Apple knifing its own FireWire baby by pushing USB 2.0 as iP...


stoid

macrumors 601
Uh-oh somebody call the whambulence for the whiners that are bound to respond. I agree that it sucks that Apple is going to USB 2.0 over FireWire, but I'm not going to throw a fit over it. Rminds me of a comment I overheard at Target a long time ago after they just started to sell iPods. They were listed as Windows compatible and a customer said, "Geez, not even Apple makes stuff for the Mac anymore." I guess they could have the option of getting a USB or FireWire version, but that adds complexity to the inventory. Maybe they should not bundle wires in box at all, still advertise at current price, and just include the connector of your choice at point of sale.
 

daveL

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2003
2,425
0
Montana
Then you have older machines, like my wife's Gateway (3 yrs old, now retired) and my 2+ year old TiBook 1 GHz, that only have USB 1.1. I can hear it now: Why does it take so long to transfer music from my old PC to my iPod? There are an awful lot of users out there that don't have a clue about USB 1.1 vs 2.0. At least with firewire, you know it's going to be fast.
 

winmacguy

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2003
2,237
0
New Zealand
It might seem to suck a bit for Mac users, although I would have to say that it makes good sense from Apples point of view to appeal to ALL their PC owing customers.
 

rhpenguin

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2003
929
0
London, Ontario
and for those of us with iBooks that were purchased before usb2.0 was available, it sucks.

i have to pay an extra $30 at time of purchase to be able to fill my new iPod Photo without it taking more than 10 hours. Now thats just stupid.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
Let it rest

Knifing the baby? Did including two cables with iPods REALLY promote the adoption of Firewire that much? Did that many PC people buy FW cards just to avoid USB 2.0?

If not, then this doesn't really hurt Firewire.

USB 2.0 has been the primary connectivity for iPods for a LONG time. That's reality for a cross-platform product in a world where most brands don't have standard features we Mac users take for granted.

Apple is recognizing that. It's a smart move, and it shows flexibility and adaptability in how the iPod has placed them within both the Mac and Windows markets.

Yes, Firewire is faster. Yes, it's required for digital camcorders. Yes, I'm glad I use Firewire with my iPod--even though I also USB 2, and have no problem with the speed (only the initial sync is huge).

Firewire is here to stay. The sky is not falling.

And Mac users who choose to buy a FW cable won't waste that USB one: it can be your wall-charging cable, and you won't have to move it back and forth to your Mac. (That's why I often use USB with my iPod: the convenience of just leaving the Firewire cable on the wall charger which I also use. Now the situation is reversed, which would actually work BETTER for me.)

Extra cost? iPods just got cheaper. You still come out ahead, and you don't HAVE to have Firewire for this.

Older pre-USB 2.0 Macs? USB may be slow on them, but it's better in one way: it's the only way to shuttle data BETWEEN old and new Macs. I've appreciated that more than once.

Bottom line: you now pay less for the same thing than you did last week. Not as MUCH less if you choose the FW option, which you don't have to. Meanwhile, Apple's not wasting money on a low-demand accessory, and thousands of FW cables are not being wasted in a closet or landfill.

It's a smart business choice that inconveniences a very small fraction of potential buyers--who will know their options and can make their choice of $19 vs. speed.

EDIT: price is $19 not $29.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
There are only two protocols for fast transfer speeds, and that is either USB2 or Firewire. Given that USB 2.0 has grown faster than firewire in adoption, it makes sense that Apple support this first and foremost. Of course, being a Mac zealot, I am insulted and deeply hurt Apple did not provide Firewire cables for an iPod I'll never buy, because I already have two already. The point is, Apple is mocking us Apple users who have supported them through their darkest days and this is how they repay us?

If iGary's petition does not stop Apple from screwing the loyal use base by not providing a $19 firewire cable, I think we should get together and file a class-action lawsuit.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
Kagetenshi said:
Apple is propagating the myth that USB is an appropriate mass data transfer medium. This is unacceptable.

