the ac adapter. having the dock is so much better than having to plug in the ipod and just leave it laying on your desk. and what if i want to go on vacation? i have to buy an adapter? come on. AND why no firewire 800 support?

wtf. im mad.

matticus008
Oct 22, 2005, 03:55 AM
AND why no firewire 800 support?
Christ. Did you not see the pictures or read ANY of this thread? FW800 would never even be considered for an iPod. The hard drive is entirely too slow and would perform exactly like on FW400, even assuming a sizeable number of people had access to FW800, which they do not.

mjstew33
Oct 22, 2005, 04:25 AM
No adapter?! What happens if you go on vacation? That's lame
I agree. I mean, come on. You should included the AC adpater... what if people have desktops at home and they are on vacation?
IMO, you shouldn't have to buy an adapter charge your iPod. :rolleyes:

Thank God I have two, lol. :p

tristan
Oct 22, 2005, 05:46 AM
Wow, no firewire and no adapter? That blows. My TiBook I bought in Feb 2003 (not even three years old) only has USB 1.1, and there's no way I'm going to try to fill up a new iPod with that. And having the adaptor is convenient, my Powerbook goes to many different places in the house, but the adapter is always in the wall in the bedroom. I vote lame as well.

ipacmm
Oct 22, 2005, 08:11 AM
Wow, no firewire and no adapter? That blows. My TiBook I bought in Feb 2003 (not even three years old) only has USB 1.1, and there's no way I'm going to try to fill up a new iPod with that. And having the adaptor is convenient, my Powerbook goes to many different places in the house, but the adapter is always in the wall in the bedroom. I vote lame as well.


I agree, on my powerbook it took all night to put all of my songs onto my ipod...if it was firewire...it would have been done in like an hour.

Foxer
Oct 22, 2005, 09:01 AM
It's Apple's iNsAnE way of making you listen to the whole song...those bastards! :D

But the lack of remote compatibility means I can't use my iTrip anymore.

ReanimationLP
Oct 22, 2005, 09:02 AM
I think the reason FW was dropped was to make room for the Broadcom video chip.

thequicksilver
Oct 22, 2005, 09:09 AM
The problem with this whole USB 2 issue on the most part isn't a gripe at Apple for choosing USB 2 over Firewire. Few people are attached enough to Firewire to care about it going from a purely technical point of view. I do find that Firewire is a better port for syncing, but USB 2 works just fine here, and will for everyone who has a USB 2 capable computer.

The problem however does rest with Apple. Why?

Apple didn't introduce USB 2 on its machines until mid 2003.

USB 2 has been around on even the most rubbish PCs almost universally since mid 2002. Apple, so often a leader in terms of introducing new stuff, held off introducing USB 2 on Macs presumably to try and push Firewire as the market's protocol of choice. So otherwise great machines, such as the late G4 Powermacs, the first 12" and 17" Powerbooks, most G4 iMacs, all G3 iBooks, and every single TiBook lacks USB 2. Because Apple didn't add the option until Firewire had basically lost the battle.

I couldn't care less about any so-called 'loyalty' to Firewire, but Apple brought this problem on themselves by not adopting USB 2 earlier. There's nothing either Apple or the USB 1.1 Mac users can do about it now, but it's just a mess of Apple's doing.

matticus008
Oct 22, 2005, 07:11 PM
The problem with this whole USB 2 issue on the most part isn't a gripe at Apple for choosing USB 2 over Firewire. Few people are attached enough to Firewire to care about it going from a purely technical point of view. I do find that Firewire is a better port for syncing, but USB 2 works just fine here, and will for everyone who has a USB 2 capable computer.

The problem however does rest with Apple. Why?

Apple didn't introduce USB 2 on its machines until mid 2003.



Yeah, I agree with you there for the most part (except that iMacs got USB 2 about half way through and the last PowerMacs also had it). But nobody else has been arguing that point, really. They've all been calling USB "inferior" without knowing anything about it, maybe because they're the ones who don't have it. It's a funny concept, considering the Apple was the first company to drop legacy ports and adopt USB across the line.

