Car IPad - External Ipad Hard Drive - Move itunes folder

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by b_clam, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. b_clam
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    b_clam iPF Noob

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    Hello Everyone,

    Back in the days of the first generation apple tv I followed an instruction set via ssh basically copied the synced media folder on the local Apple TV drive to an external drive. A link was made internally and all the Itunes synced media was on my 1TB drive and referred to form the apple TV OS. Finally all my movies music and pictures could be locally cashed and stored. Reason being is that i hooked that apple tv into my car and had all my media everywhere i went. It worked and still works well.


    In looking around i have seen people connect external drives to their ipads via the camera connection kits. The drive mounts and files can be accessed. Now i propose we do the same thing. I understand how to jailbreak it, all the way into ssh'ing into it. From there can we, and how do we copy the /private/var/mobile/media directory (Not sure of the ipad file structure, i understand this folder also has safari bookmarks and other things we may not want to move) to an external drive, and then make some sort of symbolic link? Doing all of this but being safe with the permissions?

    Any ideas? :)
  2. Scorsese59
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    Scorsese59 iPF Noob

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    I signed up specifically to answer, or try to at least, your question and offer up a couple suggestions.

    The iPad camera connection kit will only power VERY, VERY small lov volt items as of IOS 4.3 (I think that was the firmware from memory) before then the CCK WOULD power some external HD's but now it is limited to sd or such cards and I want to say that it is limited to a max of 16gb cards. It can only power certain USB thumb drives normally those which do not have any type of light when plugged in. Heck even some USB keyboards won't even work now.

    The solution to this is you need an external hd which instead of running off the USB port it plugs into an ad outlet or secondly if you have a powered USB hub which plugs into AC you can connect an ext HD into it.

    First option you need a power inverter for your car which you trust enough to supply enough constant power from you cigarette lighter to the HD then you plug the drive into the CCK.

    From there, if you are jail broke you can access the drive via iFile from cydia. Also you will either need to mount and unmount the drive each time you use it via the Terminal app or the better option is to get the USB Ztoggle add on from cydia and put it into the SBS settings to do the mounting for you but just flicking the icon off or on.

    There is also an app call MC (music controls) pro which allows you to control iFile and a host of other apps by simply using finger gestures to play, pause, skip, etc even on the lock screen as well as adjust volume

    Personally I use a hub because it requires less overall constant power and it and a small 1 tb had take up less space than a stand alone desktop HD and easily fits into glove box. I have both items inside of a non magnetized casing and the top and bottom lined with foam just in case a pot hole would cause damage. Unlikely but it could happen.

    I hid the wires and mounted the iPad on a stand which mounts to the seat rail allowing easy access. And with the music control app the screen can remain off and I can still skip songs. There are a host of apps which could read these files off the drive as well

    Doing this will not allow you to use the native iPad music app to listen to your tunes.

    Recently I have removed these bulky cumbersome items and got a NAS system which just stream everything to my iPad which I have tethered to my iPhone. Also I have installed items on my iPad 1 which allow me to control everything by voice. Voice control is not native but can be added by using SSH and then cydia has Clive control apps which allow you to create your own functions and commands, including macros.

    Another way would be to use VNC technology with VEENCY or yet another would by wifi enabled HD which are somewhat new. Sea gate offers one and there is something else called something Cloud which allows you to hook drives into it and then it creates a wifi signal that links to iPad. Either option would be around 200 total. If you do not have tethering or a 3G iPad or unlimited data the first and last options are yor best bets as the others would obviously require 3G or tethering to phone and use data.

    Lastly, there is a way to get music into the native app. You have to have MEWSEEK installed from cydia. Or groove shark and grooves shark enhancer then u can place mp3 files into those specific folders and they will import your songs into the music app. Groove shark also requires gremlin app or air blue sharing to enable this feature.

