Mac OS X 10.3.4 update released - now supports iPod USB 2.0 | iLounge News


Mac OS X 10.3.4 update released - now supports iPod USB 2.0

Apple today released Mac OS X 10.3.4. We don’t normally announce operating system software updates, but this particular update makes mention of USB 2.0 support for iPods. iPods connected via USB 2.0 are now recognized by iTunes and iSync. The update is available via the Software Update preference pane.

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Though its great (and necessary) for this to be fixed, I still don’t see why people still use USB 2.0 on macs for syncing with iPod when all macs that have USB 2.0 also have firewire.

Firewire charges the iPod while you sync, unlike USB, which dosn’t. Many may argue that USB 2.0 is faster, at 480mbps compared to FW’s 400, however, this isn’t entirely accruate. Firewire’s speed is its _actual_ transfer speed, while USB 2.0’s just means that it operates at 400 mhz, and is capable of transferring 1 bit every cycle, but it does not take into consideration the fact that there will be sync bits, headers, etc, which will slow it down a _lot_.

I have tried an external hard disk (LaCiE 120gb) using both FW and USB 2.0. Firewire always won hands down, sometimes being faster by almost a minute on files more than a gigabyte. Same goes with iPod, its always faster with FW. Thus, I do not see why people use USB 2.0 on their macs (though it may be necessary to use USB 1.1 because there are some computers that had USB before FW came out, however, this fix does not seem to address the full-speed USB)

Posted by Sraphim in Irvine, CA on May 26, 2004 at 5:41 PM (CDT)


well, i have a an ibook w/ one firewire and two usb thingies…i bought an external drive that i use w/ the firewire, and i wanted to use the USB to shoot over the 100G of music from my EX HD. BUT the USB linkage kept freezing the ipod, so i returned the USB cable to best buy… i’ll have to buy it AGAIN…grrrrr…..

Posted by joee in Irvine, CA on May 26, 2004 at 5:54 PM (CDT)


Mac OS X 10.3.4 doesn’t fix an *issue* with connecting an iPod to a Mac via USB 2.0 - it was previously unsupported.

Now that it’s supported, it should work. But remember, it’s for USB 2.0 only. Your old USB 1.1 ports won’t work.

Posted by Xenex in Irvine, CA on May 26, 2004 at 9:09 PM (CDT)


sraphim, although i don’t use a mac, i did my own trasnfer speed tests, and usb2 kept on winning by a decent margin over fw. it may be different for macs though.

Posted by Harrison in Irvine, CA on May 26, 2004 at 10:33 PM (CDT)


I’d be happy if my iPod worked with FireWire.  Ever since Panther, updating the iPod has been a real hassle.

Posted by Mr Strat in Irvine, CA on May 26, 2004 at 10:51 PM (CDT)



maybe people dont have any spare firewaire ports so would like to use usb2?

just a thought

Posted by bryan in Irvine, CA on May 27, 2004 at 2:18 AM (CDT)


Mini’s come with two cables: USB & FW. Now I can use FW @ work with charger, and USB @ home wi/Powerbook.

Posted by guest in Irvine, CA on May 27, 2004 at 7:18 AM (CDT)


Well, i agree with sraphim. Firewire is a much better choice in any matter. Its not like its anything to argue about, let the lame use USB 2 if they want.  Joee- i hope your 100g of music is in .wav format….. otherwise, like i always say, get rid of the baha men, unkle cracker and kid rock.

Posted by Otsego_Undead in Irvine, CA on May 27, 2004 at 9:44 AM (CDT)


xenex claim that USB 1 won’t work with the iPod and iTunes under OS X 10.3.4 - that is not true. It works fine with my new iPod 15 GB and an old iMax BondiBlue 350 MHz. Try again Xenox. :O)

Some may claim that the speeds are not good enough - weel I don’t know. It takes me approximately 3 minutes to copy over an album - comparing the time it takes with the price of a firewire card (that won’t fit in my old Mac) makes me wanna wait the extra time to get the music on the iPod. Also, some has reported that the HD overheats when syncing via USB 1, that is not true either. My iPod stays as cool as mountain dew.


Posted by jesklittum in Irvine, CA on May 28, 2004 at 9:32 AM (CDT)


I recently upgraded to 10.3.4 and now the firewire port isn’t recognized. Anyone have this problem?

I’m running a PowerBook 17” G4 1.5.  Thanks!

Posted by Ready2Draw in Irvine, CA on June 17, 2004 at 9:02 PM (CDT)

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