Okay, so I have an old iMac, without USB 2.0 ports. This means that transferring data to and from USB devices like flash memory keys and the new iPod shuffle happens at the old USB speed of 12 megabits per second rather than the USB 2.0 speed of 480 megabits per second.
So, the question is: if I bought an iPod shuffle, would I get really frustrated with how long it would take to transfer MP3 files to it at that slower speed?
Let’s do the math.
The cheaper iPod shuffle hold 512 megabytes of music. The slow USB transfer speed that my iMac support is 12 megabits per second. To convert megabits to megabytes, we divide by 8 (there are 8 bits in a byte), so that’s 1.5 megabytes per second. So to transfer 512 megabytes of music would take 341 seconds, or about 5 and a half minutes.
By contrast, if I had USB 2.0 ports, I’d be flinging music at 480 megabits per second, which is 60 megabytes per second. Meaning I could fill up the iPod shuffle in 8.5 seconds.