Sunday, May 27, 2007


Creating browseable text-based content for iPods has historically been a manual and rather tedious affair, as I discovered when creating a prototype Glastonbury festival guide at work last year (which spawned the portable version of BBC Electric Proms website). Whilst a number of simple text converters are available (e.g. Text2iPod X, iPod Notes Packager), more sophisicated content has tended to require a fair amount of fiddling around with HTML tags. Until now.

Launched in early January, Mogopop aims to provide an end-to-end solution for creating, downloading and transferring packages of text and other media (audio, video and pictures) to your iPod. In order to sync content you need to install the Mogopop Manager (a free download for PC or Mac). It's then simply a case of choosing a content package from one of the dozen available channels (Events, Guides, Music, Videos+, Games, People, Books, Education, Travel, Food & Drink, Sports, Pix) and plugging in your iPod. Once synced the content appears under Extras > Notes.

Content creation requires (free) registration and is done via a drag-and-drop web interface above, which enables you to easily link pages and media assets which it then bundles up into a package ready for download. You get 50MB of free online storage to upload audio, video and pictures to your 'media suitcase' (accepted file formats are .mp3 and .m4a for audio,.m4v for video and .jpeg, .gif, .tiff, .pdf, and .png for pictures). To test it out, I created a content package pulling together recent posts from this blog (linked to from the badge at the foot of this post) which proved to be a surprisingly straightforward process.

Raising awareness of the service is likely to be a key challenge for Mogopop and the ability to 'iPod Your MySpace Page' with an embeddable widget to promote it could help nudge the service closer to the mainstream. The content offer isn't particularly strong as yet (the most downloaded packages include The Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2006 and a port of the Wikipedia entry on World of Warcraft) although it's still relatively early days for the site.

The bigger question is how long before the iPod follows the iPhone in offering integrated Wi-Fi access which could mean game over for any businesses relying on sideloading to mobile devices.

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