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Old 01-06-2008, 12:17 PM
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Andreas Andreas is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Norway
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Default Standard USB vs proprietary connectors

Some players have standard USB connectors, for example mini USB B, while others use proprietary connectors that can't be used on other players. What's the difference?

Standard USB
USB has 4 connectors. Ground, +5V, and two data wires. There are some that uses 5 pins, and some that have micro USB, but those can hardly be called standard.
The thing about USB is that it does exactly what it's supposed to do. It charges the player, and transfers data. That's it. It works on all players with that connection, which is a good thing as you have plenty cables and don't need many different ones. The downside is that these rule out any chance of remote controlling, TV out etc etc if the player doesn't have another connector or a 4 pin jack (4 connectors on the player's headphone out instead of 3).

These cables are normally one of a kind, cost a lot to buy spare, and often lead peple to think their player works with iPod accessories (it does not!). However, these wide and weird looking connectors do provide hope for docks, line out, videop out, remote controlling etc. That's because these connectors have a lot of connectors, so only the hardware is the limit for what they can output. The sansa e200 and the iPod uses the same connector, but completely different wireing. The e200 can be somewhat remote controlled, but don't have line out or video out. The iPod on the other hand has line out, power out, remote control abilities, screen input (i.e allows stuff like FM transmitters to use the screen for settings) and so on. That just goes to show how the connector doesn't do anything but allow the features to be there, tis up to the manufacturers to actually put the features in.
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