HOW TO – Control an iPod with the Arduino

Arduino Technology
HOW TO – Control an iPod with the Arduino

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Here’s a great HOW TO on controlling an iPod with the Arduino, Jonas writes –

This tutorial will describe a way of controlling an iPod remote, and thus, an easy way of getting some music and sound out of your Arduino project. The remote we used was an unofficial remote I found on the worldwide auction site for around 10 USD, an opto-isolator can be found in your local electronics store.

We used a TIL116 opto-isolator between the Arduino and the remote to safely send signals in between the two. The remote works by you pushing a button which closes a circuit and that is interpreted in a certain way by the iPod. What you need to do is to send a pulse to the opto-isolator that makes it close the button-circuit, and then open it again. Depending on what you want the iPod to do, you need to send a longer or shorter pulse, i.e.. a long pulse sent to the play/pause button will shut the iPod off, a short pulse will play/pause the track.

Control an iPod with the Arduino – Link.

6 thoughts on “HOW TO – Control an iPod with the Arduino

  1. Stokes says:

    It seems like it would be more effective to connect directly to the iPod via the serial control data pins in the dock connector. The protocol is pretty simple, and it provides a lot more control. It also provides two-way communication; you can get the current song, et cetera.

  2. danielj says:

    a couple of my students at Simon Fraser University wrote that tutorial as part of their final assignment, for bonus marks. Nice to see it widely distributed!

    Re: serial control, yes it’s effective, but it has several drawbacks on the student/hacker level:
    – code hasn’t been written for Arduino
    – serial and hardware protocols vary between Ipod models
    – Dock connector is teensy-tiny and hard to solder
    – possibility of damaging Ipod by applying incorrect voltages
    – many hours of research for small return

    The method above is quick and painless, and has the advantage of optically isolating the signals between the Arduino and Ipod.


  3. jonaso says:

    Yes this is probably the easiest and a pretty cheap way to get those Arduino boomboxes pumpin! I’m not a wizard of Arduino in any way but this method was pretty much plug and play even for me. Follow my instructions and you’ll be up and playing in no time! And if you have any questions please fire away!

    And big thanks to my teach DanielJ =)

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