Feeds

Grassroots hackers create file-swapping wireless iPod

It's more of a bugfix, really

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Since its introduction almost two years ago, the fashionable and expensive iPod gadget has earned a reputation as a music hoard for selfish yuppies. But perhaps not for very much longer. Thanks to some ingenious Romanian entrepreneurs, it might actually start to be really useful. Here's how.

Since the whole point of music is to share it, portable music devices such as the Walkman and the iPod have been fairly useless until now: as the audience was firmly fixed at 1: the owner.

Now, at last, technology is able to catch up with society. At least in theory: cheap hard disks, wireless chips and decent batteries can be built into a small portable box, and the distribution systems successfully pioneered by the phone companies (that bring $500 computers to the mass market at $99 a shot) are all in place.

So you should be able to walk past your local coffee store or laundromat and collect music as you go - giving them a new social function as a radio station - or simply be able to share your tune of the day with the bus passenger next to you. And you should be able to do so knowing the artist gets paid.

Just as the Good Lord intended.

And right now, we're simply awaiting the implementation phase. However, it isn't the multinationals who own the music rights, or technology companies who market themselves as being at the "cutting edge" (a term that means nothing when the technology isn't doing what we want it to do) who are blazing the trail.

Instead, it's a small two-man smartphone software company based in Bucharest. Best known for its Symbian Series 60 software, Simeda recently introduced a small piece of file discovery software for wireless Pocket PCs which implemented Apple's Rendezvous service. Now they've gone a step further, and begun to make the iPod truly social.

In a bundle that hooks a Pocket PC up to an iPod - with the iPod as a USB slave device - the entire contents of the yuppy's music hoard can now be shared with the rest of the world: via streaming or file transfer.

So in other words, this is a somewhat contrived, Heath Robinson ["Rube Goldberg" for our US-based readers] version of the "Bluepod". The Bluepod concept was enthusiastically discussed here at The Register eighteen months ago, and many of you saw this conceptual device fulfilling a long-standing social need: to share our music.

(Simeda generously credits your reporter in the About box, and although it's true that we promoted the concept as best we could, we can hardly claim credit for inventing such an obviously "doh!" idea. That would be like trying to say we'd invented water.)

The truth is, if we stopped regarding technology companies like kids awaiting Santa Claus, they might learn a thing or two from us. Although the multinationals are doomed to be permanently behind the curve (hence Sony with its attachment to the ATRAAC format, and Apple with its musicless DRM kiosk) these companies aren't stupid. They simply want to make money, and want to know where to go next, and "Bluepod" is the best we can do to nudge them in the right direction. Along with tweaks to the royalty regime that would make everyone wealthier and wiser.

With traditional CD sales and illicit file-swapping on the increase, we're confident they'll come up with social and technology solutions that work. Eventually.

Meanwhile, you can begin your own wireless future at Simeda's site, here. ®

Related Stories

Apple's BluePod promiscuous exchanges with strangers
Why wireless will end piracy and doom DRM and TCPA Jim Griffin
Biometric DRM is 'empowering' says iVue maker
Apple builds wireless hi-fi bridge with pocket router
Promiscuous BluePod file swapping - coming to a PDA near you
More promiscuous data exchanges with strangers
Microsoft, Apple snub consumer freedom coalition
Dirty rotten inducers - the law the IT world deserves?
The CD roars back from the dead

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.