    If you connected your Hd then created a link in iFile from Hd into one of those folders it MIGHT WORK but I doubt it and since both apps physically import the songs your iPod will still fill up and if you delete the songs from iPad I believe it has to resync them so a symbolic link I doubt is feasible at this point but possibly on the horizon. I mean it wasn't long ago importing into the native app was believed to be impossible. Oh there is also a new app called BRIDGE which will also import into native app and will do so with music, podcasts, and video also allows full tag editing and you can even browse by URL to import. The catch is it will only do one at a time so very tedious.

    To my knowledge these along with any cloud based storage services are about it and I have tried a ton of ways to accomplish this. Hopefully this was helpful and please forgive the typos it's late, and my home team just advanced to the next round of playoffs so was only partially paying attention to typing ;)

    Good luck and if you find out an alternative please post, I hope this somewhat answered what you were asking.
  3. b_clam
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    b_clam iPF Noob

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    On the right track

    Thanks so much for your response. It was helpful and i appreciate the time and effort you put into walking me through it. I actually am in the process of making a connector that will allow the ipad to charge, but at the same time pushes the data through on the usb. Like you said i am planning on using a usb hub that will be powered. The ipad will be in a larger case that will house an energizer XPS1800 battery. This battery when engaged will power the iPad, USB Hub, 2.5 Hard drive, and a built in fm transmitter. This unit is self contained, i calculate about 10 hours of battery life for the whole system. But it can be plugged into a car. I didnt design the power system yet, by I dont plan on using an ac inverter and the bulky power adapter. I can get a small board that will convert 12v DC car power to 18V DC power to charge the battery and power the whole system simultaneously.

    I havent got into the actual software end of it. Back in the days of the apple tv generation one, you could SSH into it and relocate the media folder to a separate drive. Then you could create a symbolic link that would refer to that drive with this command.


    sudo ln -s /mnt/Scratch/Volumes/NAME_OF_YOUR_DRIVE/NAME_OF_YOUR_FOLDER /mnt/Media Again replace NAME_OF_YOUR_DRIVE/NAME_OF_YOUR_FOLDER with the appropriate names of drive and folder.


    Then when the app would refer to the location it would then redirect it to the external drive. It doesnt look for individual files, its looking for the entire directory. I would like to think that this would work with the ipad, the os structure is similar. Instead of having to use other apps to access what on the drive you change the path. Then you can use the iTunes apps for everything, just like i used to on the apple tv. The true test will be when i move this, if itunes will see 1tb as the ipad drive size like it would with the ATV.

    I just got an old beat up Ipad 1 off of ebay so i can try all of this as i dont want to ruin my ipad. I believe that the redirect will work. What i am not sure is how the drives mount. It seems from what you said is that you have to remount the drive every time.

    What would happen on the apple tv with the redirect to an external is that if the drive wasn't mounted or available before the software was searching for it, then it would reset the link and use the default location. The way i dealt with this was to always have the drive on, and i paid a linux guy to write in the startup script a command to mount the drive before all the other processes booted up.

    Being that the ipad doesnt really boot i would assume that as long as the drive is on before you actually turn on the ipad screen and it looks for the files it will stay mounted. Is that the case?

    You said "From there, if you are jail broke you can access the drive via iFile from cydia. Also you will either need to mount and unmount the drive each time you use it via the Terminal app or the better option is to get the USB Ztoggle add on from cydia and put it into the SBS settings to do the mounting for you but just flicking the icon off or on."

    So you mean that each time you turn off your ipads screen you need to re-mount the drive? Or just everytime you do a hard reboot?
  4. Scorsese59
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    Scorsese59 iPF Noob

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    Happy to hear I at least gave you so,e helpful advice.

    You seem to really now quite anit of stuff already which is why I decided to sign up and respond because discussing things of such a technical nature to a newcome to IOS or Apple products is a very lengthy process and in the end nothing is resolved. In your situation though I think we can exchange information with each other and I honestly hope you are correct with the symbolic link functionality and you will inform me of the results you achieve and how you achieved them.

    With that said however the way an original ATV operated and could access info, while similar in some ways, is different in many others.

