how-to record on your ipod (for free)


apple cripples recording on an ipod so belkin and griffin then have to sell us add-on devices for over $50 that can only record at 8khz, which is all pretty shitty. apparently (the rumor is) apple does this so people don’t use their ipods to record stuff they think we shouldn’t, like concerts, whatever.

but don’t worry, there’s a way around it and you can record at high quality, all for free.

1. Install Podzilla on your iPod (not all models are supported).
2. Boot in to Linux on your iPod.
3. Go to Extras > Recordings, choose 8,32,44.1,88.2 or 96kHz the higher, the better quality.
4. Record via Line In a microphone or even use your headphones.
5. Boot back in to the normal iPod OS plug in to the doc, grab your files from the iPod in the “Recordings” folder.

i suspect the next version of the ipod won’t allow booting in to linux and/or this type of recording. enjoy it while you can.

with all the podcasting people out there apple should consider not crippling our ipods so we can all use ipods to record, apple could do this now with a simple software update… or i guess i can keep booting in to linux and never update this ipod or just buy a cheap recorder, bah.


  1. Tor Bjornrud says:

    Thanks for pointing this out. I finally got it all running (it took about 10 minutes). Yes, recording through the headphone jack does work.

    @the disbelievers in the comments…
    Yes, you can record by using your headphones as a microphone, you just have to talk REALLY loudly. I made a quick little demo to listen to if you like.

  2. AMAR says:

    ..ipod linux IS NOT supported for 4th gens, only 1. 2. and 3…

  3. ntel says:

    i want to record some dj-sets. is the recording quality good enough for this?

  4. ipodman says:

    Read this:

    iPod photo, mini, + 4G are currently not supported. Shuffle won’t be supported for obvious reasons.

  5. Andrew says:

    So by all the bitching it appears that this is where all the Slashdot readers go

  6. David says:

    Hm……it works awesome, except there seems to be an underlying static in the playback….it could be the mic, though.

  7. Fuckpod says:

    I just found this site, on a whim because of this ipod hack. I have an ipod, for two reasons 1) it was a gift, 2) it has the largest community as far as hard drive players go. Personally I like it for it’s music quality but THAT is it. Itunes blows, this is apples cash cow and they overcharge everything.
    I would have loved an Iriver especially the new one they announce at CES(even if it doesn’t support OGG).
    one of the reasons though that I haven’t ebayed this thing is the hacking community, SO many people feel stifled by this thing I’m sure some interesting things will come out of it. if not ebay it is.
    As far as too many ipod hacks on this site. I’d give them a break putting up content on a daily or weekly basis is really hard especially when most hacking projects take months and in some cases years, and are usually done in spare time.

  8. Luke says:

    Bah, iPods suck. If you actually want to make a decent recording get an iRiver.

  9. Oli f says:

    This hack is well weapon!


  10. less says:

    why not just buy an iRiver or one of the hundreds of other players that suppert recording?

    With my iRiver I can add a higer quality microphone and record great quality. No crippling, no screwing around, just great recording. Using my line in I can link up to a record player and record all my 7 inches and 60’s records. -OR- I can add a mic and record concerts if I wanted to hear me cheering.

    I’m not a pod hater- I just love my iRiver, the pod has a great feel just shitty features.

  11. fool says:

    Dudes, My bro got the pod for christmas and i got the iRiver H320, and the iRiver has way more features then even the iPod Photo, man, i can put images and music on it but i can also put movie files on it too. man, theres also firmware you can get for it that will have 3D games such as Splinter Cell (Side scrolling cellphone game) but thats not the point,. The iRiver is far superior to any iPod ever.
    Ps. I hate iTunes. Ilove WinMediaPlayer.


  12. Dude Who has a zen says:

    jesus what the hell is wrong with u people obviously the i pod is a dud what the hell was u thinking why did u buy a player that plays mp3s and not wma and stuff like that you could get even more songs/files/other crap well it feels good to rant about a pile of crap with wires
    Zen Rules ZEN ZEN RULES

  13. Doug says:

    Get a free mac mini! Wanna those gratis things, but cool.

  14. Nadia says:

    If you guys would like to get free iPods that you can hack if something goes wrong get another and another then sign up to this site.

