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Media (Apple) Media Software Linux

Apple Cuts Off Linux iPod Users 854

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-stand-the-heat dept.
Will Fisher writes "New iPods will no longer be able to work with Linux. iTunes now writes some kind of hash (SHA1, md5?) to the iPod database which new iPods check against. If this check fails then the iPod reports that it contains 0 songs. This appears to be protection against 3rd party applications writing out their own databases. We haven't found out how to generate our own valid hashes (but we do know the hash includes the database itself, and possibly the iPod serial number), and are looking for help."
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Apple Cuts Off Linux iPod Users

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  • by 2names (531755) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:49PM (#20607567)
    I've heard this is the best way to make a good hash.
    • by interiot (50685) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:51PM (#20607595) Homepage
      I heard cannabis brownies were the way to go.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Akaihiryuu (786040)
      Hah...I was just reminded of something I saw when I was out shopping the other day. It seems the fad of having crap named iCrap is really catching on. I saw an iTrashCan. Time to get an iTrashCan to put all of Apple's iCrap in. I swore off Apple in 1990 when they cancelled the Apple IIGS+ after it was demonstrated, instead saying "Tough luck, go buy a Mac". I swore then I would never again buy an Apple product, and seeing stuff like this makes me glad I made that decision. I'm sure it will be reverse
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:49PM (#20607575) Homepage Journal
    They should talk to the GAIM^WPidgin developers. I've heard that they have a wee bit of experience in reverse-engineering hashes transmitted over a network.
  • Old ones (Score:4, Funny)

    by aedan (196243) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:50PM (#20607579) Homepage
    My old 5 gb iPod just jumped in value.

    Not that I'd sell it.
  • by Markvs (17298) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:50PM (#20607587) Journal
    I thought Apple had embraced open source
    • Re:But but but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cmowire (254489) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:52PM (#20607617) Homepage
      In order to not get in trouble with shareholders, the CEO is usually obligated to sell his own mother to slavery if it will make sufficient impact to the bottom line.
      • Re:But but but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by notthe9 (800486) on Friday September 14, 2007 @05:11PM (#20609203)
        I really don't see how this improves the bottom line. Does it hurt Apple for people to be using something other than their media player (which is free to obtain) to put songs on their iPod?

        I know it is suggested that this is to thwart syncing with third-party apps, but it seems like that's a pointless effort. I have been known not to understand stuff, though.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kripkenstein (913150)

          I really don't see how this improves the bottom line. Does it hurt Apple for people to be using something other than their media player (which is free to obtain) to put songs on their iPod?

          This might seem surprising, but really it isn't if you think about it a bit. The issue is Apple's market share and the recent sale of DRM-free tracks.

          • If you are a small player in the market, it is in your best interest to get as many people as possible to buy your hardware. Letting them use whatever software they wan
    • Re:But but but... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sayfawa (1099071) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:00PM (#20607787)
      And despite this, you'll still get told how good Apple is for open source in a few days in the next OSX vs Linux flame war.

      Anyway, this just makes it easier to say no to them IMO. I was already pissed off enough that my 2nd gen Nano couldn't load Rockbox, but now this.

      In TFA they make it clear they are going to try to get around this, and they probably will, but part of me just wants to say why bother? Fuck Apple. They don't want my money, good, they won't get it.
      • Re:But but but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arth1 (260657) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:22PM (#20608239) Homepage Journal
        I never understood why the iPod became so immensely popular compared to other personal players in the first place. It locks you down to using iTunes, makes it difficult to use multiple machines or move music around, doesn't have particularly high sound quality, and doesn't support a lot of music formats. I see a crowd mentality at work here -- people buy and then vigorously defend having bought an iPod, not because it's better than the competition, but because it's what your friends have. Individuality is fine, as long as it's the exact same individuality as all your friends!

        Granted, I see some advantages to the bigger iPods -- lots of storage is a good thing, and halfway decent battery life likewise. But the smaller ones? Just because it's branded "Apple"?

        • Re:But but but... (Score:5, Informative)

          by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {esidarap.cram}> on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:36PM (#20608531) Homepage Journal

          Usability and simplicity. I've had three other music players, some of them having received very good reviews (cowon products). But I used my wife's iPod, and it is simply a better, more user-friendly experience. I was disappointed to go back to my old player; and will very likely be replacing it with an ipod when it dies.

