04 March 2005

IPodLinux

My IPod now dual-boots both the original Apple firmware and IPodLinux.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ipodlinuxinst/

http://forum.defcon.org/showthread.php?p=58864#post58864

I have a third generation IPod, a 15GB model and I figured what the heck so I installed IPodLinux on it.

I first connected my IPod and waited until it updated. After that was complete, I downloaded the (Windows) installer program, unzipped to a temp directory, and ran ipodlinux-installer.exe.

It searched for and downloaded the updated kernel. I chose linux as the default boot (it leaves the original apple firmware intact and can be uninstalled without problems).

At this point it will prompt you to close ITunes or whatever else is connected to the IPod. It then installs Linux and took all of about 15 seconds or so on my computer.

When it's finished, it asks you to disconnect your IPod, upon which it should (and did) reboot. If it doesn't, holding menu and play for 5 seconds will manually reboot.

Upon the reboot, the familiar apple logo shows, followed by the familiar Penguin logo. After that, the screen scrolls quickly as Linux boots up. A few seconds later, your new Podzilla menu is loaded. To load the non-default, reboot and hold the rewind button. The apple logo will appear, followed by the Penguin, and then instead of scrolling through the Linux boot-up, the "normal" Apple firmware loads.

Here are some problems I encountered:

1. Playback was a different story. I chose a few songs at random: some played ok, others played too fast, some played with significant delays and static, some didn't play at all. Seems like none of my "Purchased" music plays correctly. I either get a "malloc failed" or the song tries to play in mono and all I get is static.

Are playback issues related to the overall quality of the MP3? I have no idea.

2. Also, I haven't had luck using the rewind/fast-forward buttons while a song is playing, i.e., you can't use the fast-forward button to skip ahead or goto the next song.

3. Further, when one song ends, it just returns to the song selection list rather than playing the next song.

4. The power meter showed full in Linux despite the fact that the battery was nearly dead. Rebooting to Apple showed correctly, an almost dead battery.

My initial verdict is that IPodLinux is fun to play around with and test out, but if you want to be able to play all of your songs without problems, boot to the Apple firmware. I plan to keep playing around with it to hopefully discover what might be causing the playback problems...stay tuned.

Feel free to email me or ask any questions.
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