Tag Archives: Apple/Mac/iDevices

iPod Easter Egg – Create your own Screen saver for iPod

Well a new Easter Egg has been discovered for iPods, which lets you to create your own screen saver for 5G iPods.

All you have to do is to create a new folder with name ‘Demo Mode‘ in your iPod and rename any existing video file as ‘Demo‘ and that’s it. Next time when you charge your iPod this new video file will be your screen saver.

If you are not able to follow the above steps, then there is also a pictorial tutorial available.

I have seen a couple of Easter Eggs in software’s and this one is pretty neat. What is your favorite Easter egg?

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The Free iPod Book 2.0

The iPod specialists at iLounge have just released the Free iPod Book 2.0, an eBook chocked full of tips, tricks, and customizations for your iPod. It’s totally free and is available as two versions – Printable and wide screen and can be downloaded from iLounge.

It is a 194 page book with over 110 tips and tricks and is full of incredible iPod and iTunes information. If you are an iPod junkie like me, then you’ll definitely want to check this out.

Download it from iLounge

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Yet another iPod manager

In my last post I wrote about SharePod and also a small step by step guide to copy your files from iPod to computer. But there was one small drawback, it works only in Windows.
And in the comments someone suggested YamiPod. Even this has almost all the features of SharePod and more over it works in Mac as well as in Linux. So if you didn’t like SharePod and/or you are not in Windows then you can try YamiPod.

I am yet to try in and will publish my thoughts on it after using it. Meanwhile if any of you are using it then do share your thoughts on YamiPod.

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Copy files from iPod to any computer without iTunes

At last I have found a way to copy audio or video files from iPod to any computer. You don’t need to install anything in the computer and also you don’t need to tamper your iPod firmware which may make your warranty void. You can run the program from your iPod itself, which gives you the freedom to transfer files from any computer to your iPod and also vice versa. And before we precede just a line of caution.

Note: Don’t use this program to copy copywrited files. Use this program only for backing up your non copy-writed files.

First things first. You need to download a program called Share pod. You can download the program from its download page. After downloading extract the files from the zip file into a separate directory in your iPod. In order to do this you may have to enable disk mode for your iPod in your iTunes.

Now just double click the ‘SharePod.exe’ file to start the program.
11.GIF

The program will start and then will list the songs and play lists in your iPod. Now select the files that you want to copy to the computer and then click the ‘To PC’ button which is present in the top left corner.

21.GIF

A dialog box will appear. Specify the directory where you want the files to be copied and also select the template to name your file based on artist, album etc. After filling in the dialog box click the transfer button.

31.GIF

The files you have selected will be transferred to your system and once it is done a dialog box will appear confirming the transfer.

4.GIF

That’s it. Your files are now copied to your computer. The program will also generate and import XML file which you can use to import the copied files into your iTunes.

5.GIF

In the similar way you can use this program to transfer files from your computer into iPod without using iTunes at all. But if you are going to do this, then you should disable automatic sync in your iTunes, otherwise the next time you start iTunes it will override all your copied files.

As I have said before (here and here) I was not very happy with iTunes and now SharePod has come to my rescue and now I can separate my iPod from iTunes. If you are still wondering why to use Sharepod instead of iTunes, here is the list of advantages of SharePod

  • Ability to copy music back form iPod to computer
  • Very fast and small in size
  • Requires less memory
  • No installation
  • The program can be carried in iPod itself

etc.

In spite of all these advantages, SharePod has some disadvantages too.

  • Works only in Windows
  • No support for podcast. (And because of this I have to still use iTunes for my podcasts)

Hope this is useful and do let me know what you feel about the program.

This article is part of an ongoing series of posts under the title

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More rants on iTunes

This is just a continuation of my thoughts on iTunes and even now my opinion on iTunes hasn’t changed much.

ID3 Tags

Well as my quest for organizing my music continues I keep bumping on the short comings of iTunes. Recently I found that some of my files were having incorrect Meta information (ID3 tags) in my iPod. So I opened iTunes to check them and I found that they were wrong even in iTunes. But I was pretty sure that I corrected the tags of these MP3 files using a MP3 Tag Editor. I checked the tags of the original file in my hard disk and it was having the correct data. Out of frustration I clicked the file in iTunes and it started to play and the tag got automatically changed. Then only I released that there was no refresh/update option in iTunes and when you edit the ID3 tags of the files outside of iTunes it will not get reflected until you play the file in iTunes. What a great optimization design!!

