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iPod and iTunes Hacks
By Hadley Stern
October 2004
More Info

How do these hacks stand up? Comment on a hack from the book by choosing the associated "Discuss" link below. You can also view the code from any of the hacks by clicking on the "Listing" or "Code" links. A number of hacks have been selected to be featured online in their entirety; you may view those hacks by clicking on the hack titles that are linked.

Jump to: iPod Hardware  | Non-iPod Hardware  | iPod Software  | iTunes  | AppleScript for iTunes  | Beyond iTunes

iPod Hardware

HACK
#1

Good as New: Clean Your iPod
Clean up your dirty iPod using the tips and tricks in this hack.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#2

Exercise with Your iPod
Whatever your favorite way to sweat, you've got options with your iPod. Your iPod can become your constant exercise companion.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#3

Store Digital Photos on Your iPod
A couple nifty products from Belkin allow you to store your digital snaps right on your iPod.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#4

Upgrade Your Ears
Take your iPod listening experience to the next level by upgrading your headphones.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#5

Broadcast Your iPod to FM Radio
Share your iPod's tunes over the airwaves with a variety of FM transmitters.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#6

Build Your Own FM Broadcaster
Increase the range of your FM transmitter and broadcast audio around your home.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#7

Turn Your iPod into a Portable Stereo
Tired of listening through headphones? Turn your iPod into a boom box.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#8

Use Two iPods to DJ
Got a party coming up? Leave that stack of vinyl at home and take two iPods with you to mix it up digital-music style.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#9

Turn Your iPod into a Universal Remote Control
Use a Pocket PC to record the "sounds" an infrared remote makes, transfer them to your iPod, and start changing channels with your new universal remote control.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#10

Integrate Your iPod with Your Motorcycle
The iPod is perfect for road trips on your motorcycle (or scooter). You just have to make your iPod play nice with the open road.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#11

Install Your iPod in Your Car, Permanently
Upgrade your car's console to house the iPod and integrate the iPod with your car's audio and electrical systems.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#12

Integrate the iPod Remote with Your Car
Sure, the new BMW/Apple integrated iPod/car solution is cool—if you have a BMW. If you don't, you can still integrate your iPod into your car's electronic system in no time.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#13

Turn Your iPod Mini into a Radio Station
Turn your iPod mini into a mini radio broadcaster.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#14

Use Your iPod as a Dictaphone
With a couple handy additions from Belkin, you can turn your iPod into a Dictaphone.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#15

Replace Your Generation 1 or 2 iPod's Battery
Breathe some new life into your generation 1 or 2 iPod by replacing its battery.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#16

Replace Your Generation 3 iPod's Battery
It's not quite as easy as changing batteries on a Walkman, but you can change your generation 3 iPod's batteries yourself.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#17

Replace Your iPod Mini's Battery
Has your iPod mini run out of gas? You can replace the battery yourself.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#18

Build Your Own iPod External Charger
Sometimes an electrical outlet is not available. This hack contains all the information you'll need to build your own battery-based iPod External Charger.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#19

Change the Colors of Your Generation 3 iPod's LCD Screen
With a sheet of acetate and a few simple tools, you can convert your iPod's LED lights to any color you want.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#20

Turn Your iPod into a Wireless Jukebox
Stream music from your iPod to your local area network using Rendezvous and a Pocket PC.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#21

Craft an iPod Case from Cardboard
Make your own custom iPod case out of cardboard for next to nothing.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#22

Repurpose a Dead iPod
If you should find yourself the unfortunate owner of an utterly dead iPod that is out of warranty and beyond resurrection as that music player you once loved so much, there is still a variety of things you can do with it.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Non-iPod Hardware

HACK
#23

Control iTunes from Your Palm
You can access your playlists, pause and play music, and much more, all from your Palm Pilot or other web-enabled handheld device.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#24

Control iTunes from Your Mobile Phone
Use your Bluetooth mobile phone as a remote to control iTunes from across the room.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#25

Stream Music Around Your House
With a little third party software and hardware, you can stream your music around your house.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#26

Stream Music with AirPort Express
Using Apple's AirPort Express to free your music's collection from your computer and play your music on any stereo.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#27

Buy or Build a Headphone Amplifier
If the tunes from your iPod seem to lack punch or drama, the solution might be to add a headphone amplifier. You can buy one or build your own.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#28

Access Your iTunes Music Library Through TiVo
Listen to your iTunes music collection via your TiVo with the Home Media Option.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#29

Run iTunes on an Old Mac
Give your legacy Mac hardware a nudge into OS X with this XPostFacto hack and bring it into the digital music age.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#30

Build a Cheap MacMP3/AACServer
Turn that old Mac gathering dust in the closet into a powerhouse MP3/AAC server.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#31

