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Enable iPod Video Screensaver or Kiosk Mode


A buddy of mine instant messaged me today to ask if I had enabled the screensaver on my 5th generation iPod. I replied, “iPod screensaver?!” It turns out that there is a kiosk mode that allows a single video to be played over and over while an iPod is charging.

He pasted a URL with instructions which I followed, but it did not work. I Googled and found a number of other descriptions, including several variations, but it still took a bit of tinkering. Maybe these directions will make it easier for others to play with this hidden feature.

There are some prerequisites that you must meet first:

1) You must have a 5th generation video iPod. The screensaver is actually a video running in a loop. If you try this with your shuffle, good luck.

2) You must enable disk use, a setting that can be changed in iTunes. In iTunes version 7, you will see the checkbox in the Options area of the iPod view when it is connected.

3) You must be willing to reset all of your iPod preferences (such as changes you have made to your menus).

So, ready to go.

A) Connect your iPod to the computer and open a Finder or Explorer window to show the contents of the iPod. Enabling disk use makes the iPod act somewhat like an external hard drive. In Windows, open My Computer, and look for your iPod in the list of drives. Double click to open it. On a Mac, the iPod will appear in your Finder windows when it is connected. Click it to see inside.

B) Create a new folder in the root directory of the iPod called “Demo Mode.”

C) Copy any iPod-compatible video into this folder and rename the file demo, leaving the extension intact. (i.e., demo.mov)

D) While the iPod is connected as it is in this state (disk access mode), the screensaver will not start. If you eject the iPod (by clicking the little eject icon next to the iPod in iTunes) but leave it physically connected, the iPod will continue to charge and the screensaver will begin playing in about two minutes.

The screensaver mode works while the iPod is connected to an iHome system (and probably many other iPod-compatible devices) as long as the iPod is not playing something else and is just in a charging state.



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