Thursday, December 6, 2007

SharePod 3.6.3

SharePod 3.6.3 is available!

  • Fixed: Cant select songs from the menu on new iPods for people still affected after 3.6.2
  • Added: 'Part of Compilation' flag to Tag Edit window
  • Fixed: Few small bugs

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More info on the Classic/Nano menu bug

After the 3.6.2 release, it turned out some people were still seeing the menu bug.

The bug is that songs added by SharePod are visible but not selectable in the iPod menu.

After some more investigation, I have found the field which the new iPods expect and that SharePod 3.6.2 doesn't create. A beta has been released to a number of people with 100% success rate :)

3.6.3 will be out hopefully tonight!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

SharePod 3.6.2

SharePod 3.6.2 is available!

  • Fixed: Cant select songs from the menu on new iPods
  • Fixed: Drag/drop to playlists and playlist reordering
  • Fixed: Could not save when a track tag (eg. Artist) was made empty
  • Added: Workaround to not need admin rights when using SharePod with an older iPod. This will also solve the 'iPod Handle' errors for most people. See the Faq for more details.
I am aware of some issues with Vista/XP in non-admin mode for copying files to the iPod and will check it out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fix for iPod Classic / 3G Nano menus bug!

After lots of investigation, I have a working version of SharePod which doesn't break the menus on iPod Classics and 3G Nanos.

It will be out this week :)

Phew, Apple, that was a tricky one!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Please try out the 3.6.1 Beta

As promised, here is the SharePod 3.6.1 Beta. Please try it out if you have any of the following issues -
  • Running on a 64bit OS
  • Using an iPod Shuffle and getting an Xml error
  • System.ArgumentException on load
Either post your feedback as a comment to this post, or email me for more complex feedback :)

Outstanding 3.6 Issues

From your emails and comments, there are 4 main issues with v3.6:

1. Lack of 64bit support
  • This might be really easy or really hard. Expect a test release tomorrow.
2. On new iPods, cannot select songs from menus after using SharePod
  • Currently under investigation!
3. iPod Shuffles give an Xml error
  • Will be fixed in 3.6.1
4. System.ArgumentException on some iPods
  • Will be fixed in 3.6.1

If you have experienced any of the above problems (except #2), please check back here tomorrow to try a test candidate with hopefully fixes for problems #1,3,4.

For those of you waiting for a SharePodLib release, I will be releasing that once SharePod itself is stable again.

thanks for the feedback!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Get SharePod 3.6

Yep, its available!

Only 1 new feature, but its a big one - Support for new iPods and iTunes :)

Get it from the downloads page

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where is SharePod?

Over the last few days SharePod 3.6 has been with beta testers. The good news is it works perfectly with the new iPods!

There are a couple of small issues with Windows Vista (SharePod needs to run with Admin rights) , and I just need to work through these in the next few days before the release.

Things are looking good for a weekend release :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

SharePod update in the works

SharePod will be supporting the latest iPods very soon (within 2 weeks!).

Thanks to wtbw's example c++ code for the new database format, it is being ported to SharePod as I write this :)

If you have a new iPod and want to be a SharePod beta tester, please email me!

*Edit: Please stop emailing me about beta testing :) I have had lots of responses (thanks!) and dont need any more at this point!

Monday, September 17, 2007

SharePod will not update the latest iPods

Just heard about this news! The newest iPods (the touch screen generation) have a check in them to prevent programs like SharePod and Amarok from modifiying songs on the iPod.

No-one has had any success in cracking it yet, so I'll have to just watch and see what happens. Unfortunately I just don't have the time to try and crack the checks myself...

SharePod on Digg 2

Friday was a big day, the SharePod article on digg was the most popular in the last 24 hours(!), and served 5Gb of traffic that day :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

SharePod is on (again!)

SharePod is on another post!

The article is about the Top 10 freeware applications that everyone should know about. A friend pointed it out to me a couple of hours ago, and in that short space of time the post has had another 1000 diggs :) Its not the first time it has featured on, but this is the most popular post so far.

So, please go and digg the story, see if it can make it to the front page!

Friday, August 3, 2007

More code samples...

How about this one?

First I create a new playlist (called "New Playlist") and add a track to it. Then I can modify that track (in this case the comment field).

Then I can use the built-in IPodExporter class to easily copy a track to the users c:\ drive!