          Itunes is another reason for the casual user. They don't care about formats. Most of them can't tell the difference in quality. They don't need to transfer it to a million different locations. They know they can hear a song they like, and own it, and enjoy it -- relatively cheaply, and without any headache or hassle. I'm not a fan of it for the reasons you mentioned, but the vast majority of the paying public doesn't really care about those issues. Most aren't even aware of them.

          • Re:But but but... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by LordSnooty (853791) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:51PM (#20608843)
            Yes, casual users don't care for the technical details, so they want something usable and stylish. The fact that many of their friends have one too probably doesn't go amiss, since they'll no doubt need help with it or itunes now and again, and want to be confident that they own a machine that must be good because everyone else has one. Usability and marketing were the two edges that pushed the ipod ahead. Having said that there are many equally usable devices out there, but it's no coincidence that the ipod was and still is the most heavily marketed portable media player.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by dreamchaser (49529)
            I call BS on the usability arguement, sorry. My Creative Zen Nano is just as easy to use as my daughter's iPod if not easier. The only reason iPods sell as well as they do is name and hype.

            Itunes *maybe*. I personally hate it and won't use it, but I can see how it might lock in some users. Usability though? No.
            • Re:But but but... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by macshit (157376) <miles&gnu,org> on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:13PM (#20612597) Homepage
              I call BS on the usability arguement, sorry. My Creative Zen Nano is just as easy to use as my daughter's iPod if not easier. The only reason iPods sell as well as they do is name and hype.

              Maybe (hopefully) things are different these days, but the last time I looked at mp3 players (a year or two ago), it was pretty obvious why the ipod was so popular: all the models from other companies were (1) really ugly, (2) kind of flimsy feeling (apple used aluminum, others used painted plastic, usually with tacky chrome-looking plastic accents), (3) had awful UIs (hard to press and badly placed buttons etc), and (this is the part that amazes me), (4) more expensive than the ipod for the same amount of storage.

              It was really kind of surreal, like the other manufacturers were living in some sort of dreamland where they had no competition and people would buy any old junk they released as long as it had the string "mp3" in its name...
        • Re:But but but... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hiryuu (125210) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:47PM (#20608767)
          I see a crowd mentality at work here -- people buy and then vigorously defend having bought an iPod, not because it's better than the competition, but because it's what your friends have.

          While I can't argue that many people may have done that, I went from swimming upstream to something that was designed to work with what I had. I had a Rio Karma [wikipedia.org] from a few years back, specifically for the Ogg Vorbis support, but once I made the transition from Windows to Mac, I found that I was swimming upstream in my insistence on using this device. Still, I persisted until the hard drive died, and once the time came to buy another device - well, since I already had and really liked my iBook, I decided to go along with the design flow and picked up an iPod Nano. I wish I hadn't had to re-rip my collection, but I've been very happy with the aesthetics and the usability, given that I use a digital audio player specifically for working out, running/biking, or long drives.

          A number of people will complain about iTunes and how it manages files and playlists - and I agree that it doesn't do things the way I want, the way I'd done them before. It is very easy to use, but does some things I don't like and doesn't present the flexibility or power in use. Do you know what I discovered after a short while? I didn't care - it did a good enough job, and it wasn't worth the effort of micro-managing my playlists in painstaking detail the way I'd done before.
        • Re:But but but... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by xrayspx (13127) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:55PM (#20608903) Homepage
          Well, until very recently (this article), they DIDN'T lock you down to using iTunes. Amarok worked very, very well with my iPod, in fact, I loathe iTunes in comparison. Apple won't let you copy music from your ipod with itunes, Amarok allows this, case closed.

          I hate this decision, and see no benefit to Apple from it except to "drive eyeballs" to iTunes, which is horrible, and thus ITMS. So between that and making the recording industry feel more comfortable, since they just broke all the third party apps to let people copy THEIR OWN MUSIC off of their iPod, I'd say it's "Lose/Lose" to the users.