  15. ahmedafifi says:


  16. E.A. says:

    A question to the ones that got this working:
    Can you set microphone gain?
    Can you record a stereo signal with stereo mic/line in?

  17. John says:

    wait, you can use your headphones as a microphone??? seriously? that’s awsome!

  18. podguy says:

    This is totally Sweet!!
    To complete the instructions though, you must manually add a folder called Recordings to your ipod’s root directory. Otherwise the ipod won’t record. I’ve successfully-and easily recorded through a mic, and through my headphones.
    Be careful of the playback feature though- there’s a known bug… if you playback all the way to the end of the file, it seems to get stuck- and you have to reboot your ipod. Until they fix this- I’d recommend not using the playback feature.
    You cannot set the mic gain yet. It only records in mono so far.
    Podzilla to the Rescue!!!!

  19. conor says:

    Woah mike, how the heck did you even boot up linux, i cant how?

  20. Dave says:

    I can’t believe that you can actually get a free ipod by signing up here
    but according to MaximumPC you will really get your Ipod. This is way you can get a backup for a mod gone bad.

  21. Oliver says:

    Why can’t you believe. Apple says thank you for your advertisement

  22. Oliver says:

    I mean, that is probably just an promoting strategy of apple.

  23. prince says:

    please give me now

  24. Jesse says:

    I Have a 3rd G 15gb ipod and installing the podzilla software went fine but when i try to record i get an error that says Cant open /recordings/03302005222156.wav if someone got the same problem please post

    ps i like the ipod posts

  25. RICHARD says:

    ——//–Great {iPod} Hacks–//———-

    Cool Audio option… just what I’ve been looking for. ty

    4thePurists –> This box is just that… a cool box, let’s continue to make it better.
    Flamers, disregard your own ignorance.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I need to stream Video via firewire from a home camcorder into 30gig ipod in effect making it into capture and storage device.


    thx all.


  26. Hugh Ass says:

    Why pay money? with a credit card, when you have an alternative to get an ipod totally free just over a matter of time. To be 13 years or older and reside in Canada or the US. Well, your prayers have been answered, go to for a guide on how to do JUST THAT!.

  27. nanahcutie says:

    Just in case you guys missed it above, click the link, sign up, complete an offer and get a free photo ipod so you can hack away.

  28. Matt says:

    So, I can’t get the newest iPod if I wanted this to work? I’m looking for a way to record my cellphone conversations; would hooking up the headset jack on my cellphone to the headset jack in a 3rd generation iPod allow me to record my cellphone calls?


  29. rafael says:

    I have a 40Gb click-wheel ipod and for some reason when I go to a playlist and play a track… it doesn’t always catch it and jumps to the next one or the next two ones. What can I do!? THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!!!!

  30. rafael says:

    I have a 40Gb click-wheel ipod and for some reason when I go to a playlist and play a track… it doesn’t always catch it and jumps to the next one or the next two ones. What can I do!? THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!!!!

  31. sumone4life says:

    I have a 3rd gen ipod and have installed linux on it. When i try and record i get a ‘Cannot open /dev/dsp’ error. Any ideas?

  32. scotty1 says:

    i was just given an ipod 2nd hand as a present and it didnt come with an installation cd, i bought a usb2 cable but still cant work the ipod…….sum1 plz help me get a downloadable cd or let me know what to do!!!

  33. pasqualE says:

    Hey there! :P i have a mini (4 gig)
    Is there any way that there will be a mod that allows minis to work?
    cause it would be really useful! :D
    Im trying to make my owb using a friends extracting program, but i can reverse the signal to the ipod takes the input. Does anyone know where a small piece of software would be that can do this simple task? (that works on a mini)
    THANKS :P <<< please email me i u know

  34. pnk says:

    OK, so this is odd…

    Everything worked perfectly (so stoked!): easy Podzilla install, recording sounds awesome when playing back in Linux, but when I save the files to my hard drive (.wav) and then convert them to mp3 for playback in the mac os (for whatever reason my playlists don’t sound as good in the Linux OS, so I switch back and forth) the mp3s play back SLOWER than they were recorded. WTF??? Anyone else experience this?