Could it be much easier? :)

Playlist newPlaylist = iPod.Playlists.Add("New Playlist");
catch (BaseSharePodException ex)

iPod.Tracks[0].Comment = "Modified by SharePodLib";

IPodFileExporter exporter = new IPodFileExporter(iPod, "c:\\", "[Artist] - [Album] - [Title]");

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SharePod SDK Code Samples

I've been getting lots of questions about how to use the SharePod SDK and to provide more code samples... so thats what I'm going to do. They will be added to the SharePod SDK page and to the SDK download.

This shows how easy it is (under 10 lines including some error checking!) to get a list of tracks on your iPod:

IPod iPod = null;
IPod iPod = SharePod.GetConnectediPod();
catch (BaseSharePodException ex)
foreach (Track track in iPod.Tracks)
Debug.WriteLine(String.Format("{0} - {1} - {2}",
track.Title, track.Artist, track.Album);

Monday, July 30, 2007

SharePod 3.4

  • Multi-column sorting
  • Better support for old iPods
  • Hopefully fixed occasional drag-drop not working bug

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New iPod

Yay, I've finally gone out and bought myself a new iPod. Its the 30GB Video model.

My 3rd generation which I've had for almost 3 years finally died (the padlock icon just switched on, and wouldnt turn off, even after draining battery and restoring with iTunes). Apparently it just happens sometimes...

I was going to get a new one soon anyway, so wasnt too annoyed, but then I read a rumour of the new iPod coming out in september! Doh!

I've played with the video iPods before, so there wasnt really any surprises, apart from how little has really changed! For example, I still cant use the Bass Booster EQ setting without distortion. (And I dont have crappy headphones or anything). To avoid the distortion, you have to use MP3Gain on all your MP3s to limit them to 89db.

I was hoping that after a couple of years things like that would have been fixed!

The lack of Album Art from SharePod is now starting to annoy me.... and thats all I'll say about that for a little while :)

Who doesn't need lists?

I like lists. Lists are great to keep track of what I'm doing (or should be doing...). I usually use simple txt files, but thats really annoying when I'm using different computers.

After a bit of looking, I came across from 37Signals, which gives you simple online lists. Its a couple of clicks to create a list and add items to it. You can tick things off (and un-tick to track your progress) but they've resisted adding lots of extraneous features to it. Which is great :)

Its completely free and you get a nice URL (

Monday, June 25, 2007

SharePod 3.3

New features in SharePod 3.3
  • Drag tracks up and down playlists to re-order them (this is the most requested feature!)
  • Fix for non-latin characters in filenames when exporting tracks to iTunes
  • Removed the requirement to have an iTunes 7.1+ format database. :) SharePod now does its own compatibility test which is more reliable anyway.
SharePodLib will also be updated to include the new functionality.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

SharePodLib Released

SharePodLib, a .NET class library for interacting with an iPod has been released today :)

SharePodLib is for developers only - if you are writing an application in .NET and want to be able to read and update an iPod, SharePodLib will save you weeks of work!

SharePod itself is written on top of SharePodLib, and with 25,000 downloads in the last month alone has proven to be reliable with only minor bugfixes needed.

Best of all, its free for non-commerical usage!

If you wish to use SharePodLib for a commercial product, or want to remove the loading screen, please email for licencing details.

SharePodLib page
SharePodLib documentation

Monday, June 11, 2007


Well there haven't been many updates lately, and its mostly these girls faults! My girlfriend and I got 2 kittens from the SPCA last weekend :) Theyre lots of fun but take up a lot of free time too...

Their favourite things are fighting, eating and sleeping in that order!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Good news! I was finally able to reproduce the hanging-when-copying files bug. Its now fixed and I will upload a new version ( tonight (NZ time!)

Edit: This is now available at the usual place...
  • Actually fixed the application hang bug when copying tracks to iPod
  • Added Multi-line grid row mode (cells wrap long content if necessary)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Version is available right now!
It addresses some of the most commonly raised issues
  • Dragging tracks to a playlist now preserves ordering and keeps current selection
  • Drop to Explorer now works properly and includes drop to Desktop
  • Hopefully fixed application hanging when copying files problem
  • Custom Copy to PC filename pattern now saved

To everyone who has been asking when the SharePod class library will be available, I hope to release it with some documentation this week. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Introducing ActionThis

I dont work on SharePod all the time. I appreciate your donations, but its really not enough to retire on just yet!