          Still happy I bought my Mac, still like my iPod, probably will skip a new one if this doesn't get fixed. What other players allow music to be Scrobbled when you plug them into your machine, and what apps support these properly? Amarok? I hope?
        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:55PM (#20608909)
          MP3 players were out long before the iPod ever came around, but nobody really cared. To the extent that people did listen to music, they'd just keep doing it on a walk/discman or the like. An MP3 player was just a new gadget that only some cared about. Well, Apple changed that, they sold the style, they made it cool. It became a fashion accessory. Sorority girls started to carry them not even because they cared about listening to music, but because it was fashionable to do so.

          Apple convinced everyone that a music player was something you needed to have, and their's was the stylish one to get. As such, they managed to grab the majority of the market.

          Well, once you've got something like that going, inertia will carry you a long way. People don't like change, once they get something that works for them they don't change it without reason. As such you get people sold on iPods and when they need a new player, they just go and get another one, they don't really look at alternates. It works for them, why change?

          Finally you should know that individuality isn't something most hold in a high regard. Even most of the "non-conformist" types simply work real hard to conform with their given non-conformist group. It's rare to find people who simply don't give a shit and do their own thing regardless of society.
    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:34PM (#20608503)
      Careful! The last time I even suggested that Apple was not an open source friendly company here on Slashdot, I was modded down as "flamebait." Of course, I also reminded everyone that Apple's developers did not invent the mouse, object oriented programming, the GUI, and that those developers were also not capable of producing a preemptive scheduler, and the presence of those features in OS X represents Apple's team simply borrowing ideas from other people without contributing anything back.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by aliquis (678370)
        I would have modded you up from that flamebait if I hadn't posted quite a few anti-iPod-posts myself already :(
  • by Traegorn (856071) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:51PM (#20607591) Homepage Journal
    Because I expect the Linux community to have one on my desk by Monday. Companies drive me crazy when they do this, I mean punishing someone whose a potential consumer of your product makes so much sense... yeesh. It's not like they're trying to hack the iTunes DRM - they just want to use a legitimate product they've purchased...
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:06PM (#20607901)

      Companies drive me crazy when they do this, I mean punishing someone whose a potential consumer of your product makes so much sense... yeesh.

      The thing you're missing is that Apple executives did not sit down and decide to make things hard for Linux users. Probably they sat down and looked for a way to stop MS from making WMP work with the iPod, since, MS uses similar lock in strategies against them in other markets every day. They were probably considering Sony and maybe Real. They may or may not have considered Linux at all and if they did they probably decided there were so few Linux users that the impact would not be as bad as letting MS leverage their monopolies to push Apple out of markets while not taking every effort to leverage their own near monopoly.

      Normally I'd object pretty strongly to any sort of enforced tie ins like this, but when competing against MS and while it is clear the Justice department will do nothing to stop their abuses, Apple and all other companies competing with them are in a very bad spot. Two wrongs don't make a right, but anything that stops MS from becoming the sole gatekeeper for DRM and all media within the next decade sounds like something we really, really need. And make no mistake, if not for Apple's iPod and Apple leveraging it, WMP would be the format for almost all legal music on the internet and MS would be taking a cut of it and preparing to stop said music from playing on Linux and other OS's altogether

      Also, I don't own an iPod and am pretty sure there will be a work around in short order.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Friday September 14, 2007 @05:26PM (#20609423)
      Two points:

      1) You're assuming that this change is intended purely to alienate Linux users. This change was probably made for some other reason, and alienating Linux users was a (possibly unintended) side-effect of it.

      2) The iPod never claimed to carry any sort of support for Linux whatsoever. It seems to me that if you wanted to support Linux, you'd buy a product that actually supports Linux instead of one that doesn't-- and then complaining when the hack you're using to get it to work no longer works!
  • Question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by s.bots (1099921) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:51PM (#20607609)
    Does this also mean that new iPods will only work with iTunes and not with superior media management apps?
  • by querist (97166) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:52PM (#20607639) Homepage
    First, I applaud your determination to uphold the implied freedom to do what one will (within reason, of course) with something that someone owns.

    However, if you are in the USA you are running the risk of Apple invoking the DMCA.

