Four generations of iPod nanos compared

(February 16, 2009)

Over the last few years, I bought one specimen of all four generations of Apple’s iPod nano media player, mainly to make rePear compatible with each new model. (In fact, rePear’s main development target are iPod nanos.) Here are my thoughts about the benefits and drawbacks of each generation.
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Back again

(December 22, 2008)

I want to apologize for the lack of posts here. I know that many people want to know the outcome of the Apple thing and the status of the two jeopardized programs. So, to finally break the much too long period of silence, here’s the current status of the projects:

The presentation program is online again under its new name Impressive: Currently, there’s only a rebranded 0.10.2 version, but I hope to move forward with a new version in the first quarter of 2009.

The iPod management tool has been renamed to rePear: Along with the rename, the brand-new and much improved version 0.4 has been released.

I find it unfortunate and unnecessary that the issue needed to be settled involving layers and lots of money. It would have been easier for both sides (and certainly more civilized) to simply write an e-mail to state the problem. I am willing to co-operate. You can still call your lawyers if I don’t comply, but I don’t see any reason why there should be money involved from the start.

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CENSORED 0.4.0 Beta Test Started

(April 13, 2008)

After a long, long time I can finally (and proudly) present a nearly finished new version of CENSORED, the iPod management tool. The main highlights in this release are support for some new models (iPod classic and »fat« nano), AAC and (experimental) video support, import of Play Counts and upload to and a lot of other new features and bugfixes. Though the code is already finished, I can’t publicly release a full version yet because of two reasons: First, the documentation needs to be updated and second, I need an official Client ID from to legally upload (»scrobble«) play statistics, but the guy who is responsible for those seems to be very busy with other stuff at the moment.

So instead of releasing CENSORED 0.4.0 straight away, I’m doing a non-public beta test now. Users who helped me with the new version or otherwise expressed interest in it have already been invited. If you are also interested and have not received an invitation yet, just send me an e-mail.
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The art of shuffling music

(May 11, 2007)

Everyone knows and loves it: The »shuffle« function that is included in every disc- or memory-based music player. If you don’t feel like chosing your »playlist of the day« when you want to listen to your music, you just turn on the shuffle mode and off you go with the finest collection of all tracks on your CD or MiniDisc or hard disk or flash chip. This feature is so popular that a certain computer manufacturer once successfully introduced a MP3 player that was actually based on the shuffle option.

However, there’s something wrong with virtually every shuffle implementation: It’s random.
I can already hear you saying »He gotta be kidding! Randomness is what shuffling is all about!« Well, you’re right. Mostly. The problem with conventional shuffle algorithms is that they are too random. They lack fairness and uniform distribution.
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Making of »nano«

(October 8, 2006)

In the last two months, there has been a fair (but not overwhelming) amount of media awareness around the Evoke Alternative Platform winner demo, »nano«. I’ve been interviewed for a minor German internet portal and for a major German Mac magazine and received almost exclusively good ratings on pouë Finally, a few weeks ago, Gasman (a well-respected scener) started a thread about it in the iPodLinux forums. There were numerous people wondering about how it’s possible to do real-time 3D graphics on the iPod nano. To answer these questions once and for all, I’ve taken much time to write this very long post that really should contain all relevant information.
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An iPod hacker’s diary

(July 9, 2006)

I didn’t update CENSORED for quite a while, but during the last week, I finally took some time to push the project further. The result is version 0.2.0, available from SourceForge since yesterday night. The new version is all about artwork support: JPEG or PNG files that are placed next to music files will now be shown on playback. This sounds simple, but in fact, this little feature took me about half of the time I spent for the whole 0.1 series. Alas, this has only partly to do with the complex data structures Apple tends to use – a good share of the problems I had was generated by myself …
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An unforgiving API

(May 16, 2006)

When writing a program for an iPod, the first and foremost thing to implement is, of course, sound. I, for one, did some of the graphical bells and whistles first, because that’s where my real business is, but today, I wanted to add a little bit of music. It was going to be a smooth ride, I thought, as iPodLinux’ native sound API is just plain and simple OSS.
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iPod nano ownage

(May 15, 2006)

What does a geek do with his newest high-tech gadget? Exactly – he’s hacking and/or putting Linux on it! This weekend was the time for my trusty iPod nano to become modded, with the intention to run some self-written homebrew on it.
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