There's always time to play

Thursday, August 7, 2008

iPod Touch iTunes Remote without iTunes?

With the new iPod firmware Apple also released a remote for iTunes as iPhone/iPod Touch application. The application is quite nice, but I won't go into much detail on usability etc right now (if I ever will at all). The thing I wanted to discuss is using the remote application without iTunes. I would love to use the remote for my normal machine or my home theatre pc. The application has support for 'Movies' and 'Television Shows' too, so it would be usable for mythtv. Actually it could be possible to abuse playlists or whatever (ratings for priorities?) to use the application to schedule recordings.

So this is all nice and stuff, but where is the documentation? Well I guess there isn't any. It seems however that Apple is using Daap to control iTunes. A daap server is just a special HTTP server, so the protocol is easy. Also the services (remote and touch-able) are exported using bonjour/zeroconf, so I can fake these services using avahi. So far I managed to create the services so iTunes will think my computer is a iTunes remote. It sends the pincode it uses for connection, but that's how far I've gotten up to now. The pincode is encrypted or hashed, but I guess the hash contains more than just the pincode. I used telnet to send a pincode to the remote application (getting the pincode by having iTunes sending it to netcat), but it just failed with a 404. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong.

I'm going to continue work on this, I already thought of some other stuff to try, so if you're interested leave a comment so I know people want this. Also if you know more than me already, feel free to leave it in a comment too...

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