I think you're right that they were trying to get Firewire into the market, but Apple has never had enough leverage to do that and they should have known it. They should have adopted USB 2.0 several months earlier with the rest of the industry. But people also should have been informed consumers when they looked around at all the other computers and saw that they all had USB 2.0. They should have looked at the peripheral shelves in stores and seen USB 2.0 everywhere. They should have made sure that they could upgrade to USB 2.0 in the future, rather than happily buying computers that were closed platforms that didn't support the dominant standard. The blame is not Apple's alone.

The fact that they preserved compatibility for two solid years after the introduction of the last USB 2.0 computer is admirable. Any other PC maker would have dropped it a month later and said "to hell with you people." But you knew that as soon as the iPod opened up to Windows in 2003 that Apple was going for the top dog position. It wanted that whole market, and Firewire was not consistent with that vision.

It's not so much a case of Apple abandoning its customers. It's Apple targeting a different group of customers entirely. People who are offended by Apple's actions should realize that it's not Mac users that made the iPod successful, and iPod is, for all practical purposes, a different brand with a different mission. Apple hopes that people who like iPods will also get Macs, but they didn't make that part essential to their iPod business model. With the iPod, Apple can't afford not to play the game PC-style. That's what's totally different between the two lines. The Macintosh is an effort to develop a powerful, beautiful, sophisticated computer that people love--knowing that they are a small, niche player and not aiming to take over Windows. The iPod is an effort to make Apple a household name in digital media--and IS designed to streamroll the competition.

tristan
Oct 22, 2005, 08:36 PM
Yeah the fact that Apple didn't put USB 2.0 on the laptops until very late in the game has basically created a situation where the company's best customers (the one's who spent $2500 on their Powerbook) can't use any new iPod.

Aarow
Oct 22, 2005, 08:39 PM
Ugh. Now I'll have to unplug my printer to put songs on my future ipod. The horror!

quagmire101
Oct 22, 2005, 09:09 PM
does anyone really care about this? who has a mac anyway?

matticus008
Oct 22, 2005, 10:40 PM
Yeah the fact that Apple didn't put USB 2.0 on the laptops until very late in the game has basically created a situation where the company's best customers (the one's who spent $2500 on their Powerbook) can't use any new iPod.

Powerbooks can be upgraded to USB 2.0 via the PC card slot :).

alex_ant
Oct 22, 2005, 11:35 PM
Oh, good. A long one. When USB came out, computers that just had PS/2 mouse ports couldn't use USB-only mice. They were more than capable of handling the data from a mouse, but you know what, things change. USB is superior to Firewire in most applicable computing situations, so saying it's inferior is both ignorant and just plain wrong.
1) USB-PS2 adapters for mice are readily available and super cheap, even included with many USB mice. Why doesn't Apple let me buy a USB2-Firewire converter to use these new iPods with my "old" Mac? Of course they're two totally different protocols - so what.
2) USB2 is hands-down technologically inferior. Its real-world max transfer speed is slower, CPU utilization is higher, and it supplies less bus power making charging much slower.
Uh, Firewire IS older technology. USB 2.0 is included on the majority of Macs sold in the past four years. Maybe shocking, but true.
USB 2.0 is a hack on top of USB 1.1 which is older technology. It is inferior in most respects to Firewire. USB 2.0 is to Firewire, for the iPod's purposes, is what IDE was to SCSI in about 1995.
It's not de-innovating anything. Firewire and USB 2.0 are extremely similar, but USB is cheaper, more universal, and smaller.
There are 2 big differences between Firewire and USB2 for my purposes:

1) Firewire is significantly more technologically advanced; and more importantly,
2) My Mac (and a lot of others' Macs) don't have USB2

