The Geekery of Linux on an iPod

Photograph of iPod Photo with partial installation of Linux

I’ve finally found a use for that iPod Photo 60GB that’s been languishing in my desk drawer. I’m going to use it as a field recorder for my podcasts.

The resale value of an iPod that’s bigger than a postage stamp but doesn’t play video is, presumably, three-fifths of bugger all. However it can record sound.

Apple deliberately crippled the iPod’s recording functions to mere 8-bit quality — OK for recording dictation and the like, but not good enough for snarfing surreptitious bootlegs of a Silverchair concert. But running Linux on the iPod unleashes its full 16-bit glory.

After a couple hours’ work I now understand the process of Linuxing a ’Pod. But to get it to work, my MacPod (that is, an iPod formatted for Mac file systems) has to be turned into a WinPod (one using Microsoft’s file systems). I won’t bother explaining why, but it’s yet another example of that old phenomenon…

In general, Macs can read Windows file systems, but Windows machines can’t read Mac file systems. Sigh. I’ll finish it on the weekend.

5 Replies to “The Geekery of Linux on an iPod”

  1. is this a sub-project procrastination, or a free-standing procrastination project? 🙂

    sounds like fun, but …

    look forward to hearing more.

  2. There’s a few geeks up here who are really keen to see this followed through. Such is Mullumbimby life, too much time on their hands. . . Yet not enough time to use it properly.

  3. @bernard: It’s a sub-project, but not really procrastination. It’s part of getting my media production environment sorted. A field audio recorder is handy but far from essential. I thought it’d be quick to Linux the ’Pod, but it turns out to have a few subtleties.

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