Apple Locks Down the iPod

It’s never been possible to stick OS X on any old hardware – you’ve been required to buy Apple hardware for the privilege. But the iPod has not had the same locked-down connection — because the iPod’s internal database format has been transparent and readable, 3rd-party devs have been able to make iPods happy on Linux systems, and it’s been possible for tools like Senuti to grab songs off any iPod, even though Apple makes it initially appear impossible.

But the latest crop of iPods are different – their internal database structure has become opaque, resulting in a lot of pissed off Linux users – users who paid Apple good money for their iPods but are still being cut off from the ability to use their player of choice with their OS of choice. Looks like this one is going to take some serious reverse-engineering to solve, too.

I’m wondering what the real motivation for this change is — Is it Apple’s attempt to cut tools like Senuti off at the knees, and Linux users are just collateral damage? Or the other way around? I suspect the former, since I can’t really think of a reason why Apple would care if users hook iPods up to Linux.

Music: Damo Suzuki’s Network :: Bellevue Cocktail / Floating Bridge Mix

2 Replies to “Apple Locks Down the iPod”

  1. Sounds like a security feature to me. The iPod touch has an unsecured wireless connection on it. The hash prevents bad data from being written into the database and potentially causing a buffer overrun or something.

  2. Let the user decide what DAAP/UPnP shares communicate with their device, and caveat emptor.

    If this is, indeed, the reasoning, it’s an incredibly inelegant “solution.” It doesn’t even rise to the level of stop-gap. It’s like Microsoft removing the threat of remote exploits in Windows by removing TCP/IP.

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