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iPod photo peripheral compatibility, explained, updated

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2005
News Categories: iPod Accessories

Think you understood which digital photo peripherals worked with Apple’s iPod photo? Think again.

Updated September, 2005: We have added a collection of iPod AV cables and other accessories to the bottom of this report.

Following discussions with Belkin, maker of the Media Reader (released late 2003) and Digital Camera Link (released Spring 2004), and our review of Apple’s brand new iPod Camera Connector, iLounge can confirm the following compatibility details for all three peripherals.

Belkin Digital Camera Link: According to Belkin, there are two revisions of this accessory. iPod photo users with any version of Apple’s firmware will find that revision 1 Digital Camera Links have compatibility problems with the iPod photo and 4G iPod. Revision 2 Digital Camera Links - sold by Belkin since October 2004 - apparently do not have these compatibility problems. The difference between the two peripherals is an additional “01” mark on the rear of newer DCL units; older ones have only CE, FCC, and C-Tick marks. Below, you’ll see photos of the differences between new and old units, as well as the black dot that appears only on revision 2 boxes. Belkin adds that it has already notified customers on its web site that owners of revision 1 units with compatibility issues can contact the company’s customer service line to obtain a 4G/photo-compatible update.

Belkin Media Reader: There’s only one version of the Media Reader, but it behaves differently with the iPod photo based on the firmware (iPod Software Updater) you’ve installed. iPod photo users with version 1.0 of Apple’s firmware will find that Belkin’s Media Reader transfers photographs using a standard progress bar. But users with version 1.1 of Apple’s firmware will find that the Media Reader performs identically to Apple’s iPod Camera Connector, letting you preview photographs while transferring them, and view photographs on the iPod photo’s screen once transferred. Our updated review of the Media Reader includes updated photos and interesting notes on transfer speed differences.

Apple iPod Camera Connector: Version 1.0 of the Apple firmware will not work when you insert the Camera Connector, showing a screen reading “no card inserted” when you attempt to use the Photo Import feature. However, version 1.1 will work as described in our review.

Apple iPod AV Cable: This six-foot cable from Apple, reviewed here, allows you to connect an iPod to a television to watch photo slideshows. Apple also sells an iPod Dock with line-out audio and S-Video outputs for higher-quality AV output.

BoxWave iPod Photo AV miniSync: This cable from BoxWave, reviewed here, allows you to connect an iPod to a television to watch photo slideshows, and features a retractable 45-inch cord length.

Pacific Rim Technologies Retractable AV Cable for iPod: This 31-inch retractable cable from Pacific Rim, reviewed here, lets you connect an iPod to a television to watch photo slideshows. It is the most inexpensive such option we’ve tested.

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Comments

1

Regarding the BelkinDigital Camera Link: I asked one of the sakespeople at the Apple Store last week, and he said that if there’s a black dot sticker on top of the Belkin Camera Link box, it is a revision2 product.

Posted by wired in L.A. on April 6, 2005 at 9:29 AM (PDT)

2

Wired: Thanks for your tip - we contacted Belkin and confirmed that you were correct. New photos have been added to show the black dot.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on April 6, 2005 at 11:22 AM (PDT)

3

The Belkin Media Reader also has problems with some of the newer Sony Memory Sticks like the Duo’s and the Pro’s - these are not all supported.

They do say that it support Sony Memory stick or MS.  But not MS Duo or MS Pro that is mis-leading we feel.  You can read the FAQ’s section of their website to find out more.

Posted by ipod cases in New Zealand on April 6, 2005 at 4:28 PM (PDT)

4

I’ve used the Belkin Media adapter and the Apple Camera Connector and they both work fine, but the Camera Connector is MUCH less expensive, smaller, does not require batteries, and transfers data about 50% faster than the Belkin Media Adapter. You do, however, have to tie up the camera to transfer data using the Apple Camera Connector, and that’s a drag.

I have two questions I’m hoping someone can answer:

1) My camera is USB 2.0 compatible, the CF card is 80X, the iPod is Firewire, yet the data transfers at around 3 Mbits/sec with the Apple Camera Connector (about 10 sec for a 4MB image). I use about 1/2 iPod battery charge to transfer 1GB. It seems like the camera, cable and iPod are capable of at least ten times this speed- why is it taking so long to transfer the card data? I’d love a true USB 2.0 (or FireWire 400) speed adapter!

2) I’ve heard some people are able to get a USB CF card adapter to connect to the iPod Photo through the Apple Camera Connector, and Apple has a page listing “compatible cameras and adapters” but that page only lists cameras. I can’t find a compatible USB adapter, yet I keep reading they exist, and they get their power from the iPod. Does anyone know a particular brand of USB/CF card adapter that is compatible with the Apple Camera Connector?

Posted by digiphotoboy on June 24, 2005 at 2:39 PM (PDT)

5

I have a same question like digiphotoboy. I want to know the brand and type of USB/ CF Card Reader which can be read by Apple Camera Connector.

Thank

Posted by Dandi Zulkarnain on July 25, 2005 at 12:28 AM (PDT)

6

With regard to cameras that are compatible with the Apple Camera Connector—it’s any camera that is USB Mass-Storage compatible.  You have to be able to actually plug a USB plug into the adapter, which plugs into the bottom of your Photo or iPod with Color Screen.  One thing to keep in mind- the Belkin works with other iPods- the Apple ONLY works with the Photo and iPod with Color Screen.

Posted by james hare on August 11, 2005 at 8:24 AM (PDT)

7

I purchased the Apple Camera connector for use with my iPod Photo and my Nikon D-70. As far as the photo transfer it worked flawlessly for me. However, after uploading the photo’s the audio on my iPod was very choppy and sounded like it was playing slowly. I tried resetting the iPod, which did not remedy the problem. I found that letting the iPod play for a couple of minutes remedied the problem.

Posted by James Lucas on August 26, 2005 at 7:49 AM (PDT)

8

I to have just bought an Ipod Photo 60gb. I used the Apple photo adapter to connect to my D2X it worked perfectly and quickly.

Posted by Kevin Hussey on October 1, 2005 at 2:37 PM (PDT)

9

help I purchased the 60 Gb Ipod photo to primarily serve as a device to download and store photos on prolonged trips why can I not do this with my Olympus 800 is it the camera or the XD card because I got the Belkin card reader which worked well with Compact Flash card but I could not get my XD card to work after using the appropriate adapter I am very desperate since am leaving to Africa in two wks
many thanks for any responce

Posted by Michael on October 31, 2005 at 10:10 PM (PDT)

10

Hi,

What solutions are there for a 4G (20 gig) iPod and xD memory cards (as I have a Fujifilm Z1)??

Posted by JLutes on December 12, 2005 at 5:43 PM (PDT)

11

I’ve been searching for a card reader to work with my iPod Camera Connector - I lost my previous reader and was looking for a cheap one.  I settled on this reader, item 119-088-001, sold by Meritline.  Go to the Meritline site and search for that item to find it.  At time of posting, the item sold for $5.95.

It worked to import photos from both Secure Digital (SD) and Compact Flash (CF). 

I have no affiliation with Meritline.

Good luck!

Posted by Michael on September 1, 2007 at 1:33 PM (PDT)

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