Why the need for a "PC" or "Mac version of the iPod OS?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by LGN, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. LGN
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Arstotzka
    #1
    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
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #2
    It's not the OS version, it's the drive format.
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    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?
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #4
    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?
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #5
    not really i haven't noticed it yet, maybe because some people prefer it saying mac instead of p.c.?
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #7
    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...
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    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:

    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.
     

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