Friday, February 16, 2007

Portable iTunes on a Stick


I have had partial success on this. Results here.


So I was reading the Lifehacker post about a soldier that was going to be deployed to iRaq (sic) and wanted to take iTunes with him. Actually I am kind of surprised that a solution for this has not come already given the recent explosion of storage devices and the rapid growth of their capacity.

At work I have been using some Memorex storage devices that have the U3 technology that I was less than excited about at first. U3 when you plug in your drive creates a virtual cd drive and then auto plays what looks like a flash application that runs in the tray and gives you several options to view files or run apps. They have several customized applications that you can purchase and they land in your installed application menu, this menu is only present when you plug in the drive and leaves when you leave.

Applications for this include Firefox and some readers but nothing exciting. If they could get apple on board with this, I really think that they could have a goldmine from people that roam with their music, but cannot install apps like iTunes. The largest technological hurdle, is that iTunes like most applications probably makes use of the windows registry (windows centric especially since the military doesn't have time for any smarmy "I only use mac's" crap). In vista there is an elegant solution for the least privileged user scenario with the profile base extended registry(see link). This would let the app on startup put in place any reg settings needed (copied from the portable drive) and everything would be set.

I don't see this working for XP or 2kpro, but I bet that we see some 64gig iTunes portable library devices for Vista....

Hey does the time stamp on this post count for documentation for my Patent application?

To try this I am going to try and create a setup program for U3 and follow this guide for making portable applications


  1. For creating U3 stuff, see

    No, I'm not the creator of this. But I use it when I make U3 stuff.

  2. Have a look at

    "How-to: iTunes on USB drive (PC only)"

  3. I wonder if MojoPac would work with iTunes on XP? MojoPac is great for many other applications and is very similar to U3 except that it creates an XP registry. It is free for home users:

  4. @tripwire

    I came to the same conclusion (before mojopac offered a free version). It sort of works, but really slowly, and flash drives aren't stable enough for long term use. Your mileage may vary, but I have had a few go out on me now, and lost a decent amount of data when I 8gb drive started throwing read errors. Even low level recovery tools couldn't get that drive back something on the board failed, as I couldn't even reformat it.

  5. Anonymous5:45 AM

    I got iTunes 8.10 working perfectly on U3 by thinapping it.

    Good luck :)