~J
Are you saying it DOESN'T work for iPods? Because thousands upon thousands of people are using USB 2.0 just fine with iPods.

It's just not as simple as that. There's a place in the world for BOTH types of connection.
 

Kagetenshi

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2004
309
0
Boston
No, it is as simple as that. It's like using SMTP as a file transfer medium. It works in small quantities, but when it comes down to it it's just ugly because that's not what the interface works for.

There's a place for USB2.0. That place is for small form-factor drives, printers, and low-end scanners. Not anything that does significant amounts of data transfer.

~J
 

blackfox

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2003
1,208
4,026
PDX
I have a question:

I am in the market for a new external drive, as I need increased storage space. Now, iirc, many external drive enclosures offer both FW and USB2 ports. In this instance, would I be able to hook the ext. drive to my mac via FW, and my new ipod to the drive via USB2? (since I don't have USB2 ports on my mac(s) ).

That would work reasonably well for me, if true or possible. Anyone know? Otherwise I'll just buy the damn cable.
 

musicpyrite

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,639
0
Cape Cod
yellow said:
Not totally surprising since so many WinTelThons are slow to catch up to using Firewire..
If I recall correctly it was Apples fault that many motherboards today do not have Firewire. Apple wanted to lease them at a ridiculous $1 per port or something stupid like that then lowered it to $0.50.
 

simX

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2002
755
0
Bay Area, CA
nagromme said:
It's just not as simple as that. There's a place in the world for BOTH types of connection.
Exactly. Which just goes to show that Apple's move is questionable. What's the problem with including two cables in the box? They've done it for YEARS with the iPod -- why stop now?

Mac users are much more likely to use FireWire than USB 2.0 because USB 2.0 has only been on Macs for about a year and a half to two years, while FireWire has been on the Mac for over 5. Plus, FireWire is STILL faster than USB 2.0, because USB 2.0 requires the processor to mediate the transfer, while FireWire bypasses the processor altogether -- real world transfer times for FireWire are always faster.

I can't see how including an extra cable in the box will drive up iPod prices. Apple has to deal with the packaging and the stocking of FireWire cords separately to a greater extent now that FireWire isn't included with iPods. Adding it in the box will certainly not increase the production price by $19 (because that includes packaging for the standalone cord), so, at the most, Apple will eat a few dollars per box if they keep the FireWire cord in with the iPod. And it's not like the iPod is a loss leader. :rolleyes:

To reiterate: what's the problem with having two cords in the box, and let users choose which one they want to use?
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
simX said:
what's the problem with having two cords in the box, and let users choose which one they want to use?
The problem is that actually DOES cost something to include another cable. Truly. That's the bottom line. Asking Apple to give up a few dollars a box for you is NOT nothing. And that cost is a waste for most of the iPod's market--nearly all of whom have USB2, but many of whom do not have Firewire. (It's also simpler for people just to have one cable in the box, but that's a minor benefit.)

As for Apple's added packaging etc. costs for separate cables now... I think the $19 covers them on that.

The disadvantages of making FW optional are obvious, but the reasons to do so anyway make good business sense.

I have synched my iPod Photo over USB 2.0, and I can tell you that it is usable. Thousands of other iPod owners will tell you the same. It is not as fast as Firewire, but it is fast. It does the job. That's simply the truth. Thousands of people ALREADY don't use Firewire with their iPods. (An iPod HD is not the fastest device on the planet to begin with.)

