Snorp and I absolutely hate Apple. With almost every release of a new iPod device, firmware, or even iTunes updates, there’s a chance that they have royally screwed us into not being compatible with them. Most often there are only minor changes to the iTunesDB database format, and they’re easy to cope with. Sometimes they hit hard.
A couple of days ago, they hit hard. We are now hard at work trying to figure out what to do next, and have almost solved it, but we could use your help. If you have not used iTunes 7, upgraded your firmware since the late-June release, or do not have one of those new-fangled evil iPods, we could use a file from your iPod to help us out.
It appears this last round of updates from Apple removes the
iPod_Control/Device/SysInfo file or zeros it out, for good. Removing it (if zeroed) and rebooting does not restore it (what used to happen on older firmware). This file was critical in detecting all sorts of useful things about your iPod, and ultimately provided a key (model number) into our capability table in libipoddevice for the device (does the device support photos? videos? what resolutions does it prefer? what’s its generation? what icon should we display?).
To anyone with an iPod that hasn’t been touched by anything new from Apple in the last week, we are requesting your
iPod_Control/Device/SysInfo. This file contains model information and your serial number. We are still able to find the serial number in other places on the device, and it just so happens that the serial number actually has encoded in it model and manufacturing information. My point here is that if you send us your SysInfo, we need the serial number along with everything else, so don’t mask it out – it would make your data donation useless.
There’s only one really unique part of the serial number, if you’re worried about sending that unique part in you can mask characters 6-8, which apparently are a 3 digit base 34 number identifying the production order of your iPod for that week of production at some factory. In other words, if your serial number is OOOOOOOOOOO, and you’re worried about privacy, security, whatever, send us OOOOOXXXOOO – O being characters we need, X are UID characters we don’t care about.
Email your SysInfo files to: aaron abock org — your help is much appreciated.
I also feel obligated to mention that this post is also on the heels of Crispin’s post about his new 8GB iPod Nano:
I was hoping for the ‘just work’ integration I have come to expect from Ubuntu, and sadly it doesn’t ‘just work’, lets take the apps I have tried one at a time:
- Banshee – This doesn’t find my iPod at all
- ipod – this is a little command line tool to test the libraries – it claims Not a Valid iPod!
(edited for brevity and relativity)
Well, Banshee can’t detect this new device for the very reasons explained above. The ‘ipod’ tool is a tool that comes with libipoddevice. It’s used for diagnostics, and doesn’t manage your iPod. It shows nothing for the same reason that Banshee shows nothing – libipoddevice is the common link, and Apple broke it.
This does lead me to want to add a fallback “unknown iPod” setup in libipoddevice. We can tell by just the USB vendor and product IDs if a device is an iPod… we just can’t detect the bells and whistles without the model number. Nevertheless it should still display something. Maybe even present a dialog asking for the model number manually, have it automatically collect data, and offer to submit it back to us somehow.