In order to make my iTunes happy I started editing the ID3 tags in iTunes itself and iTunes was happy to refresh it and were updated in my iPod too. Little did I know that it was not getting changed in the original file and it was just getting updated only in the iTunes library. And I was searching for an option to write the tag information to the file only to find that even this was not present.

So the lesson learnt: update the tag information of the files using some other tag editor outside of iTunes and then double click all those files in iTunes and play them so that the correct tag information gets updated both in the library and also in the file. How user friendly!

Podcast

I bumped again on the short comings of iTunes when I was trying to download some podcast.

No resume option for downloading podcast: Some of the podcasts that I have subscribed are more than 100 MB in size and when downloading, half way through the connection gets lost or iTunes freezes and the download process start again from scratch. Bandwidth is pretty scarce here and also costly and I end up wasting my precious bandwidth (and some bucks too).

No scheduling option for downloading podcast: if it’s available then I can schedule all my downloads from 2:00 am to 8:00 am every day when my ISP gives me free bandwidth. (Those who are having BSNL Broadband could feel the pain)

No way to subscribe to more than one podcast from a search result at iTunes Music store. You have to select only one at a time and have to perform the search again if you want to subscribe to more than one.

Giving reviews about podcast on iTunes: If I have to write a review about a particular podcast then I have to have an apple id and in order to have an apple id I need to have a credit card and I don’t have a credit card (yes seriously, believe me) and so no apple id and no reviews too.

In spite of all these short comings I am still using it, just for one thing – My little cute blackie 😉

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Uploading Videos into iPod

Quite a few of my friends asked me how to upload video into iPod. So instead of explaing to each and every one of them separately I thought of writing about it and then directing them here.

First if you want to play the video in your iPod then it must be in MP4 file format. If you already have your files in this format then you can add it to your iTunes library by just drag and drop. If it is not then you must use a Video converter to convert it into the MP4 file format.

Luckily there is a software called Free iPod Video Converter which does exactly the same and more over it’s free. Download it from its website and install it. You can add the files which need to be converted by just drag and drop and then select the appropriate parameters (99% of the time you don’t need to change anything.)

Free Video Converter

Then enter the tags for your video file and click ok

Free Video Converter

Now click convert button and you are done.

Free Video Converter

After the conversion process you can just add the generated file to your iTunes library and then it will get automatically uploaded to your iPod the next time you connect it.

Other useful converters from the same company – Jodix

And most of them have the similar GUI and operation.

This article is part of an ongoing series of posts under the title ‘iPod Tips and Tricks‘. Here is the list of article in the series

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Thoughts on iTunes and iPod

Well it’s been nearly 2 weeks since I became an owner of iPod. So I thought of sharing my experience with iPod and its (evil?) cousin iTunes.

If you want me to describe an iPod in just a single word then the answer is “WOW!”. I am not here to keep on dragging about my iPod but one thing is sure Steve Jobs has done really a great job.

Organizing my collection by adding the appropriate tag took me close to 10 days since the collection itself was huge and also for the reason that I have put it in the most unorganized state before. I was Googling for the every song name to find the album (film) and the artist and luckily the index from Raaga helped me a lot for lookup.

iTunes

The more I use iTunes the more I dislike it. That’s why I said that iTunes is an evil cousin of iPod. I some how feel that Apple could do iPod a big favor if they could break the relation ship.

The thing which I dislike most about it is its error handling. At times it is just a silent failure (Even Jeremy has noted about it before) or a wired and totally misguiding error message. For instance there were some video files in my library which were in a .mov format (means they cannot be played in iPod) and guess what was the error message that I received when I connected my iPod. It was something like this “iTunes was not able to write to your iPod” which totally rocked me. I then realized that it was caused because there was a file in an up supported file format. How Good??

The next wired thing that I found out was that, if you change the ID3 tags of your mp3 file then it will not reflect back in your iTunes until you play that song, not even if you restart iTunes. I thought that a simple refresh button would have saved me lot of time instead of me selecting every file that I have changed and then clicking the play button.

Added to all these is the fact that it is soo sluggish and consumes nearly every bit of my 512 MB Ram.

I am going to try some podcasts now and let me hope that it handles them at least well.

Posted in Apple/Mac/iDevices | Tagged , | 6 Comments