Modding Your iPod Firmware (More coming soon)

January 6, 2007 at 6:16 am | Posted in Computers | Leave a comment

What is “Firmware?” Well simply put it is the software that does everything on your iPod. The next question may be something like: “What can I do with this knowledge? It sounds very hard.” Well it really isn’t and I’m going to show you why and how to do some tricks.

Installing Linux onto your iPod

What this does is basically replace your iPpod’s software with something less restrictive and more adaptable. This means that you can add videos, games, and all sorts of other things like periodic tables and such to your iPod. However doing this has one really bad drawback. If you “brick” or destroy your pod your warrenty on it becomes invalid. In a nutshell what you’re about to attempt is removing your Ipod software and installing your own. Also just as a bonus you recieve a little bit extra space on your iPod in the form of a few Megabytes which if you notice, is taken up by the original iPod Firmware.

Now here was my experience with Ipod Linux. Despite my abilities with computers it took me three tries to install the firmware. The first time I was so scared that I had “bricked” my Ipod but then I discovered that I could reinstall the Apple Firmware and everything was back to normal. So I retried until my third attempt when I was just about to quit and it worked. However my original intentions to be honest was to prove to friends that it was possible, however I have a 4GB iPod Nano so I felt that videos and games such as iDoom took up far too much space for my liking so I left Linux on there and switched but continued using iTunes to move my music over. All iPod Linux allows you to do is remove the limitations set by Apple and replace it with whatever you want. I’d suggest this to more of the people who have larger iPods and wish to either show off, have games, or cheat on their chemistry test with a periodic table. There are two ways to install this program and I would suggest using the installer unless you’re crazy and want to write all the code yourself and know everything there is about programming. Just make sure that you are comfortable doing this yourself and please do not ask me to do it for you if you know me personally.

The steps and programs can be found here:

iPodLinux

E-mail either myself or the admins at Ipod Linux.org for specific advice or questions

Changing your iPod’s theme and/or colors

First of all, yes this is possible and no it is not difficult. First download a program called iPod Wizard. Now what can you do if you don’t know anything about graphic design? Downlaod some one else’s work obviously. iPod Wizard has hundreds of templates if you are unlike me and like to have control over what you do. The program is fairly easy to understand if all you are doing is using another template…Just click browse, find the template, select ok, and update firmware and BAM you’re done. However if you want to take the more advanced route, you need to either have a lot of time or work very quickly because basically what you’re going to do is recreate all of the little icons and bars and such that you see on you’re screen. That is where YOUR creativity comes in and that I have no real control over so just go out and make some stuff with Photoshop or Gimp. There really isn’t much to say about it since mainly all it is is clicking browse and update firmware. With the handy tool iPod Wizard you can also change any text on the iPod itself but I will suggest looking at their tutorial because it involves a lot ofcopying and pasting codes which are like 5 random number and letters that some how form anumber or letter on the screen…

The Ultimate iPod Theme List

Alright so let’s start on using a theme. Download a theme that matches with your type of iPod (e.g.Nano, Video, Scroll wheel, etc…). Save it to your desktop or where ever. Open iPod Wizard. In the upper left hand corner change the box from “Edit Mode Updater” to “iPod” then click “Load Firmware.” Select the tab labeled “Themes.” Simply click “Load Theme” and find your .IPW file that you saved earlier from the site I gave above otherwise known as your theme file. Then click both “Load Theme Graphics” and “Load Theme Fonts” and then you’re almost all done. Look near the top and select “Write” and then it will automatically replace your original iPod theme. If you need to change back to the original, just restore the iPod using Apple’s iPod Updater. You can make your own graphics but I assume that if you can do that you don’t need me to tell you how because you can think for yourself to this point.

For editing every little bit of text on your iPod you need to do “String Editing” all of which is talked about here. It involves a lot of patience and copying/pasting numbers/letters.  Personally I find it a tad useless but nonetheless its a bit of cool to add topersonalizing your iPod.

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