29 March 2005

[REQ] Lossless possible on the iPod shuffle?

[image: Wow...old! by Fant]

Shufflehacks reader Brian inquired:
I have a request, if you want to post it on your blog? To see if anyone can hack the Shuffle to play Lossless. Best audio codec + Best sounding ipod + Smallest carry = Shuffle.

To which I replied:
How many songs would the shuffle hold then? How big are lossless files? With only 512MB or 1GB i wonder how many you could hold?

To which he replied:
Figure 20-ish songs for the 512 and 40-ish for the 1. Lossless is big, but the best audio quality. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Then I it hit me... why should I worry about the "reason" someone want to do a particular hack? Hacks are often done simply because they can be!

So the challenge is on to figure out how to play Apple Lossless on the iPod shuffle for poor Brian. If you have any information about this please post it in the comments for this entry.


Anonymous said...

Wait, the Shuffle supports WAV format, right?

So, the audio will be _absolutely_ identical to the original (and to the Apple Lossless format), so why don't you sacrifice the capacity for a couple more songs and put everything on the shuffle using WAV?

In the least, you could put all your music on your shuffle in WAV for the next few months. They'll either come out with Lossless support (I doubt it) or the next generation of iPod Shuffle by then...

Kevin Wolfe said...

the shuffle plays uncompressed WAV files and 320 kbps AAC files. I think this is as close as you'll get to lossless for the time being since no one yet reports having hacked the shuffle OS software.

Anonymous said...

You won't hear any diffrence between 320 kbps and losless with an Ishuffle. You will need better equipment to hear that.

sorry about my spelling

Anonymous said...

Don't you think that apple would have done it if they could have? I mean, there is no reason not to support lossless if you can. The shuffle probably just can't handle it.

Andre said...

kevin wolfe: Right, uncompressed wavs are a great way to kill all space on your 512MB-shuffle ;) But for the audiophiles, FLAC would be optimal, I guess.

"...no one yet reports having hacked the shuffle OS software."
I'll go even further: No one reports knowledge of the CPU the shuffle uses, despite several reports of openings. Without knowing what assembly language this baby speaks, hacking isn't that easy.
Anyway, if I have enough time I will try to intercept an shuffle software update to see if I can make something out of it.

Jim Younkin said...

This article claims that the shuffle is not only the best sounding iPod but also the bast sounding audio player out there!

Andre said...

Well, the joke's on me, apparently.

ipod.hackaday.com has a tutorial on destructionless opening the shuffle and they show it is a SigmaTel stmp3550b.

Now someone needs to go find out how to program this baby...

Anonymous said...

Yep - if there was anything that would improve the shuffle it would be 1. faster 'scan' speeds within tracks or 2. an accelerating scan, particularly with large podcasts and longer spoken audio tracks...

Why? I'm using the shuffle for learning French at the moment - each time I need to review something it is a battle to get to the right part of the track.

Iveney XIAO said...

well, that is my only concern about buying an ipod shuffle.
If it can play APE/FLAC, I will buy it without any hesitation.
Still waiting for the case to happen.. lol