5G iPod firewire solution?...maybe

Discussion in 'iPod' started by jsado, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #1
    Here is my proposed solution. Tell me if it will or will not work.

    5G iPod has to be in hard disk mode. My external Maxtor 250 gb hard drive has both firewire and USB 2.0 connections. Connected to iMac G4 by firewire. It has a free usb 2 port. I copy my entire music library and whatever movies onto the maxtor via the firewire connection. Then, with the ipod in disk mode, I copy the songs/movies onto my ipod via the usb2 port? Hmmm, I already see the flaw here. I need iTunes right?....So, do I need a working copy of os x on my external drive and boot from there?

    Obviously I'll need an adapter to change the plug on the usb to accomodate the iPods usb cable....

    Feel free to weigh in here at any time. Surely I can't be the only one disappointed by the disappearance of firewire.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    You have soooo lost me on this one. I'm exactly not sure what you are trying to do, but I'm 99.99% sure it won't work. You're going to have to use USB ports on the computer or on a hub connected to the computer. You cannot connect the ipod to a hard drive. Even if you could, it would still be connected via USB.

    Firewire was removed to make the iPod smaller. The Firewire controller is bigger than the USB one, thus it made the iPod smaller than the reverse. Plus, removing the USB and leaving the firewire would cut out a larger percentage of the iPod market. Everyone has USB, everyone does not have Firewire. That is just a smart business decision.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    buryyourbrideau

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    He was saying that he would transfer the files to a USB HD and then connect the iPod to a firewire connction on the external HD and then drag the files onto the iPod which was in disk mode.

    Pretty sure you cant do that
     
  4. macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    You lost me too

    Itunes puts the music into your ipod into a hidden folder so you cannot drag and drops songs from computer to computer... itunes is program to put the songs in a certain hidden folder.
    Also if your music is on an internal drive on your computer, you first have to transfer your music to the external then transfer it to your ipod. I think that would take much longer then to just deal with it and use USB
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #5
    Yeah, I reread the post and edited my post a little.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #6
    OK. My external HD will be connected via firewire, with a working copy of os x installed on it. I'll boot from the external HD and run OFF of the external HD. With a duplicate of iTunes, along with all of it's contents (music for example), I will then sync my iPod via the unused USB 2.0 port.

    The port transfers data in both directions, so all I'll need is an adapter to convert the port into a regular USB 2.0 port. I'm pretty damn sure I'm onto something here people. I just transferred 137 songs via USB 1 on my trusty ol' iMac G4, and it took almost a half hour. I need a solution, and this so far, seems like it might actually work.

    Feedback appreciated!!!! I'll keep you posted!!!
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #7
    If the external HD is connected to the computer via a firewire cable then the computer has no knowledge of the USB port that also happens to exist on the external HD.

    If the external drive is connected to the computer via USB and happens to have a second USB connector on the external drive then you can plug the ipod into the second USB connector and have the computer access the ipod. In this case, the external drive actually contains a small USB hub in addition to the HD interface. This is very unusal. In any case, if the computer USB port is only USB v1 compliant then all connected USB devices will only operate at USB v1 speeds.

    You seem to be suggesting that the external hard drive will have the smarts to transfer from the external hard drive directly to the ipod without the computer being involved. :eek: And somehow you expect the external drive to also bridge between USB and firewire. :eek: Neither of these expectations are valid nor will they work the way you are describing.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Metatron

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    #8
    Don't listen to them man...just try it.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    Thanks for throwing the monkey wrench into my gears of creative solutions pal. DAMNIT MAN. What can I do? I found a converting cable online that converts firewire to usb. It costs 100 bucks and it's intended for DV transfer. But it's all data correct? Think that will work?
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    Given that the 5G iPod cannot transfer over FireWire in any circumstance as it is lacking the computer chip to do so, I would give up quickly.

    Your only chance would be a converting cable like you suggested, if it even works.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #11
    Metatron, I will. I'm just waiting for Tiger to arrive on my doorstep Friday. In the meantime, I'll keep picking peoples brains and hope for a solution other than develop an abundance of patience.
     
  12. Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
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    #12
    Won't work. That cable is specifically designed for certain DV cameras. There is no possible way you can get this to work. You are stuck with USB.


    Oh come on. After the initial big transfer, the other syncs should be pretty quick. If it bothers you that much, sell it and get a 4th Gen.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #13
    Save you some time

    It does not work. Tried it.

    I have an old Quicksilver, with an external drive with USB and FW ports.

    I plugged a nano into the external drive just because it was easy to reach and available. It charged fine. But iTunes would not see it. So, the iPod got power from the firewire cable to the drive (it is self powered from the FW cable) so that was cool, but it would not bridge.

    On an aside, I have had poor luck at best when connecting the 5gen or nano via any sort of hub. Even a straight USB 2.0 hub iTunes will often fail to see the iPod.

    What you are looking for is a FW to USB2 bridge. I am sure they exist, but are probably prohibitively expensive. Another option, get a PCI USB 2.0 card. In my case, a $9.99 USB 2.0 card did the trick. Be warned, 3 of 5 times, iTunes still does not see the iPod. In my case, I have to mount a memory stick using the 2.0 and the iPod using 1.x, eject them both and switch to make sure the PCI card sees it. But I am using a generic POS card. Your results will be better with a Mac certified card I am sure.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #14
    I would love to just swap out my usb card. Problem is, I have an iMac G4 800. Unless you guys know of a way for me to swap the usb card. I'd love to do it but I bet that suckers soldered right in there.

