I decided yesterday that I wanted to use my iPod for the first time in about a year. I pulled it out of the drawer and plugged it in, and started to try to use Winamp to sync it like I did back in the day.
Unfortunately, Winamp wasn’t recognizing my iPod (which, by the way, is a 1st generation iPod Nano) so I go to do a little troubleshooting. Turns out last time I used it I had installed Rockbox on my iPod so Winamp wasn’t liking it.
Rockbox is a neat little firmware replacement for older iPods (and a bunch of other MP3 players as well). It increases the abilities of the iPod by replacing the standard software with something much more flexible and powerful. It’s kind of like jailbreaking is for current iPods/iPhones, but that’s only a basic comparison, since Rockbox completely overrides all the software.
Rockbox is pretty cool, and all, and I like a lot of the capabilities (OGG Vorbis support!) but it has a wonky user interface, at least in the stock build I was using. I just wanted my iPod to play music, so I decided to reset the firmware back to the stock Apple firmware. To do this, you have use iTunes and reset the firmware using its proprietary download system and it will reset everything like it was after leaving the factory.
The problem: I don’t have iTunes, and I don’t want it on my computer.
I installed iTunes just for this, but I removed it immediately after. In my opinion, iTunes is essentially malware, particularly because it tries to get you to install Safari, which I also consider to be honorary malware.
I installed iTunes just long enough for it to reset my iPod, and got rid of it right after. I hope it didn’t have enough time to reach through my computer and taint everything with it’s evil tentacles. We’ll see in the coming weeks whether it decided to screw things up or not.