iPod for Windows. USB2.0 or Firewire?

I just bought the 40gb iPod after returning my other MP3 player. I’ve got the standard USB1.1 connections on my Gateway but neither the USB2.0 or the Firewire needed to hook it up.

So should I get the USB2.0 connection and just use it with my standard USB connection (speed isn’t that important to me) OR should I install a USB2.0 input, OR should I just get a firewire port?


Well, I would get a add-on card that has both a USB2.0 and Firewire port. If you can find one.

Won’t it work with your USB 1.1 port, just at the slower speed? Take a while the first time you dump 40gb on it but you’ll only be making small changes thereafter.

The Adaptec Duoconnect card has a good rep and it’s got three USB 2.0 port and 2 Firewire ports. Lists for $80 and I see it at my local store for $70, you can probably find 'em cheaper. You can also get a plain USB2.0 card cheaply.

According to Apple it only works with USB 2.0 or Firewire.

You mention speed isn’t important, but the data transfer rate over Firewire is one of the few genuine advantages the iPod has over other music players (considering the price).

Well, I just saw this:

Ipod Lounge

So, that nixes the 1.1 idea…

My mistake, apologies.

Hey, no worries, thanks for helping though!

Just get a USB 2.0 upgrade card… dirt-cheap and easy as nipples to install.

Remember, that’s 40 gigs of data. I doubt you’ll fill that up with music. Chances are you’re gonna find yourself using it for general data storage (touted as one of the iPod’s advantages), and you’re eventually gonna get tired of USB 1.1… so why not spare yourself the hassle and just get an upgrade right now?

If you can’t get a card that does both USB 2 and Firewire, I’d go with Firewire first, even though there isn’t as much hardware for a Windows machine that uses Firewire. It depends, I guess, on how much you want to spend on cards and how many PCI slots you have available.

I would use firewire if possible, that way your iPod can recharge while being plugged into your computer. ( I don’t think an iPod will charge over USB 2.0. Perhaps someone could confirm this? )

I can confirm it from personal experience, joshmaker. One of my neighbors bought the 40GB iPod, and asked me to help him set it up. We tried USB 2.0 first, since I hard a spare card that I could let him use, and found that the iPod was using battery power all the time while connected via the USB cable, so it would run down and he’d have to move it to the charger to recharge. I convinced him it would be worthwhile to go to Fry’s and get a Firewire card for $9.99, which he did and now he’s much happier because he never needs to use the iPod charger.

The iPod manual makes a very brief mention, near the back, of the fact that iPods can’t recharge over a USB connection. IMHO, they should make it much more apparent. It’s a pretty big deal!

Is there any way to tell if my USB connections are 2.0 aside from just digging around to find the specs online?

Do all USB connections look the same?

Umm, 40gigs sounds like a small-average sized mp3 collection to me.

Go into Control Panel>System>Device Manager (how you get there depends on your OS), and open up the “Universal Serial Bus controllers” group. You should see your USB controllers and hub listed. If none of the entries say “2.0”, then you probably only have USB 1.1 capability. Try checking the properties fields of the controllers and hubs, as well.

There is no physical difference between USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 connectors – that’s a deliberate part of the design. There are, of course “type A” connectors and “type B” connectors to distinguish controllers and peripherals, but they don’t change for USB 2.0. In addition, some smaller peripherals use a miniature connector at the device end, but the PC host connector is still standard-size USB type A.

Thanks all, I got the Firewire (Adaptec FireConnect 4300) so I can charge the iPod at the same time I’m downloading. (And yup, the 20gb was getting too small, I wish there was an 80gb iPod, that’d about do it for my cd collection).

I have ripped over 400 CDs from my collection at 192 kbit/sec. This around 5000 mp3s, and takes up 26 GB of disk space. This is a “small-average” collection to you? Wow…

I would second FireWire. I got a card for around $7 at Fry’s. Installing took all of two minutes. Linux and XP picked it up fine without drivers. My iPod works as well on my PC as it does on my Mac.

But can a Sony Memory Stick port be adapted to run Firewire?