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Nike+ iPod touch (or nano) App – Missed Run Syncing Issue

I’ve been using Nike+ in one form or another since I had an iPod nano. It was a light music player that could also track my runs. My first run was synced on April 15, 2008. I then transitioned to use it on an iPod touch, and now on an iPhone.

Using the service on the iPod nano and iPod touch required a shoe dongle that tracked steps and some other metrics like how long your foot was on the ground. The technology they used to track a run was based on a study conducted in 1970 at Penn State. The background is pretty interesting.

When I began using the service on the iPod nano it required you to sync the recorded runs through iTunes. It worked most times with ease but from time to time I would forget to either record the run or there would be an issue during the sync and the data would not get sent to the Nike+ site.

If I forgot to record a run, there was a site called Nike+ Edit, that is now defunct, that would create a xml file with the appropriate information that could be place in a special folder on the nano and would then be synced the next time the iPod was attached to iTunes. If I just needed to re-sync a run it was as simple as moving a file from one folder to another. Moving the files around on the nano was easy because it could be setup to be used as a hard drive, which allowed you to drill down into the hidden folder structure.

When I started using Nike+ on an iPod touch I thought it would work the same way. After every run I would plug the iPod touch into my computer and sync it with iTunes. Assuming that iTunes would then send the run data up to the Nike+ website. It did not work this way.

Since the iPod touch has its own network connection, the Nike+ app on the iPod touch was designed to send the run data via wifi directly to the Nike+ servers, no iTunes sync required. That worked fine if I ended a run at home and let the app sync to the Nike+ servers at that time. But if I ever tried to send the run data to Nike+ when not in wifi, the app would try to send the data to Nike+, fail, and then move it to the local history in the app. This happened many times. I was left with a few dozen runs that were stored on the iPod touch but were not synced to the Nike+ service.

The app gave me no option to re-send the run data to the Nike+ servers. This is probably to avoid letting people game the service and add a single run multiple times to their cumulative mile count. I thought I had lost these runs and they would never be synced to the Nike+ website.

I got to thinking that I may be able to do a similar trick I used with the nano and simply move files around in the file system. But on the iPod touch there is no Apple supplied means to see the file structure of the iPod touch. I was also hesitant to believe that the iPod touch would have the same file structure for storing the run data.

A few months passed and I came across a desktop app that lets you view an iPhone or iPod touch file structure without jailbreaking. I settled upon iExplorer, which is a free app. It helped me solve a different issue on my iPhone before I realized it would work in this application as well.

Here is how to re-sync those runs.

Connect your iPod, nano or Touch, and navigate to the following directory using iExplorer.


Amazingly the iPod Touch is setup with a similar structure as the nano was! The random number “2X345FOOBA” is the unique name of the shoe dongle you are using. If you have used more then one you will see a folder for each dongle that has been connected to the iPod.

Find the files in the directory with the dates of the runs you need to re-sync and move them into the below directory.


Now open the Nike+ app on the iPod touch and it will give you the option to send the “latest” data to Nike+. Just make sure to do this while connected to an internet connection or you will have to run through the steps all over again.

Update: Here is a screenshot of iExplorer and the folder structure. Some of the comments have mentioned that they could not drag the files from the synced folder back into the latest folder. Unfortunately I can’t figure out why that would happen. I just tried it tonight and did not seem to have any issues. If it’s still an issue for you, I would suggest contacting iExplorer support.


A New Lion and My Mac

Apple announced on Thursday the pending update to their desktop OS, Mountain Lion OS X 10.8. A week before the public announcement a few Apple executives gathered in New York and hosted a handful of journalist for one on one presentations of the new features in the OS. John Gruber gave his account of the meeting. I wish I could find a list of all the people who had these meetings, but can’t seem to find one.

I have kept up with the OS updates on my late 2007 15″ MacBook Pro every time there has been a new release (it shipped with 10.5, Leopard). I think I will still be eligible to do the same when Mountain Lion is released this summer. The limiting factor is what the minimum requirements will be.1 I bought it as a refurbished model and recently crossed 4 years with it.

