Taking Back Control of Your iPod

by Derrick Story

Maybe it was a deal that Apple had to strike with the Devil to give iPods the appearance of legitimate, non-criminal devices. But I've always hated the fact that I could choose only one computer to be the "host" for my MP3 collection, and that was the only place I could freely swap my music files back and forth with the iPod.



It's a limitation that gnawed at me because it ran counter to the very spirit of the device. I bought my tunes and I want to play them anyway I want, and that includes using the iPod to move them from one computer to another.



In case you haven't encountered this friendly little "RIAA-laden" message, it reads like this when you connect your iPod to a non-host computer:



The iPod "Derrick's iPod" is linked to another iTunes music library. Do you want to change the link to this iTunes music library and replace all existing songs and playlists on this iPod with those from this library?



Hell no I don't! I just want to copy the audible book I downloaded earlier (you know, the one I bought) to another computer so I can listen to it while I sift through 350 emails waiting for me in my inbox.



Once again, the enterprising spirit of independent developers came to the rescue. There are a handful of nifty applications you can use to take back control of your iPod. My current favorite is PodWorks 1.1 by Buzz Andersen.



This $6 shareware program provides you complete access to your iPod music, including its proprietary, internal database format. That means you can pull the ID3 data, along with the music, out of your Pod and on to your desktop. You can then copy the music into another iTunes library without a hitch.



Now I can use my iPod the way I want to use it, sharing my music and books among the Macs I own. Thank God for independent developers to save us from corporate compromise and silly limitations.


13 Comments

anonymous2
2002-12-26 20:03:54
Message only appears sometimes
The restricting message only appears when you have the updating feature enabled in iTunes. If you changed the songs on your iPod manually, you should not get this message, at least this is what happens with my iPod.
anonymous2
2002-12-27 06:57:42
FireWire disk mode
Perhaps someone who knows more can expound upon this, but I believe that you can connect the iPod as a plain old FireWire disk, and then copy anything you want back and forth. I believe the music is stored in an invisible folder, but that can easily be overcome as well. Of course, it sounds like the inexpensive shareware you mentioned does this and makes it simple, thus being well worth the price. The funny thing is that this simple-to-bypass mechanism has allowed Apple to actually earn praise from the RIAA, while not really limiting users at all. They threw the RIAA a bone, and the RIAA is happily chewing on it.
anonymous2
2002-12-27 07:22:48
PodWorks functionnality on Windows ?
Until I can buy a iBook *G4*, i'm looking for some similar software on the Wintel side... any links folks?
razorbil
2002-12-27 09:09:38
Manually manage songs and playlists
When I got my iPod this Christmas the first thing I did was set the iPod's preferences to manually manage songs and playlists on both my Powerbook and my MacG4. I just copied the complete recordings of Robert Johnson (legally purchased from a music store and for my personal use only, if some bored RIAA lawyer is reading this) from my laptop's CD to my iPod and tonight I'll copy them up to my desktop with no warnings or overwrites. The downside: different playlists on my laptop,desktop and iPod. But I've never been very neat anyway.
derrick
2002-12-27 14:46:45
PodWorks functionnality on Windows ?
Yeah, I haven't seen this kind of software for Windows yet, but I bet it's out there somewhere. I'll keep looking around ...
revdiablo
2002-12-29 00:41:16
PodWorks functionnality on Windows ?
There's always gnuPod, a collection of perl scripts to manage your iPod. Not sure if it works on windows, but it might be worth a try. Also, note there isn't a GUI; this is all command line based.


URL: http://www.blinkenlights.ch/cgi-bin/fm.pl?get=ipode

anonymous2
2003-06-14 01:12:50
PodWorks functionnality on Windows ?
Hi,


Though there is GNUpod, there's a better way to access iPod under Windows, and that is through OLE Automation. Apple has available libraries that can be scripted through VBA or Perl or even IE. Though, I am new at this, so I don't know exactly.


Open MS Visual Basic editor (accessble from any Office application), open Tools->References and check IPODSERVICELib and IPODMANAGERLib. When click OK. Hit F2 to browse the libraries, and you'll find a whole bunch of routines to access the iPod.


- joaquin (macnerd2 AT yahoo DOT com)

anonymous2
2003-06-14 01:13:01
PodWorks functionnality on Windows ?
Hi,


Though there is GNUpod, there's a better way to access iPod under Windows, and that is through OLE Automation. Apple has available libraries that can be scripted through VBA or Perl or even IE. Though, I am new at this, so I don't know exactly.


Open MS Visual Basic editor (accessble from any Office application), open Tools->References and check IPODSERVICELib and IPODMANAGERLib. When click OK. Hit F2 to browse the libraries, and you'll find a whole bunch of routines to access the iPod.


- joaquin (macnerd2k AT yahoo DOT com)

keithmcc
2004-10-16 08:40:50
Using Perl on Win32
I spent a bit this morning looking for this hack. Here's some code to mount your iPod under Windows using Perl:



#!perl -w
use strict;
use Win32::OLE;


# IPodService.iPodManager.1:
# HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\IPodService
my $iPodMgr = Win32::OLE->new('IPodService.iPodManager.1') or
die("Unable to create iPodManager: ".Win32::OLE->LastError()."\n");


# The 1024: (it's itunes)
# HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Apple Computer, Inc.\iPod\RegisteredApps
$iPodMgr->Login(1024);


my $iPod = $iPodMgr->FindFirstiPod(1024);
$iPodMgr->Mount(1024, $iPod);


$iPodMgr->Logout(1024);


# The remaining API can easily be viewed with ActiveState's ActivePerl
# OLE-Browser.

sfhc
2005-11-27 01:20:21
Wiped Out Songs
Hey,


I accidentally hit "yes" to the would you like to replace... prompt.


I lost nearly 18GB of tracks. Can I recover them?


Thanks!

KiRkInA
2006-03-13 13:20:57
Today i went to listen to my ipod and it said it was on "disk mode." I have no idea what this "disk mode" is. I do not know much about my ipod nano. But I have looked on quite a few websites to try and figure out how to turn it off. I did not find any solution. I am not sure if I should send it back to Apple for them to fix it. PLEASE HELP ME!!!
alfred
2006-05-17 08:46:36
does anyone know how can i bring different ipods to my computer and Upload and Download songs to them without becoming the Official Host...
much obliged
Silvio
2006-06-13 08:11:05
Use Yamipod for Windows