Manufactures Agree On a Standard Transfer Cable

prop docks Manufactures Agree On a Standard Transfer Cable

There are upsides and downsides to having proprietary cables, we have had this debate before. The upsides being the ability to use your player on a doc or with accessories that require more than just a USB connection. But the two biggest problems are you need to carry an extra cable when traveling and docks and other accessories are not cross brand compatible.

This is all about to change. In a bid to alleviate consumer confusion and an open source accessory ecosystem Microsoft, Apple, SanDisk, Sony, and Samsung have teamed up on the what they have dubbed the “MediaWire” (previous code named “RX-1″). The standard has been set but they have yet to decide on manufacturing facilities for this new “super cable”, though I have been told it will likely be available near the end of Q2 of 2009. There are some photos of this cable below. Keep in mind that this is a prototype, but expect a more refined version of this “one size fits all” cable packaged with your next player.

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28 Comments

Azam on April 1, 2009 11:59 AM

ah come on man, you are not fooling anyone twice! we do remember the super-expensive audio cables you did last time. and twenty usb ports on the other end, in case one gets filled with too many bread crumbles? nice!

Chris on April 1, 2009 12:07 PM

Why the hell can’t they just use a USB-mini jack? If you want to make it so all players use a common dock, why not just standardize the position on each player that you place the already standarized USB-mini port? I hate this. There’s no good reason why every phone, mp3 player, camera, printer, and any other device you can think of can’t all just use the same cable except for corporate greed and lazy engineers.

David Iannone on April 1, 2009 12:10 PM

haha, april fool’s much?you had me! until i realized it was wayyy to good to be true.apple and microsoft would never team up.

Nick on April 1, 2009 12:59 PM

Awesome April Fool’s I was almost buying it, but then I too saw the team up of MSFT and Apple and said yeah right.@Chris do you want to know the real reason why they don’t use a universal dock cable? Because of the money. Apple gets a cut of every accessory that is sold for the Apple Ipod. Other manufacturers do the same thing, but not as ruthless (because no one has the amount of share apple does). I wish one day they would agree on a standard (USB) and be done with it.

jkj1962 on April 1, 2009 1:24 PM

@Chris:As has been discussed before, mini-USB has 4 connectors. This is not enough to allow power, ground, separate left and right audio out, video out, and two-way data connections. By my count 7 (or more)connectors would be needed to allow full-function docking.@Nick:You’re right, that’s probably why there is no “universal” connector.There’s a company called Gomadic that has a line of “Tip Exchange” adapters for various devices. All one need carry is one cable, and the appropriate adapter for each device. Yes, it’s still additional stuff to carry, but the adapters are smaller and lighter than carrying a full USB cable for each device.I wish all PMP manufacturers could get together on something like that.But you have to admit, “Mediawire” would be kick-ass!

Zhalfim on April 1, 2009 1:25 PM

just as good as last year’s one! nice one grahm

MMerengue on April 1, 2009 2:16 PM

I want one.

helpme123 on April 1, 2009 3:25 PM

wow you got me :(

notatoad on April 1, 2009 4:32 PM

i saw the headline in my rss reader and clicked through while crossing my fingers hoping it wasn’t an april fools. damn.

Al13n Dr1v3r on April 1, 2009 5:40 PM

If such thing ever existed, I would definitely buy it!!!

Michael MArtell on April 1, 2009 6:02 PM

I’d believe it if Apple wasn’t part of it.

TheDarkSide on April 1, 2009 6:18 PM

This is his best, and most upsetting work to date (I’ll always dream of this 1 myself): http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30712&highlight=zune+touch

James Forelo on April 1, 2009 7:33 PM

Sweet Zombie Jesus!It’s a trap!

redhat on April 1, 2009 10:15 PM

very nice ,hope it can be realized!Here I have another good share: Tradestead , there are many kinds of beautiful consumer electronics, that I like it very much!

JSV on April 2, 2009 4:00 AM

On a related note, cell-phone manufacturers have agreed recently to implement a standard charging connector and voltage for their phones.That is truly a good move, that is why the standard cable for PMP was so plausible. I fell for it, until I saw the pictures.

alex on April 2, 2009 4:12 AM

First I thought, this is a very exciting news coming out of media player industry for so long. Then I look at the pictures…. Then saw the date “April 1″……

ITrush on April 2, 2009 9:01 AM

April’s fool or not, I guess it’s about time to come up with this kind of idea..

J-D on April 2, 2009 10:15 AM

My first thought was “I don’t know…that thing looks hideous.”This was just a few minutes after I told my friend to watch out for any practical jokes.

LunarFlame17 on April 2, 2009 12:03 PM

Ahhhhh man! You totally had me until I looked at the date this story was posted. April 2 should be the new April 1.

sciopath on April 2, 2009 12:54 PM

“The upsides being the ability to use your player on a doc or with accessories that require more than just a USB connection”This is not an argument : my phone (HTC Kaiser) has a proprietary usb connector which is also backward compatible with a standard mini-usb.Problem solved.The only upside is the abitlity to the firm to sell overpriced usb cables (and avoid dumb people to use other’s devices connectors).

Bingzhong on April 2, 2009 4:17 PM

See, now thats retarded.Why have multiple differentwires for multiple differentplayers, when they can justcreate a USB port (x2) forthe portable speaker, anduse the USB charger cable asthe audio cord. Or, just asimple 3.5mm audio jack asthe cord. What MP3 playerdoesn’t have an audio jack?

lawrence on April 2, 2009 4:33 PM

Its too ugly to be true. Apple wouldn’t allow that.

jkj1962 on April 2, 2009 4:43 PM

@sciopath:I have an HTC phone as well, and yes, you can use stereo headphones or sync/charge through that jack. My MOTORAZR does this, too. But:1) As you already know, a separate PROPRIETARY adapter is required for the HTC to be able to play audio AND sync/charge at the same time, so it’s no longer a standard USB. The MOTORAZR can’t do more than one thing at a time, so it’s either listen or charge, not both.2) These are a phones, not PMPs that ideally would have the ability to send video as well as the audio, plus charge and sync over the same cable at the same time.Problem not solved.The ideal solution for PMP’s is an industry-standard connector, which will probably never happen because PMP makers don’t want other PMP brands to be able to use their accessories, and they want to collect royalties. A standard connector would allow the former and prevent the latter.The HTC-type connection would work for a Clip, and for Fuze if it doesn’t have video out, but it wouldn’t work for a Zune, Zen, or any other player that can do video out.The proprietary cable situation is not right by any means, and I don’t like it any more than anyone else, but a simple USB connector won’t do what all needs to be done for all players.

sciopath on April 2, 2009 6:27 PM

jkj,I was only speaking of my phone connection to illustrate the fact that backward compatibility with proprietary advantages is possible. You can look at, for example, new ExtUSB pinout to have all the connections data/power/video/audio you want.And don’t forget that:1) In USB there is Serial. So you will never be able to do everything at the very same time. But from your human point of view, you will, it’s mostly a software matter.2) You really think PMP will last long ? Or phones without PMP abilities ?

@Naib on April 3, 2009 3:02 PM

Just needs a built in USB Hub for fast connect to laptop…version 1.1 maybe.Jeff

Nickski on April 3, 2009 5:00 PM

Isnt that just all the normal cables strapped together?

Chris on April 4, 2009 5:46 PM

Hahahahaha I’m a moron, that got me sooooooooooo bad….all the same, it’s an interesting issue (and by “interesting” I mean “infuriating”)

Shinigami on May 9, 2009 8:32 PM

Thanks, the photos are great :) Would be great if they started using mini-usb.

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