Ipod Programming


  • I just got myself an IPod for x-mas, and was not happy with the the software bundle included (ITunes). So I started browsing the web for 3'rd party software which could transfer music from IPod->Computer and Computer->IPod. But I found all of those programs missing something I needed and wanted to make an application myself. The only thing I need help with is code to transfer a song to ipod which makes it compatible with the device for listening. Is this possible through Visual Basic 2005 Express, and could someone supply me with an example of the code needed to do it?

    Best Regards,


    Sunday, January 15, 2006 2:48 AM

All replies

  • You need to encode the song in AAC format.  If I'm not mistaken you'll have to buy an encoder or pay Apple a license fee for the privilege of building your own.  Apple may have more style than Microsoft, but never let it be said that they wouldn't like to rule the world if they could, just the same.
    Sunday, January 15, 2006 7:52 AM
  • tracks are located at the ipod in mp3 format and work just fine. But how the directories, filenames are structured on the ipod, and how the library is built is what i need to know :)
    Sunday, January 15, 2006 7:56 AM
  • Are you serious?  I was under the impression that iPods only played AAC.  If you transfer those tracks back to your computer are they still MP3s, because I believe that iTunes does the conversion on-the-fly?  This would mean that your MP3 tracks would have been recoded to AAC when they were transferred.  I'd be interested to get confirmation or denial of this fact.
    Sunday, January 15, 2006 8:03 AM
  • I can only answer for my model..the IPod Video (5th generation). It supports several audio formats:

    - AAC (M4A, M4B, M4P) (up to 320 Kbps)

    - Apple Lossless (a high-quality compressed format)

    - MP3 (up to 320 Kbps)

    - MP3 Variable Bit Rate (VBR)

    - WAV

    - AA ( spoken word, formats 2, 3, and 4)

    - AIFF

    In Itunes audio tracks were only converted if it was in any other than those formats, and you could
    choose which format to convert to. But I decided pretty fast to use 3'rd party software for managing
    the content on my IPod. But so far i have'nt found any software able to extract the audio tracks back
    to my computer with the original filename or directory structure since they base it on tag information. So it creates a whole new bunch of directories, filenames which I don't want it to.

    So what I was hoping for was to make a program which has an database including: original filename,
    path, filename on the ipod, tag information etc.

    This would solve many issues I've been experiencing with IPod software so far.

    Sunday, January 15, 2006 8:19 AM
  • I recommend you look at Winamp for your song management ( There is a plugin you can get from their site that will allow you to sync with you iPod. I didn't like iTunes either at first, but it has grown on me, and I use it all the time now.

    If you still want to program your iPod with VB... get the SDK from Apple. You can communicate with the iPod via COM. I've done it with Perl & COM. I haven't found any examples in VB, but it's just COM.

    Also, as far as I know, all iPods have natively handled MP3 just fine.
    Sunday, January 15, 2006 11:28 PM
  • Perhaps it was just tracks that weren't already in one of those formats that were converted to AAC, or maybe i just dreamt it.
    Sunday, January 15, 2006 11:39 PM
  • I meant to write "DRM protected AAC only"
    Sunday, January 15, 2006 11:46 PM
  • All iPods support all Standard Compliant MPEG2, layer 3 (mp3) audio and most Standard Compliance MPEG4 audio and video. They also support Audible .aa, Apple Lossless and Apple AIFF.

    iTunes can also handle all Quicktime Video and Audio Formats, and can be used to easily convert them to iPod compatable formats.

    MPEG4 Audio formats are also known as .aac/.m4a (Advanced Audio Codec), .m4b (Bookmarked MPEG4) and .m4p (DRM Protected MPEG4). The iPod only supports FairPlay DRMed MPEG4. Chapter Tracks can also be included.

    MPEG4 Video formats are restricted to 480x480 (or equivalent Pixel Count) AVC MPEG4 video or 320x240 (or equivalent Pixel Count) h.264 MPEG4 Video, with AAC Audio Tracks. They can also be Protected with FairPlay DRM.

