At a Glance
FireWire-to-dock connector cables for dockable iPods
Once upon a time, all dockable iPods included a FireWire-to-dock connector cable. But now that all shipping Macs — and nearly all Windows PCs — have USB2.0 ports, Apple has decided that USB is the “common denominator” connector: The most recent generation of dockable iPods — both full-size and iPod mini models — include only a USB-to-dock connector cable.
But despite the marketing hype, FireWire is still significantly faster than USB2.0 when transferring large files such as MP3 and AAC tracks. And performance aside, if your USB ports are crowded with cables for mice, keyboards, scanners, and printers, FireWire can be a nice alternative.
Apple sells their FireWire iPod cable for $19, but Griffin’s Dock400 cable offers identical functionality for only $15. And if your Mac or PowerBook has a FireWire 800 port, Griffin’s Dock800 cable lets you connect your iPod to that port for $20. (You won’t see much, if any, improvement over FireWire 400 speeds — the iPod’s drive isn’t fast enough; however, if you don’t actually have any FireWire 800 peripherals, the Dock800 cable lets you take advantage of that unused 800 port.)–Dan Frakes