Gruber: Firewire foo, shuffle FAT

Griffin Dock to FireWire 400John Gruber weighs in on the recent debate surrounding the omission of FireWire cables from the new line of iPods. He’s not terribly concerned about this, acknowleding a smart move on the part of Apple to stop including, and making everyone pay for, a cable that the current primary market for iPod sales — Windows users — won’t use. But he does disapprove of several other iPod accessories that have been rendered a la carte - the iPod Photo Dock and AV cable. Without them, the device is “pretty much just an iPod with a color screen, rather than an iPod with extra photo-related capabilities.” The man speaks truth.

He also brings up an interesting point about the iPod shuffle, which is that the only available disk format for the device is FAT32, with no option to reformat as HFS+. This means that a slew of “special characters” that are not terribly special (. ” / \ [ ] : ; | = ,) are now off-limits in filenames to be transferred to the iPod shuffle. Considering that most Mac users aren’t aware of this restriction, it could lead to a lot of head-scratching when transferring tracks to their new devices. Has anyone been bitten by the “one or more files could not be copied” error?

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