    I hope they don't. I hope you succeed. I firmly believe from a technical standpoint it can be done. My concern is the legal ramifications.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dusty00 (1106595)
      I doubt that the DMCA will be an issue. Though it's been preverted, the technology retarded politicians they convinced to pass the DMCA are under the impression the circumvention clause was really about preventing piracy. Attempts to use the DMCA as to control a market have been shot down before in court (Lexmark Int'l v. Static Control Components, Chamberlain v. Skylink).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Phroggy (441)
      Either you don't understand what the DMCA says, or you don't understand what Apple has done.

      Apple has added a hash to the iTunes Library database. The music is not encrypted*, so we're not talking about breaking encryption to bypass DRM, and the database is not copyrighted, so we're not talking about breaking encryption to bypass DRM. The DMCA doesn't apply.

      * Unless you bought encrypted music from the iTunes Store, but even if you did, we're not talking about breaking that encryption.
  • *sniff* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by target562 (623649) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:53PM (#20607645) Homepage
    Application is using a non-public interface to access functionality... Vendor changes said non-public interface... Community is SHOCKED! WTF?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:54PM (#20607661)
    so .. tell me again why I should buy an ipod? because its the hippest device on earth?
  • Rockbox (Score:4, Informative)

    by AlexCorn (763954) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:54PM (#20607663)
    Just use Rockbox then. It's an open-source firmware replacement. Though it may not run on the newest generation of iPods yet... http://rockbox.org/ [rockbox.org]
    • Re:Rockbox (Score:4, Informative)

      by makomk (752139) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:47AM (#20615983) Journal
      Not only does Rockbox not run on the newest generation of iPods, it probably never will, because the firmware is now encrypted (and possibly signed as well, but no-one knows for sure yet). This means that it isn't a solution of any of the iPods affected by this issue. The index file changes aren't the only thing Apple has done to lock them down.
  • I hate iTunes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wonkavader (605434) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:55PM (#20607675)
    I just hate iTunes. I know other people like it, but it seems to me that non-tech people find iTunes easy, and tech folks don't. As a tech guy, iTunes drives me insane. It doesn't do what I want, doesn't do things my way, does things I don't expect, etc.
    • Re:I hate iTunes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by caerwyn (38056) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:09PM (#20607961)
      I dunno about that. I'm a tech guy and I like iTunes- but then, the three computers on my desk here are a mac and two windows/linux dual boot machines.

      The trick is to let the software do its job without micromanaging it. Focus on what you want to get done rather than the detailed steps of how to get there, and you'll find that it does actually end up being easier and faster.

      (Actually, that's generally the problem with open source UIs, I've found. Sure, they provide every possible way to customize every detailed step of the process... but all I want to do is accomplish X! If I want to break things down into algorithmic steps and tweak the parameters of those steps, well, that's what programming is and I do that enough in my job and my side projects. Applications should just work, they shouldn't need to be programmed.)
    • Re:I hate iTunes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:47PM (#20608765)

      I just hate iTunes. I know other people like it, but it seems to me that non-tech people find iTunes easy, and tech folks don't. As a tech guy, iTunes drives me insane. It doesn't do what I want, doesn't do things my way, does things I don't expect, etc.

      I think much of it is a control issue. Techies tend to be control freaks. We also grew up with Winamp (or similar), and are used to devising our own directory structure for our music collection, expecting to have iTunes use our file management schemas. When I first started using it, I got confused. Where the hell are my music files? Why is it recopying what I just put over there? Why won't it let me play these files?

      After a day of this, I just said 'screw it' and let iTunes put shit where it wants to, and I decided it does a good job. That's the difference in perception - iTunes is a good system to get music from various sources and never have to worry about the notion that music is contained in 'files.' If you try to buck the system, you and iTunes will hate each other.

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:58PM (#20607737) Homepage Journal
    I remember a while back Apple got a lot of criticism from the European Community because the iTMS DRM didn't work on competing players - that's probably one reason Jobs pressed the record labels to let him offer DRM-free music.

