Video on 4G color with hack?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by ncook06, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. ncook06 macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2006
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    Tampa, FL
    #1
    I heard somewhere that you can hack the 4G color ipod to play video. Is there any validity to this and how simple is it?
     
  2. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020

    rockthecasbah

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    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Moorestown, NJ
    #2
    Well what i've seen isn't necessarily considered a hack. What you do is take thousands of still frame photos of the video through some type of video program and then load these on the iPod. You thumb through it and it gives the appearance of video, like a flipbook basically. I'm not sure but i guess you could strip the audio and play that while you watch and you've got "video"... But i don't think the iPod itself is powerful enough to watch video.
     
  3. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

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    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #3
    The processor in the iPod did not change from the 4G to the 5G, so the iPod photo has enough physical processing power. My guess is that the firmware for the 4G doesn't allow it to decode video. I bet someone has played videos on a 4G by installing linux on it though.
     
  4. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020

    rockthecasbah

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    Apr 12, 2005
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    #4
    Didn't know that Cap'n thanks. Well in any regard, if you can/want to hack it with Linux there are other benefits you can get from doing that so that seems like a better option. If you don't my method is a bit more tedious but i know for a fact that it works.
     
  5. ncook06 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2006
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    Tampa, FL
    #5
    If I were to hack with Linux, I assume I couldn't sync my music automatically.

    EDIT: That was really stupid. I don't do much in the way of programming, but it's the kind of thing that I've really liked doing (with graphing calculators).

    Any recommendations for help running Linux?
     
  6. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #6
    Here is a link I found to using linux on an iPod as a video player. The 3G iPod even plays videos, albeit only in grayscale :eek:. I'd give that site a look. I don't have personal experience using linux of any sort (much less linux on an iPod), so I'm not that much help :(
     
  7. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #7
    I used iPodlinux on my 4G and I found it worked well for video.
    As long as you don't have any podcasts, it should work without many problems although it obviously drains the battery power as it is pushing the processor.
    It doesn't really function as a replacement for the 5G, though; all videos must be decompressed (increasing the filesize by a large amount) and the video and audio may go out of sync.

    Also, as far as I know, the 5G contains some sort of chip to help video decoding.
     
  8. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #8
    This isn't true. The 5G iPods include an MPEG decoder chip that enables them to play MPEG layer 4 video. Without this chip, it's not possible to play true video on the 4G iPod. You can hack with linux and get extremely low frame rate, low-quality video. Nothing like what you'd get on a 5G.

    There is in fact a hardware difference between the two generations.
     
  9. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #9
    Actually, it's not that bad and it's unfair to say it's not "true video".
    The frame-rate is not "extremely low"; I've watched Family Guy on it and Friends works well too. These programs may not be action-packed or motion-intensive but they're still very smooth and there's no problem with quality.

    That said, it probably doesn't compare to a 5G but I still find it impressive.

    For those wondering, I'm waiting for Apple's next generation as I bought the "iPod with color display" around one month before the "iPod with video" was released and so this "hack" relieved the pain a little. I'm not trying to claim it's amazing or that it's any sort of replacement for Apple's current model but for those "stuck" with the 4G model, it's a nice way to ease the waiting.
     
  10. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #10
    I didn't say there weren't hardware differences. I said the processor didn't change, which is true. Look at the videos on the page I linked to earlier. The 4G can play video well (although obviously not as well as a true video iPod). Certainly an acceptable alternative to spending $300 on a new iPod.
     
  11. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #11
    I don't really consider it a good substitute because hacking the firmware with iPodLinux (which, by the way, was never totally tested on the 4G iPod) is a risky thing to do and you can permanently crash your iPod by messing with the firmware. Many have had successes, but just as many have found the Linux extremely unstable, and it's not something I'd really want to mess with.
     

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