FireWire to Apple: why have you forsaken me?

“Support for FireWire in the iPod, already waning, takes a further blow with Apple’s newest music player,” Ina Fried writes for CNET. “Apple’s tiny new iPod Nano uses the same dock connector as its larger iPod and iPod Mini brethren. However, try plugging in a FireWire cable and an error message appears: ‘FireWire connections are not supported. To transfer songs, connect the USB cable provided.'”

“In a pinch, a FireWire cable can be used to charge the nano, but you won’t be able to update your tunes or podcast list. The move is the latest in a series of slights to FireWire, a connection method that Apple helped pioneer and later made standard across its Mac line.” Fried reports. “The move is the latest in a series of slights to FireWire, a connection method that Apple helped pioneer and later made standard across its Mac line…. It’s a bummer for folks like me that have an older Mac that has a FireWire port, but only a slower USB 1.1 port. To Apple’s credit, the Nano’s incredibly small size and good looks might just make it worth suffering through slower downloads.

Full article here.
We know it’s a done deal, but we still say, “Bad form, Apple. Bad form.”

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Intel adds FireWire 400 and 800 to latest motherboard – May 18, 2005
Apple should include a combo FireWire and USB 2.0 cable in every iPod box – February 24, 2005
Apple disrespects its own Mac users with iPod’s FireWire fiasco – February 24, 2005
Griffin debuts Dock400 FireWire cable for Apple iPods – February 24, 2005
Petition to Apple for iPod FireWire support posted online – February 23, 2005
Apple knifing its own FireWire baby by pushing USB 2.0 as iPod’s primary connectivity option – February 23, 2005


  1. Yea, it’s an interesting question – the iPod connector is already “standard” between firewire and usb – why drop Firewire now? Perhaps it saved some $$?

    It’s probably not too bad – most PC’s and Macs have more USB ports than Firewire anyway.

    (I would have preferred the option tho.)

  2. Sure, firewire would be nice but $13 and a trip to CompUSA will get you a USB 2.0 PCI card. If you already own an iPod, then you already know that the purchase price is just the first in a long line of expenses to follow … a USB 2.0 card is the cheapest accessory you’ll ever buy for it.

  3. Oh, stop the whining. Firewire is great, but it’s going the way of Betamax and Apple is correct to focus on the standard that is most widely used, rather than driving costs up with an extra firewire chip. Everyone with a Mac older than 3 years is in this same boat. If you have a tower, just get a pci card with usb 2.0 for $25 bucks. Your printer, dig camera and external hard drive will thank you for it.

  4. major m…. SHADDAP! some people have iMacs and eMacs, cant add a card and aren’t ready or have no need to buy a whole new computer…

    would we like to have USB 2.0, sure. but we cant. and now the most popular music player on the planet (which is produced by our very own computer maker, no less) is becoming less and less accessable to us. so i think we have a right to be a little worried.

  5. finelinebob read the summary, some old macs only have FW and USB 1.1 and if like me, onan eMac or iMac you can’t stick a new card in, not without some serious modding, which most people using eMacs and iMacs are not prepared to do.

  6. I think that the Nano’s lack of FireWire has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with politics. No, this is not a rant about Bush, etc. I am referring to the politics between Apple and Intel, the creators of FireWire and USB respectively. The deal to use x86 components in next year’s Macs may have come with the condition that Apple will phase out FireWire so that Intel can have the whole market for external device connections to itself. In return Intel may debut some processors and motherboards on Apple products or give Apple a bigger discount than the rest of the PC industry currently gets from them. I am all against it because FireWire outperforms any USB in real-world performance. Besides, I too have an older PowerMac without USB 2 and it is serving me (and my 4G iPod) well. Nice design on the Nano but it comes with compromises to functionality. I hope a revision will feature FireWire connectivity but I am not holding my breath for it.

  7. I, too, think it’s too bad that Apple is switching the iPods. That said, on the nano, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. The nano, with only 4GB, isn’t much of an external hard drive.

    Personally, though, I think the iPod (not shuffles, not nanos) should have FireWire 800. There’s a much better chance that they will be used for external storage. For an old comparison, check this out. Filling up my 60GB iPod with stuff will take two-and-a-half times longer using USB.

    That said, anybody want to jump on an Intel conspiracy bandwagon? After all, USB is an Intel standard. Apple pays Intel a certain amount for every USB chip they include, so I don’t see the whole “USB is cheaper” argument.

  8. C’mon guys – AppleInsider says someone has already disassembled a nano – could be as simple as Apple saved a few pennies and some real estate by not putting a FireWire chip in it. The nano works with USB 1.1 – it’s just slow – but how fast does it have to be to copy a couple dozen songs at a time. Yes I think Apple is shorting FireWire – but it’s a real minor deal here folks.
    (as he types this on his dual 2.5 G5 with USB 2) ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    MDN Magic Word “record” – love that the nano is driving my Apple stock to a new record value!

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