Monday, February 16, 2009

When is a USB Port Not a USB Port?

Answer: When it's on a MacBook.

Okay, well that's not completely accurate. Both USB posts that are on the MacBooks are USB ports, they just don't have the same capabilities.

The first USB port, the one closest to you and furthest from the screen is a fully powered port and should be the one you use as the default. The second USB port is actually on an internal hub and shared with a lot of internal components.

So what does that mean? Well for me it means that my nice new 2G iPod Touch can sync with iTunes if I use the rear port on my Macbook. The MacBook doesn't see the iPod Touch if I hook it into the second port. I'd heard of this problem before (Andy Ihnatko has talked about this on MacBreak Weekly, for instance) but this was the first time it had stopped me.

I thought I'd share the information in case anyone else is having problems syncing their 2G iPod Touch to their Macbook.

Solution: Always use the front port as your first option to minimize this problem.

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