During the day, I work at Intergen, where we are working on ActionThis - a new Web 2.0 team collaboration application. It will be launched worldwide later this year. Its super cool, fun to use and helps actually get things done :)
Sign up for the newsletter at for more info and be involved in the beta!

Friday, May 18, 2007

SharePod 3.0 Released!

Phew, at long last SharePod 3.0 is available to download! I'm really happy with it, its the most significant release since 1.6 when the UI was redesigned.

I'm guessing the next week will be responding to bugs/install problems then im going to take a bit of a break :)

Feel free to comment with questions/issues/bugs etc, I check it regularly.

Enjoy, im off to sleep!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Heres a teaser of the new SharePod UI :) SharePod is ready to go out (its even all zipped up) but I just want to wait a day or two to investigate an issue one of my beta testers has. We're not sure if it is SharePod or his system yet but for the sake of a couple of days I think its worth it to wait and fix as many problems before the mass release as possible! thanks for comments

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

SharePod 3.0 Available Soon!

Well I've been working pretty hard on SharePod. (Most nights after work..!)
Rewriting from scratch always seems like a good idea at the start of the project but at the end it justs makes you realise how much the previous version did!!

The list of new features and fixes for old issues is quite large now, so the next mission will be re-doing the website as the info contained there will be out of date within a week!! Yep thats right, Im working towards releasing SharePod 3.0 into the wild within a week :)

The class library for integrating SharePod into your own applications will be available a couple of weeks after that (once I have had time to tidy it up and fix any immediate problems).

The notable thing which will be missing on release day is album art - it has been too much work to do it right now and I would rather release new features like that after a successful release :)

I did get video support working, so if you have a iPod-ready video (SharePod doesnt do video re-encoding, there are enough great apps to do that already) you can copy it onto your iPod just like a music file.

One feature I'm really happy about is the ability to drag files in SharePod and drop them straight into Explorer, just like WinZip!! This makes copying music/videos to your computer really easy. Of course you can drag files from Explorer back into SharePod too!

Thanks for everyones help and support so far, hope SharePod 3.0 lives up to expectations (I think it will..!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

SharePod Progress Pt. 2

Well I've just realised its been over a week(!) since I last posted...its crazy how time can fly by sometimes.

I didnt have much time over the Easter break to work on SharePod, but here is the current status:

  • iPod Songs/Playlists reading and writing
  • Play Counts reading (the number of times / last time youve listened to a song). In SharePod 2 this file wasn't read, so if you didnt use iTunes, your Play Counts werent updated.
  • iPod Shuffle alpha support. I say alpha because (right now) I dont have a Shuffle to test it on, but I am writing the Shuffle database file correctly as far as I can tell.
As I said in a previous post, I am writing SharePod in 2 parts - the iPod functionality and then the actual SharePod application over the top of it.

The application part of this I haven't really started on, but will be concentrating on this soon so I can start alpha testing it on my own iPods properly.

There is no particular release date in my mind yet, but I want to work solidly on it for the next 2 weeks at which point I hope to be able to release. Probably not feature complete, but something more usable and stable than the current versions.

If there are any UI designers out there who have great ideas for the direction of the SharePod UI send me an email! (

Monday, April 2, 2007

SharePod Version 3 Progress

I've been working on SharePod v.3 for about 3 nights now. (I work during the day and usually busy in the weekend so nights are all I have..)

Progress so far has been really good, its coming together so much faster than the original SharePod 1.0, where every part of the iPod's internal database had to be investigated. Although there will be no current-version SharePod code in Version 3, all the logic has been transferrable to the new codebase.
I have a fully working iTunesDB parser which is built from the start to allow easy reading and writing. The current codebase by comparison had the write ability hacked on top, so there were some things it was just too hard to support (editing of song tags, for example)

The next step is finish the writing part of the code - right now it just writes back the file as it reads it, but it should take into account new songs added/removed, tags changed and playlists modified.

Once that is done (hopefully tonight), the plan is:
- Playcounts file parser (to update the number of times a song has been played etc)
- Artwork file parser (to read the album art descriptions)
- Code to actually read, display and import the iPod-formatted artwork
- iPod Shuffle file reading/writing
- Video import

While I am doing all this, I am also trying to come up with a sensible API to expose to other programs wanting to use SharePod functionality! So the next few weeks will be busy ones!