    .mp3 and .aa audio play fine, with .aa chapters and bookmarking working perfectly.

    iTunes for Windows also has the ability to transcode unprotected .wma to your preferred Audio Format (.mp3 or .m4a).

    Sunday, February 12, 2006 1:01 AM
  • The iPod stores tracks in a obfusticated filesystem, using an index File. This is deliberate to discourage Filesharing of copyrighted material between machines.

    There are several programs which mount a Virtual Filesystem and permit low-level access to the Music Files themselves, in an accessable Filestructure. For Windows there is XPlay, which can integrate with Windows Media Player. You may also need a MPEG4 DirectShow Codec.

    If you are writing a new program, and don't want to use WMP, It would be worthwhile using Quicktime, rather than, or in tandem with DirectShow. Quicktime has native support for all iPod file formats, and can also handle FairPlay DRMed MPEG4 natively.

    Sunday, February 12, 2006 1:15 AM
  • help? i found an audio file on the internet and i want to put it on my ipod using itunes, and i have windows.  The audio file is in MPEG layer 3 format, and i have no idea what that means.  Is it the same thing as a regular MP3 format? I'm wondering if my ipod can support this format and if not, can i change it.
    Monday, February 20, 2006 12:17 AM
  • Yes. MPEG layer 3 is just another name for an MP3.

    Just drag the file into iTunes and it will be added to your library. Then Sync your iPod and the song will be added to your iPod.


    Monday, February 20, 2006 8:25 AM
  • I think it only makes it into an AAC when you try to upload a file that is playable but not within its accepted formats like wma. The files are stored as MP3s themselves in the \Music folder as far as I remember. Yes, the indexing is the hard part. Will need to figure out how that is done.
    Wednesday, March 15, 2006 1:13 PM
  • I just bought my video Ipod and I succesfully installed the software it came with. Everything was running smoothly until I plugged it in, My computer froze. I tried it 6 more times and it still did the same thing.I tried it on two other windows xp computers and I got the same result. I took it back to the apple store and replaced it with a new one, took it home and the same thing happened. Is there anyone out there that can possibly lend a hand!!! Is my computer not compatible? did I get two bad ipods twice in a row? Do I have a virus? I would extremely appreciate it if somebody could help me.


    Wednesday, April 19, 2006 8:56 PM
  • No, no, no. Stop propagating rumors. The iPod does use one of the wackiest filing systems, but it does support all the file types that the software supports. So your MP3's are still MP3's, so on and so forth,  and the video files (up to 640 x 480) are also the same. AAC is just a fancy name for MP4-Audio, no mystery. There is NO conversion from MP3 to MP4!
    Wednesday, April 11, 2007 7:32 AM

  • I am aware this is a way old post, but in case people do run into it:
    Never forget to check the USB/firewire cable, or other USB/firewire ports on your PC whenever possible.

    Always bring the original cable to the store when you have your iPod (external USB disk, Rio or flash memory card reader) tested.
    Wednesday, April 11, 2007 7:48 AM
  • 14 day free trial for this converter it works but the quality is not the same
    Saturday, July 07, 2007 4:41 AM

    I just bought an Ipod and I never recieved any software or instructions on how to use it, could you please instruct me on how to put songs and videos onto my ipod, please.


    Waiting in anticipation-Wimanyi

    Tuesday, January 08, 2008 4:09 AM

    Friday, January 11, 2008 2:13 AM
  • I have a  problem with I tunes, I re-installed like 3 times and everytime I try to open it said" windows error ,I tunes need to close". Did you resolve your issue??? The program is running in the background, but doesn't open.I already check windows firewall and norton, and is nothing blocking the program. I also re-install the program in a new folder, nothing seems to work. I use to have I tunes years ago running in windows me,but now I have windows XP. Thanks for any info.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 5:52 PM