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Thread: Serial Port iPod Control Software

  1. #1
    Newbie silvercryst's Avatar
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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. #2
    FLAC migel628's Avatar
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    This is a pretty cool project. What iPod versions will it work with?
    "I'm a dick!"
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  3. #3
    Newbie silvercryst's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    did this ever take off? i was thinking about molding in an ipod 'slot' dock for my car and this would be great.
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  5. #5
    Newbie silvercryst's Avatar
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    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

  6. #6
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    damn it! freakin women always screwin up my ****!

    (congrats on the engagement anyways)
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  7. #7
    Newbie silvercryst's Avatar
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    Tell me about it! She hates hearing about Linux and told me Tux is a jerk.

  8. #8
    Newbie silvercryst's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9
    Newbie silvercryst's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate BarryWoods's Avatar
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    Quote 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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