FireWire/USB connections

Updated
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Q: My brother has my old eMac and he wants to get a new 5G iPod video. Unfortunately, the eMac he has is limited to USB 1 speeds. Eforcity makes a Firewire adapter (1394 / USB-B Adapter for Apple iPod). Will this allow him to connect an iPod video via Firewire and transfer songs with his eMac?

– Matt

A: Unfortunately, no. This adapter and others like it are designed to provide a dual interface, and convert a standard FireWire cable into the Dock Connector, but do not actually do any conversions of the interface standards themselves.

In other words, a dock adapter such as this one will only work for iPod models that already support FireWire (the 4G iPod models and prior). The iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod do not support syncing using FireWire connections.

The reality is that FireWire and USB are very different standards, and a device that could convert one to the other would be as complex and therefore as costly to produce as a USB or FireWire expansion card. As a result, devices that will actually convert Firewire to USB or vice-versa are extremely rare.

The only real solution for fast sync performance with a 5G iPod is to obtain an actual USB 2.0 adapter card. Unfortunately, this may be more of a challenge for computers such as an eMac that do not provide room for this kind of expansion.

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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.