    I'm not sure if you caught this earlier, but you do know that I intend on installing os x on my external HD. Will this or will this not make a difference? As I sit here and think about it, I guess I am asking the external HD to act as a bridge....and it won't do that right?

    I know after initial transfer, the sync times won't be so bad. However, what if I sync a video. A dvd would probably still take an hour to transfer after it's been reformatted....

    I don't know, now I'm down
    I'll post and let you know my results after I try a few experiments
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #15
    It is irrelevant which drive OS X is installed onto. The hardware in the external enclosure cannot not act as a bridge between firewire and usb. The external HD hardware only acts as a bridge between firewire and IDE (hard drive connector) or between USB and IDE (hard drive connector).

    Ultimately, a firewire to usb bridge would require large hardware buffers to cope with the differences in sustained speeds between firewire and usb. This kind of hardware is not necessary to interface a hard drive via usb or firewire so is not built into external hard drives.
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #16
    That's a bit harsh...

    Nobody is disputing whether it was 'right' to drop firewire. However, it was a bit inconsiderate when you bear in mind the length of time they held out before installing USB 2 on their entire product range. This is a particular problem for those with fairly recent iMac/iBook/Powerbook's, which have no/limited options for upgrading.

    Under the circumstances, you would have hoped that Apple might have offered a solution to an issue affecting such a large number of their users...?

    J
     
  17. macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #17
    To the OP,

    There is nothing you can do. Your iMac will not now or in the future be able to support USB 2.0. You can't use firewire with any of the current iPods and I doubt Apple will ever bring the feature back no matter how many people ask them to.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    #18
    You can:

    1. Wait a long time for stuff to copy.

    2. Get a new Mac.
     
  19. Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #19
    They did offer a solution, they allowed USB transfers. They would leave many more users in the dark if they dropped USB and only allowed firewire. Everyone can use USB, not all users have Firewire. To me it sounds like they were being considerate.
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #20
    I think you missed the point... Up until as little as 3 years ago Apple backed Firewire over USB 2.0 and (pigheadedly) was very slow to introduce it to their hardware. This was despite the fact that it would have incurred negligible extra cost to upgrade to the 2.0 standard, at this point.

    By dropping firewire from the ipod, without offering any sort of optional extra, it's effectively dumped a lot of users as a result of a shortsighted decision it made several years ago. I can see the size/price motivations for what they have done, but equally it should be possible to offer some kind of bridge cable for those users with older systems. What's the point in buying a music player with GB's of space if it takes hours to fill?

    J
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #21
    As a Mac user who owns many older Macs, I must say I was dissappointed to see FW dropped from the new iPods.

    It made the most sense as a business. Most iPods end up connected to a PC> For the past 4 to 6 years the high majority of PCs have had USB 2.0. So if they had to make a decision based on size/weight/cost going with USB 2.0 makes sense.

    However, it leaves me, an owner of a 2 Quicksilver, 2 Sawtooth, both with upgraded GPU, CPU, RAM out in the dust. Machines that are between 4 and 5 years old are effectively obsoleted for iPod use. Normally, I would say that with advances in computer technology you should buy a new one in that time, but I can say that all of my older towers have had CPU upgrades and ram, etc so that they are competitive with newer models. More importantly, they are used for mission critical purposes and have a proven reliability. Now they cannot use a new iPod.

    Solution. Well, in the case of my towers I added third party USB 2.0 PCI cards. I had the slots available. Problem is that it only sometimes recognizes the iPod. If Apple provided better third party USB support then I would take less issue.

    For owners of iMacs, and iBooks, and powerbooks, they are left with no options.

    I looked up FW to USB bridges and they seem very pricey. Probably artificially so, but I am sure if Apple were to release a bridging dock, it would cost well over $150.00 as that is HALF what a PCI FW to USB bridge costs now. At what point do I say "time to buy a Mactel".

    I think it is regrettable that Apple dumped FW from the iPods, but the sheer size of the controller chip of USB 2 vs FW is significant, and the economics of it make sense. Plus, you know we all want to go out and buy the new media center Mactel come January anyhow.
     
  22. Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
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    #22
    I didn't miss your point at all. I understand your frustration. I just can't agree with you. Apple had to make a decision and they made the correct one. No one can argue that. There are not many users who cannot use the new ipods, so they didn't drop anyone.

    Apple is not dropping firewire support at all. They are just reevaluation when to use it and for what products. Firewire is a great technology is will be here to stay for a long time in both the Mac world and the PC world.

    That is not possible to bridge the 2 totally incompatible technologies without using a device that has a CPU and memory (basically a small computer).
     
  23. macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Location:
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #23
    it doesnt sound like it will work man....sorry....gonna have to live with it.


    Bless
     
  24. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #24
    How can people say that not everybody has firewire?...Every computer I look at in the store today has firewire! Even the things that cost $400. PC's seem now to be equipped with both. All of them! Take a look next time you go to a computer store, 98% have firewire.

    So therefor, Apple could have alienated the minor population of PC users that don't have firewire. Instead the get rid of something that comes standard on EVERY Mac. EVERY MAC. Does Dell cater to Mac users? Does HP pull components out of their systems so that the unit is now compatable with AAAAAAAALLLLLLLL Macs and some PC's? No.

    They could have eliminated USB 2, stuck with what they've been promoting, taken care of all their loyal Mac users, and STILL keep a giant share of their PC market! Every PC built today comes with firewire.

    I'm pissed
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    wattage

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #25
    As a hopeful Christmas 60gb 5G recipient, I too wish firewire was still in effect. I think the idea of using the iPod to boot your computer from is ultra cool.
     

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