If I bought an iPod today, I'd be disappointed at Firewire being optional. I'd buy that option, spending away SOME of the recent price drop. Or maybe I wouldn't care enough to buy it. Either way, I wouldn't go off the deep end in my agony :)
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
I am going to stop using my G5 and listening to all my music on my iPod as my way to protest against Apple's recent moves away from Firewire. This will teach Apple a lesson. :mad:
 

bennetsaysargh

macrumors 68020
Jan 20, 2003
2,367
0
New York
well, on my G3 iMac, my G4 iMac, and my G4 TiBook, there is only USB 1.1, and there is firewire. that's why i'm glad that i have the firewire cables. my USB2 cable that came with my 4G 40GB iPod are still in the box because of it. why not just put it in the box? it wasn't driving up the prices that much, was it now? i'm not gonna sue over it, but i'm still a bit upset.
 

sparkleytone

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2001
2,307
0
Greensboro, NC
rhpenguin said:
and for those of us with iBooks that were purchased before usb2.0 was available, it sucks.

i have to pay an extra $30 at time of purchase to be able to fill my new iPod Photo without it taking more than 10 hours. Now thats just stupid.
No..whats stupid is that you're complaining about having to take $30 out of a $150 price drop. Lets just completely gloss over the fact that the iPod Photo is CHEAPER than it was on Tuesday, even when you buy a $30 Firewire cable.


Kagetenshi said:
No, it is as simple as that. It's like using SMTP as a file transfer medium. It works in small quantities, but when it comes down to it it's just ugly because that's not what the interface works for.

There's a place for USB2.0. That place is for small form-factor drives, printers, and low-end scanners. Not anything that does significant amounts of data transfer.
Talk about a standards 'place' all you want. If the market disagrees with you, I expect that Apple is going to choose the market. Especially when, to the user, the difference doesn't exist.

On a separate note...the ONLY iPod that can't sync over Firewire is the Shuffle. This is more than understandable.
 

Mainyehc

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2004
589
121
Lisbon, Portugal
nagromme said:
And Mac users who choose to buy a FW cable won't waste that USB one: it can be your wall-charging cable, and you won't have to move it back and forth to your Mac. (That's why I often use USB with my iPod: the convenience of just leaving the Firewire cable on the wall charger which I also use. Now the situation is reversed, which would actually work BETTER for me.)
And for me, this is great! Apple didn't use to sell Firewire/Dock connector cables separately... I have a 20GB 3G iPod, and I have the Dock beside my stereo, so I could really use a second FW cable to connect it to the power brick. I could, then, leave the other cable always connected to my Mac...

I'm still undecided whether if I'll buy the FW/Dock connector cable or a SendStation's PocketDock... Even though the Apple cable is probably cheaper than the PocketDock, the latter is more flexible (I'd be buying the one with line-out connection)...
 

bennetsaysargh

macrumors 68020
Jan 20, 2003
2,367
0
New York
Mainyehc said:
And for me, this is great! Apple didn't use to sell Firewire/Dock connector cables separately... I have a 20GB 3G iPod, and I have the Dock beside my stereo, so I could really use a second FW cable to connect it to the power brick. I could, then, leave the other cable always connected to my Mac...

I'm still undecided whether if I'll buy the FW/Dock connector cable or a SendStation's PocketDock... Even though the Apple cable is probably cheaper than the PocketDock, the latter is more flexible (I'd be buying the one with line-out connection)...
they did always sell the cables for the iPods, but i guess a lot of people are noticing just now. if you get the pocketdock, then you'll still need another regular firewire cord to use it with the computer or the charger, just keep that in mind. my friend bought one, and he kept on forgetting a regular firewire cable.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,677
1,183
New Zealand
I almost bought a 6 GB mini yesterday until I saw that the FireWire cable isn't included (I don't have USB 2). The point is, once you add the FireWire cable, the price difference between the 6 GB mini and the 20 GB iPod is only NZ$53 (US$38). That's over 3 times the storage space for only a few dollars more. Needless to say, I didn't buy a mini.
 

dejo

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 2, 2004
15,725
447
The Centennial State
This is similar to when Apple stopped putting an ADC connector in their Macs. Many people bitched at the time they were moving to the more widely accepted DVI connector, but eventually the complaining died down.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
dejo said:
This is similar to when Apple stopped putting an ADC connector in their Macs. Many people bitched at the time they were moving to the more widely accepted DVI connector, but eventually the complaining died down.
Or maybe the complainers died? :D