I bought my iPod in December of 2003. Yes, it’s over four years old and still working! It may not store pictures or movies and it does have a grayscale screen, but it still works and holds 20 gigabytes of music. But there’s only one way to get my music on my iPod, and that’s with this cable.
When Apple first came out with the iPod most models came with one cord that has a Dock connector (the type of connection on the bottom of the iPod that you use to play or charge it) on one end and a Firewire connector on the other end. My first laptop which I bought in 2002 came standard with two Firewire ports, but I think at the time most PCs only had USB ports. There was a separate cord that PC users had to buy if they didn’t have Firewire, and this cord had the Dock connector on one end and a USB port on the other end. Nowadays, all iPods come with USB 2.0 connectors, and Firewire cords aren’t shipped with new iPods.
But mine is very old, and I have to say that despite its age the Firewire is still every bit as fast as it was when it first came out. I can transfer several gigs of music from my computer to my iPod in less than a minute.
All you have to do is make sure you have the software application iTunes installed on your computer. Then you can import any existing CDs you own into your iTunes library. If you have an internet connection iTunes will query the GraceNote Database and pull up the song titles for you (if it’s a pre-bought CD). Then you simply plug in your iPod, and if you haven’t changed your settings iTunes will automatically copy all the songs in your iTunes library over to your iPod. If you’ve created any playlists those will be transferred over too. Once you're done you click on the icon in iTunes to eject your iPod, and then you can disconnect the iPod.
Many people don't realize that iPods can also be used as external hard drives. This is where the Firewire is handy, because big files can be transferred quickly. I have used this cable to back up my important files when my laptop went in to have its failing hard drive replaced, and I didn't lose anything and still had room for my music for the car.
This cable has served me well since 2003, and I have no doubts that it will continue to perform. If I ever get a new iPod I will certainly keep it around as a backup.