using Terminal to venture into iPod... oh dark mystery!


Apple likes to hide things from people, and perhaps for good reason. If, when one double clicked one's iPod icon, one could see all of the neat stuff revealed by command-line trickery that doesn't show up, perhaps the less technologically inclined would be tempted to delete everything and then wonder why nothing works. Who knows.

Anyway, I've recently experienced some nasty data loss on my iPod. Suddenly, hosts of tracks went missing and a mysterious folder titled "lost+found" appeared on my pod along with the typical "notes" "calendar" etc.. I thought that it was nice of my pod to preserve what it had lost, even if it was responsible for losing it in the first place, but getting the songs back where they belong remains a mystery.

I used our friend Terminal to cd onto my pod (for the first time! What virginal adventure!) to see what was there. If you 'sudo ls -lg' you get a nice look at what you don't otherwise get to see. And, if you cd around, you'll eventually get to the music folder, similar to the one found in the iTunes (should you use it) folder on your home machine.

What confronts me at this point, are the specters of formerly titled tracks who now appear organized only by a series of numbers and letters which mean nothing to me! Here, in the wretched Bowels of my iPod... (/Volumes/Bilbo/iPod_Control/Music, where Bilbo is, of course, the name of my pod... Okay, it's not as geeky as it seems if you know the whole story as to why almost everything I own is now named Bilbo, but that's for another time. Well... know this at least, that if obese children, stinking of lake water and diet soda, clad in swim-wear overrun with by a quivering sea of fat-rolls might be said to speak wisdom beyond even the God's comprehension, that all things should be called by the name of Bilbo...)... here I discover a number of files that look as such...

F00 F03 F06 F09 F12 F15 F18 F21 F24 F27 F30 F33 F36 F39 F42 F45 F48
F01 F04 F07 F10 F13 F16 F19 F22 F25 F28 F31 F34 F37 F40 F43 F46 F49
F02 F05 F08 F11 F14 F17 F20 F23 F26 F29 F32 F35 F38 F41 F44 F47

(GASP!) What are these files? And what's inside?!?!...

MUSIC?!?!? Perhaps, but with what voodoo have my tracks been transmogrified into their present, unrecognizable state?!? Indecipherable even to one bespectacled with truth! I wonder... "How the hell am i going to get all of the irreplaceable files from the "lost+found" folder back to where they belong? Where do they belong? Why don't they have file names that resemble the track names, but rather have cryptic nonsense names such as "BZXG.mp3" and "RTZX.m4a?" Have I lost my mind? Was man never meant to explore these depths, to attain this knowledge? I feel the victim, en-maddened as it were, by corporate sophisticates hell bent on obfuscation! What do I do? How does one fight an enemy whose weapons are an unknown?

Perhaps I'll just wipe everything and forget what I've seen. Perhaps ignorance is preferable to the terrible knowledge I now possess!!! OH WRETCHED IMPOTENCE OF THE INTELLECT!!!! WOULD THAT I COULD PENETRATE THE ETHER THAT SEPARATES ME FROM MY TRACKS!!!! BLESSED, SWEET COUNTERPOINT!!!



U.S.D.A. Prime
Yup -- the newer iPod software does this to the track names. Makes it hard to do an iPod-to-Computer transfer, which Apple doesn't want you doing... I suppose this is the reason.

Before the recent update, there were still tons of cryptically-named folders (F00 ... F500... whatever), but the music files inside those folders beared some resemblance to the original file name... usually, the first 32 characters of the filename or so.