In a device obsessed with thin and light, smaller is more important than a small speed edge.
The additional space necessary for a Firewire controller chip is quite small. Firewire chips are not exactly concrete slabs, you know. If it expands the length/depth of the thing by 1 or 2 mm, it would be more than worth it for me and for anyone who wants faster transfers and shorter charge times. Of course, if THAT EXACT level of thinness is absolutely necessary, then feel free to offer a reasonably-priced USB2-FW converter instead of putting FW inside the iPod.
Being able to sell iPods to 300 million people is way more important than being able to sell it to 30 million.
So I ask again, why not either include both interfaces like previous iPods did, or offer for separate purchase a USB2-Firewire converter for the people who can't use USB2? That way, all 330m people are covered.
2. People complained about ... how hard it was to get Firewire products
Case in point.
, and about how difficult it was to deal with.
It's difficult to plug a cable into a jack? FW is no more difficult to deal with than USB.
3. NOT irrelevant. Had you cared to read a little more carefully, you'd see that those are all examples of Apple going against the grain and being successful in the end.
Apple has also gone against the grain and been unsuccessful. The puck mouse... the G4 cube... the Flower Power iMac (wtf?). Apple is not successful because it goes against the grain, it's successful because it makes good products that its customers love. The new iPod is not a good product to me because a feature from it that is vital to me has been stripped out.
I'm sorry, but your USB-hating must come to an end. It's not inferior, it's not a crappy interface, and it's certainly not handicapped for use with peripherals.
It is inferior, it is a poorly designed interface, and I wouldn't know if it's handicapped for use with peripherals because my Mac doesn't have it and therefore can't use them!
How is it worse? You really like to cry about this, but you've not been able to produce one reason why USB is so "inferior."
http://www.barefeats.com/usb2.html

But my point is not that FW is superior to USB, which it is. My point is that lots of Mac owners don't have USB2 and thus basically can't use the new iPods.
It's marginally slower for transferring large amounts of data. So what. It's smaller, cheaper, more accessible.
That's great, except it's not more accessible to ME. I think it's great that the iPod has USB2 support and that definitely should not go away. I just wish that it also had FW support, like all previous iPods, even the commodity consumer-level Mini.
Yeah, because those things worked REALLY well. USB-Serial used the same communications metaphor. USB and Firewire are totally different in design. Converting USB to Firewire would be both expensive and worthless, most people would prefer to go the other way.
Not worthless to me or to anyone who owns a pre-USB2 Mac (they're really not that old) and is in the market for a new iPod. We would consider buying a reasonably priced adapter.
That's an asinine comparison. You buy the cheapest part that does everything you need it to do well.
Oops - looks like Apple forgot that step. (They forgot to buy the FW interface)
That's how you save money. Your examples are a laughable attempt at fighting an argument you can't win. The iPod is NOT a luxury ANYTHING.
Not to the average upper-middle-class Mac Rumors member, but to quite a few people, tens of millions in fact in the US alone, $300, $400 for an MP3 player damn well is a luxury item. I don't mean to say that all of these people are in the market for an iPod, just that what is considered luxury is relative.
It's a commodity item. It might be a high-end MP3 player, but it's still defined in that commodity group in economic terms.
Fair enough, it's a commodity item. I'm curious as to your opinions of previous iPods, the ones that included Firewire support. Were those not commodity items then?
If you think that the iPod doesn't give you the features you want, don't buy one. Apple doesn't care, millions of other people WILL buy them.

Millions of other people would buy them if they had Firewire+USB2 too... like they did during the previous generation.
Nothing like that exists. They don't need Firewire. Give me one good business reason that they should have gone with FW instead of USB. Both was no longer possible. Look at the Ars vivisection if you don't believe that.
1) I never said they should have gone with FW INSTEAD of USB, I said they should have STAYED with FW AND USB like all previous iPods were. That would make EVERYBODY happy (except people like you who like slower transfers and longer charge times and would rather screw thousands of potential customers than have to deal with a 0.8mm-deeper bulge in your belt clip-mounted iPod case).
2) What do you mean it was no longer possible? The previous generation already had FW and it was pretty darn successful I would say. Maybe it would have no longer been possible to include FW with the new form factor, but why did the form factor HAVE to become THIS form factor?