  35. chitwn says:

    pnk — Yeah, i’m getting the same thing. I was searching these comments for solutions, but haven’t found any. This sucks..

  36. pnk says:

    hey chitwin, I found a solution.

    After testing different sample rates and mp3 conversion settings, I found that I got excellent results recording at 32khz and ripping mpegs at 192kbs. Problem solved.

    I just ordered one of these ( ) to use for amplified sound capture and I’ll post back results when I have them.

  37. chitwn says:

    pnk – I’ll try that. I’ve picked up one of these
    While it’s over kill (recording stereo to mono) I’m hoping it’ll come in handing in the future. Plus it’s battery operated, so I’ve found the gain to be quite good. I started using Audacity ( ) to convert to MP3’s for now. It’s a pretty nice, FREE, editing suite with lots of possible add ons through third parties.

  38. Joshua Jones says:

    click on this link ( to get a free ipod shuffle, by 1.joining for free
    2.complete one offer (usually the ‘screen select’ offer is the only free one)
    3.refer 4 or 6 friends to do the same depending on the size of memory on your ipod shuffle.
    4.your ipod shuffle is on it’s way to your door.

  39. pnk says:

    Well, the Giant Squid mic I linked to above was not what I needed: nothing but static, but I think I just misunderstood what I was buying. I recorded a bit of my band’s rehearsal on my iPod with something very much like the Sony ECM-MS907 alluded to, and it yielded this, which I have edited down to a quick 1.5 MB clip for you guys to check out:

    Not too shabby for a hack job!

  40. Wolfram says:

    My recordings via podzilla are allways mono. What’s wrong?

  41. Wolfram says:

    I have installed linux to make recordings of music whith microphone. The result is a wav file in mono only. Who knows why?

  42. newsboy says:

    can the new 6gb ipod be used for voice and interview recording easily? or is it only the larger ipods

  43. chair_tard says:

    What are the technical specification of the audio inputs?
    Is there a bug report for the lack of ability to check and adjust input levels?
    What is the format of the recorded audio?
    How good can the quality of the recorded audio be (under ideal conditions)?
    What are the chances of adding support for external microphones or pre-amps via firewire or usb?

    I think this is a great idea for a hack… but the report of this hack is wanting… so what if you can record at 96KHz if the quality is stinky? So what if you can only record for short periods?

    What we need is a way to turn the iPod into a non-linear recording device of QUALITY and QUANTITY… thus, the dream is to take your 60GB iPod to a show, record 4.5 hours of continuous audio (2 bands with 2 sets) and not have to touch it until you get home and dump the audio (hopefully in a popular format like AIFF or WAV) to a software editor, and cut out all the silence before/between/after the bands play.

    I know linux is open source, but if a software co. developed a dedicated OS to turn the iPod into this, it would sell.

  44. josemiguel nieto says:

    Does anybody know how to plug a recording device via USB on the iPod?
    I use an Appogee MiniMe and I need a light way to record. Lighter than any iBook.

  45. Scott says:

    I installed Podzilla on my ipod mini 2g. But it says that recording is not enabled on this hardware…does that mean..that no way in hell am i gonna be able to record voice on there?…because it would be nice to have for lectures

  46. YYZ says:

    What’s the scoop on microphones then? Do you absolutely need a powered mic for anything but speaking loudly right into it, or will one of the “plug-in powered” condenser mics like the Sony ECM-DS30P cut it?

  47. st says:

    You make a poor talented musician happy. :-)

  48. holtie says:

    I cant believe you ppl, if you are smart enough to create and use hacks then you should be smart enough to realise that ipods are crap, the sound quality is not as good as other DAP’s they have stuff all in the way of features, and even the ones that it does have you have to pay $50 plus. there are so many other better options out there, that have all the optional features of an ipod as standard, plus heaps more. for example for the same price as a 30Gb ipod i can get an iaudio X5L 30Gb. which is much much much better, and has a 35hour battery life.

  49. esposs says:

    ı;m waıtıng to message :))

  50. Evan Lovely says:

    Any body got this working on the 5g Video iPods? I’m curious. That would be awesome if you could use the video out cable to record video. That’s probably asking a little much, but hey, wouldn’t it be neat?

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