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I wrote about the Firefly Media Server when we all had firmware 1.1.2. I love the server. In fact, I feel Apple should include such as server by default in every iPod touch!

Unfortunately Firefly (version svn1586-r1) cannot be installed via the Installer successfully as it hasn’t been updated to work in firmware 1.1.3/4. I missed it so much! Fortunately I figured out how to get it installed, and it’s pretty simple.

Requirements:

  • iTunes with the SHARING option enabled.
  • Ulctl by Erica Sudan (it’s in the Installer, under the “Utilities” category)
  • BSD Subsysten (It’s in the Installer, under the “System” category)

 

PART A: INSTALLATION

  1. Launch Installer and go to the “Multimedia” category. You should find the “FireflyMediaServer” package in it. If you can’t find it, then go to the “Sources” category and install the “Community Sources” package first, and try again.
  2. Tap on the “Install” button to start installation of the server — Do *NOT* add it to the queue.
  3. Installation should proceed normally, until this pop-up message appear on the screen. At this point, installation of the server is actually complete. Hit OK to acknowledge the message, and it will start indexing your music… but bang, the Installer returns the “Main script execution failed” error message!

    What’s going on? Well, the Installer went looking for your media files in the var/root/Media folder, but in firmware 1.1.3/4 it’s moved to the var/mobile/Media/ folder! The Installer isn’t expecting the change and halted the entire process!

PART B: RESUMING AND COMPLETIING INSTALLATION

I mentioned the server was actually installed. It’s only the second half of the installation process, indexing your media, that broke and prevented the full completion. So let’s resume it.

  1. Tap “OK” to dismiss the error message.
  2. Exit the Installer and return to the Springboard.
  3. Go to Settings -> General and set “Auto-Lock” to “Never”.
  4. Tap on “Ulctl” to launch it. A blank white screen will show up. Patiently wait for about 5 to 8 seconds and you’ll see a lists of (command-line) apps. Scroll down, look for, and tap on  org.fireflymediaserver.mt-daapd  After that, a slide-up window with 4 options appear; tap on “load -w” and then just “Do it”.
  5. Launch your browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Exploder) and surf to http://192.168.123.88:3689/ (you must replace “192.168.123.88” with your own iPod touch IP address and append “:3689/” after it.)
  6. Momentarily your browser will ask you for a user name and password. They are “root” and “dottie” respectively.
  7. You are now at the Media Server status screen. Click on the “Configuration” link on the left sidebar.
  8. At the said configuration screen, look for
    /var/root/Media/iTunes_Control/Music
    and change it to:
    /var/mobile/Media/iTunes_Control/Music
    Click the “Save” button to save the new configuration. (Ignore the “Error: 500general:mp3_dir” message)
  9. At this point, you may change both Admin & Music’s Passwords too if you want to but please leave everything else as is.
  10. Alright, we are ready to index your media! Woohoo! Go back to status screen and click on the “Start Full Scan” button.
  11. Notice the “File Scanner” is running after you click the button. Once it returns to “Idling”, indexing of your meda is complete!
  12. Your iPod touch should show up under the SHARED category in your iTunes. Click on it and enter the Password (default is โ€œdottieโ€ unless you changed it.)
  13. It’s Hammer Time!

 

Checklist:

You can’t uninstall the server via the Installer because as far as the Installer is concerned, it was never (completely) installed! ๐Ÿ˜›

* For those who might wonder, the word “redux” does not mean what it would appear to. It is a Latin word that means “brought back”, “revisited”.

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89 Comments

  1. Uh… Sorry but what exactly is this fireflymediaserver? I mean what does it do? It does look cool though!

  2. @momott

    The Firefly Media Server installed in your iPod touch lets you stream your music to any Mac or PC with iTunes installed. A room full of guests can thus listen to your iPod touch’s music library played through the receiving computer’s speakers.

    It never fails to impress my friends.

  3. Aah so it is installed! I ended up installing it via ssh / sftp to get it working ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just one thing if you do use the above method – installer may or may not put firefly in ‘uninstall’, so taking it off again will be loads of fun.