Build a Cheap Linux Music Server
Build a Linux-based music server to store all your digital songs in a stable and affordable package.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

iPod Software

HACK
#32

Run Your iPod in Disk Mode
Use your iPod's copious disk space to store and back up data from your computer.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#33

Read News and More
Use the iPod's built in Notes feature to turn your iPod into an information machine, carrying news, stock quotes, notes, and other scraps of information around with you.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#34

Diagnose iPod Problems
Sometimes, things go wrong in iPod-land. This hack shows you how to figure out what the problem is.
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#35

Use Your iPod with a Mac and a PC
Listen to music on and transfer music between multiple machines and multiple platforms.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#36

Play Games on Your iPod
Waiting for the bus and tired of just listening to music? You can also play games on that music player of yours.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#37

Write an iPod Adventure Game
Create your own Notes-based adventure game for your iPod, either for your personal enjoyment or to share with your friends on the World Wide Web.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#38

Convert Text Files into iPod Books
Convert the many readily available text files on the Web into readable iPod notes.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#39

Write Your Own iPod Book
If you think you'd like to write your own iPod book, this hack provides you with the necessary guidelines for file length, formatting, and linking.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#40

Change Your Battery Icon
Convert your iPod's battery icon into a much more useful voltage indicator.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#41

Access Hidden Files on Your iPod
Apple keeps the music files on your iPod hidden, but with a little hackery, all your music will be revealed, allowing you to copy the files (legally, of course) from one machine to another.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#42

Build an Emergency iPod Boot Volume
An emergency iPod boot volume can be just the thing when your hard drive goes south.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#43

Get Your Email on Your iPod
Sync your iPod with your email client, so you can read emails on the move.
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#44

Publish a Web Page from Your iPod
Plug your iPod into your Mac and create a web page from your iPod's image library in a snap.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#45

Feed Streaming Audio to Your iPod
Capture an Internet audio stream to an MP3 file, save the file to your hard drive, and automatically upload those files to your iPod when it connects to your computer.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#46

Use an iPod with Linux
You don't need a Windows PC or Mac to use an iPod. If you are a Linux user, you too can join the iPod revolution.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#47

Dial a Phone with Your iPod
You can use your iPod to dial a touch-tone phone.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#48

Use .NET to Access the iPod's Database
Code applications in Visual Studio to access your iPod's database using .NET.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#49

Run Linux on Your iPod
Turn your iPod into a Linux-running machine and write your own iPod applications.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

iTunes

HACK
#50

iTunes Keyboard Shortcuts
The first rule of any power user is to use keyboard shortcuts. This hack introduces you to all the shortcuts available to iTunes users.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#51

Control iTunes from the Finder
With a few extra tools, you can control iTunes from the Finder or any other application.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#52

Clean Up Your ID3 Tags
Keep Britney and Mozart separate by ensuring that the ID3 tags that describe your iTunes songs are correct.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#53

Import Lyrics into iTunes and iPod
For all you karaoke-obsessed individuals, there are a number of ways to incorporate song lyrics into an iPod and iTunes workflow.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#54

Extend Your Visualizer Options
Get the most out of Apple's built-in visualizer, and get to know some cool third-party visualizer plug-ins.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#55

Bulk-Rip CDs
Convert your music to MP3s/AACs more efficiently.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#56

Work with Album Artwork
Get all of your album artwork into iTunes quickly and easily.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#57

Clutter Your Desktop with Music
Neatness sometimes just doesn't count, particularly when it comes to artistic expression. So, go ahead and clutter your desktop with click-to-play album covers from your iTunes library.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#58

Make Your Playlists Smart
Take your playlists to the next level by mastering Smart Playlists.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#59

Konfabulate Your iTunes
Use Konfabulator widgets to perform a wide range of iTunes tasks right from your desktop.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#60

Use Java to Expand iTunes Functionality
MyTunes is an easy-to-use and extensible framework you can use to build upon iTunes' built-in functionality. With a little help from Java, you can even run iTunes remotely from another machine.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#61

Control iTunes with Perl
Use the Mac::iTunes Perl module to control iTunes from scripts and from other machines
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#62

Upload a Graphic of Your Currently Playing Song
With Now Playing, you can upload to your web site a .png file that shows which track you are currently listening to in iTunes.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#63

Create a Web Page to Display Your iTunes Library
Want to share your excellent taste in music with your buddies? This hack will show you how to take your iTunes library data and export it as a web page for all the world to see.
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#64

Create Links to the iTunes Music Store
Send your friends a link to that new song you love and make it easy for them to buy it, all in one click.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#65