    I'd like to see some legal type make the case that Apple has a monopoly on portable music players, and that this is an illegally anticompetitive action.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NiceGeek (126629)
      Except that Apple doesn't have a monopoly on portable music players. You might be able to argue about the iTunes Store but there are plenty of companies churning out players.
      • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:14PM (#20608075) Homepage
        It's not like they sold you an iPod saying it would work with Linux and then removed it. You could sue over that. People have (the famous Intellivision keyboard for example). You bought a product for a non-supported use and are complaining that it's not working in a non-supported configuration. They didn't take Linux support away because they never gave it to you in the first place. You were using a hack, and you will in a few weeks when someone figures this out.
  • by realdodgeman (1113225) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:58PM (#20607751) Homepage
    Linux can't use it? Install Linux on it. Since their protection is embedded in the iPod OS, it should be easily fixed by installing Linux on the iPod itself. Suddenly your iPod can do more, and is not bound to Windows/Mac anymore. And did I mention that it is free?
  • by Pausanias (681077) <<pausaniasx> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:01PM (#20607821)
    Apple is hostile to Linux, because it is beginning to compete with OS X in a much more serious way than Windows.

    It all started last year when with the release of iTunes 7, Apple purposely broke DAAP [wikipedia.org], ending the compatibility of their iTunes software with various [gnome.org] media players [gnome.org]. Now rhythmbox/amaroK/banshee users can't listen to iTunes shares, and no one has yet been able to break the hash that would allow it.

    So it comes as no surprise that the iPod is being further locked down. The closer our desktops get in usability to OS X (and they are not close yet, but making progress), the more of this we'll see.

    Disclaimer: I use an OS X desktop and a Linux laptop.
  • by ahbi (796025) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:05PM (#20607887) Journal
    What is going on with Apple?
    Let us count how bad this product launch is:
    1) 33% price cut for the iPhone, which threw early adopters in a fit, and then the $100 "rebate".
    2) iPod touch is crippled. The Bluetooth is physically there (supposedly) but not enabled. No editing calender appointments. No Notes app or the other apps from iPhone. Screen issues with the contrast & blackness versus the iPhone.
    3) iPod Classic, slower less responsive UI. Old Video accessories don't work with the iClassic.
    4) iPod Nano, the FatPod. Same slower UI as the Classic. No memory increase.

    Seriously, in 10 days Apple seems to have found a way to piss everyone off. Now they go after the Linux community. How badly have they bungled this product launch?

    1) As a non-iPhone owner or wanter, the brew-ha-ha over the $200 price cut irritates me not because of the price cut but the reaction is such that you better believe Apple won't ever make similar price cuts in the future.
    Plus you know a 16GB iPhone will come out as soon as the iPhone is released in Europe.

    2) Once again, the iTouch will be jailbreaked and the iPhone apps ported to the iTouch, but this type of needless product differentiation crippling cause bad will. And, this hacking may break whenever Apple releases a firmware update. For example, the Linux lock-out of this story.
    Apple could have just given people the product they want in the first place. As the screams of people have shown, there is a market for a phoneless iPhone.
    The screen issues are unfixable but possibly explained by manufacturing variables.

    3) The iClassic is the least changed and therefore least disliked of the new products. The software (DRM) incompatibility with video accessories is unnecessary.

    4) Now the FatPod is merely ugly. It is a shame about the less responsive UI. And really it was time to bump up the storage to 16gb. One wonders if the storage was capped at 8Gb in an attempt to differentiate this versus the iTouch. After all if they are needlessly crippling the iTouch why not nerf the FatPod?

    Is it just hurbis that has gotten Apple's head so far up its ass, or is this just a cyclical Apple implosion? If the latter, we are in for a few more years of Apple stupidity before they re-emerge with some new wonder product.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vertigoCiel (1070374)

      2) iPod touch is crippled. The Bluetooth is physically there (supposedly) but not enabled.

      Actually, iFixit [ifixit.com] just disassembled a Touch, and found there is no bluetooth hardware [gizmodo.com] at all. It was just a mistake on the part of an Apple product-mock-up guy.

  • by Floritard (1058660) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:06PM (#20607891)
    If you're using only Linux, then you're not using iTunes, and unless you have a some separate access to a computer with iTunes you're not using ITMS. So why use the proprietary database format of iTunes at all? Just use rockbox and treat your iPod like what it is, a mass storage device. Easier manage your files that way anyway. Headline really should read Apple Cuts Off ITMS From Potential Users.
    • by AusIV (950840) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @01:28AM (#20613363)

      Just use rockbox and treat your iPod like what it is, a mass storage device.

