I recently got a new iPad and my CME Xkey mobile USB MIDI keyboard [Tape Op #115] wouldn't work properly with it. It would function perfectly for a few minutes, but would then give me a, "This accessory is not supported by this iPad" message, forcing me to have to unplug it and plug it back in. I contacted CME support, and they got back to me promptly and told me the problem was probably in the third party USB to Lightning adapter that had shipped with the CME originally, and that Apple had discontinued support for any third party adapters with the new version of their iOS. They suggested I buy the new Apple connector, and that it would probably work, so I did and the keyboard now works perfectly with the new connector. Meanwhile, the old connector still works fine with my old iPad, but I'll likely send it to the electronic recycler, and it will hopefully not end up somewhere in the ocean. The new connector is 4.75 inches long, whereas the older one is 6.5 inches long. The new one has a squarish female USB connector, while the old one had a rounded connector. They are both white. Asides from these few differences, they seem to be pretty much the same, except for some internal digital identifier that tells Apple's iOS to not work with the older one. Just in case you're counting, at 4.5 inches this cable costs about $6.50 per inch. It came packaged in a recyclable cardboard box, with two recyclable instruction manuals and a nonrecyclable plastic hang tag. Do I need to state the obvious here? Shame on you, Apple.
Accessories, Tools, Wiring | No. 52
by Andy Hong
Fellow gear reviewer Eric Tischler sent me this helpful tool. It's a key fob with a 1/4'' plug and four LED's, one for power and three for -32, -22, and -16 dBu signal level. You plug it into a jack,...