Skin iTunes with ShapeShifter
Modify iTunes to match your décor by changing the graphics that render iTunes on your desktop.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#66

Alter the iTunes Look and Feel by Resource Hacking
Alter iTunes's resource file to change the way the iTunes interface looks.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#67

Use the iTunes Visualizer as a Screensaver
Using ScriptSaver, you can replace that boring default Apple screensaver with the fanciful iTunes visualizer.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#68

Turn iTunes into a Trivia Player
Turn your Mac into a single- or two-player music trivia machine for a more active listening experience.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#69

Hack Kung-Tunes into a Dynamic Server
Turn the Kung-Tunes utility into a server-side PHP machine and take the public display of your listening habits to the next level.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#70

Put the Ogg in iTunes
Turn iTunes into an Ogg Vorbis–playing application and enjoy the fruits of open source ripping and playing.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#71

Get at iTunes Music Store Metadata
Take a peek at the iTunes Music Store metadata and use the metadata for your own web applications.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

AppleScript for iTunes

HACK
#72

Tame iTunes with AppleScript
Whether you need an AppleScript refresher or you are a willing AppleScript newbie, this hack provides the AppleScript basics you'll need to understand the rest of the scripts in this chapter.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#73

Swap Song Name and Artist
Correct that irritating problem of' song names and artist names being reversed.
The Code
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#74

Clean up "Artist - Song Name"-Style Titles
Split song names of the form "The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love" into separate artist and song names.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#75

Remove Unwanted Characters from Song Names
Remove a specified number of text characters from the beginning of the selected track names.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#76

Find a Track's File Path
Display a track's file path without a lot of mouse-clicks and open windows.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#77

Get a Track's Running Time and File Size
Get the total time and total size of selected tracks.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#78

Increase or Decrease the Play Count
Automatically add to or decrease the play count of the selected tracks by a specific number.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#79

AMG EZ Search
Use info from the selected or playing track to search the All Music Guide web site.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#80

Search for Lyrics on Google
Use info from the current or selected track to search for lyrics pages via Google in Safari.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#81

Remove Dead Tracks
Automatically delete the tracks in iTunes whose files are no longer available.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#82

Build a Random Playlist
Shuffle several playlists together into a single random playlist.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#83

Make a New iPod Playlist from Your Selections
Send selected tracks in iTunes straight to your iPod, and optionally create a new playlist to put them in.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#84

Change Your Encoder on the Fly
Discover the freedom to convert or import selected tracks (whether in your library or on some sort of removable media—excluding your iPod—such as a CD/DVD) using an encoder selected on the fly, without changing your defaults.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#85

Whack the Current Track
If you find the currently playing track is a real dud, quickly remove it from iTunes.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#86

Save Artwork to a Folder
Copy the album artwork of a selected track as aJPEG or PNG file to a specified folder.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#87

Send Current Track Info to iChat
Set your iChat status message to the name and artist of the currently playing track.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#88

Rewind or Pause the Current Track
Rewind the currently playing track a specified number of seconds and then play, or pause the track.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#89

See What Other People Are Listening to
Monitor which of your shared iTunes audio files are being played by other machines on your network.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#90

Play Snippets of Each Track in a Playlist
Sample a section of each track in a specified playlist.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#91

Make Files Bookmarkable
Change the file type of your imported AAC files to make them bookmarkable.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#92

Search the iTunes Music Store for the Current Song
Search the iTunes Music Store using info from the currently playing track.
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Beyond iTunes

HACK
#93

Play MP3 and AAC Files from the Command Line
With qtplay, you can play your music files from the Terminal, without opening iTunes.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#94

Manipulate Audio Using the Terminal
iTunes isn't the only way to encode your CDs. With Mac OS X, you can get to the heart of Unix to rip in alternative encoders such as LAME.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#95

Stream Your Music Collection over the
Sure, an iPod can hold an awful lot of music, but can it hold your entire music collection? Probably not. Here's how to access your full iTunes library from any computer.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#96

Make a Custom Mix CD
Digital tools allow you to do cool analog things too! With the right tools, you can make some fly mix CDs.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#97

Stream Your Music via iDisk
If you want to share a favorite song quickly and easily with a friend, this hack is for you. Using .Mac's iDisk, you can make your tunes available to anyone over the Internet.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#98

Back Up Your Digital Music Collection
Hard drives don't last forever, so it's best to start thinking now how you can safely back up your digital tunes.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#99

Get Your Record Collection into iTunes
Are your old records collecting dust, now that you've gone digital? You can digitize your old records (remember those?) for playback in iTunes and on your iPod.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#100

Create Your Own Free Audiobook
There are a myriad of interesting books in the publicdomain on the Web, and each of which can be turned into an audiobook for listening on the go.
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]


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