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View Full Version : Why the need for a "PC" or "Mac version of the iPod OS?




LGN
Dec 28, 2011, 08:58 AM
So I noticed when setting up my 6G nano that it says "1.2 PC" in the about screen, but when I first plug it in to my Mac, the Mac does something and the OS version changes to "1.2 Mac"

My question is, why do they need different versions of the iPod OS?
It doesn't do this on iOS devices, just iPod devices like the nano and classic



r.j.s
Dec 28, 2011, 08:59 AM
It's not the OS version, it's the drive format.

mkrishnan
Dec 28, 2011, 09:00 AM
I'm not sure if they still work this way (I haven't bought a "conventional" iPod in quite a while), but it used to be that the iPod was formatted differently if it was initialized on a Mac or PC (it would be formatted to FAT32, I think, if it was initialized on a PC, and it would be formatted to HFS+ if it was formatted on a Mac). It might be that the firmware loaded onto the device is different for reasons related to this?

hisboyelroy
Dec 29, 2011, 07:43 AM
I have noticed this too, and that you can format your iPod Nano either in Mac or Windows format. From what I can tell, if you choose Mac format, you cannot add songs to it if plugged into a PC, but if you format it for Windows, you can add songs to it on either a Mac or a PC. So, I guess my question is, is there an advantage to formatting it as a Mac?

maril1111
Dec 29, 2011, 07:48 AM
I have noticed this too, and that you can format your iPod Nano either in Mac or Windows format. From what I can tell, if you choose Mac format, you cannot add songs to it if plugged into a PC, but if you format it for Windows, you can add songs to it on either a Mac or a PC. So, I guess my question is, is there an advantage to formatting it as a Mac?

not really i haven't noticed it yet, maybe because some people prefer it saying mac instead of p.c.?

mkrishnan
Dec 29, 2011, 07:55 AM
not really i haven't noticed it yet, maybe because some people prefer it saying mac instead of p.c.?

I think (this is a bit of an "old days" thing) that the advantage is that the filesystem on the iPod is fully OS X compliant (it has exactly the same file directory/name structure, permissions, forking, etc), and so for users who were using their iPods as disks there was some advantage. Every once in a while, if you copy a lot of files and stuff to a FAT32 volume, something is lost / changed in translation. It's a minor issue, since OS X users use flash thumb drives, which are FAT32, all the time, but it can occur. It was (is?) even possible to use a sufficiently large iPod as a boot drive for OS X, I think, and that AFAIK can't be done unless it's formatted HFS+.

OTOH you have to have a Windows PC (or Bootcamp / Win iTunes on your Mac) to format the iPod as Windows. If you only have a Mac, you get it formatted in HFS.

maril1111
Dec 29, 2011, 07:59 AM
I think (this is a bit of an "old days" thing) that the advantage is that the filesystem on the iPod is fully OS X compliant (it has exactly the same file directory/name structure, permissions, forking, etc), and so for users who were using their iPods as disks there was some advantage. Every once in a while, if you copy a lot of files and stuff to a FAT32 volume, something is lost / changed in translation. It's a minor issue, since OS X users use flash thumb drives, which are FAT32, all the time, but it can occur. It was (is?) even possible to use a sufficiently large iPod as a boot drive for OS X, I think, and that AFAIK can't be done unless it's formatted HFS+.

OTOH you have to have a Windows PC (or Bootcamp / Win iTunes on your Mac) to format the iPod as Windows. If you only have a Mac, you get it formatted in HFS.

Ok thanx, one learns something new everyday, btw i think the only official time some files may have problems synchronizing is when the file size is over 4gbs at least thats the issue i have with thumbdrives...

mkrishnan
Dec 29, 2011, 08:10 AM
Ok thanx, one learns something new everyday, btw i think the only official time some files may have problems synchronizing is when the file size is over 4gbs at least thats the issue i have with thumbdrives...

There's that also. The resource fork issue doesn't affect "document" files, so you may have never noticed it. Here's a discussion, if you're interested:

http://www.themachelpdesk.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=124

Also if you look at Millenium's post here (http://forums.macnn.com/90/mac-os-x/307163/hfs-vs-fat32/):

That's not really all that much of an advantage, in and of itself. However, there's another advantage which is more important. HFS+ filenames can be up to 256 Unicode characters, no matter where on disk the file resides. FAT32, on the other hand, restricts filenames to 255 bytes, and the full path to the file counts toward that limit. This has two ramifications. First, because it limits based on bytes rather than characters, some characters (including anything that's not in regular 7-bit ASCII) will count more towards the limit than others. More important, however, is that because the full path counts toward the limit, the "space" you have available for filenames actually shrinks as you go deeper into the folder hierarchy.

It discusses the file name issue. I ran into some problems with this when I was copying my entire iTunes library over, where files had long full paths and double-byte characters (Japanese), which made the full path really long.

Again, they're issues that "power" users are likely to run into occasionally, but a lot of us might not come across them very often.