Time.com — the Web presence of the popular weekly news magazine — has posted a new article penned by Chris Taylor entitled
How to Hack an iPod. The article outlines some of the creative ways people have come up with to modify their iPod since Apple introduced the diminutive FireWire-based MP3 player/hard drive last year.
“The upshot is that last week I used my iPod for half a dozen more things than it was intended for,” wrote Taylor, who said that he used it to check his horoscope, read news and sports headlines, check memos, appointments and view his contact list. The downside of the iPod design, Taylor said, is that it doesn’t allow for any direct text or numerical input. You still have to use your Mac to do that, of course.
Taylor pointed readers to several sites where they can use their iPods in ways that Apple hasn’t officially recognized yet, and he even lets folks know where to find software that will enable them to synchronize their iPod’s music contents between more than one Mac or with a FireWire-equipped PC, if they prefer.
Not all of this stuff is non-Apple, either, of course. Recently Apple released a software update that enables users to synchronize their Mac-based personal information management software with contact lists maintained in their iPod as well. So it seems that Apple has taken notice of these efforts and has indeed joined the party.
Although Apple isn’t too happy with people figuring out workarounds to prevent music piracy, Taylor said they’re delighted with all the personal information sharing and management stuff that’s popping up. Referring to pre-release speculation this past autumn that suggested Apple’s iPod would be a Palm-like PDA, Taylor said, “The people wanted a digital organizer, and bit by bit, the people are getting one. Isn’t democracy beautiful?”