Friday, March 30, 2007

A New SharePod

I've had loads of questions about Sharepod - am I still working on it, how does it work on Vista, can it handle images/videos etc etc.

For quite a while now I have avoided doing large scale work on SharePod - just fixing it when iTunes changes its file format or someone finds a bug. One reason for this is I started writing it about 3 years ago now and had got a bit bored of it.

The other reason is 90% of the codebase is Visual Basic 6 which is an old language these days and not something I want to keep working with! Originally VB6 was used because at the time most computers did not have the .NET framework installed and it went against my idea of no installation and just one .exe file. (not that that worked out too well in practice..!)

A couple of weeks ago, after a bunch of emails about the difficulty of installing SharePod on Vista and talking to some friends about their projects, I got all motivated again :)

I am currently completely rewriting SharePod! (in C# .NET!)
This has a bunch of advantages - enabling me to include new features you've have been asking for and fixing most (all?) installation issues. A total rewrite seems a bit daunting, but all the work which has gone into SharePod over the past 3 years should hopefully make it easier than it seems!

The major new features I am planning are currently:
- Edit song tags on the iPod
- More song details (dates, play counts...)
- Support for iPod Shuffles (lots of you have been asking for this one!)
- Album art
- Video support

I am planning to break SharePod into two parts - the SharePod application itself (which will be completely free as always!), and a SharePod class library.
The class library will allow other developers/companies to integrate SharePod functionality into their own applications with minimal effort. I would like this to be available as shareware with a royalty-free licence.

Monday, February 5, 2007

GoDaddy Support(?)

I recently registered 2 new websites - TVTorrentsOnline and

Diggnation (a great tech and beer podcast) recommend GoDaddy, so I went with them.

The initial sign-up was pretty painless, although their website is covered with ads and quite hard to navigate. The first warning sign (which I ignored) is there is no monthly fee option - you have to pay for at least 1 year of hosting in advance. And worse, I found later this is non-refundable!

After fumbling through the confusing Control Panel, I managed to get the domain names pointing at test pages. 'All good!', I thought. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the highlight of my GoDaddy experience so far.

Both my new websites use ASP.NET 2.0, and both make use of outgoing connections. TVTorrentsOnline scrapes torrent data from Mininova, and G-CalMobile uses Google Calendar's API to provide calendar access to mobile devices.
Neither worked when uploaded to GoDaddy. I searched through the help pages and found a reference to a proxy server to use for outgoing connections. Great, tried it, but the security setup at GoDaddy doesn't allow my code to manually set the proxy.

At this point I sent my first support request to GoDaddy support, asking how to use outgoing connections with ASP.NET and specifying what I had already tried. The reply was to the effect of 'Yes, there is a proxy server, but it is automatically configured for ASP.NET, and you don't need to manually set it in code'. And ignoring the fact I had tried that initially and it didnt work.

I sent a second support request, saying it still wasnt working. This time I got a reply from a different person who said 'Yes, there is a proxy, and yes you do need to set it manually'. He said he could not help with user code (fine) and basically as far as GoDaddy was concerned I was on my own (not fine, it was a server configuration issue)

By this point I was getting a bit pissed off, and looked around the web for other GoDaddy support stories. There are loads! One post I found said to explicitly ask for the request to be "escalated", which would hopefully send it to 2nd line support (who may actually have some idea what they are doing!)

So, a third email later, using the magic words and repeating everything I had told the first two, I finally got a reply from Advanced Support, who simply said 'The proxy configuration problem has been resolved'. No explanation or apologies of course! And lo and behold, outgoing connections suddenly started working, a week after my first complaint!

It was a real eye-opener to me, if you aren't sure of your technology, or not as stubborn as a horse, the GoDaddy support people will just brush your problems away as code errors. I almost ended up with a bill for a years useless hosting!

In the end, I still haven't got G-CalMobile running at GoDaddy. The security is just too locked down for the Google APIs to work.

If anyone is looking for really good quality hosting and great customer service, OpenHost are a great company and that is where is hosted. I go over my monthly bandwidth allowance every month and they never charge me extra (until now maybe...!)

So.. moral of the story, GoDaddy might be the #1 domain registrar, but stay away from them if you want quality hosting and service.