    Another tip for this is add ‘BossTool’ and the ‘Firefly’ addin, and you’ll be able to disable/enable it with a quick swipe, instead of using ulctl.

    And one last thing – make a webclip of the control panel on your iPhone/iPod Touch, makes it much easier to return to / edit settings / scan for new files

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Awesome as always! I didn’t know what this was before- I always was just reminded of the show Firefly and would pass over it- but now I really like it.

    One thing you may want to take note of: it actually says before installation starts that you should “install Ulctl to enable/disable Firefly”.

  5. @Beau

    Thanks for the great tips!

    I forgot to write about the fact it can’t be Uninstalled via the Installer because as far as the Installer is concerned, it’s never installed. Ha ha. I’ll add this note in later.

  6. @thegpc

    I believe Beau was referring to the BossPref app (not BossTool). It’s a handy switch to turn on or off the server.

    But you know what? I never turn it off. It doesn’t seem to kill the battery. Somehow I guess it’s like the OpenSSH package’s ssh where it is smart enough not to do anything until called into action.

    It’s fun to let it just run — I once walked into an Apple Store and the Salesperson ask me how on earth did “Rupert’s iPod touch” showed up in their Mac’s iTunes. Heeheehee. They didn’t even realised it’s connected to iTunes wirelessly and thought it’s ready to sync via the usb cable!

  7. Rupert-

    I know. I was talking about as Firefly itself was installing, it actually told me to use Ulctl before it downloaded.

  8. thank you verrrrrry much for this article… its an awesome feature!! i love it.

    i didn’t have to make those steps… just installed it from installer and it worked without complications…

  9. Rupert,

    Great blog, mate. Picked up some useful stuff. Keep up the good work.

    gfl

  10. Noob question: In this case, my iTunes can only detect my ipod touch only if my PC has wi-fi right?

  11. @noopha:

    Yea, you need Wi-Fi for your iPod Touch and Internet access for your computer for this to work. Otherwise, there’s no way to hav any shared music at all on iTunes.

  12. Oooooo cool! One question, I can do this with MonkeyMedia without having wifi, just an iPod cable, so how is this better? I am not trying to be annoying, just wondering?

  13. @Momott:

    Well, if you’re at a party, and you don’t happen to have a cable on you, it’s useful. You don’t have to carry that extra piece of equipment, just the iPod. It’s a bit more convenient that way.

    Also, I don’t think you should need MonkeyMedia to play your iPod’s music from a computer with a USB cable… That’s been a standard feature on iPods since their inception…

  14. @momott

    I’m a Mac user and not familiar with MonkeyMedia. I got curious and found MediaMonkey via google instead. I think you’re refering to the later?

    I can’t quite figure out what MediaMonkey actually does. But it looks like it’s not something that’s as popular as iTunes. So in this sense, Firefly will work on more PC than MediaMonkey. Best of all, it’ll just works as long as the PC has wifi or connected to a wifi router and a copy of iTunes and on practically every modern Mac.

    Hmm… I wonder programs like MM is the culprit many pc users can’t jailbreak easilyโ€ฆ. They seem to try to outsmart Apple and probably breaks a couple things doing it… resulting in a non-standard compliant setup. Sigh.

  15. Oh, I see! Thanks guys. MediaMonkey lets you “reverse sync” so the music would stay on the computer, but only if you had an iPod cable. I see what FireFly is about though and it looks great!

  16. Ugh… It says page can not be found. I did all of the earlier steps as you said…

  17. Hey RG, I know this has nothing to do with the topic, but I don’t where to post it.

    On my touch, when i tap the albums list in music, you see all the albums with a thumbnail of the album art on the left right? Well, it seems somehow there’s a mix-up and the wrong art is being show with the album. Like I have Elvis, and it’s showing an album art from Greenday! BUT, when you turn the iPod to the side and view coverflow mode, it reverts back to the right album. Note, that this is only on a dozen or so albums. I checked iTunes and the songs each have the right album art.