"Sorry everybody, in order to shrink our new iBooks down to a half inch thick, we had to get rid of the upgradeable RAM. Those slots only add to the iBook's price. Also, they just took up too much space on the board. Our market research indicated that most people don't upgrade their RAM anyway, so we're including 512MB with every Mac - that's more than enough for 95% of the market. We're sure you'll be amazed by the new innovative size!"
Apple doesn't care about them. They only care about the young, up-to-date crowd with money to spare. PCs can add USB 2.0 for less than $20 if they don't have it already to join in on the iPod craze if they catch the bug. Firewire doesn't cost that much to add, but adding FW amounts to an "iPod tax" because nobody that buys FW cards for an iPod will use it for anything else.
in a USB2+FW iPod, there is no need for ANY PC user to buy a FW card.
There you go again. PCI Express is being introduced gradually. It's not some last vestige of a formerly important piece of technology,
Firewire is not some last vestige of a formerly important piece of technology either. Like PCI Express, it is higher-performance, more expensive, and technologically superior in every way. It is in much the same predicament as the Mac - superior hardware, more expensive, hard to compete against commodity hardware that, while crappier, is also cheaper.
it's an up-and-coming thing. Firewire isn't going anywhere on Macs. It has its uses for hard drives and DV and some high-end equipment. But the iPod is a peripheral and its easiest and most logical place is with the other peripherals, on USB. People who use it as an external hard drive have to put up with an extra 10 seconds per GB. Big deal.
Easiest and most logical place? No, I'll tell you where the easiest and most logical place for it is - it's plugged into my Firewire port, 'cause I don't have USB2 ports.

(And for iPod-as-hard-drive use, there's another thing about the supposedly just-fine-and-dandy USB2: You can't boot off it.)
If you don't like the new iPod, don't buy it.
I don't like that attitude and Apple shouldn't either.
But for the other couple million people who have ordered or will ordered, its bigger screen, greater capacity, new software features, smaller and thinner size, and video playback were more than worth the loss of a seldom-used port that took up a bunch of space.
None of this had to come at the expense of FW, except perhaps the size, but even then we're talking about millimeters or fractions of a millimeter. Apple would have sold just as many iPods and even more if they had retained FW (or offered an adapter separately), pleased more of its customer base, and made the same or even greater profits (factoring in profits off the USB2-FW adapter).

alex_ant
Oct 22, 2005, 11:42 PM
Well just to start, I'd like to say that I appreciate your post. It's one of an informative and objective nature that has been lacking in a big part of this discussion. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say that I, too, wish iPods still supported Firewire. But I accept the reality that the other features people wanted won out over my preference. The market has spoken.
wtf?

If you wish iPods supported Firewire then why don't you just come out and say so? YOU ARE the market. Apple's market research is not infallible. Steve Jobs is not the messiah. He screws up sometimes too. Quite frequently, in fact.
I do agree that it's about choice and that it's upsetting to the approximately 4 million people
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

matticus008
Oct 23, 2005, 12:09 AM
wtf?

If you wish iPods supported Firewire then why don't you just come out and say so? YOU ARE the market. Apple's market research is not infallible. Steve Jobs is not the messiah. He screws up sometimes too. Quite frequently, in fact.


Because Steve Jobs doesn't like video, either. I doubt he was too thrilled about this product. Steve Jobs has very little to do with this. I know that I don't want video in my iPods, but I also know that hundreds of millions of other people want video and would rather have that than Firewire. I've accepted that my preferences are not the same as 99% of the rest of the world, something the Firewire camp here can't seem to recognize.

No one's market research is infallible, but in this case the research is absolutely right. iPods are selling faster than ever.

And yes, as weird as it sounds, 4 million is a very small number compared to the 790+ million total computer sales in that same four year period. Even if every one of those 4 million people were going to buy an iPod, they only comprise 0.5% of Apple's potential market. And based on iPod sales, only about 1-2% of computer owners buy an iPod every year (though that number is increasing rapidly), meaning that it's more likely that only 40-80 thousand of those people would buy an iPod. That's a very small number.

matticus008
Oct 23, 2005, 12:50 AM
1) USB-PS2 adapters for mice are readily available and super cheap, even included with many USB mice. Why doesn't Apple let me buy a USB2-Firewire converter to use these new iPods with my "old" Mac? Of course they're two totally different protocols - so what.
They're not the same at all. That mouse physically has hardware onboard that can do both PS/2 and USB. The adapter is just a pin reconfiguration. No such thing exists for USB and Firewire, because they have nothing in common from a communications standpoint. One is peer to peer and the other is host/client. You cannot adapt that.


