If you’re a diehard Newton MessagePad fan and you’d like to play your iTunes-stored MP3 files on your MessagePad, you might want to take a look at an ingenious creation from Eric Schneck called
iTunes Plug-In For Newton. (Be warned — Roman Pixell’s whimsical home page for Schneck’s offering looks deceptively like something from Apple’s own Web site.)
The file enables Mac users with iTunes installed to transfer MP3 files to their Newton MessagePads from directly within iTunes. It works natively in Mac OS 9, and Schneck reported to MacCentral that users have had success using Mac OS X’s “Classic” mode, too. The MP3s are played back through Eckhart Koeppen’s separately available MAD Max program.
With two expansion slots, latter-day MessagePads have the ability to store up to 64MB of music, and the developer of this software noted that Paul Gyot is working on a driver that will eventually enable the MessagePads to store up to 5GB of music — the same amount an iPod can hold — through the use of ATA memory chips.
If you’re still using LocalTalk, a serial connection or infrared to transfer files between your Mac and MessagePad, it’s going to be dramatically slower than an iPod would be, but EtherTalk is an option too. In any case, it’s neat to see the MessagePad continue to be supported after all this time. (Thanks to MacCentral reader Mike Drabicki for info used in this article.)