Concerns Unfounded for Apple iPod Not Supporting Firewire


Ever since last night’s (morning in San Jose) Apple announcement. There had been post all over the Internet complaining that Apple dropping the support for Firewire (aka i-Link, aka IEEE-1394) on their iPod®.

Firewire is an industry standard that is approved by the IEEE (hence the IEEE label). It was developed primary by Apple back in the 1990s, but this is not an Apple exclusive technology.

As long as video is still important in consumer electronic and film industry, Firewire and its variants will still be around, and will be supported by Apple and its devices (ie. Macintosh, iPod®, etc.)

Like QuickTime, DVD-R and CD-R, Firewire was made popular by Apple (and to a certain extent Sony). The fact that the original iPods have Firewire does not mean that the USB versions are any less superior.

Removing the support for Firewire is a business decision. Being one of the inventor of Firewire, it is to Apple’s advantage to include Firewire in everything (royalties). But I am sure to maintain the same price point and add new features, I think Apple had made the right decision to drop it from the current line of iPod®

Consumer should equate this decision to Apple’s decision to remove the AC Adapter in every iPod® shipped. Similarly, I don’t think Apple believes that AC Adapter is any less superior to charging via USB or Firewire ports or after market AC Adapters.

Don’t be mislead by these individuals who believe there is a feature lost or the unfounded conclusion, that the decision is based on the fact that there are more Wintel users of iPod®.

We are not talking about a large quantities of data being transfered; even with the new 5G iPods. Unless may be you’re using your iPod® as an external drive. Even for the latter, USB 2.0 is arguable faster than Firewire 400. Each technology has its own flaws, and the jury is still out on which is better. You can be assure that both technologies are still being advanced as we speak.

The most important thing people need to remember, most USB compatible devices; including the Apple iPod® are backward compatible to USB 1.1. So again there is no worry here. Do NOT believe the notion that one will have to upgrade their computers (Mac® or Wintel) to connect their iPod®’s.

People please read Apple’s web page for the products.

Mac system requirements

  • Macintosh computer with USB port (USB 2.0 recommended)
  • Mac OS X v10.3.9 or later

Windows system requirements

  • PC with USB port or card (USB 2.0 recommended)
  • Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later

The Internet is a powerful medium and we should all be responsible for spreading the wrong rumors.

Also some people had complained that their iPod® are not always recognized on their Windows machine when using the USB connection. You should be complaining to Microsoft about their OS rather than Apple of their iPod.

[Update 13:54]
I have found another article by “Gareth Potter” on the subject.