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Using iPods with 4-pin Firewire

Discussion in 'iPod' started by ftaok, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. macrumors 601

    Hi y'all,

    I was thinking about picking up an new iPod mini for my wife and was wondering if they are compatible with 4-pin Firewire. My wife's Dell has a 4-pin port, but no 6-pin. This wouldn't be a problem if she had USB2, but she don't.

    Anyone have an iPod working with 4-pin FW?

  2. macrumors 6502a

    my 3G 20gig came with a 6 pin to 4 pin adapter plug. i'd imagine that would be fine. however remember that most iPods do not come with firewire anymore, which means you'll need to buy that firewire cable separate. At least double check to make sure you know what is in the box, then order accordingly, the cable may not include the 6-to-4 pin adapter either, so that could be extra as well. just check before you order expecting to find a firewire cable in the box.
  3. Demi-God (Moderator emeritus)


    If you use an adapter, this should work fine for tansfers. 4-pin firewire will not however charge the ipod.
  4. macrumors 601


    I did notice that the new iPods will work with USB 1, which my wife's Dell does have. So I guess I could get the Firewire cable and adapter for syncing, and use the included USB cable for charging. It's a little kludgy, but I guess it'll do until we get her a Mac.
  5. macrumors 6502


    USB 1.1


    it would take absolutely forever to transfer over a 1.1 connection... :eek:
  6. macrumors 601

    Yes it would. That's why I said that I would end up using the 4-pin FW for transfers and the USB1 for charging.

    BTW, to anyone still reading ... I couldn't find the 6-pin to 4-pin adapter on Apple's site. I guess any old 4-pin/6-pin adapter could work, but a white one would match better.

    I better do a little more research.
  7. macrumors 68020


    For the price of a good firewire cable and adapter, you could probably pick up a USB2 PCMCIA card.

    CompUSA has a FW/USB2 combo PC card for $80.
  8. macrumors Core


    its probably already been said but 4-pin Firewire does not charge the 'pod.

    huge pain back when i had my laptop with 4 pin and i tried looking for a few songs on my iPod using XP's search. because of the speed of the pods HD and the fact it was spun up for so long the battery was almost dead.

    copying music across kills it too. just be nice to it :)
  9. macrumors 65816


    The 6 pin to 4 pin used to come with iPods, I have one. They're probably $5 at a place like CompUSA.
  10. macrumors 6502

    My 4G 20GB came with a 6pin cable and USB 2 cable, no adapter anymore, if your wife's Dell is a desktop it might just be easiest to add a USB 2 or combo PCI card in it. Thoes are pretty cheap now and them you can charge the iPod through one cable. I use the Combo card in my work PC to charge my iPod if I forget to plug it in at home.
  11. macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Neither 4-pin FW nor USB 1.1 will charge...

    Yup. In order to charge an iPod, you either need 6-pin FireWire or USB 2.0. So if you buy a new iPod, you'll need to get a charging adaptor, in addition to the FireWire cable. I'd recommend getting the FireWire cable, 4-pin-to-6-pin adaptor, and FireWire wall brick charger.

    The technical issue is that USB 1.1 is limited to 500mA of current per port, which isn't even enough to charge the mini. USB 2.0 can provide more power per port (don't know the exact limit, but it's at least 1A,) which can charge it. 4-pin FireWire is missing 2 pins for one simple reason: It doesn't have the power pins.

    I have a 2.5" bus-powered USB hard drive case that uses an interesting method to get around USB 1.1's lack of power. If you are plugging it into a USB 2.0 port, it gets enough power to run just fine. But if you want to plug it into a USB 1.1 computer, you have to use the (included) Y-adaptor. It draws power only from one USB port, and both draws power, and makes the data connection, from a second. (The power-only plug is also a data pass-through, so you can have another device plugged in as well.) It's an interesting compromise for running a high-power device on a low-power USB 1.1 computer. Too bad Apple doesn't use such a method. (It is a good geek compromise, but I guess it is a bit cumbersome for the average Joe.)

    I think it sucks that Apple is removing FireWire as a standard interface from the iPods. With the shuffle, it makes sense. But not for the rest of the line. I suppose the iPod is moving from 'Apple cool' to 'commodity MP3 player', so Apple's got to maximize profits any way they can.
  12. macrumors 601

    I had thought of that, but the problem is that one of the 2 PC Cards slots is taken by the 802.11g card. Adding a FW/USB2 PC Card will not really fit.
  13. macrumors 601

    That's good info. I guess this $250 iPod mini is quickly becoming a $300 gift. Well, at least the engraving is free.
  14. macrumors 68020

    LOL my friend has engraving - you cant see it if you have the iPod mini clip lol

    AND it wasn't free - it was like thirty bucks
  15. macrumors 601

    It's free right now at Apple's site. Not sure when it'll stop being free, though.
  16. macrumors 6502



    I wouldn't be surprised if they stopped soon. Ever since all the Windoze users have been flocking, we've noticed a slight (case w/ 40GB 2.5G iPod) and now sudden (40GB 2.5 iPod, Firewire across the line, cases across the line, gold iPod mini, 40GB iPod photo, etc.) sudden drop in add-ins. I'm surpised they aren't charging for d/l of iTunes, iPod as harddrive use, and use with their own computer systems.
  17. macrumors 601


    Someone in the Macworld forum posted that the mini can be charged over USB1.1. He got his mini working with his old iMac (the one without Firewire).

    I wonder if the old iMacs had more juice in their USB 1.1 ports.

    If it does work, I could save $30 by not getting the AC adapter. I'd still want the Firewire cable and 4-/6-pin adapter, though.

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