New Macbooks: not so great for audio/video professionals

Yep, the new MacBooks are here. They’re beautiful, glossy, made of aluminun and actually worse than the previous batch for music and video producers.

This has been all over the place this week, but here’s an executive summary: Apple has dropped the firewire ports from the lower-end Macbook without adding a viable alternative. You’re stuck with only two USB ports and absolutely no way whatsoever to add more ports, as the ExpressCard slot is only available on the more expensive MacBook Pro.

I could live with the lack of Firewire if I had more USB ports to boot. Before you say “buy a USB hub, n00b!’, let me say that hubs don’t work when you’re using external audio interfaces. They introduce huge latency problems, which makes them impossible to use. Hard disks also don’t work too well. I’ve had random disconnection issues with all external enclosures I’ve tried.

I currently have a white MacBook, which comes with two USBs and one Firewire port. I’ve just bought an external firewire enclosure so I can free one of my usb ports in order to leave my soundcard plugged along with a HD plus a USB hub with two MIDI controllers and a mouse.

The fun part is that I also have an old Toshiba Pentium M 1.5 notebook with 3 USB ports. As you may have already guessed, I WOULDN’T have to buy any additional hardware to accomplish what I want if I was still using it.

Here we have a supposedly higher-end hardware which introduces connection problems that I wouldn’t have with an older, low-end hardware released over three years ago.

Makes you think, doesn’t it? Apple is hurting their most loyal customers choosing form over function. Truly a shot in its own foot.


Sat 18 | Oct/2008 | Tags: Blog,English,Rant


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One Response to “New Macbooks: not so great for audio/video professionals”

  1. pv2b Says:
    28/Dec/2008 at 11:14 pm

    Have you experimented with different brands of USB hubs? Not all USB hubs were created equally from what I’ve heard. And the cheap hubs are… well… crappy.

    I have a 24″ iMac at home, and I have some trouble as well with random disconnections of my external HDD, and sometimes (rarely) my external sound card (that I use to plug in my headset) bugs out. But then again I’m using a pretty cheap USB hub.

    But yeah, I have to agree that the fact that an Asus EeePC 900, which costs about 15% of the price of a low-end MacBook Pro, has more USB ports is kinda ridiculous. (And let’s not even get into the fact that the Air has only one USB port…)