Mac OS X Con: iPod Parlor Tricks

Saturday, November 6, 2004

[Here are the details for this panel, fully titled “iPod Parlor Tricks.”]

Scott Knaster: Tim O’Reilly kind of brought hacking back into vogue. Some months ago Wiley publishing contacted me wondering if I’d like to do a hacking iPod book. I was skeptical because Apple keeps the iPods closed up pretty tight. They don’t want you hacking. Apple says it’s not a platform. Just play music, take notes, store photos, etc. So I looked at Heloise as an example. And I thought of my hacking idol McGyver.

Basic hack:

See and copy your own music on the iPod. TinkerTool lets you see hidden folders on the iPod. PodWorks lets you see everything on the iPod and even sometimes rescue data. You can also find invisible files using Terminal because Terminal doesn’t care what files are invisible or not.

[He goes through it.]

You can find hidden files in the finder, too. Just do “Go to Folder…” and type the path. Then drag that folder into Find and find invisible items and do a search!

Question: Why are they hidden?

Microsoft spends millions on DRM. Apple just disabled copying from the iPod in iTunes and hid those folders.

Hack 2: Diagnostic Mode

You do a key combo and you see a backwards Apple logo (behind the scenes) and you see a menu in a weird font… And then you can make lots of beeps and noises. And play a funny little key-test game. And other various things.

Hack 3: iPod “Upgrade”

SuperiPod? Has music, photos, telephone, video? Okay. Not a real upgrade. Fake fake fake. So how did I do this? Museum mode! Lets you take over the user interface of your iPod. Designed for use by museums that may want to change the functionality a little bit.


PocketDock lets you use Firewire with your iPod.

Voice Recorder by Belkin or Griffin iTalk have a mic and a speaker.

NaviPod. It’s a remote control.

iBeam from Griffin. Flashlight or laserbeam.

SimpleSpeaker from Higoto. Looks like Mickey Mouse ears. Cheap.

GroovePurse Triplet. Speaker purse for iPod. With speakers.

Scott Knaster found a German company that sells “Knaster Brand Fresh Hemp” and IKEA sells a bag of rocks called “Knaster.”

iPod Socks! $29. From Apple.

Other things without accessories…

It’s a flashlight and a bike safety light! It’s a nightlight! Booklight!

You can put Linux on your iPod. Makes it dual-boot…

Getting Free [Legal] Music

Amazon “candy dish” or free music. Go to Click “More Stores” or “Free Music.” You’ll find all sorts of free mp3s. iTMS has a free weekly track and free audio of conventions and the 9/11 Report etc. Can’t search for “free,” unfortunately…

Some labels have free stuff, as well. has a bunch of stuff, too.

And They Might Be Giants Clock Radio… A little flash clock radio thingie. [What a really fucking good idea!] You can use AudioHijack or Wiretap to get those tracks and turn them into mp3s.

Now he’s showing off a iPodPhoto! Exciting. Except he showed me earlier when I was setting up. New font. And it holds photos. And lets you do slideshows and such.

And that’s all!

iPode Photo

Posted Sat, October 22, 2005, 5:13pm EST by James Walsh

If you could get Aperature (Lite version) into an iPod and let it do all the prep of pictures on autopilot using applescript that would be a great idea.
I haven't tried a Video iPod yet but I'm sure the 100 gigabyte version will find its way into MTV and other Cable stations sooner or later. Give us what we need AND want we'll buy it off ya.
By the way it's easy to clean up iPod screens. Todd Dailey's blog gives the answer here: