Developed by Apple, FireWire is much faster than the other popular standard, USB. For that reason, FireWire is ideal for working with information-rich content, such as audio and video. In fact, it works so well that Apple won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2001 for its contributions to the television industry.
FireWire enables you to hook up all sorts of high-speed devices to your Mac. Most digital camcorders, for example, have FireWire connections, and if you plan to use iMovie, which we will introduce later in this book, you absolutely must have a computer and a camera that are FireWire-ready.
You can also use your Mac's FireWire capability to hook up FireWire-based hard drives, removable drives, CD drives, tape backup drives , and scanners . FireWire features a plug-and-play capability similar to USB. You install the software, and then plug in the device and it's recognized, just like that.
FireWire really comes into its own when you need the highest possible performance on your Mac. As of this book's writing, dozens and dozens of FireWire products are available, and more are coming to market. You'll want to check with your dealer to see what's available.