    Is this a bug of iTunes? Would installing iTunes 7.6.1 fix this? Damn…

  18. @thebot

    That’s something new. My suggestion is you go to Settings -> General -> Reset and tap on “Erase All Content and Settings”. Regrefully that means you’ll have to re-setup everything (email accounts/weather… everything!).

    So… how about try this. The point is we want to erase the media only to get rid of whatever error iTunes accidentally made with regards to album covers. So, change your sync, such that it now sync just one new song. That should make iTunes erased everything in the iPod touch, and add a new song. After that, re-sync your real playlist to put every songs back. Hopefully it’ll work and you don’t have to re-setup everything.

  19. @momott

    Did you missed Step B4?

  20. Thanks a lot dude!

  21. @thebot

    I’ve encountered this problem before having the wrong album artwork for all my albums on my iPod, even in cover flow mode.

    For previous versions of iTunes, you simply need to uncheck the option of syncing album artwork to your iPod and sync it again. However, I don’t see this option anymore in the latest versions of iTunes, so using the 2nd method outlined by Rupert will do.

  22. I did that but turned it off later, now I have it working thanks!

  23. @Rupert

    Not very related to the post, but I see in one of the pics here that you have a different ‘now playing music’ icon on the top right hand corner of the status bar.

    May I know what app you used to change it?

  24. I have just installed this- and it works! But I have noticed that when you power off and turn it back on the music doesn’t show up in iTunes. So you have to go into Ulctl, select org.fireflymediaserver.mt-daapd and then “load-w” then “Do It!”

  25. This is a very good blog…best ever… Btw, i’ve install Ultcl and firefly with BDS sub, but when i open the ULtcl, it shows up a blank screen and then go back to Springboard. Could sumone please tell me wut happens there ? Much appreciate!!

  26. @noopha

    Grin. I didn’t change that. You’ll get that button only in some mode of view. Try navigating in the Music Player and it should show up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. @ Joshua

    The “-w” command is suppose to make the server stay alive across booting, but I think it’s broken in 1.1.3/1.1.4. Unfortunately I don’t know how to fix it. It seems alrite though; it saves us the hassle of turning off the server.

  28. @Leo

    Maybe you have to reboot your iPod touch first?

    Give me a tinker if that doesn’t work. I have an alternative method to activate it.

  29. I rebooted it, but it doesnt work at all…. any clues Geezzz ?

  30. @leo

    You can install and use the Boss Prefs app. It’s in the Installer’s Utilities category. You’ll need its Firefly Control plugin too.

    After installing both, just launch BossPrefs to turn on the Firefly server.

    It’s actually more elegant to use than Ulctl.

  31. WOOOOOOOOHOOO! I got it..and u’re elegant…not the method! cheers man and all da best from Australia!

  32. thank you very much! Had the same problem as Leo, but now its all good
    ps writing on touch ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. @vanya

    Grin. I’ll update the post later and get everyone to use BossPrefs instead of Ulctl.

    Hey… it’s the weekend. Have you tried Touchpad Pro? It’s good fun!

    http://www.touchpadpro.com/

    Pinch to zoom Firefox is just downright cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. I tried to install the firefly. Nut I didn’t follow any of your instructions everything went off smoothly and I was able stream music with no problems. Though I had install the Utcl by Erica to start the service.

    I have an iPod touch 16 GB version 1.1.3

  35. Dude I’ve searched other websites for fixes on the iPod touch but yours always comes out on top 10 stars for you Thanks man!

  36. Hey… look at what I just found. Add this source in installer: http://homepage.mac.com/hartsteins/copycoders/copycoders.xml , once you do this install netservices and restart your ipod. Now all you have to do is open netservices and go to add-ons and flick FF media server to on!

  37. Hey Gee,

    Yesterday, I was looking through coverflow on the touch and wham. I doubled pressed the home button and then a KEYPAD for the iPhone’s calling pad, missed/call history, voicemail, favorites, and contacts came up…obviously the calling feature won’t work, but i was wondering if there is a way to remove this? is this just a byproduct of jailbreaking 1.1.3? Or is this a byproduct of getting the “January software apps update” for free?