      There are a number of reasons not to use Rockbox. First, it's not yet supported on the new line of iPods, so it's not even an option. Next, rockbox has horrible battery life relative to the iPod firmware. Then there's the interface to consider: I never really could figure out how to find songs or playlists in the rockbox interface. Lastly, the main reason I see to use an iPod is the vast array of addons that are available for the iPod. I have an adapter in my car radio that lets me plug in my iPod and control it with the head unit - don't think you can use that with Rockbox.

      That said, I'm still completely content with my old grayscale iPod, which works quite well with Amarok. I've no intentions of "upgrading" until it has completely died. Once that happens, I'll consider another iPod if they're working with Linux again, otherwise Apple has lost a semi-content customer.

  • by rebmemeR (1056120) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:16PM (#20608115)
    iTunes sucks. I have an iPod 160 and my library has 11,000 songs (and there are folks out there with 50,000+). I'm on Windows XP SP2 on a fast box with 2GB memory and USB 2.0. iTunes is entirely unscalable. It is very slow to do anything with my library, even with manual sync. Adding one song to the iPod is a 5-minute process. File transfer speed is not the problem. For sure iTunes wastes time doing unnecessary work. Ejecting the iPod alone takes over a minute. Also, the iTunes MP3 player is buggy. It has trouble with MP3/VBR and generates clicking in the audio output. MediaMonkey is a much better content organizer. It is very fast. But the Apple's file format change on the iPod Classic means the current version of MM can't handle the iPod filesystem. I hope the MM developers will have the problem solved soon.
  • How amusing (Score:4, Funny)

    by div_2n (525075) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:20PM (#20608203)
    I just emailed Apple a few days ago asking for a Linux version of iTunes. No wonder I didn't hear back from them.
  • Missed the point (Score:4, Insightful)

    by laird (2705) <lairdp.gmail@com> on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:32PM (#20608449) Journal
    This move isn't about blocking Linux iPod users - it's broader than that - it blocks all third-party applications from putting music onto the iPod. The fact that some of those applications run on Linux is probably irrelevant to Apple, because Linux users who don't also have a PC or Mac are probably a very small percentage of Apple's potential sales.

    So, why would Apple want to block third-party apps from writing to iPods? Let's speculate:

    - Apple might be getting customer support calls from people who corrupt their iPod databases. So by blocking third-party apps, Apple is reducing support costs.
    - Apple is about to make major changes to iTunes, and to the iPod database format, and needs to keep third-party apps from corrupting the new databases.
    - Apple wants to be the only way that music gets on iPods for some business reason.
  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Friday September 14, 2007 @05:34PM (#20609531)
    This, along with Apple's change to the video out to render devices like Philip's DVD/iPod video player unable to play video from iPods is frustrating. It's a shame Apple has gone far from its roots as a company that encourages innovation around their products.

    Philip's portable DVD/iPOD player is real neat - drop the iPod in the cradle on the device and watch video on a bigger screen.

    Apple even sold similar devices in tehir stores - maybe they just want to extort money from companies that build such devices?
  • Saw it coming... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evilviper (135110) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @01:16AM (#20613267) Journal
    Who didn't see this coming? Anyone trying to encode 640x480 h.264 videos for playback on the iPod/AppleTV certainly did, as they've left the format completely undocumented, require a stupid arbitrary UUID atom to be there or iTunes won't copy it to the player, and perhaps even worse, iTunes imposes other restrictions on the encoding options that hobble the quality, yet such files play fine on the iPod hardware, you are just forced to use a 3rd party app to copy such files over.
        http://lists.mplayerhq.hu/pipermail/ffmpeg-devel/2006-September/015930.html [mplayerhq.hu]

    IMHO, everyone should load up the RockBox firmware on their iPods, and tell Apple to screw themselves and their proprietary lockout nonsense, before they try to stop people from upgrading their firmware, too. As an added bonus, you are then able to use higher quality and open/patent-free audio formats (Ogg Vorbis/MPC Musepack).

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