Have you ever wanted to record interesting audio with your iPod? If
you've got a third-generation iPod, following these steps can allow you
to accomplish just that!
- Install iPod Linux. If you have a first-, second-, or
third-generation iPod, this can be easily done through the downloads
and instructions at the link listed below. Some other solutions exist
for the newer iPods, but they aren't "officially" supported by iPod
Linux. See external links below for more information. N.B. If you have
a 1G, 2G, or Mini, you will not be able to record, though iPod Linux
will install and all of the other features will be there.
Boot into Linux from your iPod. To do this, eject and unplug your iPod.
It should reset automatically. If it doesn't, then reset it (flick the
hold switch on, then off, and hold down "MENU" and "Select" until it
resets). As soon as you see the Apple logo, flick on the hold switch.
After the Apple logo goes, you should see briefly a picture of a
penguin holding an iPod. Then a bunch of text should whiz past. Now you
may turn off the hold switch. If you use the new boot loader it will
give you a menu to chose which os to boot to.
- After the text has disappeared, your iPod should boot into iPod
Linux. Even if the backlight was on when the text went past, it will
probably switch off now. Hold down "MENU" to switch it on. Scroll down
to the "Extras" menu (just like you would normally) and select
"Recordings." Click the select button.
- Adjust the settings. Scroll down to the bottom where it says
"Sample Rate" and click the select button to change it. 8kHz is the
default setting and produces the lowest-quality audio. Even so, the
audio is perfectly legible and will sound OK, but a little fuzzy. The
maximum is 96kHz , which is excellent quality, but makes enormous files
and sometimes skips a lot. Instead of these, go for the 32, 44.1, or
88.2 kHz options. Try them out to see what you like best (see Tips
- Decide how you are going to record, using the "Mic Record" or the
"Line In Record" options. "Mic record" functions by using a microphone
or headphones plugged into the headphone jack, and "Line in Record"
works by plugging your iPod into a dock, and then plugging headphones
or microphone for recording purposes into the line out plug on your
dock (normally in the middle on the back of the dock).
- If you've selected "Mic Record," then plug either a microphone or
the Apple earbuds (other headphones are less easy to use) into the
headphone port. Now, select "Mic Record" and click the select button.
Press the select button and begin to record. To do this, yell, scream,
talk, or sing into the LEFT earbud (marked with an "L") or yell,
scream, talk, or sing into the microphone if you plugged one in instead.
- If you've selected "Line In Record", then plug your iPod into a
dock (make sure the dock is unplugged) and plug a microphone or
headphones into the dock's line out plug. Press the select button to
begin recording, and yell, scream, talk, or sing into the microphone or
left channel of the headphones.
- To pause the recording, press play/pause, and press the action button again when your recording is over.
- Playback your file by going back to the "Recordings" menu,
selecting "Playback", and scrolling down to find your file. (Files are
named for when they were created; the newest file should be at the
bottom.) You can also play them back using the iPod's default system.
Reboot your iPod, let Apple's default OS load, then go into the Extras
menu, then the "Voice Memos" menu, and select your recording.
- If you are recording at a frequency higher than 8KHz, you should
wait 5-10 seconds after the recording starts before you actually begin
- Files will normally be recorded at a VERY low volume. When
previewing them, run the click wheel to the right until the volume
stops increasing to hear them louder. Once on the computer, editing
them with a program like Audacity can fix this problem easily.
- You can also record tapes, CDs, or straight from a guitar or other
electrical input by plugging a line-out cord straight into your iPod
dock while using the "line-in" method. (Be careful with this.)
- Base your choice of Sample Rate on what you are recording. The more
important quality is, the higher the sample rate should be and the more
careful you should be when recording.
- Microphones are less sensitive and will produce quieter sounds, but
are more effective at filtering noise. Headphones have better input but
do not filter noise effectively.
- Loading iPod Linux may void your warranty. However, your warranty can be restored with a simple restore.
- If you record long files and rush through the process, the iPod may hang - although your file should be kept intact.
- It is not supported for all iPods.
- A 3G iPod running Apple software version 3.2 will correctly record
only at a sample rate of 8kHz. Attempts to record at other sample rates
will yield corrupt, unplayable files that, moreover, will not be
transferred to the Voice Memos playlist.
- Using your earbuds to record can damage your iPod, because of an
incorrect impedance, which could result in blowing out your driver.
(Technical Note: most microphones are about 32ohms, and most earbuds
are about 60ohms (ohm is a unit of impedance).