November 8, 2008 Update — Please read this newer post instead if your device is running the newer iPhone OS 2.
Listen, this guide is for Mac OS X users only. As of now, there’s no easy way to mount the iPod touch as if it’s a thumb drive in other operating system such as Windows. Mac users… read on!
You’ll need a jailbroken iPod touch, and a little app called “AFPd” by Prof. James F. O’Brien of UC, Berkeley. The app can be found in the Installer, under the “Network” category via the STE source (http://psmxy.org/iphone/). The “BSD Subsystem” package is mandatory and you’ll have to install it first if you have not already done so previously.
After installation, tap on AFPd’s icon to launch it. Then slide “Server Active” to ON. Needless to say, this turns on AFP support. You’ll also want to turn on the second option, “Broadcast Active”. Your Mac (and any Mac on the same local network) will then be able to find your iPod touch through the magical Bonjour protocol. Lastly, give your iPod touch a cool name. That’s the name it’ll display when it is mounted in OS X.
OK, we’re ready to mount the iPod touch.
- Open a Finder window by double-clicking on your hard drive.
- You’ll see your iPod touch in the Sidebar, under the SHARE heading. Select it.
- Now click the “Connect as…” button, and enter the user name as “root” while the password is as you have set (try “alpine”).
- After that, you should see two folders (they are actually partitions but nevermind the terminology) in the Finder window, namly “iPhone Root FileSystem” and “Root’s Home”.
- In Finder, select “Connect to Server…” from the “Go” menu (Or use the keyboard short-cut, Command+k, in Finder).
- In the pop-up window, enter the Server Address as “afp://192.168.123.88/” (replace 192.168.123.88 to your actual iPod touch’s address as shown on the bottom of AFPd’s main screen.) Do not omit “afp://” in front of the address.
- When prompted, enter the user name as “root” while the password is as you have set (try “alpine”).
- A new window will pop up asking you which partitions to mount. For this tutorial, select either one will do.
Now look at your Desktop; your iPod touch is mounted on the Desktop! You can now manipulate its contents such as installing new apps/themes, copy files into or out of the iPod touch, etc. The mounted drive is a thumb drive, formatted in good old Apple File Format, HFS+. And of course you can change the icons to ones you fancy, like I did.
So, the next time you are instructed to “ssh”, “sFTP” or “whatever” into your iPod touch to install something or manage files, you can just mount it instead. It’s simple and fast.
Don’t you just love Mac OS X?
- Toggle “Server Active” to off to save on battery consumption when not in use.
- You can copy and store your files into the “Root’s Home” partition, preferably under the “Media” folder. There are some pre-defined folders in it. You can of course create your own too.
- The “iPhoneRoot FileSystem” partition is small. You can reclaim some disk space by moving the “Applications” folder to the other partition. I’ll tell you how to in a future posting (it’s here.)
- You’ll want to extend the duration of Auto-Lock or set it to Never in Settings -> General -> Auto-Lock when the iPod touch is mounted.
- It’s possible to rename the partitions but you better not.
- Apple has added SHA1 encryption algorithm to iTunesDB database to prevent other software from reading and writing the iPod songs library. You hence cannot upload or download your mp3s directly.