  38. @thebot

    That’s weird.

    Double-pressing the Home button is suppose to bring up the Play Music Menu:

    https://rupertgee.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/ipod-touchs-pop-up-anywhere-play-music-menu/

    I think your iPod touch wants to be an iPhone. Hee hee.

    I don’t know what to do. Exocise it, perhaps?

  39. @Rupert
    I’m one step ahead of you. I found it a while ago, downloaded, and now my parents continously get annoyed at me ๐Ÿ˜›
    Though I don’t think it works on PPC’s. Could not connect error.
    So how exactly did you get the blur music icon up the top?
    And do you have any problems sending emails using gmail IMAP on the device? I can receive perfectly, but not send

  40. Hey, Touchpad Pro works just fine on my Mac mini G4. I wonder why it doesn’t work for you? In my case, I already was using VNSea to control all my Macs, and because TouchPad Pro uses the same configuration file as VNSea, no setup was needed.

    Erm… which blur music icon are you talking about?

    I only use IMAP gmail, and send is fine.

  41. Hmm. Maybe cause I have G3? No idea.
    The Now Playing icon. Looks lot better than the standard triangle ๐Ÿ˜›
    Hmm(again).
    Thanks

  42. Do you mean that musical note icon next to the battery icon?

    If so… hahaha. I have no idea how it got there. I definitely didn’t use Customize to change it. I suspect it was the older Mobile Scrobbler? But it sure is nicer than the normal triangle.

  43. Ah ok. What does Scrobbler do? Can’t download since I’m at school now :p
    I don’t think there are any options in Customize to change it.
    Thanks anyway

  44. @Vanya:

    MobileScrobbler is a program for iPod Touch and iPhone that works with the “scrobbling” website Last.fm, which just catalogs which songs you listen to, how often, etc, then shares the information and finds you eople with similar interests.

  45. Thanks! Will definitely try this out!

  46. No. I still get the Play Music Menu. But when I’m in coverflow, and i double press. Then the iPhone features come on! weird. Ill try to make a vid and show ya.

  47. Why are ULTCL and BSD SUBSYSTEM required?

    Can I use NET SERVICES as a replacement for ULCTL to start and stop the service?

    What about BSD SUBSYSTEM?

    By the way, when I tried installing I got errors about not changing password.

  48. @Brian
    ultcl isn’t necessary. You can download BossPfrefs and the FireFly plugin, which is easier.
    BSD Subsystem is necessary for most apps to work

  49. When I attempt to run Ulctl, the white screen appears and then simply disappears…

  50. ok, uninstalled ULCTL, and NOW my ipod does show up in iTunes, however, NONE OF MY SONGS ARE SHOWING… I rebooted, and uninstalled/reinstalled etc… Any suggestions?

  51. UPDATE: OK, so I went into firefly via safari and I am trying to change the settings to find my music files… however, the folders you indicated don’t exist on my ipod (mobile/Media)? Where are my music files located?

    Thanks!

  52. Thanks alot for this! These are really good instructions.

  53. You can also access the administration page of firefly by taping 127.0.0.1:3689 directly in mobilesafari on the iPhone/iTouch.

    Thank you for your tuto! ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. dude thanks. these instuctions are always RIGHT ON. and i love the MC Hammer video. it made my day.
    -AC

  55. Throw Insomnia on there for a quick way to set our ipod not to sleep when you’re using the Firefly media server. That way you can press the top button to switch the screen off and save some battery power. Works like a charm, and if you’re using BossPrefs as a quick way to flip Firefly on and off, just add the Insomnia icon. Three taps (Bprefs, Firefly, Insomnia) and you’re serving a party.

    Thanks for this post Rupert, I put it off for a while for some reason, but this service is really great.

  56. is there a way to stream music from the ipod to a computer which is NOT on the same subnet? like when I go to my college, the desktops are on a different network(using ethernet cable) than the wifi.

  57. After reading through the comments, I get the idea that I do not need to install ulctl at all. That’s not true right? I still need to install it first, then install Firefly right?

