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I have this adapter:

enter image description here

Is it completely useless? I'm not quite sure what it is. I've had it for years.

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    Not at all, please put it in an envelope to me and I'll dispose of it for you safely. – bmike Mar 20 '13 at 19:57
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This is a Firewire 400 to iPod 30-pin adapter.

If you have an older iPod, you may be able to sync and/or charge it via Firewire. This site has an exhaustive list: Which iPods can sync and charge via USB? Which iPods can sync and charge via Firewire?

It looks like some models supported Firewire charging as recently as 2009, but no models since 2006 or so have the ability to sync media over Firewire.

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Many Apple portable devices used to support charging and syncing over FireWire. It was actually quite nice, because FireWire charged iPods significantly quicker than USB can. I believe these are the devices that support FireWire charging and/or syncing:

  • iPhone (1st gen only)
  • iPod (5th gen or earlier)
  • iPod nano (2nd gen or earlier)
  • iPod mini
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