iPods and older Macs


Crotchety UI Nitpicker
I'm considering getting my sister an iPod nano for her birthday, but I have some questions concerning compatibility.

She has a 350MHz iMac (c.2000). No FireWire, no USB 2, and running OS 9 (no, OS X is not an option). Would any current iPod work at all with such a system? Apple lists 10.3.2 as the minimum OS, but...I've come to distrust all companies, even Apple, about that kind of thing.

And if it would work, how long would it take to fill up 2GB on a USB 1 connection? In theory it should be able to finish is 23 minutes (1.5MB per second), but I'm guessing you wouldn't get that speed in the real world.
Hello Mikuro
I'm just a user of this forum, not a techie, but I have an iPod nano and a G4 mac which I can start up from system 9. I'd expected that the nano would appear on the desktop at least as a storage device, but not a sign of it (although strangely it was listed in Apple System Profiler).
If you go to http://www.tuaw.com/2005/09/08/getting-an-ipod-nano-tonight/ you'll see a discussion which seems to confirm that it's not a runner.

All the best

David Turner
Thanks for the info, David. I guess the same is true of all the current models, then.

I was going to look for some older used models when it occurred to me: Since her machine doesn't have FireWire, it would need to be a USB 2-capable model, so the first-gen models are out. Have any USB iPods ever worked with OS 9? I wonder, because only newer Macs that can't boot OS 9 have built-in USB 2.
I believe it would still work, albeit slowly at USB 1.x speeds. I did this on a PC that had USB 1.x and iTunes with an iPod shuffle. It worked fine, but took a while to transfer songs.
Looks like the USB 1.1 would work, I wonder if there is a new enough version of iTunes for OS 9 for it to work though, the Nano says it needs 4.9 and the rest 4.7, I wonder how far back you can go.
bobw said:
If it's really a 350 MHz iMac, it DOES have Firewire.
The one she has is the base model from the Indigo/Ruby/Sage generation. Only the "DV" models from that era (like my old 450MHz Ruby one) had FireWire.

Apple makes no mention of OS 9 in any of their recent spec sheets. I don't know what's so different about it that it couldn't even mount as a drive, but I guess that's the way it is. Bummer.

My question now is, have there ever been USB iPods that work in OS 9, with or without iTunes integration?