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?
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.