    Can I uninstall ulctl altogether after installing BossPrefs with Firefly plugin?

  58. @noopha,
    you can. (simple eh?)

  59. For some reason it is only showing a total of 12 songs in itunes when I have a few hundred on my iphone any suggestions? when ever I do a full scan it only loads the 12 songs and then resets my iphone.

  60. @CJ
    What do you mean by reset? As in respring?

  61. Thanks, i finally got it working! That’s awesome!

  62. thnx m8!!
    u saved my day!!! ^

  63. Thx for this great & simple tutorial!

    I was sure it must be only a little path error in 1.1.3 and 1.1.4. But never knew where to search :/.

    Ps: Firefly does not only work on any PC and Mac with iTunes,it also works great with all versions of the “Roku Soundbridge”!
    thank u verry much
    greetings from swiss

  64. Thanks alot, it worked great, I was wondering though, when I change music on the iPod, will I have to go back to the IP address and run another “full scan” to get all of the music to appear in the iTunes file shared section? Thanks again for all your help

  65. @Jeff,
    Yes, anytime you add more music to your iPod, you will need to run the ‘Full scan’

  66. Thanks Vanya, one more question, after scanning, most of the music plays without a hitch, but about 1/3 of my music doesnt seem to work with the titles being QSAW or other 4 letter nonsense, and the time is listed as “continuous” any idea what that could be or how to fix it? thanks again.

  67. worked perfectly, big thx. I had exactly the same problem and with your tut I could solve it ๐Ÿ™‚

  68. To Jeff, do you have any podcasts or radios subscribed to? And by not playing, do you mean that after you sign in iTunes etc?

  69. Vanya, everything in my library are all songs and encoded in Mp3… I have no audio books or pod casts on there. Its very strange. Most of the songs appear as they should (title and length) and play fine. But some dont play at all and appear as 4 capital letters and have the length listed as “continuous” or “0:00″… this is not the end of the world as I can listen to the majority of my music, but I was just wondering if you knew what it was or if there was a quick fix…Thanks again

  70. Hmm, sorry, no I don’t know. Maybe the guys at http://www.ipodtouchfans.com/forums/ can give a hand?

  71. thank you so much!!!!! firefly was a selling point for convincing my brother to get an iphone, and then 1.1.4 took it away!! not that the iphone needs any extra selling points, but firefly is a pretty awesome app!! thank you!!

  72. @Vanya

    It’s me again, and I want to ask if Firefly will work if my ipod touch and the PC/Mac is connected to 2 different networks?

    How do I do a ‘full scan’ which was mentioned by Jeff above?

  73. hey Noopha.
    It should work perfectly fine, just streamed to two computers. At the status screen, tap full scan.

  74. This was so helpful and clear, thank you for this, it is a very good method for fixing this problem!

    Sent from my iPod

  75. Thank you very much… my Firefly it’s working great!!!!!

  76. Thanks a lot – everything seems to be working OK. I too have some songs that are listed as having 0:00 or continuous duration but when I click on them so far every song played without a hitch and the error in the time is self-corrected.

    I love to have total control on the contents of my iphone though – how do I remove Firefly from my machine if I choose to do so? A quick description would be much appreciated.

  77. Aaron, since you never technically ‘installed’ Firefly, you can’t really ‘uninstall’ it.

  78. Finally got this app working thanks to the instructions from this site.

    The only prob i’m having is that almost none of the songs in the shared section have ratings in them. There are 3 that do, but their ratings are from windows vista. Apparently iTunes doesn’t write ratings info to id3 tags.

    To get around this, i tried copying my itunes library XML file from my comp to the iPhone and set fireflymediaserver to look in the directory where i saved the XML for music. Firefly manages to find all the playlists i’ve created on my PC iTunes in the XML but doesn’t seem to know how to deal with ratings/date added info-etc.

    Has anyone found a way to get song ratings to show up in the firefly share?

  79. Good, except you can always put localhost for your iPhone’s ip address, you don’t need the LAN ip.

  80. Is there a way to get the playlists on my iPhone to show up in iTunes?

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3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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