Friday, May 31, 2002
“Inside the Apple iPod Design Triumph”
MacSurfer reports a new cover story by Electronics DesignChain magazine describing the methods Apple used to bring the iPod to market using resources from third party partners. By reverse-engineering the iPod, Portelligent Inc, an Austin, Texas based firm provided DesignChain with information leading to the design chain used to develop the iPod. Among the key partners listed are Sony, Toshiba and Wolfson Microeletronics Ltd. (PortalPlayer).
“First and foremost, the product was elegantly designed in classic Apple fashion,” says David Carey, president of Portelligent. “They did product design from the outside in.” Carey says the company had a vision of what the player should be and what it should look like. The subsequent design parameters were dictated by its appearance and form factor.
Thursday, May 30, 2002
Software: EphPod v2.30 Beta Released
“EphPod is a program designed to make your iPod work with Windows. You will need a program to let you read Mac drives through Windows for EphPod to work properly. Currently, we recommend MacOpener. It has a free trial, so you can try it before you have to pay for it.”
- What’s new in v2.30:
- New way to select directories to Sync
- Sync now checks filesize
- Sync Option now allows removing songs from iPod that aren’t in the sync directories
- Follow ShortCuts in Directories now allows you to follow shortcuts when syncing and adding songs from directories
- Added Option to Export Outlook Contacts to iPod
- Support for Unicode id3 tags installed (making Windows work with non-UTF8 characters may require updates to Windows)
- Support for news “slurpers” – programs that can download news/weather/movie listings/stocks/directions/etc to text files. Try http://sitescooper.org/ for a cool free one.
- Supports multiple VCards in one .VCF file now
- Manually saving (using File->Save) will now clear the “Recent” list
- Supports blank playlists (for separators) now
- Added a filesize verification feature to “check exist” and renamed to “Verify Database”
- Allows auto-saving of id3 tags when using the quickedit options (F2-F6)
- Support for WAV files added.
- Bug fixes:
- Synchronizing Playlist bug fixed
- Drag and Drop songs to playlists now orders correctly (instead of in reverse)
- Negative percentages and MBPS in transfer screen finally fixed
- Allows other programs to read MP3s while copying them now
- If Downloading crashes, it now properly resets the status
- Sort by Album for playlist ordering now uses proper numeric sorting
- Editing and Deleting songs no longer screws up the display/sorting in the Song View
- Add Playlist from File from the right-click menu now works.
- Fixed small cosmetic errors
Wednesday, May 29, 2002
Software: Roster2iPod 1.0 Released
“Roster2iPod has been updated to v 1.0 and now better functionality in the team argument. Also, readvcf is new to the Miscellaneous section. This tool parses a .vcf file and writes the output to the screen. It’s handy for looking at a .vcf file quickly without moving it to the iPod. It may not work on vcf files generated by other scripts or programs.”
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
Hardware: ModPod iPod Stand Released
The ModPod ($28.99) is a stylish and functional iPod stand, laser cut from crystal clear lucite. The ModPod comes with two clips in the rear for attaching your audio and FireWire cables and all your iPod’s controls are easily accessed.
Note: The ModPod can be purchased at EverythingiPod.com
Dead iPod Revived After 5 Days
MacFixit is reporting a follow up report from a reader who has successfully revived a dead iPod after it was dead for about 5 days.
“Given the high repair cost I procrastinated fixing my “dead” iPod. I was pleasantly surprised when after about 5 days of being unplugged, my iPod ‘woke-up’ when I plugged in the charger again. It seems that there could be a low battery state where the iPod won’t turn on, but also won’t charge. Presumably the iPod boots to a working state when power is applied to a totally unpowered unit.”
Software: PodUtil 1.0b3 Released
“PodUtil is (another) management program for the Apple iPod. It allows you to directly edit the Contacts on your iPod, presenting them in a list for one-click editing. As soon as you’re done editing, the contact(s) are saved for immediate use on your iPod. No more fiddling around copying .vcf files everywhere, PodUtil does it in one click!
Another function PodUtil can do is to copy the music from your iPod back to your computer. While doing so, it can organise your music by artist and/or album, and will also change the creator codes to match the one of your favourite MP3 player.
All this, and a friendly interface to boot! Oh, and it is free!”
Monday, May 27, 2002
Software: EntourageMail v1.1 Released
“EntourageMail takes Entourage e-mail messages from a given folder and exports them into a vCard file called Email-folder.vcf. Since the application will only delete files for the folder currently being exported, you can easily export multiple folders to your iPod and update individual folders as required.
Each message includes the sender name and e-mail address, when it was sent and indicates if it has been read, forwarded, replied to, redirect or flagged (with the information only being displayed if it has). It will also indicate if the message has attachments.”
France: Online iPod Accessory Store Opens
iPodsource.com in France recently opened its online store for Pod accessories. You’ll find popular iPod cases by XtremeMac and Waterfield Designs, cables, car adapters and more.
Software: moveMP3 1.0 Python Script Released
“This script makes a backup copy of ALL your MP3 files from your Apple iPod to another Volume. Instead of just simply copying the files the way iTunes stores them on the iPod, it rebuilds a Directory tree using the iTunes DB on the iPod, so the resulting files are named after the following scheme:”
- Already existing files are skipped.
- Advantages over existing solutions:
- easy to install and use
- more than a simple file copy, rebuilds directory structure in a artist/album/title.mp3 scheme
- Python script: works on MacOS9, MacOS X (and Windows)
- source available (hack it to your liking) and free (GPL)
Note: This is a Python script requiring that you understand how to use the command line terminal.
How To Stream Music From Your iPod
iLounger, Oliver M. informs us of a website with a “How to” on setting up your iPod to stream music over the internet. You will need to install OS X and Quicktime Streaming Server onto your iPod. Read the instructions carefully and if you try it let us know.
Note: Though we have not tested it for ourselves, installing OS X system software on your iPod will result in excessive read/write access to the iPod’s hard drive possibly damaging the disk.
Software: XPlay Technology Beta 1 Released
“XPlay Beta 1 is prettier, slicker, faster, more reliable, and more powerful than the last release. All of the major features are in place, and so is much of the polish.
Based on MacDrive technology, this preview provides both read and write access to your iPod hard drive for documents and data files, plus the ability to organize your music either from the Explorer-based XPlay interface, or from Windows Media Player.
This XPlay prerelease is intended as an illustration of the general structure and abilities of XPlay, but is not yet a robust solution for use of the iPod with Windows.”