2) USB2 is hands-down technologically inferior. Its real-world max transfer speed is slower, CPU utilization is higher, and it supplies less bus power making charging much slower.

USB 2.0 is a hack on top of USB 1.1 which is older technology. It is inferior in most respects to Firewire. USB 2.0 is to Firewire, for the iPod's purposes, is what IDE was to SCSI in about 1995.
USB and Firewire are the same age, actually. Its CPU utilization is generally lower than Firewire, actually. From a technical perspective, USB is much more versatile and much more dependable in scarce resource situations. USB is capable of isochronous transfer (at a lower speed than Firewire, yes), as well as burst transfer, and variants of the two. Firewire just does one of those. Firewire also panics and shuts down when it fills up, while USB can handle failure better. USB is also a much simpler protocol to implement in hardware, making the chips smaller by about a factor of 5.


1) Firewire is significantly more technologically advanced; and more importantly,
2) My Mac (and a lot of others' Macs) don't have USB2
Firewire is not more advanced. It's just more specialized. Sorry about your luck not having USB 2.0, but you bought that computer knowing that it had that limitation. You gambled on that limitation not mattering, but you lost that crapshoot.


The additional space necessary for a Firewire controller chip is quite small. Firewire chips are not exactly concrete slabs, you know. If it expands the length/depth of the thing by 1 or 2 mm, it would be more than worth it for me and for anyone who wants faster transfers and shorter charge times. Of course, if THAT EXACT level of thinness is absolutely necessary, then feel free to offer a reasonably-priced USB2-FW converter instead of putting FW inside the iPod.
Wrong again. A Firewire controller is about five to six times the size of a USB chip. USB-Firewire conversion is not simple, cheap, or practical. The end. The fantasy notion of a converter must end right there. It doesn't exist, and Apple can't magically make it exist economically.

The new iPod is not a good product to me because a feature from it that is vital to me has been stripped out.
Well, that's fine. But your loss was worth it to Apple, because it picked up plenty of other people to replace you.


It is inferior, it is a poorly designed interface, and I wouldn't know if it's handicapped for use with peripherals because my Mac doesn't have it and therefore can't use them!
It's not poorly designed at all. It's a really flexible, admirably designed protocol. Apple was the first company to adopt USB and drop legacy ports because it liked what it saw in USB. And it's not just an Intel thing, because Intel helped develop Firewire, too.


But my point is not that FW is superior to USB, which it is. My point is that lots of Mac owners don't have USB2 and thus basically can't use the new iPods.
It's not superior, except in a very narrow range of applications. Yeah, lots of people don't have it, but so what? 98%+ of people do, and iPods are selling faster than ever. This decision has allowed them to expand the market and increase the rate of sales. It hasn't hurt them in any way.


Oops - looks like Apple forgot that step. (They forgot to buy the FW interface)
They didn't forget. They left it out on purpose, because USB does everything they want the iPod to do.


Not to the average upper-middle-class Mac Rumors member, but to quite a few people, tens of millions in fact in the US alone, $300, $400 for an MP3 player damn well is a luxury item. I don't mean to say that all of these people are in the market for an iPod, just that what is considered luxury is relative.
An iPod is a commodity item, because the definition of being such is that it can be purchased on the average family's weekly disposable income (about $350). The personal computer hitting $299 was a major event because it signaled the first step of PCs entering commodity status. That's what it means to be a commodity product.


Fair enough, it's a commodity item. I'm curious as to your opinions of previous iPods, the ones that included Firewire support. Were those not commodity items then?
Once the price for the iPod dropped to $300 or below, yeah, they were commodity items too. I'm not seeing where you're going with that, though.


