In my recent review of the iPod Camera Connector, I mentioned that I’d tried it with a couple of USB media readers and was unable to make my iPod photo recognize these devices. I have, however, had some uneven results with my iPod photo and Belkin’s Media Reader for iPod w/ Dock Connector and its Digital Camera Link for iPod w/ Dock Connector.
Thanks to the latest iPod software update, which brings the iPod photo’s firmware version up to 1.1, pictures downloaded to the iPod via Belkin’s Media Reader can be viewed immediately on the iPod photo, just as they can when you use Apple’s iPod Camera Connector. In my tests, the Belkin device downloaded those pictures just slightly slower than the iPod Camera Connector—41 images consuming 81.1MB of data took 3 minutes and 40 seconds to travel from the Belkin device to the iPod, whereas the iPod Photo Connector did the same job in 9 fewer seconds.
Regrettably, Belkin’s Digital Camera Link works exactly as it used to. It can download pictures to the iPod but they can’t be viewed on the iPod until they’ve been processed by iTunes.
So, is there any advantage to choosing the Media Reader over the iPod Camera Connector? Speed certainly isn’t an issue but battery life may be. It’s possible that the iPod’s battery charge is equally drained when you use either device—after all, the iPod has to do the same processing to make the imported pictures viewable. The camera’s battery is another story, however. Flinging pictures from camera to iPod takes its toll on a camera’s battery charge. Passing off the transfer chores to the Media Reader will allow your camera’s battery to serve the purpose for which it was intended—taking pictures.