April 01, 2005

iPod Photo Connector is slow

Cool gadgets

About a month ago I bought the latest iPod photo with the hope it will be able to act as a backup for the pictures I take with my digital camera. I just got the new Photo Connector and connected it to my EOS 20D camera to see how fast the downloads happen.

Downloading 47 pictures occupying 345Mb takes 12 minutes, eating a lot of iPod's battery in the process. Based on the battery level, I estimate it uses about 1/6th of the battery.

By contrast, downloading the same pictures directly from the camera into the computer takes 2 minutes (the camera has USB 2.0), 6 times faster!

Another comparison I did was to transfer the pictures from the iPod to the computer directly. I mounted the iPod as a disk and copyied the pictures on the computer using cp in Terminal. This process takes about 40 seconds using a dock connected via Firewire to the computer!

This is really disappointing, I was hoping for a much higher transfer rate between camera and iPod. Judging by the difference in speed, 6 times slower camera <-> iPod than the camera <-> computer connection, it appears the Photo Connector uses USB 1.1 instead of USB 2.0.

Hopefully Apple will improve this connector in a future release. As it is, the current version is fairly unusable. If you just want to carry the camera and iPod with you, downloading a 1Gb memory card would take about 35 minutes, in which time you cannot take any shots.

Posted by ovidiu at April 01, 2005 10:41 PM |
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