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iSight Updater: Helps with FireWire issues?

iSight Updater: Helps with FireWire issues?

Yesterday we noted that Apple's recent Knowledge Base article about iSight Updater 1.0.2 claims that the updater can prevent specific problems caused by having an iSight connected to a FireWire port on your Mac, including slow iPod transfer performance and issues where FireWire drives (including the iPod) slow down, stop responding, or disconnect. We asked for reader feedback on whether or not the Update did indeed fix some of these problems, and we received a number of responses.

Positive FireWire experiences We received a few reports that the update did indeed alleviate FireWire-related problems when an iSight is connected. For example, reader David Anderson writes:

"I did a quick backup to my external 20GB SmartDisk with the iSight connected and it worked fine, so perhaps the update to iSight did fix it."

No improvement for FireWire issues We've also received a number of reports of issues that weren't fixed by the update, even though they appear to fall under the purview of provided fixes. Reader Bernhard Nahrgang writes:

"After the firmware upgrade to 1.0.2 my iSight still unmounts my FireWire drives after an hour or so. I hav a G5 2x2 and the iSight is connected to the front port. The two FireWire drives are daisy-chained on the back FireWire 400 port. When the iSight is not in use and the lid is closed it still gets warm (like when the lid is open) and after an hour or so one of my FireWire drives dissapears from my desktop and a warning shows up saying that a device got disconnected. I have the iSight for two months now and the problem only exists when it is connected. Without the iSight everything is normal. [I had] hoped that the new firmware would solve this problem. But it didn't."

Similarly, Bill Keart notes, "My Firewire 52X CD burner from OWC refused to operate correctly when my iSight was plugged in as well. (There were constant buffering problems that resulted in no disc being written. And all this is on a dual G5.) The CD burner works perfectly without my iSight attached...After using the update, I'd hoped the problems with my burner and an iSight attached were history. They are not. Operating (or just plugging in) the iSight puts the external 52X burner out of commission until the camera is again disconnected."

It appears that even the iPod fixes included in the update aren't bringing relief for all users. Jon Theobald's report is typical:

"No resolution of the iPod/iTunes update problem...It still takes forever to update files (30 mins for 70 tracks) and the whole system runs slowly. [The problem is solved] by disconnecting the iSight; iTunes update now takes seconds."

Kip Beatty reports similar experiences: "I still get a freeze updating my music to my iPod, until I disconnect the camera. I've tried every remedy (powered firewire hub, different cables, different connection setups) but to no avail. The iSight camera makes the entire firewire chain buggy."

Non-FireWire-related feedback We've also received a number of reports of improvements and minor issues with the Update unrelated to FireWire performance. Reader Kip Beatty notes that "the low light performance is certainly improved," and Julian Koh notes better AV syncing:

"When the iSight was first released, there was some sort of incompatibility that resulted in poor audio/video synchronization when the iSight was used with QuickTime Broadcaster and the iSight microphone was used for audio input to QTB. After the iSight 1.0.2 update was released, I tried QuickTime Broadcaster again, and the problem appears to have disappeared. Hooray!"

Dirk Vollmerhaus also reports that "the white balance is much better now, even though autofocus is slower."

On the other hand, a thread on Apple's Discussions forums notes mixed impressions of color/light performance since applying the Update. MacFixIt reader Todd Hunter comments:

"After performing the update we immediately noticed a color change. It appears (this is very subjective) that the video quality has improved with the update, however, the color change, due to the update, in my opinion is a step backwards. To my eye the color change looks as if someone has put a pair of amber tinted sunglasses on the camera lens. After reading the ADB postings and speaking with Apple tech rep, it appears that Apple has color corrected the iSight, with the 1.0.2 update, to look best in natural sunlight. While this might be good for photography it is not good for your typical user who uses the iSight indoors."

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