Millions of other people would buy them if they had Firewire+USB2 too... like they did during the previous generation.
Not really. Apple can't gain that many sales to Firewire-only computers. By next year, every late-model computer in their target range will have USB 2.0. Firewire will still only be around 10%.


1) I never said they should have gone with FW INSTEAD of USB, I said they should have STAYED with FW AND USB like all previous iPods were. That would make EVERYBODY happy (except people like you who like slower transfers and longer charge times and would rather screw thousands of potential customers than have to deal with a 0.8mm-deeper bulge in your belt clip-mounted iPod case).
There isn't room for video and Firewire. The market wanted video, so goodbye Firewire. Simple as that. Nobody is going to notice that it took 23.5 minutes instead of 22 minutes to sync their iPod. Even within a given interface, sync times vary a little each time.


2) What do you mean it was no longer possible? The previous generation already had FW and it was pretty darn successful I would say. Maybe it would have no longer been possible to include FW with the new form factor, but why did the form factor HAVE to become THIS form factor?
Because people expect the iPod to become better. That means thinner, smaller, bigger hard drives, more features or improvements to existing features. People wanted video. They got it. The dead weight of Firewire went away, and nobody really cared (with some minor exceptions).

Lots of people would buy that slimmer iBook, I'd wager. The iMac said "we're going to do away with internal expansion bays to make the computer smaller." Look how successful that's been.


(And for iPod-as-hard-drive use, there's another thing about the supposedly just-fine-and-dandy USB2: You can't boot off it.)
Apple never marketed that as a feature. It was a pleasant bonus...but guess what, PCs can boot to USB 2.0. They're enjoying that feature now.


I don't like that attitude and Apple shouldn't either.
Why not? Apple supports your choice to buy something else, and so does your wallet and your local electronics store. If it doesn't work for you, don't get one. Apple doesn't mind, because they're selling iPods almost faster than they can make them.


None of this had to come at the expense of FW, except perhaps the size, but even then we're talking about millimeters or fractions of a millimeter.
No we're not. We're talking about appreciable differences of more than half a square inch--a tremendous amount of space on a circuit board less than 5 square inches.

Apple would have sold just as many iPods and even more if they had retained FW (or offered an adapter separately), pleased more of its customer base, and made the same or even greater profits (factoring in profits off the USB2-FW adapter).
No they wouldn't. The new iPod wouldn't have video in it, and then people would be complaining about the "lame" iPod updates. They'd still sell a lot, but probably not as many. There's no way they could recoup the R&D costs of an adapter because nobody would want to pay an extra $100 for it, given that only 1% of the market would even need to use it. It's a stupid thing to waste money on.

jeffy.dee-lux
Oct 23, 2005, 01:29 AM
I'd like to toss another vote in for "sh**, no video pod for me".

I'm sure if you had both an old ipod and a video ipod and enough know-how, you could make a fraken-pod that would play movies after quickly downloading them off of my G3 imac.

tristan
Oct 23, 2005, 03:19 AM
I completely agree with alex. FW+USB2 would have been the way to go. It's just one more little chip on the board and a dollar or two, that's a small price to pay for not upsetting your most loyal customers. And they don't have to leave FW on there forever, but a couple more years would be a nice bone to throw to the Mac buyers who supported the company during its less successful days.

matticus008
Oct 23, 2005, 03:35 AM
33177
Note the size of the Firewire controller.

33178
Note the size of the USB controller. The Broadcom video chip is the same size as the Firewire controller. Where do you want Firewire to go?

Firewire isn't one more little chip. It's the biggest chip on the board.

BornAgainMac
Oct 23, 2005, 07:15 AM
Powerbooks can be upgraded to USB 2.0 via the PC card slot :).

So Apple's worst customers using the older iBook are out of luck. :eek:

matticus008
Oct 23, 2005, 07:22 AM
So Apple's worst customers using the older iBook are out of luck. :eek:
Unfortunately so. But the fact that the iBook isn't upgradeable or that USB 2.0 was an important omission was no secret, even back then...and somewhat more than two years later, here we are. That limitation has started to be significant for iPods.

It had to happen sooner or later.