While going through digg.com, I found one of the now many posts on running Linux on your iPod. The iPodLinux Project offers Linux software for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation iPods and is currently working on support for the newer 4th generation iPod, mini, Photo, and shuffle.

Why would you choose to run “podzilla” on your iPod? As the iPodLinux site points out, running podzilla adds many capabilities not found in Apple’s existing firmware, and also includes many additional applications. For those that podcast, installing Linux on your iPod is useful because it allows you to record audio at a higher quality than with Apple’s software. As Macworld points out

Using Apple’s software, you can create recordings only at up to 8kHz with your iPod, and to do so you must purchase and use an add-on device, such as the Griffin iTalk voice recorder ($40).

A Linux-enabled third-generation iPod circumvents this restriction. You can record mono audio at up to 96kHz. (If you’re feeling really geeky, try recording in stereo by using the line-in pins on a modified dock connector. Make sure you identify the pins you’ll wire the mike to.)

To put those numbers into context, CDs are 44.1kHz, and Digital Audio Tape (DAT) is 48kHz. Most pro studio recording is done at 24 bits and 96kHz. Newer DVD-Audio discs also go up to 96kHz. The higher the quality you have up front, the better your recording will sound in the end.

While podzilla does allow users to view photos, this feature is of little use to photographers, as the images are in 2-bit grayscale and cannot be loaded directly from the camera or removable media.

Installing podzilla does not replace the existing Apple OS. Rather, users can easily switch back and forth between the two. Those with a 3rd generation iPod or earlier can download podzilla from the iPodLinux Project site. For those with a later model, you can stay up to date on all of the progress being made on your model of iPod.


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