Creating a simple kid-friendly iPod interface
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: My iPod is primarily used by me at work, but when I take the family on long trips, I love to let my two (young) daughters use it.
Is there any way to temporarily limit them to only a very small set of kid-friendly albums (and prevent them from changing settings) without needing to empty and reload my entire iPod before and after the trip?
A: It’s not very well known, but yes, absolutely. Apple provides an official way to create feature-limited iPod menu systems, and although it’s intended for turning the iPod into a museum guide, anyone is able to take advantage of it. This trick will be perfect for small children, and won’t require any emptying and/or reloading of your iPod at all. Here’s how it works:
Begin by creating a new text file called “Main.linx”, and store it in your iPod’s “Notes” folder. This file will represent the iPod’s new main menu system in its entirety. Anything not present in this new table of contents simply will not be accessible.
Here’s a basic framework of what the file should look like:
At the top of this file is the optional “TITLE” tag, which allows you to specify some string of text that will be displayed as the iPod’s menu header.
Next, you can put any number of links to specific songs, albums, or playlists, using the model above. In the links above, notice the target of the link (HREF=“ipod:music?...) needs to point to the album, playlist, or song exactly as it is labeled in iTunes. The text between the “> A <” tags is the text of the link that will show in the menu: this does not need to match iTunes’ tags.
Finally, we need to create another file to tell the iPod to only allow access to this menu, and to hide the default iPod menu. This text file must be named “Preferences” (no file extension), and should contain only the following line:
Like the “Main.linx” file, this must be stored in the iPod’s “Notes” folder.
Once you’ve created these two files, simply eject your iPod and reset it by holding down the Menu and center buttons together. When it finishes rebooting, your iPod will be restricted to only the menu items specified in the “Main.linx” file.
To re-enable access to your iPod’s default interface, simply reconnect the iPod to a computer, move these two files out of the Notes directory, and keep them somewhere safe (the iPod’s root directory is fine) until you need them again.
For further detail on how to utilize the iPod’s Tour Guide Mode features, see Apple’s documentation here (PDF Link).
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Spotify penalizing artists who release Apple Music exclusives
- Apple releases new round of iOS 10 and tvOS 10 betas
- Report: 2017 iPhone to eliminate home button
- Apple to add payment technology to iPhone for transit passes, Apple Pay in Japan
- Apple releases iOS 9.3.5 ‘security update’
- Report: Apple developing its own Snapchat-style social video editing iOS app
- Apple announces Apple Music Festival lineup including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears + more
- Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry
- Apple reveals some of its upcoming AI advancements for the iPhone
- Apple Music’s royalty rates complicate Spotify’s contract negotiations
- Western Digital My Cloud (OS 3)
- Distil Union Stanley Stand
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app