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  • Serial Port iPod Control Software

    So, after finding nothing really useful for Linux (or Windows even) I have decided to create a GTK app for controlling my iPod via serial. So far I have the simple functionality working perfectly (Play/Pause, Vol, Skip.) I have started on the advanced functionality (playlists, shuffle, artists, album art, blah blah.)

    The hardware is simple but custom (all the info is on ipodlinux.org, but I would repost links if desired.)

    I'd love to see if anyone wants what I have when I get a little further. My goal is to have a daemon run that monitors a serial port to see if an iPod is plugged in through the dock connector, and then launch the application. It would emulate (some) of the user interface of the ipod through the app.

    Fun stuff - learning a lot about Linux programming, esp GTK stuff. Also developing in parallel a command line utility that will do most of the same (same iPod control lib.)

    Is there any interest in this around here?

  • #2
    This is a pretty cool project. What iPod versions will it work with?
    "I'm a dick!"
    "I must seek knowledge and it's bastard son truth" - The State

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    • #3
      I believe it should work with 3G and up. I am using a 4G (clickwheel) but it's based on reverse engineering done with a 3G (again, the ipodlinux.org crew - great stuff.)

      I can't imagine it wouldn't work on a mini or a 5G, as these support the AiR protocol.

      I'll post a link to some code when I have a little more running.

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      • #4
        did this ever take off? i was thinking about molding in an ipod 'slot' dock for my car and this would be great.
        New System in progress:
        M10k
        Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
        Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
        Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
        Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
        Transflective Xenarc

        My Car Pc Install
        My Boat Pc worklog

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        • #5
          Unfortunately, real work (as in being paid to do other things) has kept me from going any further on this. I hope to pick it back up as soon as I can... my problem is that my fiancee wants a nice wedding

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          • #6
            damn it! freakin women always screwin up my ****!

            (congrats on the engagement anyways)
            New System in progress:
            M10k
            Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
            Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
            Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
            Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
            Transflective Xenarc

            My Car Pc Install
            My Boat Pc worklog

            Comment


            • #7
              Tell me about it! She hates hearing about Linux and told me Tux is a jerk.

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              • #8
                So, I decided to take a different course. The serial port control is cute and all, but I decided that it is ridiculous to require special hardware to be built for all this when I could just use the USB port and the filesystem on the iPod.

                So I have started a Java application that reads the database from the iPod, and treats it as a simple USB drive. The application can then play the songs just as if they were on one of the local hard drives or whatever.

                I am using Java for platform independence (and because I just took a Java class and needed and excuse to use it.)

                Right now I have the database being successfully read, with some things glossed over (like internal playlists, chapter names, and smart playlists.) The iPod database file has been reverse engineered over at ipodlinux.org, so it wasn't that bad to parse.

                Since Java is so nicely object oriented, this part can be put into a multitude of operations. The iPod does not have filenames that mean anything, so this database is essential in order to know where the songs are located on the drive and what they are called.

                If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to share.

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                • #9
                  This approach may be fatally flawed; there is no way to play songs downloaded from iTunes without either iTunes or the iPod firmware. There are ways to convert them, but as far as being a universal iPod player, this method will not work.

                  I'm still doing it though.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by silvercryst View Post
                    Tell me about it! She hates hearing about Linux and told me Tux is a jerk.
                    You're still marrying her??!!
                    Failure is not an option....



                    It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by silvercryst View Post

                      If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to share.
                      Sharing is caring! when all is said and done, i'd like to see how it works! maybe it could be used as an extention to a front end!?
                      MobileThree: in car - Zotac Atom/ION - linuxICE 2.0.2
                      --worklog--

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by silvercryst View Post
                        This approach may be fatally flawed; there is no way to play songs downloaded from iTunes without either iTunes or the iPod firmware. There are ways to convert them, but as far as being a universal iPod player, this method will not work.

                        I'm still doing it though.
                        Cool, I'm a heavy ipod user but have never bought anything from iTunes (yuck - at $1 a track I'd rather just buy the CD and have my backup copy made for me).

                        For a personal MP3 collection (non-DRM) your system should work fine, right?
                        My stagnant project

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                        • #13
                          Yes, it will work for any non-DRM tracks.

                          Hopefully Java will not be too slow for this to be anything more than a science project. I am planning a C++ port as well. But I'll continue on the Java science project to meet my original goals of exercising the language.

                          "The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry."

                          - Henry Petroski

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                          • #14
                            Serial port for iPod

                            Dear Sir,

                            From this forum I know that you are an expert in writing code for iPod
                            serial port. I am going to develop a small program which receives data
                            from iPod serial port and then displays the data on iPod screen. Can
                            you give me any suggestion about it? Or if you already have some codes
                            functioning like that I need, I may buy it from you. You can contact me
                            at [email protected]. Thank you.

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                            • #15
                              pic controller

                              What a fascinating piece of software/hardware
                              Would it be possible to control this serial port ipod control software with a pic
                              Can it control the file selection?
                              What are the rules?
                              Thanks

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