    I think,it comes down to the original ATV allowing the connection of a USB device and ALSO allowed UMS abilities to mount and read the device. (UMS = universal mass storage, you may of course know this but for the sake of clarity included it).

    The iPad however does not offer UMS functionality without the aid of apps available to the jail broken community via Cydia.

    This is where the USB mount toggle for SBS settings comes in to play. This push button on screen icon allows the iPad to mount the drive or unmount the drive Sorry about putting a "Z" in my previous post, but as I said I was watching a ball game. I'm sure you understand.

    Basically this toggle installed on the iPad needs to be push on to mount or off to unmount not having this the iPad will not see the connected device at all, presumably due to the lack of the implementation of UMS which is further due to them wanting you to use their iTunes match cloud service. All about money right?

    So in the iFile cydia app when the device is mounted it recognizes it and can access any and all of the files. The iFile app also includes the ability to open any file and immediately play it without another application, as long as the media is iPad friendly, MP3 works flac files do not because iPad does not natively support flac much like flash video. In these cases when you click on a flac file within iFile it gives you options to "open it in another app" you have installed. such as apps readily available from the Apple store Buzz player, Av player, and literally hundreds of other which support audio or video and sometimes both.

    If your collection is mainly iPad friendly music files the built in iFile player will play the file, allow you to skip to next file, fast forward, (using the blue slider bar) etc. when you need to access a different folder you simply hit back and open a different directory.

    Ideally you can on your drive create playlist, genre, artis, etc folders which allow for easy access in iFile it is very user friendly and while playing music in a directory you can even hit a button which changes the screen to a list of all files in that directory and then you can simply click on the next song you want to play, similar to the native music app.

    I found a write up which further explains this and I believe gives links to the software needed as well at the bottom of the post.

    Basically you would still you a single app for playback but instead of the native app you would just use iFile.

    One final thing is iFile let's you create "bookmarks" for directories. This is on the left side of the app which lists all available directories on the iPad. So i simply hooked up everything and created a bookmark for music, genres. Artists, etc then with just a single click I can access these directories instead of navigating the file system when my drive is connected.

    Once the drive is mounted it stays mounted and when you want to disconnect it from your iPad you just click on unmount then disconnect the drive.

    I agree with the bulky inverter option and rarely use it because I also have a battery backup on my iPad and unless I am driving for over 10 hrs (pretty rare) I don't need it, never really trusted them, they are bulky for sure, and some are quite noisy and annoying. I am always looking for a cleaner, better/more efficient way of achieving this so please let me know of you results.

    Oh and since I have an iPhone as well there are now ways to remotely control an iPad with you iPhone thus has allowed me to keep all the stuff (iPad, USB hub, wires, drive etc in the glove box and using my iPhone as a handheld remote to control the iPad. Apps like AIrServer in cydia allow this functionality and when you get a call the music stops and you can choose to answer or ignore. I love this because I have missed too many phone calls from the wife because when I play my music I play it LOUD. :)
  5. Scorsese59
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    Scorsese59 iPF Noob

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    Sorry I needed a third post in order to enable the link to show up, see I told you I don't mess around on these forums unless I honestly think I can help, forums are already filled with BS posts or unrelated, unhelpful info, as I am sure you know as much as I do. So the link is I. The next post below.
  6. Scorsese59
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    Scorsese59 iPF Noob

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  7. jeffreyebest
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    jeffreyebest iPF Noob

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    I had the same problem. Bump!
  8. b_clam
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    b_clam iPF Noob

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    Ill give it a shot this week or next. If it doesnt work i might have to hire someone who ranks higher on the geek ladder. Keep you posted
  9. Scorsese59
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    Scorsese59 iPF Noob

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    I hear ya, while we both seem to know a great deal about how these things work and ways of getting around the built in spec we both also realize while we may think we know a great deal there is simply too much info to know everything and there are people out there who know a great deal more than us.

    For the most part the community in general is great in assisting each other and if you can't get itmtomwork hopefully someone can. I look forward to any forthcoming info you share.

    Good luck.

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