Apr 27 2009
The iPod phone may be calling, but until Apple answers we’d best make due with what we have. You’d be surprised how phone savvy your iPod is already. In this two part series, we’ll explore the iPod’s phone skills.
Part 1: Speed Dial with your iPod
Compatability check: All version of iPod will work with this technique. Most standard analog phones will work, but some cordless phones and PBX dial-outs will not work.
What you’ll need:
- Any iPod with iTunes on a Mac
- Portable speakers like this set from RCA (Amazon: $20)
- DTMF dial tones in mp3 format (download here)
- Doug Adam’s Join Together AppleScript
Import Tones and Build Numbers
I trust if you’re smart enough to be reading this you don’t need to be told how to import mp3 files into iTunes. Once in, build a few playlists with the name of people you’d like to speed-dial. Then drag in your numbers in the correct order (in my case 1 3 6 0 2 2 7 5 2 9 3). Don’t worry about repeating numbers,iTunes will treat them like separate songs.
Before going any further, lets test your tone sequence to make sure it dials the number. To do this, look around and make sure no one that you’re trying to impress is watching. Then hold up your phone to your Mac’s speaker(s) and play theplaylist. If it dials, we’re set. If not, check the sequence of your numbers. You may need more volume or a different phone.
Creating the Dial File
Now, rather than move these playlists onto your Pod, we are going to join them into one file. If you haven’t already, drag the “Join Together Æ’” folder into username/Library/iTunes/Scripts and restart iTunes. Highlight the songs in your dial playlist and select Join Together. The script will launch, run through a few options and create a consolidated file with your speed dial tones.
You’ll want to specify a name for your file and select “Just Join MP3 Tracks”. The resulting file is all you need to transfer to your Pod. Plug your Pod into your portable speakers, hold them up to a phone and play the file. Repeat for all your Dialplaylists.
Why does this work?
Analog phone networks dial using tones. By playing your speed dial file you are simply bypassing the phone’s internal tone generator and speaking directly to the switchboard.
Feel free to test this out using the number above (its just an answering service. Leave me a message if you feel like it). While we’re on the topic of phone messages, check out Part Two of the iPod phone series. We’ll learn how to transfer phone messages to your iPod.
Thanks for joining me for episode one of Pro Pod Power Tips. Keep an eye on the series while we explore the hidden, powerful capabilities of your iPod.