The amazing thing to me is that my laptop has been operating smoothly ever since I got it. Even after installing two major OS updates. With Lion I did switch out the 2 GB of RAM and put in 4. I had a big Dell tower that I started college with for three and a half years before switching and was very exciting to make the switch. I started following Apple around 2004 and patiently saved and waited for the right time to switch. Once the Dell got too slow and noisy I have never looked back.

At the time I could have gone for a high end MacBook and saved of few hounded dollars. The big difference was the MacBook Pro had a separate graphics card2 and bigger screen3. Sure enough I believe the graphics card is the spec that will keep my machine eligible for the upcoming update.

The MacBook line is now no longer in existence. The current options are a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air. An Air is right around the same price point as MacBook’s used to be and it made sense for the line to be brought to end of life.

I am really impressed that my 4+ year old machine is running the latest and greatest OS and feel like the investment was well worth it. I’d like to have some of the new hardware features available (bigger touch pad, longer battery life, unibody construction, SD card reader, and HD iSight camera) but can’t justify a new hardware purchase knowing that my current laptop has been so reliable.

It might be a little odd to be writing about a purchase I made four years ago. But it was a major purchase I made as a poor college student and the laptop is a little sentimental. It got me through the end of my undergrad and all the way through Grad school. It has gone on many trips, though multiple airports and car rides.

  1. As I had this post in a draft my Dad actually asked me about this. 

  2. This also ended up being an issue because the graphics card had to be replaced because of a know issue with the model from Nvida. The fix left me without a computer for a few days but I was back up to where I left things, thanks to a time machine backup. 

  3. The bigger screen was important. I have always been picky about how to maximize the pixels on my screen. This continues to be a big frustration I have with the way Windows has designed their OS. I work on XP I set my desktop theme to classic just so the start menu is not the big blue default. It changes it to a slightly thinner grey bar. 

An App Suggestion – Instapaper

If you read online…that would be you. I would recommend a web service called Instapaper. It was developed by Marco Arment, formerly of Tumblr. Instapaper was a side project he took full time.

Instapaper saves your articles you are reading online and makes them available for easy reading on the web, iOS app, or Kindle. There are unofficial apps on other platforms too.

The best of the world collided today when Marco was interviewed by one of my favorite NPR podcasts Planet Money.

For extra points you can listen to Marco on Build and Analyze, a podcast about iOS devices, app development, and sometimes coffee.


For Apple, the last two weeks have been filled with praise and scrutiny. Steve Jobs was held-up as the best American business has to offer in Tuesday’s State of the Union address while the New York Times reported worrying work conditions at Chinese factories that produce Apple products. Bob speaks with Wired’s Steven Levy who says the bad news won’t immediately change public opinion of Apple.

Apple’s Use of China Labor

There has been an increasing discussion about Apple’s use of Chinese manufacturing for much of its products. Most of the discussion has centered around the supplier labor practices and working conditions.

This American Life highlighted the topic last week. The New York Times has followed up with How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work and later in the week with In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad. CBS Sunday Morning also covered the topic today.

Apple has not responded directly to any of these articles. However, about a week before any of these news stories, Apple released their Supplier Responsibility report. Apple claims that their suppliers have gotten better and that they are doing more than ever to keep them responsible. They also claim to be doing more than any other electronics manufacture.

Since the electronics industry uses nearly all the same suppliers it is hard to hold Apple solely responsible. They seem to be doing more than everyone else, yet it’s probably not good enough.

The hard thing about any of these reports is that none of them really draw any conclusions. All I see, is that they have singled out one company that is probably doing more than its competitors. The full picture is yet to been seen and I bet that none of this will change our buying habits.

I am glad to see that the discussion is being had. It’s also hard not to also recognize Mike Daisey (featured in the TAL and CBS story) for telling the story so well and bringing a much deserved topic to the forefront.

Apple is the kind of company that can do more. They are in a position that no other electronics company is. They have the cash and market strength to do more.