help! do I really need USB2 for iPod?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by furrina, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. furrina macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2004
    In tha 212
    Hi there
    I was going to get my parents an ipod 30 for xmas -- I was all set to go in the apple store (you have to BUY the charger plug, I never heard of such a thing!) when the nice genius bar guy started talking about how it is only really compatible with USB 2 and if you have a computer more than about 2 years old you probably don't have it, and while it may work, it may be "slow". He mentioned that he installed a usb card in his machine with it.

    I had never even heard of USB 2 (and i tend to keep up on things). My parents have a four year old ThinkPad! I'm sure if it's new, they aint got it. They do have 2 USB ports but I'm sure it's the old-fashioned kind of USB. I don't even knw if I'VE got it in my two year old powerbook 15. My ipod is Firewire so i assumed the new ones were the same.

    So here's the questions:
    Is there really any problem using a regler ol' USB connection with the new ipod 30 GB (the literature says USB 2 is "recommended")?
    Is it "slow"?
    Is there an inexpensive (plug-in) converter that I can get for their ThinkPad that doesnt require my saying merrry christmas now you get to rip open your laptop and install this card?
    If so, does the converter affect the iPod's performance downloading?

    Thanks immensely for your advice.

  2. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    It will work fine with USB 1.1, but it will be SLOOOW.
    Your parents' ThinkPad most likely has USB 2.0, as it was mainly Macs that didn't have it until 2 years ago.
    If your 15" PowerBook is aluminum, then you have USB 2.0.
    If you really kept on things, you'd have known what USB 2.0 was long ago, it's not that new ;)
  3. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    USB 2 is backwards compatible, so it will transfer, just reeally slooooow. If their laptop has a PC card slot you could just buy them a PC card with USB 2.0.
  4. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    Just regular old USB works—but slowly. This won't be a problem for them if they'll just be syncing their music once, and then connecting afterwards only to recharge (which, I'd expect, is the usual procedure for most people's parents :) ).

    I'd guess your PB is USB 2.0 compatible, but someone else here will be able to confirm that.
  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I'm posting just to re-affirm what everyone is saying.

    USB 1.1 is sloooooooooooooowwwww. It will take 2 hours to upload 10 songs.
  6. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    If the USB ports on the laptop are powered then the iPod will charge from these. Apple stopped packing the wall adapter with the iPod to save money - bit of a rort but hey, whet can you do?

    The iPod will work fine with USB 1.1 but it will take an age to transfer songs. Look up the model number of your folks' laptop on the IBM website and see if it has USB 2.0 or USB 1.1.

    And yeah, USB 2.0 has been around for a number of years and is a pretty big deal. You must have been off the day they announced it.
  7. javiercr macrumors 6502


    Apr 12, 2005
    A 4 year old thinkpad is likely not to have USB2 but you can check it on the IBM website.

    USB1 is slow compared with USB2, but in practical terms it means that the first sync will take forever, but incremental changes to your music library would probably be acceptable, a song is only 5Mb or so, 5Mb on USB1 will still only take a few seconds.
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    Haha thats a bit of an exaggeration. It uploads at 1.5MBytes/sec so about 3-5 sec per song. I just uploaded 8200+ by 1.1 and it is really slow took like 12 hrs lol
  9. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    With the new iPods, Apple removed FireWire support from their hardware. They can be charged via FireWire, but not connected to a computer. Really, i doubt it would have made the end product much thicker. I would rather have the iPods one mill thicker and with FW support than thinner but less conectivity options. Shame for all of us who haven't got a new-ish computer with USB2 who have to fill the iPod over a few hours.
  10. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    I don't think the decision to remove firewire support has anything to do with the physical dimensions of the iPod but rather with the cost savings of fewer components. Many if not most PC's do not have firewire. If Apple decided to get rid of one of the two, dropping firewire was the right decision.
  11. ehayut Suspended

    Jun 29, 2005
    Uh no, I uploaded 10 GB in about 4 hours. It's slow, but it doesn't really matter after you do your initial fill up of your ipod. I mean, who cares if it take 3 or 30 seconds to upload one CD?

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